Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Defense Contractor And Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Sentenced to 87 Months Imprisonment for Communicating Classified National Defense Information to Communist Chinese Citizen

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

Assistant Attorney General  for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni for the District of Hawaii announced today that Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 60, a former Honolulu, Hawaii, civilian defense contractor and retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi to serve 87 months imprisonment and three years’ supervised release for willfully communicating classified national defense information to a person not authorized to receive it and unlawfully retaining classified national defense information at his home. 
Bishop pleaded guilty to the two charges on March 13, 2014.  In a plea agreement filed with the court and during court proceedings, Bishop admitted that, on March 12, 2012, he e-mailed classified information to a 27-year-old Chinese woman with whom he had a romantic relationship and who was present in the United States as a graduate student on a J1 Visa. 
The classified information related to joint training and planning sessions between the United States and the Republic of Korea and was classified at the SECRET level.  Bishop also admitted to unlawfully retaining at his residence multiple classified documents that related to the national defense, including the U.S. Armed Forces Defense Planning Guide for years 2014 through 2018, a document entitled Optimizing U.S. Force Posture in the Asia‑Pacific, the U.S. Department of Defense China Strategy, the 2010 Guidance for Employment of Force (GEF) and a classified photograph of a Chinese naval asset that Bishop retrieved from classified sources based on a request from the Chinese woman.  The documents had been removed from Bishop’s workplace at U.S. Pacific Command. 
“Willfully communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it is a serious threat to our national security,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “In committing this crime, Bishop violated his oath to protect the classified information with which he was entrusted.  This conduct is unacceptable and we will continue to investigate and seek to hold accountable those who engage in it.”
“We remain steadfast and resolute in our pursuit of those who violate their sworn security agreements and divulge our nation’s secrets to foreign nationals and others,” said U.S. Attorney Nakakuni.  “This is the second major espionage case prosecuted in the District of Hawaii, and is particularly troublesome because it involves the communication of classified information to a citizen of the People’s Republic of China.”
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii and Senior Trial Attorney Robert E. Wallace Jr. of the Counteres

A South Philly Murder-For-Hire Plot That The Bard Would Love

Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia offers a piece on the South Philadeelphia auto body shop owner with reputed organized crime ties who is accused of hiring a gunmen to kill his daughter's boyfriend.

It sounds like the plot from a Shakespearean play, but with a decided South Philadelphia twist.

A father, upset because his daughter is dating a man he neither likes nor trusts, sends two henchmen to kill the unwanted suitor. If Shakespeare had written the story, the assassins would have carried swords or daggers.

Ronald Walker said he used a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Walker took the stand this afternoon during the opening day of testimony in the murder-for-hire trial of Ronald Galati, a South Philadelphia auto body shop owner with a checkered criminal past that includes alleged organized crime connections.

But neither Galati's past nor his suspected mob ties are expected to figure in the trial. Instead, the case will focus on the allegation that last year Galati, 63, hired three men to kill Andrew Tuono who was dating Galati's daughter Tiffany at the time.

Tuono survived the hit and is listed as a potential witness. So is Tiffany Galati.
"It's a simple case," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Richardson said in his opening statement to the jury of 10 women and two men this morning. "Mr. Galati wanted Mr. Tuono dead." The reason, Richardson said, was also rather mundane. "Mr. Galati didn't like Mr. Tuono."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Case Of The Yakking Yakuza

Jake Adelstein, the author of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, offers a piece at the Daily Beast on the arrest of a Japanese crime boss.

TOKYO, Japan — In southern Japan, where violent gang wars continue for years, everyone has a long memory and forgiveness is rarely given. But sometimes justice is served.

This week the Japanese National Police Agency used evidence from a cold case dating back 16 years to arrest the heads of Japan’s “most violent” yakuza group—the Kudo-kai—on charges of homicide. The cops have made dismantling the Kudo-kai a police priority and want to deliver a message to the remaining 300 full-time members that resistance would be futile. Japanese authorities also have won the support of the United States in this battle. In July, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Kudo-kai a transnational criminal organization, noting it was Japan’s “most violent yakuza syndicate,” and froze the assets of the same top executives now under arrest for murder.

On September 11, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police Organized Crime Division and the riot squad stormed the headquarters of the Kudo-kai and the home of the group’s leader, Satoru Nomura, age 67, and arrested him for his role in conspiring to murder Kunihiro Kajiwara, a leader in the local fishing industry. The Kudo-kai’s second in command, Fumio Tanoue, 58, initially escaped arrest, but turned himself in to the police on September 13.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Crime Beat column on Jake Adelstein's Tokyo Vice via the below link:

Monday, September 15, 2014

White House Secrets Revealed In Ronald Kessler's "First Family Detail" Book

James Rosen at interviews veteran journalist Ronald Kessler, author of a book on the U.S. Secret Service called The First Family Detail.  

President Obama is nice to the “little people” – but his wife wishes he were tougher with his political enemies. 

Ex-President Nixon was once observed sampling the dog treats he was feeding to his pet. 

Moore Of The Same Please: Sir Roger Moore Has No Plans To Retire

Simon Edge at the British newspaper the Express offers a piece on actor Sir Roger Moore and his new book (called One Lucky Bastard in the US and Last Man Standing in the UK).

"Retirement is when the phone stops ringing," he says. 

"Actors don't retire. We've never had to work very hard in our lives so we may as well go on doing it."

His latest project is a book, his third venture into print, in which he says he wants to share some of the fun he has experienced with showbiz folk in his long and illustrious career. 

It is a hilarious read but it is not all suitable for publication in a family newspaper. 

An anecdote on the first page about Grace Kelly complaining her face has been airbrushed on to Ava Gardner's body - "I do not have t*** like that!" - sets the pace and then we are racing through stories about Lana Turner effing and blinding, Joan Collins sneering at movie boss Darryl Zanuck's desktop mould of his own member ("I've seen bigger things crawl out of cabbages"), then fast-cutting to lavatorial stories about Tallulah Bankhead, Diana Dors and Dirk Bogarde, the last involving a lost denture. And that's just the first couple of chapters.

Couldn't he have told some tales I can actually repeat? 

"That's nothing," he says, and proceeds to tell me a story he didn't include about Tony Curtis, his co-star in 1970s TV series The Persuaders, insulting Collins with the rudest word in the English language.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: I enjoyed Sir Roger Moore's previous two books and I look forward to reading this one.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Top Five Organized Crime Groups In The World

Chris Matthews at offers a piece on the top five organized crime groups in the world.

So, who are the biggest organized crime gangs around the world and how do they make their money? Organized crime revenues are very difficult to estimate, as criminals often spend a significant amount of time trying to hide what they make. Also, “organized crime” is a loosely defined concept. Anything from a vast drug smuggling ring to a handful of car thieves can be classified as organized crime groups, and the cohesiveness of organized crime organizations around the world varies widely. Some groups, like Japan’s Yakuza, are highly organized and hierarchical, allowing economists and crime fighters in Japan to attribute much higher revenue totals to Yakuza groups than others around the world. Here are the top five criminal gangs, ranked by revenue estimates:

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

By Dawn's Early Light: Onlookers Salute 'Old Glory' At Fort McHenry

Navy Seaman Kameren Guy Hodnett, U.S. Navy Public Affairs Support Element East, offers the below piece:

BALTIMORE, Sept. 14, 2014 - Visitors and special guests watched today as members of the U.S. Army's 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), with the help of War of 1812 re-enactors, hoisted a 15-star, 15-stripe, full-size replica Star-Spangled Banner flag over Fort McHenry here at the "By Dawn's Early Light" flag-raising ceremony.

Star-Spangled Banner replica

At precisely 9 a.m., guns blasted and the crowd of onlookers fell silent as service members raised a 30-foot by 42-foot replica of the flag that 200 years ago inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Defence of Fort McHenry," which would later become America's national anthem.

"It is a great pleasure for me to be here at this historic site and historic city of Baltimore as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our Star-Spangle Banner," said former Secretary of State and retired Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, the event's guest speaker. The American flag is "a piece of cloth I have loved all my life and have served under for over 40 years,' Powell added.

Celebrating history

The special ceremony capped a weeklong series of events at the fort for Baltimore's Star-Spangled Spectacular, a celebration commemorating the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore and the national anthem.

The fort played host to a number of special events and activities including commemorative ceremonies, living history demonstrations and interpretive programs during the Star-Spangled Spectacular. The city's celebration, which concludes Sept. 16, also includes visits by more than 30 ships from the U.S. and foreign nations, as well as an airshow performance by U.S. Navy's Blue Angels.

Note: The above U.S. Coast Guard photo was taken by Petty Officer 1st Class Pamela J. Boehland.