Archive for December 9th, 2016
By Editorial Board
John Kelly, the retired Marine four-star general who is Donald Trump’s reported pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, is admirably suited to defending U.S. borders. More surprisingly, he may also moderate some of Trump’s more extreme positions on illegal immigration — which would help both the U.S. and its neighbors.
During his three-year-plus stint as head of the U.S. Southern Command, Kelly focused on the threat posed by Latin American drug traffickers who supply almost all of the cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine entering the U.S. He also warned repeatedly that the same smuggling networks that facilitate the trade in drugs, illegal workers, sex slaves and endangered wildlife could also enable the infiltration of terrorists.
Yet Kelly’s approach wisely went beyond interdiction and military training and support. As he told Congress, “95 percent of my efforts are not military. It’s economic development.”
Kelly was a champion of the Alliance for Prosperity, the nearly $1 billion program of assistance for Central America passed last December by Congress with bipartisan support. It concentrates not just on law and order, but also on strengthening institutions, building infrastructure and promoting regional integration.
In dealing with the U.S.’s southern neighbors, Kelly has stressed the idea of partnership. He knows how important it is to share intelligence, for instance, and how that in turn requires cooperation rather than coercion. And he’s acknowledged that the flow of people from Central America to the U.S. is driven partly by gang violence associated with the U.S. demand for illegal narcotics.
He knows, as he himself put it, that “a wall by itself will not work.”
Persuading his boss and Cabinet colleagues to adopt a more enlightened — that is, comprehensive — approach to border control and illegal immigration will be one of his biggest challenges.
To read more click here.
By Steve Neavling
Customers waiting to get into a restaurant in New York City were searched because Donald Trump and his family were eating inside.
While the president-elect dined at 21 Club on Monday night with Melania, Ivanka, Eric, Donald Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, police and the Secret Service patted down customers and checked them with a metal-detecting wand, TMZ reports, showing videos from outraged customers.
The videos show hungry customers facing intense security just to eat.
Trump has drawn the ire of New Yorkers because of traffic snarls outside of Trump Tower.
By Steve Neavling
Still struggling to determine the cause of the deadly fire at a converted Oakland warehouse last week, the ATF has brought a special team of electrical engineers to the scene.
Today, the ATF also plans to send a team of mapping experts to the burned Ghost Ship, where 36 people were killed in the Dec. 2 fire, the East Bay Times reports.
Prosecutors also have opened a criminal investigation and are considering charges ranging from murder to involuntary manslaughter.
Investigators believed the fire was caused by an electrical problem, but so far that is only a working theory.
By Steve Neavling
The DEA is taking a page from Donald Trump’s playbook – blame the media.
The DEA complained in its annual survey that “media attention” to marijuana is making it difficult to enforce federal laws that make pot illegal, the Washington Post reports.
It also appears to be the media’s fault for spreading inaccurate information about the dangers of marijuana and the drug’s legality.
The report reads:
Many states have passed laws allowing the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana within their respective states. Due to these varying state laws, as well as an abundance of media attention surrounding claims of possible medical benefits, the general public has been introduced to contradictory and often inaccurate information regarding the legality and benefits of marijuana use. This has made enforcement and prosecution for marijuana-related offenses more difficult, especially in states that have approved marijuana legalization.
By Steve Neavling
Georgia’s secretary of state alleges Homeland Security tried to illegally hack the state’s computer network that contains the voter registration database.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp claims in a letter to Homeland Security that his office discovered that a DHS Internet address tried to breach the computer system, the Hill reports.
The system also contains personal information of more than 6.5 million residents, 800,000 corporate entities and 500,000 licensed or registered professional.
“On November 15, 2016, an IP address associated with the Department of Homeland Security made an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall,” Kemp wrote. “I am writing you to ask whether DHS was aware of this attempt and, if so, why DHS was attempting to breach our firewall.”
The hack, if there was one, occurred a week after the election.
Homeland Security said it is investigating.
“DHS takes the trust of our public and private sector partners seriously, and we will respond to Secretary Kemp directly,” said Deputy Press Secretary Scott McConnell.
Other Stories of Interest
- Border Patrol Agents Rescue Teenager from Desert
- FBI Investigates Allegations of Embezzlement Against Compton Deputy Treasurer
- FBI Promoting Public Corruption Tip Line for North Alabama
- FBI Will Increasingly Rely on Foreign Help to Stop Hackers
- Judge Arrested After Refusing Airport Security Pat-Down