Posted on April 9, 2013
McALLEN – A former investigator with the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office and another defendant pleaded guilty to their roles in a marijuana trafficking ring that was under surveillance by an ICE agent last summer when that agent was shot.
April 12, 2013
Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project is nearing completion. The heavily secured site belongs to the National Security Agency.
"The spy center" -- that's what some of the locals like Jasmine Widmer, who works at Bluffdale's sandwich shop, told our Fox News team as part of an eight month investigation into data collection and privacy rights that will be broadcast Sunday at 9 p.m. ET called "Fox News Reporting: Your Secrets Out.”
The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. The agency will neither confirm nor deny specifics. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion stacked iPhones 5's-- that stretches past the moon.
One man we hoped would answer our questions, the current director of the NSA General Keith Alexander, declined Fox News's requests to sit down for an interview, so we stopped by the offices of a Washington think tank, where Alexander was speaking at a cyber security event last year.
Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens, Alexander said, "No...we don't hold data on U.S. citizens," adding that the NSA staff "take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation."
But critics, including former NSA employees, say the data center is front and center in the debate over liberty, security and privacy.
"[It] raises the most serious questions about the vast amount of data that could be kept in one place for many, many different sources," Thomas Drake told Fox News.
Drake -- who worked at the NSA from Aug. 2001 to Aug. 2008 and was unsuccessfully prosecuted on espionage charges -- says Americans should be concerned about letting the government go too far in the name of security.
Police search for suspects in Watertown, Mass. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
BOSTON—A late-night police chase and shootout has ended with one marathon bombing suspect being captured here, the Boston Globe reported. Meanwhile, an intense manhunt is underway for a second suspect in the terror case.
Federal agents swarmed neighboring Watertown after local police were involved in a car chase and shootout with at least two suspects. During the pursuit, officers could be heard on police radio traffic describing the suspects as having grenades and other explosives.
One reportedly escaped capture, and another was shot by police and taken to a local hospital. Another man was seen sprawled on the ground in footage shown on WHDH-TV.
The FBI has not confirmed a connection between the events in Watertown to the twin explosions that killed 3 people and injured 170 others at the Boston Marathon on Monday. But according to an alert sent issued to fellow officers, the suspect who remained at large was referred to as the "one with the white hat" seen in the photos released by the bureau on Thursday.
The suspect, described on scanner traffic as a "white male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with black curly hair, possibly with an assault rifle and explosives," as police in Watertown, Newton, Brighton and Cambridge were put on high alert.
"We are aware of the law enforcement activity in the greater Boston area," Boston FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich said in a statement to Yahoo News. "The situation is ongoing. We are working with local authorities to determine what happened."
DENVER (CN) - An elementary school in a small Colorado town had a student arrested for his good-faith report that classmates were talking about a gun, then police bullied the boy's parents with baseless charges and followed them around town, the family claims in court.
Christopher Spahn sued the Town of Irondequoit, its Police Department and Officer Chad Rahn, in Federal Court. Spahn claims Rahn violated his civil rights by revealing his identity to the marijuana grower, who had been arrested on his tip. Irondequoit is a suburb of Rochester. Spahn claims Irondequoit and its Police Department negligently hired, trained and supervised the cop, who used a department computer to track him down after he made the 911 call. Spahn claims he called 911 in April 2010 to report that Frank Arena was growing marijuana in his home. Spahn says he made the call anonymously, and "specifically informed the 911 operator that he did not want to provide his name, address or telephone number." Arena, whose home Spahn had visited with a mutual friend, was arrested, the complaint states. Arena is not a party to the complaint. After Arena was released, Spahn claims, he asked Rahn to help him track down the snitch. Rahn got Spahn's name and address from the Monroe County I-Leads system and gave the information to Arena, the complaint states. The next time Spahn went to Arena's home, Arena and his roommate Matthew Montrois assaulted him, Spahn says. They robbed him and "forced [him] to go to his home, where he was robbed of additional personal items and threatened with a knife," according to the complaint. Spahn claims he suffered lacerations to his back and bruising and swelling to his face. Arena and Montrois were convicted of burglary, robbery and assault and were sent to prison, Spahn says in the complaint. He claims that he "continues to live in fear that a retaliatory action will be taken on his life." He claims the town and its police department breached their duty to train and supervise Rahn, "especially when an initial background check for employment raised numerous material issues concerning his fitness as an officer." As an officer, Rahn "was investigated multiple times for domestic violence and other violations of the law," according to the complaint. At one point, he was given a multi-year suspension, but "displays a pattern of violating the suspension by working with another police department while suspended," Spahn says in the complaint. "Defendants have tolerated and permitted a pattern of negligent hiring, training, supervising and failure to terminate of police officers, proximately resulting in employees violating the civil rights of persons such as plaintiff," the complaint states. "The custom or policy of defendants, and their deliberate indifference to the rights of those who come into contact with these employees, caused plaintiff to be subjected to denial of his constitutional rights."
Tell Obama NOT to Nominate NYPD Commissioner Kelly for Homeland Security
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and the Department of Homeland Security are a match made in heaven -- and that's why we should do everything we can to stop him.
With Secretary Janet Napolitano on her way out, Commissioner Kelly and his racist and unconstitutional law enforcement accolades have made him a Beltway fan favorite to lead the agency. New York Senator Chuck Schumer wasted no time in releasing a statement saying, “there is no doubt Ray Kelly would be a great DHS Secretary, and I have urged the White House to very seriously consider his candidacy.”1 Apparently the White House is doing exactly that.2
This is the man who spied on New York City Muslims after 9/11, institutionalized racial profiling via "Stop and Frisk" and brutalized protesters throughout Occupy Wall Street. Putting him in charge of an agency that itself has an odious legacy of rights abuses would be a monumental mistake.
Please join us in calling on President Obama not to nominate NYPD Commissioner Ray "Stop and Frisk" Kelly for DHS Secretary.
Ray Kelly's tenure as the longest serving commissioner in NYPD history is marred by the institutionalization of unconstitutional law enforcement practices that have turned the city into a police state for the poor, dissenting and people of color. If President Obama was to appoint Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security, that would potentially be interpreted as rewarding Kelly for dramatically scaling up his disdainful practices and giving him the green light to implement them on a federal level.
As Matthew Taylor writes in Vice, "Whether it’s directing the Transportation Security Agency and our airports, managing immigration and border enforcement, or just generally having his way with a multi-billion dollar budget, the opportunities for abuse in a Kelly-run DHS are terrifying to contemplate."3
Finally, a Ray Kelly appointment for DHS could also send a message to municipal police departments nationwide that programs like Stop and Frisk or the mass surveillance of Muslims are acceptable, won't be challenged by the Department of Justice, and might even earn your commissioner a top spot in the president's cabinet. This is a precedent that cannot be allowed to start.
Brian Sonenstein Campaign Director, Firedoglake.com
Sources: 1. Why Ray ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Kelly Possibly Being Nominated to DHS Would Be so Dangerous, Jon Walker, Just Say Now, 7/15/2013. 2. President Obama eyes NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to run the Department of Homeland Security, Joseph Straw, New York Daily News, 7/16/2013. 3. Ray Kelly’s Path To Becoming America’s Big Brother, Matthew Taylor, VICE, 7/16/2013.
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