RealNews

Ridge Visits N.Y. To Mend Fences, Detail Initiatives

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge visited the New York Federal Reserve yesterday to announce a series of law enforcement crackdowns on money-laundering and electronic thievery — and to engage in some fence-mending. A behind-the-news reason for Ridge’s trip, according to some administration officials, was to offer praise and expanded clout for two of his new department’s agencies, whose agents and top officials became incensed after he all but bargained away their ability to conduct terrorism investigations in May. That is when Ridge signed an agreement with Attorney General John D. Ashcroft saying that before the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) can venture into terrorism probes, it must first check with the FBI. It left open the interpretation that the Secret Service had to do the same. Full Story

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