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Archive for February 24th, 2015

The Hill: Real Reason FBI Director Wasn’t Invited to Summit on Combating Extremism

James Comey

By Kate Pavlich
The Hill

The much-anticipated White House summit on combating generic extremism is over, and outside of a handful of feel-good statements and speeches, little was accomplished.

A number of activists from various organizations were present for discussion, but one person was noticeably absent from the summit: FBI Director James Comey.

The FBI is one of first lines of defense in combating extremism — Islamic terror in particular — and keeping Americans at home and abroad safe. FBI input about root causes of terrorism at the White House summit would have been beneficial not only to its mission, but to ultimately defeating the enemy we face.

“It’s our top priority — protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks,” the FBI website states. “Working closely with a range of partners, we use our growing suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities to neutralize terrorist cells and operatives here in the U.S., to help dismantle extremist networks worldwide, and to cut off financing and other forms of support provided by terrorist sympathizers.”

Comey wasn’t at the White House last week because he wasn’t invited. The reason why can be found by taking a look at the summit guest list, which included a variety of groups whose members have urged Muslims in America to shut the FBI out of their communities and to be non-cooperative with terrorism investigations.

The Council on American–Islamic Relations is once of those groups, and has a long history of telling its supporters in Muslim communities in the U.S. to avoid working with the FBI on counterterrorism and intelligence-gathering operations. In 2011, CAIR published a poster on its website showing slammed doors in the face of an FBI agent walking through a predominantly Muslim neighborhood.

“Build a wall of resistance,” the poster read. “Don’t talk to the FBI.”

To read more click here. 

San Diego Park Improvements Become Impediments for Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Enhancements at a San Diego park have caused an unusual rift between the Border Patrol union and city park officials.

NBC San Diego reports that wooden bollards were placed around the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park in 2013 to prevent cars from driving into the park.

But those roadblocks are now impeding border protection, the union claims, because law enforcement officials can’t get around them.

“It looks to me the design is there in the middle of the roads to keep the Border Patrol agents off those roads where we ordinarily patrol,” said Border Patrol Union Representative Gabe Pacheco.

 

Now Border Patrol worries that illegal immigrants will use the barriers to their advantage.

But park officials said the bollards are important.

“Bollards are used for 2 main reasons: (1) Public Safety- Protect trail users from vehicular traffic; (2) Stewardship of Public Lands- Protect areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive,” park’s department spokeswoman Shannon Singler told NBC.

Report: FBI Mishandled Communication During Sony Pictures Hack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The major hacking of Sony Pictures drew remarkably little consultation or collaboration between Sony and the FBI despite the high-profile attack, Fortune reports.

As agents and company executives scurried to respond to the attack, they did so internally.

The FBI, for example, withheld information and didn’t advise Sony on how to handle the hack.

According to Fortune, the “disarray around the hack led to each stakeholder making high-profile decisions without fully consulting the others: theaters refused to show The Interview, the film fingered by the hackers as offensive; that decision led Sony to delay the film’s release; the White House felt forced to make a statement supporting free speech in response to the delay. All the while, federal officials told theater owners that there was no threat to them even as it admitted that it didn’t know.”

Bloomberg View: Republicans Must Prevent Halting of Homeland Security Budget

John A. Boehner

House Speaker John A. Boehner

By Bloomberg View 
Editorial 

Now that they’re back in Washington after a weeklong break, Senate Republicans should make their first order of business something they’ve been wanting to do for a long time anyway: saying goodbye to their least favorite member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet, Attorney General Eric Holder.

The problem is that giving Holder a proper send-off requires confirming his replacement, Loretta Lynch. And approving Lynch means acknowledging that they cannot block Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Those actions have since been put on hold by a federal judge, although the administration plans to appeal. At any rate, it’s clear that Senate Republicans do not have the votes to pass a bill preventing the Department of Homeland Security from carrying them out. So they are blocking Lynch instead, mostly out of sheer frustration.

In other words: The fight over Obama’s immigration order is over. Republicans have lost. Holding Lynch hostage — or even defeating her nomination, as Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are urging — will not change this central fact. Republicans are now in charge of Congress, and the Department of Homeland Security is funded only through the end of the month. This is their problem to solve.

To read more click here.