Tagged: people

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Former Homeland Security chief: Internet companies should regulate content, not government

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A former Homeland Security secretary said the fight against Russian election meddling should put internet companies rather than the government in charge of regulating content on social media.

Jeh Johnson, who headed the Department of Homeland Security in President Barack Obama’s second term, told ABC News’ This Week Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday that he is concerned about government security agencies getting involved in “regulating free speech.”

“When it comes to Facebook and social media and speech that appears on social media, I think that the security agencies of our government need to be very careful in trying to delve into this whole topic,” Johnson said.

He said the onus should be on internet service providers to guard against the use of fake social media accounts or other means for trying to interfere in U.S. elections or politics.

“I think that the answer has to be that those that provide access on the internet do more to self-regulate, to do more to make attribution to those who gain access to the information marketplace,” the former Homeland Security secretary said. “We are a society of free speech, and we need to be careful not to get security agencies of our government involved in regulating free speech.”

Johnson’s comments came after the special counsel probing alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election on Friday charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups with violating the law with the intent of meddling with “U.S. elections and political processes.”

Chris Christie, an ABC News contributor who was formerly New Jersey governor and a federal prosecutor, said the indictment was “incredibly detailed and gave the American people, for the first time, a real picture into the scope of at least part of the operation that was obviously meant to disparage and damage Hillary Clinton.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Former Homeland Security chief: Internet companies should regulate content, not government

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A former Homeland Security secretary said the fight against Russian election meddling should put internet companies rather than the government in charge of regulating content on social media.

Jeh Johnson, who headed the Department of Homeland Security in President Barack Obama’s second term, told ABC News’ This Week Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday that he is concerned about government security agencies getting involved in “regulating free speech.”

“When it comes to Facebook and social media and speech that appears on social media, I think that the security agencies of our government need to be very careful in trying to delve into this whole topic,” Johnson said.

He said the onus should be on internet service providers to guard against the use of fake social media accounts or other means for trying to interfere in U.S. elections or politics.

“I think that the answer has to be that those that provide access on the internet do more to self-regulate, to do more to make attribution to those who gain access to the information marketplace,” the former Homeland Security secretary said. “We are a society of free speech, and we need to be careful not to get security agencies of our government involved in regulating free speech.”

Johnson’s comments came after the special counsel probing alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election on Friday charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups with violating the law with the intent of meddling with “U.S. elections and political processes.”

Chris Christie, an ABC News contributor who was formerly New Jersey governor and a federal prosecutor, said the indictment was “incredibly detailed and gave the American people, for the first time, a real picture into the scope of at least part of the operation that was obviously meant to disparage and damage Hillary Clinton.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Former Homeland Security chief: Internet companies should regulate content, not government

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A former Homeland Security secretary said the fight against Russian election meddling should put internet companies rather than the government in charge of regulating content on social media.

Jeh Johnson, who headed the Department of Homeland Security in President Barack Obama’s second term, told ABC News’ This Week Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday that he is concerned about government security agencies getting involved in “regulating free speech.”

“When it comes to Facebook and social media and speech that appears on social media, I think that the security agencies of our government need to be very careful in trying to delve into this whole topic,” Johnson said.

He said the onus should be on internet service providers to guard against the use of fake social media accounts or other means for trying to interfere in U.S. elections or politics.

“I think that the answer has to be that those that provide access on the internet do more to self-regulate, to do more to make attribution to those who gain access to the information marketplace,” the former Homeland Security secretary said. “We are a society of free speech, and we need to be careful not to get security agencies of our government involved in regulating free speech.”

Johnson’s comments came after the special counsel probing alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election on Friday charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups with violating the law with the intent of meddling with “U.S. elections and political processes.”

Chris Christie, an ABC News contributor who was formerly New Jersey governor and a federal prosecutor, said the indictment was “incredibly detailed and gave the American people, for the first time, a real picture into the scope of at least part of the operation that was obviously meant to disparage and damage Hillary Clinton.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0

Former Homeland Security chief: Internet companies should regulate content, not government

(WASHINGTON) — A former Homeland Security secretary said the fight against Russian election meddling should put internet companies rather than the government in charge of regulating content on social media.

Jeh Johnson, who headed the Department of Homeland Security in President Barack Obama’s second term, told ABC News’ This Week Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday that he is concerned about government security agencies getting involved in “regulating free speech.”

“When it comes to Facebook and social media and speech that appears on social media, I think that the security agencies of our government need to be very careful in trying to delve into this whole topic,” Johnson said.

He said the onus should be on internet service providers to guard against the use of fake social media accounts or other means for trying to interfere in U.S. elections or politics.

“I think that the answer has to be that those that provide access on the internet do more to self-regulate, to do more to make attribution to those who gain access to the information marketplace,” the former Homeland Security secretary said. “We are a society of free speech, and we need to be careful not to get security agencies of our government involved in regulating free speech.”

Johnson’s comments came after the special counsel probing alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election on Friday charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups with violating the law with the intent of meddling with “U.S. elections and political processes.”

Chris Christie, an ABC News contributor who was formerly New Jersey governor and a federal prosecutor, said the indictment was “incredibly detailed and gave the American people, for the first time, a real picture into the scope of at least part of the operation that was obviously meant to disparage and damage Hillary Clinton.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0

Former Homeland Security chief: Internet companies should regulate content, not government

(WASHINGTON) — A former Homeland Security secretary said the fight against Russian election meddling should put internet companies rather than the government in charge of regulating content on social media.

Jeh Johnson, who headed the Department of Homeland Security in President Barack Obama’s second term, told ABC News’ This Week Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday that he is concerned about government security agencies getting involved in “regulating free speech.”

“When it comes to Facebook and social media and speech that appears on social media, I think that the security agencies of our government need to be very careful in trying to delve into this whole topic,” Johnson said.

He said the onus should be on internet service providers to guard against the use of fake social media accounts or other means for trying to interfere in U.S. elections or politics.

“I think that the answer has to be that those that provide access on the internet do more to self-regulate, to do more to make attribution to those who gain access to the information marketplace,” the former Homeland Security secretary said. “We are a society of free speech, and we need to be careful not to get security agencies of our government involved in regulating free speech.”

Johnson’s comments came after the special counsel probing alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election on Friday charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups with violating the law with the intent of meddling with “U.S. elections and political processes.”

Chris Christie, an ABC News contributor who was formerly New Jersey governor and a federal prosecutor, said the indictment was “incredibly detailed and gave the American people, for the first time, a real picture into the scope of at least part of the operation that was obviously meant to disparage and damage Hillary Clinton.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Emails detail how senior US military officers grappled with false Hawaii missile alert

Cars drive past a highway sign on the H-1 Freeway in Honolulu on Jan. 13. (Cory Lum/Civil Beat via AP)

The Hawaii government’s erroneous warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack caused confusion at U.S. military facilities, frustrating senior officers and causing them to question procedures for communicating with state officials, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.

The emails were sent in succession after thousands of people received a text-message warning Jan. 13 that prompted hysteria in parts of Hawaii. The U.S. military had no role in sending the mistaken message but nonetheless had to deal with the fallout.

“Apparently, they were getting ready to do a drill when the ‘drill’ part was lost in translation,” Adm. Harry Harris, the chief of U.S. Pacific Command, wrote to Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an hour after the message was sent. “Totally uncoordinated with us of course.”

The emails were obtained Friday night through the Freedom of Information Act. They detail efforts by the U.S. military to address what happened, gather information internally and answer questions to better handle crises in the future. They make no mention of President Trump or White House staff, who declined to address the issue and referred to the gaffe as a “state issue.”

The warning, sent to people’s cellphones at 8:07 a.m. local time, was issued by an employee who did not realize a drill was underway, a federal investigation found.

“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,” the warning said. “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

It took the Hawaii government 38 minutes to issue a follow-up text message indicating the alert had been sent in error, though officials did attempt to assuage concerns through social media.

The employee who posted the message was fired. An investigation found that he thought the threat was real and had made similar mistakes in the past.

U.S. Pacific Command began responding to media questions about the alert by 8:23 a.m., saying there was no threat and state officials would issue a correction. Harris’s email to Dunford and other senior Pentagon officers indicated that the notification system “worked as we hoped it would” and that Pacific Command had several tasks to do.

“There will be heavy press play here, for sure, which we’ll handle for those questions which concern PACOM forces,” Harris wrote. “Will also work with the State of Hawaii and internal to PACOM — am sure there are lessons learned where we can improve.”

However, there was “a lot of explaining by the State of Hawaii to do,” Harris added.

Dunford’s response was short: “Tracking all Harry… thanks,” he wrote. “Safe travels.”

The email to Dunford was forwarded a short time later to other senior members of Pacific Command’s staff, prompting conversation about what exactly state officials needed to fix.

Andrew Singer, a retired admiral who is now Harris’s deputy director for intelligence, wrote to Air Force Maj. Gen. Kevin Schneider, Harris’s chief of staff, that the state “has more than the alert system to work on.” It is unclear what he was alluding to; parts of his email are redacted.

“Happened to be in Yoga class when one of the ladies blurted out missile attack and ran out followed by most others,” Singer wrote. “Looking about town most just kept pursing [sic] getting their coffee or Malasadas,” he added, referring to a doughnut-like pastry.

Schneider responded a short time later agreeing with Singer, saying that there is “lots of work to be done on the communications piece.”

Harris also emailed the top Air Force officer in the Pacific, Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, asking for additional information about a warning broadcasted on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“Just for my education and edification, when the Big Voice went off at Pearl Harbor-Hickam this morning, there was no indication that this was a drill; in fact just the opposite,” Harris wrote. “So, what happens on the flight line, and what message, if any was passed to aircraft in the air?”

O’Shaughnessy’s responses are partially redacted, but he told Harris that afternoon in another email that air-traffic controllers did not pass warnings of incoming ballistic missiles to aircraft or hold any aircraft on the ground.

“Thanks Shags,” Harris responded. “I think we’re going to learn a lot here. For ~25-30 minutes, there was a real alert, mistaken though it was.” Part of his email is redacted.

Pacific Command’s deputy commander, Army Lt. Gen. Bryan Fenton, followed up with Schneider that night, saying that Harris wanted additional information, including what ships, squadrons and ground units were told to do and how military families were informed. Harris also was concerned that word of the false alert did not immediately reach the Pacific Command operations center because U.S. troops there are required to leave their cell phones outside as a security measure.

Harris asked similar questions of Rear Adm. Matthew J. Carter, the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Hawaii. Carter responded that they were planning a “deep dive on this event,” including mapping out and surveying shelters on military installations.

“This is a good outcome for all the Components,” Harris responded. “We should take full advantage of this unforced error by the State of Hawaii.”

A Pacific Command spokesman, Navy Cmdr. David Benham, declined to answer specific questions about the emails, including whether questions that Harris raised in them have been resolved.

“We are a learning organization,” Benham said, “and took this false alert as an opportunity to review and improve our communication and coordination with state and federal emergency management agencies.”

False Hawaii Missile Warning[1] by Dan Lamothe[2] on Scribd

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Military Families And SNAP Benefits

NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Amy Bushatz, reporter at Military.com, about how the White House’s proposed budget cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program might affect military families.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week the White House proposed a $17 billion budget cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps millions of low-income Americans feed themselves and their families. An estimated 23,000 U.S. military families are among those who receive SNAP benefits. Amy Bushatz has covered food assistance and military families for Military.com. She joins us now from Palmer, Alaska. Thanks so much for being with us.

AMY BUSHATZ: Thanks so much for having me.

SIMON: I think a lot of people are wondering how could it be that the families of people who are serving their country in the U.S. armed forces need food assistance.

BUSHATZ: So when you come into the military, that compensation system has not kept up with how the force has changed and how military families have changed. You’re no longer looking at, say, a 17 or 18 year old kid right out of high school with no family who’s receiving that base-level pay, right? You’re looking at, say, somebody in their late 20s who might have a couple of kids. Well, that income compared to his family size or her family size puts them at a place where they qualify for this food assistance.

SIMON: What would the change in, as you see it, SNAP benefits mean for military families that receive that kind of assistance?

BUSHATZ: What the president has proposed is to really cut the amount of money people receiving food stamps receive. That’s a benefit that they can take to the grocery store and use it to buy food. So what the president is proposing is to instead replace that with a box of really what are shelf-stable food items. Now I think it’s important to mention they didn’t actually release really any major details about this – how you would request this box, what would be in it, if you could change what’s in it based on your dietary needs or really anything like that.

SIMON: Have you been hearing from people who read your stories?

BUSHATZ: Yeah, I hear from a lot of advocacy organizations who can’t believe that this is happening. I think people are surprised to find how many military families access food banks. There are food banks in or around most military bases nationwide. I think people are surprised that military families struggle just like anybody else. You know, I’ll tell you. It’s – it can be more of a struggle. Our society relies on a two-income household system. That’s sort of an expectation now. Military spouses have a terrible time finding consistent employment. Military families often move every two to three years.

SIMON: I understand some military families have to deal with the complications of what’s called the Basic Allowance for Housing that can wind up affecting how much food aid they might need or even can receive. Can you explain that to us.

BUSHATZ: A Basic Allowance for Housing is what’s known as an entitlement. It’s essentially a paycheck plus-up that military families receive that’s based on the zip code in which they live. By the way, where you live is ordered by Uncle Sam, right? So you don’t have any say in this matter really. So this amount of money that’s based on where you live is counted as your income when they look at whether or not you qualify for the SNAP program. OK, so why does that matter? Well, if you qualify in Kansas, where your BAH might be a $1,000, you certainly should qualify in San Diego where – because of cost of living your BAH is much, much higher – but because they look at that as a part of your income, you don’t. So there are a lot of advocates who are working very hard to get this allowance discluded from that income.

SIMON: Amy Bushatz is spouse and family editor for Military.com Thanks so much for being with us.

BUSHATZ: Thank you so much for having me.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use[1] and permissions[2] pages at www.npr.org[3] for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc.[4], an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

References

  1. ^ terms of use (www.npr.org)
  2. ^ permissions (www.npr.org)
  3. ^ www.npr.org (www.npr.org)
  4. ^ Verb8tm, Inc. (www.verb8tm.com)
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Trump's military parade would turn US troops into toy soldiers


Troops march over the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., as they head toward the Pentagon during the National Victory Day Parade on June 8, 1991. The celebration to honor Gulf War troops drew an estimated 800,000 spectators. (Doug Mills/AP)

When I was graduating from Army basic training, our unit was assigned to put on a program for the families of arriving recruits. It was a carefully choreographed spectacle to show them what their family members would learn in the coming weeks.

In one part of the performance, three newly minted soldiers proclaim why they decided to join the military. Some said they came from a family with a long military tradition. Others said they wanted to defend their country from those who would harm it. Others still said they just had a general love of their country and freedom. It was carefully rehearsed, with the three soldiers who spoke chosen by the drill sergeants.

But there was one condition: The speakers could not say that they enlisted for college money.

This strikes at the heart of a problem that President Trump’s parade[1] is a mere symptom of: We are not honest with ourselves about our military, and our blind worship of the institution is troubling.

This year the United States will spend $824.6 billion on defense. Meanwhile, social safety nets get gutted, schools go without heat, tens of thousands die from opioid overdoses and infrastructure crumbles.

The military is rarely open to criticism. Any negative remark by a public figure must be prefaced with “but we are thankful for our brave soldiers, who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.” The sentiment has become a mindless tic, a meaningless platitude that is nonetheless repeated.

No other institution earns such veneration. Sanitation workers, who have a dangerous job and play a larger role in the day-to-day comfort of U.S. citizens, are not thanked for their service. No one points them out to their child and says, “That is what a hero looks like.”

Worse, it seems that the people who are the most vocal in their support of the troops are the first ones to march along when the war drums get beaten. By the twisted logic of U.S. military worship, questioning a war is tantamount to betraying the troops. Antiwar protesters are shouted down, proven right and forgotten.

Then the cycle repeats.

We are a nation that uses the threat of crippling university debt to persuade kids to risk their lives in pointless wars. This is difficult to accept. It is far easier to thank them for their service and say that the pain is for a worthy cause.

American rituals include buying a new yellow ribbon magnet for the SUV after the old one gets faded by years in the sun, standing for the national anthem, saying that we shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees while there are still homeless veterans, and then forgetting about the homeless veterans as soon as the refugees get turned away. These rituals help distract us not only from how callously we treat our own citizens, but also how callously we treat the world as a whole.

In 1993, as the United States was considering whether to send troops to intervene in Bosnia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell[2], then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to his memoir.

“What’s the point of this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” she pointedly said.

Powell was so disgusted that he had to leave the room, he recalled. He later said, “American GIs are not toy soldiers.”

That is what this parade will be. A shining display of America’s toy soldiers for the country and the world to see. They can all witness the United States proudly displaying its No. 1 priority: a killing machine more powerful than the world has ever known and that keeps growing because it is never satisfied. A machine that is always looking for the next target.

Military parades are popular in tin-pot dictatorships for a reason. They hide a suffering populace behind rows of military vehicles and fighter jets screaming overheard — fighter jets whose hourly operating costs are enough to feed, clothe and shelter a family of four for a year.

If the parade lasts an hour, at least two people will have died of opioid overdoses before it finishes.

Jason Berger served the Army in Iraq and was honorably discharged as an enlisted specialist. Twitter: @JasonBerger1 [3]

References

  1. ^ President Trump’s parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell (content.time.com)
  3. ^ @JasonBerger1  (twitter.com)
0

Trump's military parade would turn US troops into toy soldiers


Troops march over the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., as they head toward the Pentagon during the National Victory Day Parade on June 8, 1991. The celebration to honor Gulf War troops drew an estimated 800,000 spectators. (Doug Mills/AP)

When I was graduating from Army basic training, our unit was assigned to put on a program for the families of arriving recruits. It was a carefully choreographed spectacle to show them what their family members would learn in the coming weeks.

In one part of the performance, three newly minted soldiers proclaim why they decided to join the military. Some said they came from a family with a long military tradition. Others said they wanted to defend their country from those who would harm it. Others still said they just had a general love of their country and freedom. It was carefully rehearsed, with the three soldiers who spoke chosen by the drill sergeants.

But there was one condition: The speakers could not say that they enlisted for college money.

This strikes at the heart of a problem that President Trump’s parade[1] is a mere symptom of: We are not honest with ourselves about our military, and our blind worship of the institution is troubling.

This year the United States will spend $824.6 billion on defense. Meanwhile, social safety nets get gutted, schools go without heat, tens of thousands die from opioid overdoses and infrastructure crumbles.

The military is rarely open to criticism. Any negative remark by a public figure must be prefaced with “but we are thankful for our brave soldiers, who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.” The sentiment has become a mindless tic, a meaningless platitude that is nonetheless repeated.

No other institution earns such veneration. Sanitation workers, who have a dangerous job and play a larger role in the day-to-day comfort of U.S. citizens, are not thanked for their service. No one points them out to their child and says, “That is what a hero looks like.”

Worse, it seems that the people who are the most vocal in their support of the troops are the first ones to march along when the war drums get beaten. By the twisted logic of U.S. military worship, questioning a war is tantamount to betraying the troops. Antiwar protesters are shouted down, proven right and forgotten.

Then the cycle repeats.

We are a nation that uses the threat of crippling university debt to persuade kids to risk their lives in pointless wars. This is difficult to accept. It is far easier to thank them for their service and say that the pain is for a worthy cause.

American rituals include buying a new yellow ribbon magnet for the SUV after the old one gets faded by years in the sun, standing for the national anthem, saying that we shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees while there are still homeless veterans, and then forgetting about the homeless veterans as soon as the refugees get turned away. These rituals help distract us not only from how callously we treat our own citizens, but also how callously we treat the world as a whole.

In 1993, as the United States was considering whether to send troops to intervene in Bosnia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell[2], then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to his memoir.

“What’s the point of this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” she pointedly said.

Powell was so disgusted that he had to leave the room, he recalled. He later said, “American GIs are not toy soldiers.”

That is what this parade will be. A shining display of America’s toy soldiers for the country and the world to see. They can all witness the United States proudly displaying its No. 1 priority: a killing machine more powerful than the world has ever known and that keeps growing because it is never satisfied. A machine that is always looking for the next target.

Military parades are popular in tin-pot dictatorships for a reason. They hide a suffering populace behind rows of military vehicles and fighter jets screaming overheard — fighter jets whose hourly operating costs are enough to feed, clothe and shelter a family of four for a year.

If the parade lasts an hour, at least two people will have died of opioid overdoses before it finishes.

Jason Berger served the Army in Iraq and was honorably discharged as an enlisted specialist. Twitter: @JasonBerger1 [3]

References

  1. ^ President Trump’s parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Madeleine Albright asked a question of Army Gen. Colin Powell (content.time.com)
  3. ^ @JasonBerger1  (twitter.com)