Secret Service Director Resigns After Caught Lying to Congress

Originally published on October 2, 2014, at

After providing slippery testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned amidst multiple scandals and incompetency surrounding her agency. Failing to adequately provide protection for the president and the First Family, Pierson openly lied to congressional members regarding her failure to disclose all security breaches to President Obama.

On September 19, Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez leapt over the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and broke into the White House. Equipped with a three-inch serrated knife, Gonzalez was finally arrested by two off-duty agents after breaching five levels of security. According to an anonymous Secret Service official, the security alarm near the front entrance had been disabled because White House staff had found it annoying.

During a visit to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention three days earlier, President Obama entered an elevator accompanied by an armed private contractor with three convictions for assault and battery. Refusing orders to stop recording the president with his cell phone camera, the contractor was interrogated by Secret Service agents after Obama exited the elevator. The contractor was fired on the spot when agents ran his name through a database and discovered his criminal background. Secret Service agents were completely unaware the contractor had been armed until he turned over his gun.

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Colombian Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping and Murder of DEA Agent

Originally published on September 6, 2014, at

An extradited Colombian national pleaded guilty this week to aiding and abetting the murder of an internationally protected person and conspiracy to kidnap an internationally protected person. On June 20, 2013, DEA Special Agent James Terry Watson stepped into a cab in Bogota, Colombia. In an attempted robbery gone wrong, Watson was stabbed four times and bled to death. Six other men have been extradited and charged with their involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Watson.

After watching the NBA Finals at a restaurant with friends, Watson left by himself and entered a cab. Video footage revealed a second car pulling up behind Watson’s cab at an intersection as two men exited the second vehicle. They immediately entered the back of Watson’s taxi. A few moments later, Watson escaped from the cab and fled down the street before collapsing.

Julio Estiven Gracia Ramirez admitted to using fake taxis to lure wealthy people into their cars, kidnap them, and force them to withdraw money from an ATM. He confessed to targeting Watson with the intent to rob him, but insisted he never knew Watson was a federal agent.

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Demand Justice for Assassinated Environmental Rights Activists

Originally published on August 24, 2014, at

Target: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

Goal: Investigate the assassinations of environmental rights activists and provide justice to their families and friends

While defending communities affected by dam construction and mining projects in Colombia, two environmental rights activists have been gunned down for their work. The current members of their organization are under surveillance, experiencing break-ins, harassment, and death threats. The government of Colombia must investigate these murders and the current harassment before another environmental rights activist is killed.

Movimiento Rios Vivos (translated Living Rivers Movement) is an environmental organization dedicated to protecting communities from ecological damages caused by mining corporations and dam construction companies. While operating in Colombia, their members and leaders have been subjected to death threats, constant surveillance, persecution, and murder. Without properly investigating these crimes, law enforcement is allowing the violence to escalate against the environmentalists.

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