'Two-Edged Sword’ Author Describes Federal Security Issues

By Andrew Kreig

Donald Tucker Book CoverDonald W. TuckerSecurity expert Donald Tucker told me in a radio interview July 14 how and why he was able to overcome poverty and racial obstacles -- and rise to high levels with the federal security services. Tucker wrote the autobiography, The Two-Edged Sword, and was this week's featured guest on the MTL Washington Update show that I co-host each week with Scott Draughon, founder of the My Technology Lawyer radio network heard nationally.

"When your life is a two-edged sword, you learn to tread carefully or to live with the consequences," was Tucker's mantra as he began as an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA) and worked for the Secret Service during the civil rights era. Tucker rose through the ranks to become one of this country’s foremost federal law enforcement administrators and reformers. He became U.S. Marshal for Arizona. Then he was named as the chief security officer for the nation’s federal courts, supervising a $150 million annual budget. He described taking bold risks, both in his early law enforcement work as an undercover agent and later in bureaucratic politics, fighting for promotions both for himself and others he thought might be passed over unfairly.

The Chicago native was reared "in a postage-stamp apartment that housed five children and four adults."  He got his start on a football scholarship at the University of Iowa, where he majored in sociology. He described his shock later as an Army recruit in the South in the early 1960s experiencing segregation first-hand. Then he was told by his commander not to participate with his unit in Army security for the 1963 desegregation of the University of Mississippi because the sight of a black solider might antagonize onlookers. Tucker says he threw himself into his law enforcement work. On his wedding day, he excuse himself between the service and reception to build a case against  a suspected counterfeiter. He went on to coordinate the federal investigation of the bombing of the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He now runs Tucker Investigations and Protective Services, and is working on a second book. Details.

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Below are significant articles for this week on legal reform and related political, security and media factors. The articles, including a strong representation from independent blogs and other media, contain a sample of news. See the full article by clicking the link.

New Jersey Federal Corruption Prosecutions

Louis ManzoJersey Journal, Hudson News, Arraignment scheduled for former Assemblyman Manzo on his latest federal corruption indictment, Agustin C. Torres, July 14, 2011.  Former Assemblyman Louis Manzo, left, of Jersey City will be arraigned Tuesday in federal court, Newark, on a superseding indictment that adds one count of failing to report a felony to the two bribery charges Manzo already faces. "I'm disappointed that they returned an indictment, and it seems like they ignored the testimony of their own witnesses, who exculpated Lou," said his attorney, John Lynch of the latest and third indictment against his client in this case. Lynch said he was referring to testimony in the recent corruption trial of former Secaucus mayor Dennis Elwell, in which Ronald Manzo testified that he accepted the $27,500 without telling his brother about it. Louis Manzo charges that the Operation Bid Rig III sting was meant to boost Gov. Chris Christie's gubernatorial campaign. Christie had been the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

Newark Star-Ledger, Rental car charges against FBI informant Solomon Dwek dropped, Ted Sherman. July 14, 2011. The lie that sent Solomon Dwek to jail was all for naught. Dwek, whose bail was revoked after misleading the FBI about his arrest in Baltimore over a failure to return a rental car, was cleared today of all criminal charges in connection with the incident.

Politicker New Jersey, Manzo Speaks, Darryl R. Isherwood, July 12, 2011. Check out this story in the Cliffview Pilot. It seems former Assemblyman and current target of the U.S. Attorney Louis Manzo has some things to say about the Justice Department, his own claims of innocence, and current Governor and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

Cliffview Pilot, Manzo: New Jersey corruption sweep meant to sweep Christie, friends into office, Jerry DeMarco, July 11, 2011. EXCLUSIVE: Government crime fighters illegally brought charges against him in order to further their careers and that of Gov. Christie, who, as New Jersey’s chief U.S. prosecutor, oversaw a massive public corruption sweep that overwhelmingly targeted Democrats, former state Assemblyman and Jersey City mayoral candidate Louis Manzo tells CLIFFVIEW PILOT, in an explosive series of emails. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark “used evidence they know is untruthful to corrupt the sacred grand jury process for the purpose of indicting me a third time,” Manzo writes. They also relied on a “prey for pay” informant who was once a major GOP contributor and eventually proved unreliable, he adds.

Alabama Siegelman Case

Robert HinkleLegal Schnauzer, Democrats Join the Effort to Cover Up Misconduct in the Siegelman Case, Roger Shuler, July 13, 2011. The ruling federal judge Robert Hinkle, right, shows that the case is not about Siegelman's personality; in a sense, it isn't about Siegelman at all. It is about the fundamental notions of fairness that are supposed to hold sway in our courtrooms. They come under the umbrella known as "due process," and they include the right to an objective, unbiased judge; the right to an untainted jury; and the right to face prosecutors who follow fundamental legal procedures.

Mississippi Gambling Raids

Legal Schnauzer, Why Did the FBI Launch a Raid on Mississippi Choctaw? Roger Shuler, July 14, 2011. Two days have passed since federal authorities launched an investigation at Mississippi Choctaw casinos, and we still don't know what prompted the action. News reports indicate that Mississippi Choctaws spent $13 million, funneled through Republican felon Jack Abramoff, to help get Bob Riley elected governor in 2002. If Tuesday's raid has anything to do with Riley, Abramoff, and perhaps the Bush administration (hello, Karl Rove!), it would be a major national story. But so far, we have no indication that such weighty issues are driving the investigation.  But I have a hard time believing that Eric Holder actually could serve some useful purpose while he is U.S. attorney general.

The News Media and the Law

Legal Schnauzer, Legal Schnauzer Reaches a Blogging Milestone, Roger, Shuler, July 15, 2011. We try not to spend much time tooting our own horn around here, but our little blog passed a milestone t he other day that might be worth noting. On June 16, Legal Schnauzer had its 1 millionth page view. What does that mean? I'm hardly an expert on blog analytics, so I really don't know. But it does seem to say that you can start a serious blog about legal and judicial corruption--a fairly complex, decidedly unsexy topic--and still attract an audience. That wasn't a given when I started this blog on June 3, 2007, with a post titled "Is 'Your Honor' Really Honorable?" At the time, I wasn't sure if anyone other than me and Mrs. Schnauzer would read it. And I still don't know that having 1 million page views over four years time--if my math is correct, we are averaging about 250,000 page views a year--is particularly special in the blogging world.

Washington Post, FBI opens inquiry after report that News Corp. tried to hack phones of 9/11 victims, Jerry Markon and David S. Hilzenrath, July 14, 2011. The FBI has opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations that News Corp. employees sought to hack into the phones of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and tried to bribe law enforcement officers for information, U.S. officials said Thursday. FBI agents are reviewing information on the phone-hacking scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s British media operations and trying to determine if U.S. laws were broken, the officials said. Murdoch is chairman and chief executive of News Corp., which is based in New York and has extensive U.S. operations.

Salon Unclaimed Territory, How the U.S. government uses its media servants to attack real journalism, Glenn Greenwald, July 15, 2011.  This week, the truly intrepid investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill published in The Nation one of the most significant political exposés of the year.  Entitled "the CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia," the article documented that the CIA uses and effectively controls a secret prison in Mogadishu, where foreign nationals who are rendered off the streets of their countries (at the direction of the U.S.) are taken (along with Somali nationals) to be imprisoned with no due process and interrogated (by U.S. agents).  Despite the significance of this revelation -- or, more accurately, because of it -- the U.S. establishment media has almost entirely ignored this story.  Scahill thus far has given a grand total of two television interviews: on Democracy Now and Al Jazeera.  No major television news network -- including MSNBC -- has even mentioned his story.  Generally speaking, Republicans don't care that the worst abuses of the Bush era are continuing, and Democrats (who widely celebrated Dana Priest's 2006 Pulitzer Prize winning story about Bush's CIA black cites) don't want to hear that it's true.

Bulger Case

Whitey Bulger StachWhite BulgerHuffington Post, Whitey Bulger's Stash Revealed: Cash, Guns & Fake IDs, July 15, 2011. Hidden within the walls of the Santa Monica apartment shared by James "Whitey" Bulger and Catherine Greig, the FBI found more than $800,000 in cash, over 30 firearms, several knives, a grenade, and many types of fake identification documents, reports TMZ. Since Bulger's arrest on June 6, he has plead not-guilty to nineteen murder counts and a thirty-two count racketeering indictment. Bulger spent more than 16 years on the run as one of the FBI's most wanted. He is 81. His arsenel is portrayed at left in an FBI photo. An FBI "Wanted" post is at right.