A state Governor and her appointees obstruct an investigation into repeated coverups of child rape. When they find they can no longer stave off the inevitable, they destroy the evidence. Along the way they try to have the prosecutor disbarred. The Governor later becomes a member of the President’s Cabinet.
Opponents of the Transportation Security Administration’s invasive pat-downs of airline passengers may be on the verge of obtaining a new weapon for their fight. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considering changing its definition of rape in a way that could criminalize TSA agents’ groping of passengers’ private parts.
On November 19, the New York Police Department arrested 27-year-old Jose Pimentel (left) on charges of plotting to explode pipe bombs in New York City and the surrounding area. The next day city officials called a press conference to announce the NYPD’s great triumph in preventing terrorism by an alleged “al-Qaeda sympathizer” whom Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly described as “a total lone wolf.”
While other Transportation Security Administration employees were sticking their hands in other people’s pants, one of them was sticking other people’s property in his own pants, according to the Broward County, Florida, Sheriff’s office. Police report that 30-year-old Nelson Santiago, a TSA screener at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, was spotted stuffing an iPad from a passenger’s luggage into his pants. Under questioning, they say, he admitted to having stolen “computers, GPS devices, and video cameras from luggage he was screening” over the past six months, according to Miami/Fort Lauderdale TV station WPLG. Detectives estimate that Santiago expropriated over $50,000 worth of electronics.
The Texas legislature has for some time now been considering legislation to criminalize the Transportation Security Administration’s groping of airplane passengers. The Lone Star State has not, however, tried to get the entire TSA banished from its borders, and with good reason: Last year the state made $300,000 from the sale of items confiscated by TSA agents.
Show business and militarized law enforcement combined to produce an expensive, frightening spectacle in Laveen, Arizona: the use of a SWAT team, a bomb robot, and even a tank to prevent — wait for it — cruelty to chickens.
Despite — or perhaps because of — politicians’ and pundits’ handwringing about the dangers of guns in the hands of ordinary citizens in the wake of the January 8 shootings in Tucson, Arizona, Americans seem far from fearful about the prospect of owning firearms. In fact, they are positively giddy about buying their own guns. Bloomberg News reports that, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data, handgun sales across the country on January 10 were up 5 percent year-over-year, with Arizona experiencing a 60 percent increase. In addition, sales rose 65 percent in Ohio, 38 percent in Illinois, 33 percent in New York, and 16 percent in California.
On Friday, November 26, Somali-born Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, parked a van loaded with what he thought was a bomb near Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland, Oregon, where the city’s annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony was taking place. He dialed a telephone number that he expected would detonate the bomb. Nothing happened. On the advice of an associate, he stepped out of the car to dial again. At that moment, FBI agents arrested him on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction; if found guilty, he could face life imprisonment.