Saturday, October 3, 2015

Frederick Forsyth On His Role With British Intelligence, Espionage And NSA Leaker & Traitor Edward Snowden

Fredrick Forsyth, the author of the classic thriller The Day of the Jackal and The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue, spoke to the Gloucestershire Eco about his role with British intelligence, espionage and the NSA leaker, spy and traitor Edward Snowden.

Frederick Forsyth spoke of espionage past and future in his rare appearance at Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Discussing his memoirs 'The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue', his own recent admission to a past in espionage and the future of it following the Edward Snowden affair, Frederick was warmly welcomed by a capacity crowd.
Saying Edward Snowden's actions were "The biggest betrayal of the last five years and probably for the next 10…he walked out with the equivalent of 10 million secret documents . That's massive. " Frederick said that the future of espionage will be purely electronically driven.
"He gave it to world terrorism and its really all our defences, so most intelligence, most espionage to come will be anti terrorist and more than 95 per cent of it today is electronically gathered , not far from here at GCHQ,
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Friday, October 2, 2015

FBI: October Is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The FBI website reminds us that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, administered by the Department of Homeland Security. This is the perfect time of year for individuals, businesses, and other organizations to reflect on the universe of cyber threats and to do their part to protect their networks, their devices, and their data from those threats.

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Two Men Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder Of A U.S. Border Patrol Agent

The U.S. Justice Department released the below link:

Today, a federal jury in Tucson, Arizona, found Ivan Soto-Barraza, 37, and Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, 27, guilty of first-degree murder and other offenses for the murder of United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, announced U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy for the Southern District of California. 
According to evidence presented at trial, during the evening of Dec. 14, 2010, Soto-Barraza, Sanchez-Meza and three other men were in the United States for the purpose of robbing drug traffickers of their contraband.  While Agent Terry and three other Border Patrol Agents were engaged in the performance of their official duties, members of the defendants’ group exchanged gun fire with the agents and one of the shots fired by a member of the defendants’ group killed Agent Terry.
The jury found both Soto-Barraza and Sanchez-Meza guilty of first-degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and assault on Agent Terry and three additional federal officers – Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza, and Timothy Keller.  The court scheduled the defendants’ sentencing hearing for Dec. 9, 2015.  Both defendants face a mandatory sentence of life on the first degree murder charge (count 1).
“With these convictions, we have taken another important step towards securing justice for Agent Brian Terry,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “Today’s verdict is the result of years of tireless effort from dozens of dedicated law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and investigators committed to ensuring that the murder of their friend and colleague does not go unpunished.  The Department of Justice will continue to relentlessly pursue the remaining individuals responsible for Agent Terry’s loss, and to uphold the values of courage, duty, and honor that he embodied with his life and service.”
“Agent Terry gave his life protecting our country.  Today’s verdict cannot undo that tragedy and loss, but brings another measure of justice to Agent Terry’s family and the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Duffy.  “I commend the prosecution team, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Border Patrol and all other law enforcement partners who have assisted in the investigation and prosecution.”
Two other men, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes and Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez, previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for their roles in Agent Terry’s death.  Yet another two men, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga and Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, remain fugitives.
At trial, the United States was represented by attorneys from the Southern District of California, Special Attorneys Todd W. Robinson and David Leshner.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is recused.  The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Defendant Charged With Alleged Participation In The Murder Of Ice Special Agent Jaime Zapata And The Attempted Murder Of Ice Special Agent Victor Avila Extradited From Mexico

A Mexican national was extradited from Mexico to face charges for his alleged participation in the February 2011 murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila in Mexico.
The charges and extradition were announced today by Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr. of the District of Columbia, Assistant Director Joseph S. Campbell of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division and Director Sarah R. Saldaña of ICE.
Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota, aka Juan Manuel Maldonado Amezcua, Zafado or Safado, 34, of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, was charged on May 6, 2013, in a four-count indictment with one count of murder of an officer or employee of the United States; one count of attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States; one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person; and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.  The indictment was unsealed today when Garcia Sota made his initial appearance before Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District of Columbia.  His next appearance in court is scheduled for Oct. 9, 2015.
“It has been over four and a half years since ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata valiantly lost his life and Special Agent Victor Avila suffered grave injuries when they were ambushed by gunfire while on assignment in Mexico,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “As evidenced by today’s announcement, the passage of time has not lessened our resolve to keep our promise to the family of Special Agent Zapata and to Special Agent Avila and his family, and bring to justice those responsible for this senseless and brutal attack.  And we are grateful to the Government of Mexico for its continued partnership in this case.”
“Four years ago, on a Mexican roadside, two American heroes came under attack in a violent ambush by members of Los Zetas, a dangerous criminal cartel,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen.  “Four people have already accepted responsibility for their actions, and now a fifth will be brought to an American courtroom for justice.  We will not stop in the pursuit of justice – no matter how far away and how long it takes.”
“Today's announcement is the direct result of unwavering resolve and unrelenting cooperation to bring to justice those accountable for the murder of Jaime Zapata and the attempted murder of Victor Avila,” said Assistant Director Campbell.  “Although this cowardly act of violence occurred more than four years ago, this investigation remains a priority for the FBI.”
“This extradition is another step closer to the justice Special Agents Zapata and Avila deserve,” said ICE Director Saldaña.  “ICE is grateful to our partners whose tireless efforts brought about today's news.  Their dogged pursuit of justice, often in face of great danger, enables us to continue in our quest to make these criminals pay for their deeds.  While nothing can ever truly heal such a loss, we hope today's news brings Agent Zapata's family and friends a measure of peace.  His ultimate sacrifice will always be honored by the men and women of ICE.”
Four defendants previously pleaded guilty to offenses based on their roles in the murder and attempted murder of the ICE agents.  Julian Zapata Espinoza, aka Piolin, 34, pleaded guilty on May 23, 2013, to the murder of Special Agent Zapata and the attempted murder of Special Agent Avila.  Ruben Dario Venegas Rivera, aka Catracho, 27, pleaded guilty on Aug. 1, 2011, to federal charges concerning the murder of Special Agent Zapata and attempted murder of Special Agent Avila.  Jose Ismael Nava Villagran, aka Cacho, 33, pleaded guilty on Jan. 4, 2012, also to federal charges concerning the murder and attempted murder of the ICE agents.  Francisco Carbajal Flores, aka Dalmata, 40, pleaded guilty on Jan. 10, 2012, to conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and to being an accessory after the fact to the murder and attempted murder of the ICE agents.
As part of their guilty pleas, Espinoza, Rivera and Villagran admitted to being members of a Los Zetas hit squad and to participating directly in the Feb. 15, 2011, ambush of the two special agents.  The fourth defendant, Flores, acknowledged assisting Zetas members after the attack.
An indictment is a formal charging document and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, with substantial assistance from ICE, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Customs and Border Patrol, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service and the U.S. Marshals Service.  The investigation was also coordinated with the assistance of the Government of Mexico.
The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs has provided substantial assistance.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

And They Called The Film Truth?: Wacko Dan Rather Movie Still Insists Forged Bush-National Guard Documents Were Real

Kyle Smith at the New York Post pans the film Truth.

The classic definition of chutzpah — the guy who murders his parents and then begs for mercy because he’s an orphan — is getting a rewrite with the Oct. 16 release of “Truth,” a movie that insists forged documents are real. 

Robert Redford, who makes no effort whatsoever to look or sound like Dan Rather, plays the CBS newsman undone after he presented to the public obviously forged documents about then-President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service in the early 1970s.

It was September 2004, two months before Bush was to be re-elected in a tight race against Vietnam veteran John Kerry, and Rather’s “60 Minutes” producer Mary Mapes (played by Cate Blanchett with her usual brittle intensity) is desperate for a scoop.

Mapes found a squirrely retired National Guard colonel named Bill Burkett, who gave her photocopied memos that purported to show Bush had been AWOL for a significant portion of his National Guard tenure. The font and spacing on the memos perfectly matched the default settings on a 21st-century Microsoft Word program, Burkett kept changing his story about how he got the documents until he sounded completely insane (and Blanchett is shown making the “cuckoo” sign as she listens to him), two of CBS’s own document experts raised doubts about them — and Burkett was a Bush hater who agreed to hand over the documents in the first place on the condition that Mapes put him in touch with the John Kerry campaign, which he wanted to assist. Mapes and Rather ran with the story anyway, defending it for days — even after other media organizations began casting doubt on them.
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Joseph Coffey, Decorated 'Son Of Sam' NYPD Detective, Dies At 77

DavidK. Li at the New York Post reports on the death of former NYPD detective Joseph Coffey.

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Papa’s Got A Brand New Museum Exhibit

Nicolas Mills at the Daily Beast offers a piece on the museum exhibition on one of my favorite writers, Ernest Hemingway.

It has been more than 60 years since Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature and 90 years since the appearance of his breakthrough collection of short stories, In Our Time. Yet, in all that time there has been no major museum exhibition devoted to Hemingway and his work.
Now all that has changed with the new landmark show, “Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars,” that the Morgan Library and Museum in New York has organized in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
The exhibition, which opened at the Morgan on September 25 and remains there until January 31, is far more expansive than its title indicates. It starts with Hemingway as a high school student in Oak Park, Illinois, and continues past his World War II years.
...  “I felt that the Hemingway myth, or at least the popular perception of Hemingway, had come to overshadow and obscure the prose,” Declan Kiely, the show’s curator as well as the head of the Morgan’s literary and historical manuscripts, has said.
... In his famous account of the D-Day landing, “Voyage to Victory,” Hemingway’s ego is on display, but as he heads toward the Fox Green sector of Omaha Beach on a small landing craft with the troops who will go ashore, he is risking his own life as he records their and his anxiety in the face of the heavy fire coming from German shore batteries.
For most other writers, a war story like “Voyage to Victory” would have been the high point of their careers. For Hemingway, the story, with its focus on doing your job while facing your fears, was, as the Morgan’s exhibition reminds us, just one more episode in a life rich with intensely felt, brilliantly described episodes.
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