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Tag: Robert O’Neill

DEA and Locals Nab Guatemala’s Top Drug Trafficker


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA and Guatemala authorities on Wednesday nabbed Guatemala’s reputed top drug trafficker who was wanted on cocaine charges in Florida, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that Juan Ortiz Lopez and two other suspects were arrested at a house in the western city of Quetzaltenango.

Guatemala’s Minister Carlos Menocal said Lopez had been under surveillance by the DEA and his nation’s intelligence agents for seven days, AP reported.

“This is a big fish and we are satisfied with his capture. It’s a great achievement by this government,” Menocal said, according to AP.

Tampa’s U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill added, according to AP: “For over a decade, Ortiz-Lopez’s drug organization received multi-ton cocaine shipments in Guatemala, which would then be transported through Mexico to the United States, where the cocaine would be further distributed.”

Did the Prez Really Say That About Nominees for U.S. Attorney and Marshals?

The President in Louisiana/white house photo

The President in Louisiana/white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — While Washington may be our nation’s capital, it’s not likely to be mistaken for the capital of sincerity.

Which brings us to the endless stream of press releases the White House  issues when announcing the nominations of U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals.

Take, for example, on June 9, when the White House issued a press release announcing the nomination of six U.S. Marshals, President Obama was quoted as saying: “Throughout their careers these individuals have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice.”

On the same day,when the White House announced the nomination of Robert O’Neill for U.S. Attorney in Florida, President Obama said: “Robert O’Neill has shown an unwavering commitment to justice throughout his career.”

On July 14, in nominating four U.S. Marshals, the President said in a press release: “These individuals have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to public service throughout their careers.”

On July 21, the White House issued another press release announcing the nomination of three more U.S. Marshals and President Obama was quoted as saying: “Throughout their careers these individuals have shown a deep commitment to public service.” On Aug. 4, in announcing three more U.S. Marshals, the President said: “Throughout their careers, these dedicated law enforcement professionals have shown an unwavering commitment to public service.”

Get the point?

In other words, the White House just loads the press releases with boilerplate quotes that are in all likelihood written by someone else. In fact, don’t be surprised if the president never saw — let alone uttered those words before they went into the release, media experts say.

Reporters see the quotes as nothing more than boilerplate quotes, quotes to be ignored. They seldom end up in print or on the air unless there’s a need to fill some space.

NBC's Michael Isikoff/ meet the press photo

NBC's Michael Isikoff/ meet the press photo

“These are pretty much assembly line press releases churned out by some junior staffer toiling in the white house boiler room,” says Washington investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, formerly of Newsweek and now of NBC News.

The quotes, he said,  “generally go to the delete pile.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a written request for comment.

Don Goldberg, a former Clinton White House staff member and former investigative reporter for the late columnist Jack Anderson, said the boiler plate language is meant more for the families and relatives  to see.

Goldberg, a partner in Qorvis, a Washington corporate communications firm, said it’s likely someone on a lower level makes up some of the quotes and gets approval from someone higher up in the communication department.

After that, he said, ” they probably have a standard quote they use over and over again. The notion that they would spend time with the president or even the chief of staff on this, it’s just not what they do.”

Pres. Obama Nominates U.S. Atty. for Fla and 6 U.S. Marshals

marshalsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday nominated assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill for U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Florida and six people for U.S. Marshal posts around the country.

The Marshal nominations, according to a White House press release include:

  • Mark Lloyd Ericks for the Western District of Washington.
  • Joseph Patrick Faughnan Sr.for the District of Connecticut.
  • Harold Michael Oglesby for the Western District of Arkansas.
  • Donald Martin O’Keefe for the Northern District of California.
  • Kenneth James Runde for the Northern District of Iowa.
  • Charles Thomas Weeks II for the Western District of Oklahoma.

UPDATE: 4:10 p.m. Thurs. —  The Senate Judiciary earlier today gave the nod to four U.S. Attorney noninees: Thomas E. Delahanty for the District of Maine; Wendy J. Olson for Idaho; Donald J. Cazayoux for the Middle District of Louisiana and James A. Lewis for the Central District of Illinois.