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First Outsider to Head Border Patrol Is Facing Complex Challenges

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling

As the first outsider to head the Border Patrol in its 92 years, Mark Morgan is facing a broad array of issues, from corruption in the ranks to the increase in children and families pouring across the border.

Morgan, who is a former U.S. Marine, LAPD officer and FBI agent, also has been criticized for shedding his dark business suit to wear the Border Patrol uniform, the Los Angels Times reports. 

The appointment of Morgan, 51, has been opposed by Border Patrol’s most powerful union because he didn’t climb up through the ranks and never experienced the arduous task of being an agent.

“The really tricky part is to make sure he has buy-in from the rank and file and the boots on the ground who will be following his leadership,” said Michelle Brané, an immigrant rights advocate at the New York-based Women’s Refugee Commission, who met with Morgan last month.

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Ex-NSA Contractor Accused of Stealing ‘Breathtaking’ Amount of Secret Information

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

By Steve Neavling

A former NSA contractor stole so much top secret government information that it could fill roughly 200 laptop computers.

In a court filing Thursday, federal prosecutors said the thefts were “breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” Tribune News Services reports. 

Harold T. Martin, III, faces additional charges under the Espionage Act, which could mean harsh penalties if convicted.

Prosecutors said the evidence is “overwhelming” and that Martin admitted he was illegally storing classified materials.

“Given the nature of his offenses and knowledge of national secrets, he presents tremendous value to any foreign power that may wish to shelter him within or outside of the United States,” prosecutors said.

Other Stories of Interest

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Ex-FBI Assistant Director Blasts Bureau Leadership Over Clinton Probe

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom blasted the bureau’s Director James Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, saying the alleged “quid pro quo” deal with the State Department appears on the surface to be illegal.

James Kallstrom responded to an FBI agent’s acknowledgment that he offered to declassify an email in exchange for opening two spots for the bureau at the Baghdad embassy.

“I don’t know enough about the actual deal, but it certainly looks like on paper, you know, something that’s actually a federal crime,” Kallstrom told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

Kallstrom then criticized Comey, saying he made the FBI look bad.

“He’s [James Comey] let down the citizens of this country in my view, he’s let down the FBI, he’s thrown all the agents under the bus,” Kallstrom said.

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FBI: Number of Law Enforcement Officers Killed Declined in 2015

police tapeBy Steve Neavling

Fewer law enforcement officers were killed as a result of criminal acts in 2015 compared to the year before, the FBI said.

The FBI reports that 51 officers were killed in 2015, and 41 were killed in 2014.

Those officers were killed during traffic stops, tactical operations, ambushes, domestic disturbance calls and while handling inmates.

Of those killed, 38 died from gunshots. More than half were on vehicle patrol.

That does not include the 45 law enforcement officers killed accidentally in the line of duty, often from automobile accidents.

Additionally, more than 50,000 officers were assaulted in 2015.

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ICE HSI Special Agent Makes Heroic Rescue of Child, Woman in Burning Car

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

When Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent John DeJohn was driving home from a fishing trip in Corpus Christi, Texas, he spotted an SUV that had crashed in a field.

DeJohn, of HSI Houston, sprinted to the vehicle and discovered it was on fire.

The special agent found a young girl screaming for help, pinned underneath the SUV. Her mouth was bleeding and she appeared to have a broken leg.

DeJohn and others who stopped lifted the vehicle and rescued the child.

As the fire was spreading, a passerby cut the seatbelt of the unconscious driver, and the group pushed the car back on its wheels to rescue the bleeding woman.

“We commend Special Agent DeJohn for the heroic action taken to save others on a moment’s notice,” Mark Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Houston, said in a press release from ICE. “This is a testament to HSI special agents everywhere who are willing put their lives in jeopardy every day to help others.”

DeJohn said, “You don’t ever want to be a hero, because that means someone’s life is in peril.”

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Residents, Border Patrol Weigh in on Trump’s Proposal to Build a Wall

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling

Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall at the border between the U.S. and Mexico has drawn strong criticism and support.

To longtime border resident Pamela Taylor, a wall would be ineffective, KENS 5 reports. She lives next to a wall that had been built about 10 years ago.

“I don’t care what it’s called. It’s useless,” Taylor said, adding that “the fence is not working at all and those millions of illegal aliens would not be in America today if that fence were working.”

Others support the wall, including Chris Cabrera, the local 3307 vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

“With the exception of Mr. Trump, nobody in the presidential campaign has ever spoken about national security. Many have spoken about immigration reform but none have spoken to secure the actual border,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera said the existing wall is effective because it creates bottleneck traffic.

But he said the wall is only one part of cracking down on illegal immigration.

“The simple solution right off the bat is enforce the laws that are on the books. We’re releasing about 80 percent of the people coming across,” he said. “So with that, people are going to continue to cross.”

Other Stories of Interest

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Former FBI Official Says He — Not the State Department — Suggested Quid Pro Quo in Clinton Investigation

fbi-hq-signBy Steve Neavling

A former FBI official said he – not the State Department – suggested a “quid pro quo” over Hillary Clinton’s private emails.

The former official, Brian McCauley, said Tuesday that he offered to not classify a disputed email if the State Department restored two spots that the FBI had lost in the Baghdad embassy, The New York Times reports. 

But McCauley said the deal was off when he realized it involved Clinton and the 2012 Benghazi attack.

“When I found that out, all bets were off; it wasn’t even negotiable,” the former F.B.I. official, Brian McCauley, said in a telephone interview with the Times.

Here’s how it went down, according to McCauley. Patrick F. Kennedy, a senior State Department official, wanted the FBI to agree not to classify the email in dispute. McCauley said he agreed to help but only if the State Department opened two spots in the Baghdad embassy.

“I’m the one that threw that out there,” Mr. McCauley said of the offer, adding that the offer was not an unusual way for federal agencies to “help each other and work with each other.”

McCauley acknowledged, “it was a quid pro quo; I don’t deny it.”

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ACLU Urges Justice Department to Investigate Use of Facial Recognition Technology

FBI-facial-recognitionBy Steve Neavling

The ACLU is urging the Justice Department to investigate the use of facial recognition technology to determine whether it violates the rights of millions of Americans and disproportionately affects people of color.

The ACLU cited a recently released report by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology that concluded the controversial technology is used to identify and track people who are doing nothing wrong, like cross the street, WBALTV reports. 

In Maryland, for example, police have the ability to use facial recognition technology to search for more than 7 million state driver’s license and ID photos, more than 3 million arrest booking photos and 24.9 mugshots from the FBI’s Next Generation Identification database.

“The database is populated, I think may people with be surprised to hear, by over 7 million driver’s license photos, so every time you go to get a driver’s license you are now submitting to being a participant in a virtual lineup,” ACLU attorney David Rocah said.

The ACLU is concerned that the technology may unfairly target people of color.

“Not only do we not know how frequently it is helpful in finding an offender, how often they get a match and then identify the correct person who committed an offense, we also don’t know the error rate. We don’t know how many false matches, and how many people are falsely accused or wrongly investigated because of incorrect matches,” Rocah said.

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