Tagged: post

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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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German defense minister slams Trump's military-heavy approach to security

MUNICH — German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen denounced President Trump’s military-heavy approach to global affairs Friday, saying the United States is shortchanging diplomacy and soft power in favor of a dangerous overreliance on its military.

The tough criticism, made to an audience of the world’s security elite, including an unsmiling Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, was a European riposte to Trump’s ongoing push for Europe to spend more on defense. Even as von der Leyen acknowledged her nation’s need to boost defense spending, she said that Trump’s proposed deep spending cuts to diplomacy, development aid and the United Nations could threaten international security just as much as a failure to invest enough in weaponry.

Von der Leyen’s comments at the Munich Security Conference, which were echoed by French Defense Minister Florence Parly, came amid a deepening rift in the transatlantic alliance between the United States and Europe that helped underpin the post-World War II global order. At a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels this week, Mattis criticized many allies for failing to create plans to meet their military spending commitments, and said he was worried that European Union efforts to bolster security cooperation could lead to wasteful duplication.

“It is a point of concern to us that some of our partners continue to roll back spending on diplomacy, international aid and the United Nations,” von der Leyen said, without mentioning Trump by name.

[NATO allies boost defense spending in the wake of Trump criticism[1]]

It was one of the most forceful recent European rejoinders to Trump’s global spending priorities. In the 13 months since Trump took office, Europe has moved to boost defense spending, but also to improve its ability to fight alone without the support of the United States, if need be.

“Transatlantic burden-sharing cannot consist of a model where some are responsible for the sharp end of the stick and some of us are responsible for humanitarian issues and reconstruction,” von der Leyen said. “This must become a guiding principle on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Trump’s proposed 2019 budget, released Monday, would chop funding for the State Department by 26 percent, even as it proposes significant increases for the Pentagon.

German defense spending falls well below NATO goals, which push members to spend at least 2 percent of their economic output on defense every year. Despite Berlin’s manufacturing might, its military spending lags at 1.2 percent. The shortfall has made Europe’s biggest economy a frequent target of criticism for Trump and other U.S. officials. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats campaigned in September elections on a pledge to reach the NATO goal. But a coalition agreement the party reached this month to govern with the center-left Social Democrats made no specific mention of the goal and offered no timeline for hitting it.

The agreement — which must still be approved by the Social Democrats’ rank-and-file before Germany can form a government after a record-long delay — did earmark surplus government funds for defense and development.

Meanwhile, Germany’s military is in a derelict state. The country’s parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces said last month that the German military, the Bundeswehr, was effectively “not deployable for collective defense.” 

Germany’s Die Welt newspaper reported Thursday that the nation’s military has only nine operational Leopard 2 tanks, even though it has pledged to have 44 ready for a NATO rapid-reaction force it is slated to lead early next year. The report cited leaked Defense Ministry documents.

Von der Leyen said Friday that the country is fixing the deficiencies in its military, but that it will take time after 25 years of defense cuts that followed the end of the Cold War.

[Germany’s army is so underequipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns[2]]

France’s defense minister echoed the push for Europe to stand on its own.

Europe must develop its security capabilities so that it can act autonomously in military conflicts “without having to call the United States to rush to our sick bed,” Parly said, even as she described the alliance with the United States as “indispensable.”

Europe’s efforts to better integrate its military operations received an endorsement from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who said during a panel discussion at the conference that he had long opposed the idea as an unnecessary competitor to NATO, but had recently changed his mind. 

Defense cooperation, he said, “may be the antidote to this nationalist fever.” He argued that it was also a way to keep Britain in the European fold while deterring Russian aggression.

Given the opportunity to criticize Europe for not spending more on defense, Graham demurred.   

“I want you to get to 2 percent so Trump will be quiet,” he said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking late Friday, took aim at both Trump’s White House and Russia, saying he worries that “phony populism” is driving the world back to the conflicts of the 20th century. He said he hoped an international commission could examine the way Russia is trying to influence Western political systems.

“I never thought I’d live to see this naked, naked nationalism be given legitimacy in so many parts of the world,” Biden said.

            Read more:         

Facing Russian threat, NATO boosts operations for the first time since the Cold War[3]  

Afraid of a major conflict? The German military is currently unavailable.[4]  

            Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world[5]            

            Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news[6]         

0

German defense minister slams Trump's military-heavy approach to …

MUNICH — German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen denounced President Trump’s military-heavy approach to global affairs Friday, saying the United States is shortchanging diplomacy and soft power in favor of a dangerous overreliance on its military.

The tough criticism, made to an audience of the world’s security elite, including an unsmiling Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, was a European riposte to Trump’s ongoing push for Europe to spend more on defense. Even as von der Leyen acknowledged her nation’s need to boost defense spending, she said that Trump’s proposed deep spending cuts to diplomacy, development aid and the United Nations could threaten international security just as much as a failure to invest enough in weaponry.

Von der Leyen’s comments at the Munich Security Conference, which were echoed by French Defense Minister Florence Parly, came amid a deepening rift in the transatlantic alliance between the United States and Europe that helped underpin the post-World War II global order. At a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels this week, Mattis criticized many allies for failing to create plans to meet their military spending commitments, and said he was worried that European Union efforts to bolster security cooperation could lead to wasteful duplication.

“It is a point of concern to us that some of our partners continue to roll back spending on diplomacy, international aid and the United Nations,” von der Leyen said, without mentioning Trump by name.

[NATO allies boost defense spending in the wake of Trump criticism[1]]

It was one of the most forceful recent European rejoinders to Trump’s global spending priorities. In the 13 months since Trump took office, Europe has moved to boost defense spending, but also to improve its ability to fight alone without the support of the United States, if need be.

“Transatlantic burden-sharing cannot consist of a model where some are responsible for the sharp end of the stick and some of us are responsible for humanitarian issues and reconstruction,” von der Leyen said. “This must become a guiding principle on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Trump’s proposed 2019 budget, released Monday, would chop funding for the State Department by 26 percent, even as it proposes significant increases for the Pentagon.

German defense spending falls well below NATO goals, which push members to spend at least 2 percent of their economic output on defense every year. Despite Berlin’s manufacturing might, its military spending lags at 1.2 percent. The shortfall has made Europe’s biggest economy a frequent target of criticism for Trump and other U.S. officials. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats campaigned in September elections on a pledge to reach the NATO goal. But a coalition agreement the party reached this month to govern with the center-left Social Democrats made no specific mention of the goal and offered no timeline for hitting it.

The agreement — which must still be approved by the Social Democrats’ rank-and-file before Germany can form a government after a record-long delay — did earmark surplus government funds for defense and development.

Meanwhile, Germany’s military is in a derelict state. The country’s parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces said last month that the German military, the Bundeswehr, was effectively “not deployable for collective defense.” 

Germany’s Die Welt newspaper reported Thursday that the nation’s military has only nine operational Leopard 2 tanks, even though it has pledged to have 44 ready for a NATO rapid-reaction force it is slated to lead early next year. The report cited leaked Defense Ministry documents.

Von der Leyen said Friday that the country is fixing the deficiencies in its military, but that it will take time after 25 years of defense cuts that followed the end of the Cold War.

[Germany’s army is so underequipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns[2]]

France’s defense minister echoed the push for Europe to stand on its own.

Europe must develop its security capabilities so that it can act autonomously in military conflicts “without having to call the United States to rush to our sick bed,” Parly said, even as she described the alliance with the United States as “indispensable.”

Europe’s efforts to better integrate its military operations received an endorsement from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who said during a panel discussion at the conference that he had long opposed the idea as an unnecessary competitor to NATO, but had recently changed his mind. 

Defense cooperation, he said, “may be the antidote to this nationalist fever.” He argued that it was also a way to keep Britain in the European fold while deterring Russian aggression.

Given the opportunity to criticize Europe for not spending more on defense, Graham demurred.   

“I want you to get to 2 percent so Trump will be quiet,” he said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking late Friday, took aim at both Trump’s White House and Russia, saying he worries that “phony populism” is driving the world back to the conflicts of the 20th century. He said he hoped an international commission could examine the way Russia is trying to influence Western political systems.

“I never thought I’d live to see this naked, naked nationalism be given legitimacy in so many parts of the world,” Biden said.

            Read more:         

Facing Russian threat, NATO boosts operations for the first time since the Cold War[3]  

Afraid of a major conflict? The German military is currently unavailable.[4]  

            Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world[5]            

            Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news[6]         

0

A significant minority of Americans say they could support a military takeover of the US government


Starlings pass in front of the Washington Monument and the Marine One helicopter, as President Trump returns to the White House on Dec. 21, 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

With the administration planning a military parade[1] in the capital and three former generals occupying key posts in the Trump administration, some observers are concerned about the militarization of American politics — or what Larry Summers has called “the Argentinization[2] of U.S. government.” One buttress of civilian control is the public’s commitment to the constitutional order. Presumably few Americans would tolerate a full-fledged breach from civilian rule.

Or is that so? Our research finds that, in fact, substantial numbers of U.S. adults say they would embrace ruptures in the constitutional order, which is in keeping with Bright Line Watch findings that experts believe that measures of U.S. democracy have declined[3] under President Trump.

[Trump may put 5 military officers in top posts. That’s unprecedented.[4]]

Here’s how we did our research

We analyzed survey data collected by Vanderbilt’s Latin American Public Opinion Project[5] (LAPOP). The U.S. survey of the AmericasBarometer uses online interviews with web-based national samples of about 1,500 respondents. Since 2010, LAPOP has asked, “Some people say that under some circumstances it would be justified for the military of this country to take power by a coup d’état (military coup). In your opinion would a military coup be justified under the following circumstances?” The possible answers have included “when there is a lot of crime” and “when there is a lot of corruption.” LAPOP has also asked respondents whether they “believe that when the country is facing very difficult times it is justifiable for the president of the country to close the Congress and govern without Congress?”

The LAPOP surveys were conducted in March 2010, April 2012, late June and early July 2014, and May 2017.

A significant minority of Americans would support a military takeover or shutting of Congress in the right circumstances

In 2010, 30 percent to 35 percent of Americans said a military takeover was justified if there were widespread corruption or crime. In 2017, that dropped to roughly 25 percent holding these opinions. These views are not confined to supporters of one or the other of the major parties. In 2017, about 25 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans said they favored a military intervention if the country faced rampant crime or corruption. The figure below shows the average support for a military coup when there is widespread corruption.

However, the proportion of respondents who said that “very difficult times” would justify closing Congress increased from 9 percent of respondents in 2010 to nearly 15 percent in 2017. In 2017, roughly 11 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of Republicans were in favor of shutting Congress down during difficult times.

Independents express the strongest support for uninterrupted civilian rule. But even among them, more than 1 in 5 say they would support a military takeover in response to corruption or crime. More than 1 in 10 say they would support closing Congress during difficult times.

U.S. public opinion on these questions resembles that of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay[6], countries with a history of military coups and dictatorships.


Since the United States hasn’t faced such ruptures in democracy, we wondered whether Americans understand what a military coup is and what “closing Congress” would mean. To find out, researchers at LAPOP tested several alternative wordings[7] of these questions, which clarified that the military would be taking over the U.S. government and explained that that constituted a coup. Opinions remained roughly the same.

[This map shows where more Americans are willing to support free speech[8]]

Why are Americans ready to undercut democracy?

What could be behind this? Partisanship is one factor, we found. Supporters of the sitting president’s party are more likely to support closing Congress, maybe because they imagine that would strengthen the president. When Democrat Barack Obama occupied the White House, more Democrats than Republicans were willing to consider closing Congress. By contrast, in 2017, 25 percent of Republicans and only 10 percent of Democrats supported the idea of closing the legislative branch.

But that’s not the whole picture. As you can see in the figure below, Americans have become less satisfied with U.S. democracy over the past decade — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. In 2006, when LAPOP asked respondents how satisfied they were “with the way democracy works in the United States,” a large majority said they were satisfied or very satisfied. Over just 10 years, that proportion declined sharply. Today, just half of all Americans are satisfied with our democracy.

What does this mean for democratic stability?

Public revulsion toward democratic breaches is neither necessary nor sufficient to protect democracy. Many other factors help push democracies into authoritarianism, including economic decline and elites tolerating leaders’ anti-democratic actions, according to participants at a conference[9] organized by Bright Line Watch[10] at Yale University in October.

What’s more, what people say in surveys and how they respond in reality are not necessarily the same. The AmericasBarometer survey asked about hypothetical events. We hope that were a real coup or legislative takeover underway, U.S. citizens would tolerate it less than they might imagine in answering a survey.

Still, public opinion takes cues from political parties and governmental leaders. And political leaders, meanwhile, watch out for what they believe constituents will and will not accept. Even if the proportion of Americans who would support a military takeover hasn’t increased over the past decade, the proportion disappointed in democracy has — and they might well shift into believing that it’s time to let the generals give it a try.

[White racial resentment has been gaining political power for decades[11]]

Hondurans’ satisfaction with their democracy declined precipitously[12] in the late 2000s, leading up to a military coup in 2009. In 2009, a large majority of Hungarians[13] were also dissatisfied with their democracy and allowed Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party to erode democratic institutions[14]. The fact that more and more Americans are dissatisfied with our democracy is cause for concern and vigilance.

Germán Feierherd is postdoctoral associate at Yale University’s Program on Democracy and Bright Line Watch.

Noam Lupu is associate professor of political science and associate director of LAPOP at Vanderbilt University.

Susan Stokes is John S. Saden Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a co-founder of Bright Line Watch.

References

  1. ^ planning a military parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Argentinization (twitter.com)
  3. ^ declined (brightlinewatch.org)
  4. ^ Trump may put 5 military officers in top posts. That’s unprecedented. (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ Latin American Public Opinion Project (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  6. ^ Argentina, Chile and Uruguay (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  7. ^ several alternative wordings (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  8. ^ This map shows where more Americans are willing to support free speech (www.washingtonpost.com)
  9. ^ conference (macmillan.yale.edu)
  10. ^ Bright Line Watch (brightlinewatch.org)
  11. ^ White racial resentment has been gaining political power for decades (www.washingtonpost.com)
  12. ^ declined precipitously (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  13. ^ majority of Hungarians (www.pewglobal.org)
  14. ^ erode democratic institutions (foreignpolicy.com)
0

A significant minority of Americans say they could support a military takeover of the US government


Starlings pass in front of the Washington Monument and the Marine One helicopter, as President Trump returns to the White House on Dec. 21. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

With the administration planning a military parade[1] in the capital and three former generals occupying key posts in the Trump administration, some observers are concerned about the militarization of American politics — or what Larry Summers has called “the Argentinization[2] of U.S. government.” One buttress of civilian control is the public’s commitment to the constitutional order. Presumably, few Americans would tolerate a full-fledged breach of civilian rule.

Or is that so? Our research finds that, in fact, substantial numbers of U.S. adults say they would embrace ruptures in the constitutional order, which is in keeping with Bright Line Watch findings that experts believe that measures of U.S. democracy have declined[3] under President Trump.

[Trump may put five military officers in top posts. That’s unprecedented.[4]]

How we did our research

We analyzed survey data collected by Vanderbilt’s Latin American Public Opinion Project[5] (LAPOP). The U.S. survey of the AmericasBarometer uses online interviews with web-based national samples of about 1,500 respondents. Since 2010, LAPOP has asked, “Some people say that under some circumstances it would be justified for the military of this country to take power by a coup d’état (military coup). In your opinion would a military coup be justified under the following circumstances?” The possible answers have included “when there is a lot of crime” and “when there is a lot of corruption.” LAPOP has also asked respondents whether they “believe that when the country is facing very difficult times it is justifiable for the president of the country to close the Congress and govern without Congress?”

The LAPOP surveys were conducted in March 2010, April 2012, late June and early July 2014, and May 2017.

A significant minority of Americans would support a military takeover or shutting of Congress in the right circumstances

In 2010, 30 percent to 35 percent of Americans said a military takeover was justified if there were widespread corruption or crime. In 2017, that dropped to roughly 25 percent holding these opinions. These views are not confined to supporters of one or the other of the major parties. In 2017, about 25 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans said they favored a military intervention if the country faced rampant crime or corruption. The figure below shows the average support for a military coup when there is widespread corruption.

However, the proportion of respondents who said that “very difficult times” would justify closing Congress increased from 9 percent of respondents in 2010 to nearly 15 percent in 2017. In 2017, roughly 11 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of Republicans were in favor of shutting Congress down during difficult times.

Independents express the strongest support for uninterrupted civilian rule. But even among them, more than 1 in 5 say they would support a military takeover in response to corruption or crime. More than 1 in 10 say they would support closing Congress during difficult times.

U.S. public opinion on these questions resembles that of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay[6], countries with a history of military coups and dictatorships.


Because the United States hasn’t faced such ruptures in democracy, we wondered whether Americans understand what a military coup is and what “closing Congress” would mean. To find out, researchers at LAPOP tested several alternative wordings[7] of these questions, which clarified that the military would be taking over the U.S. government and explained that constituted a coup. Opinions remained roughly the same.

[This map shows where more Americans are willing to support free speech[8]]

Why are Americans ready to undercut democracy?

What could be behind this? Partisanship is one factor, we found. Supporters of the sitting president’s party are more likely to support closing Congress, maybe because they imagine that would strengthen the president. When Democrat Barack Obama occupied the White House, more Democrats than Republicans were willing to consider closing Congress. By contrast, in 2017, 25 percent of Republicans and only 10 percent of Democrats supported the idea of closing the legislative branch.

But that’s not the whole picture. As you can see in the figure below, Americans have become less satisfied with U.S. democracy over the past decade — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. In 2006, when LAPOP asked respondents how satisfied they were “with the way democracy works in the United States,” a large majority said they were satisfied or very satisfied. Over just 10 years, that proportion declined sharply. Today, just half of all Americans are satisfied with our democracy.

What does this mean for democratic stability?

Public revulsion toward democratic breaches is neither necessary nor sufficient to protect democracy. Many other factors help push democracies into authoritarianism, including economic decline and elites tolerating leaders’ anti-democratic actions, according to participants at a conference[9] organized by Bright Line Watch[10] at Yale University in October.

What’s more, what people say in surveys and how they respond in reality are not necessarily the same. The AmericasBarometer survey asked about hypothetical events. We hope that were a real coup or legislative takeover underway, U.S. citizens would tolerate it less than they might imagine in answering a survey.

Still, public opinion takes cues from political parties and governmental leaders. And political leaders, meanwhile, watch out for what they believe constituents will and will not accept. Even if the proportion of Americans who would support a military takeover hasn’t increased over the past decade, the proportion disappointed in democracy has — and they might well shift into believing that it’s time to let the generals give it a try.

[White racial resentment has been gaining political power for decades[11]]

Hondurans’ satisfaction with their democracy declined precipitously[12] in the late 2000s, leading to a military coup in 2009. In 2009, a large majority of Hungarians[13] also were dissatisfied with their democracy and allowed Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz Party to erode democratic institutions[14]. The fact that more and more Americans are dissatisfied with our democracy is cause for concern and vigilance.

Germán Feierherd is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University’s Program on Democracy and Bright Line Watch.

Noam Lupu is associate professor of political science and associate director of LAPOP at Vanderbilt University.

Susan Stokes is John S. Saden Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a co-founder of Bright Line Watch.

References

  1. ^ planning a military parade (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Argentinization (twitter.com)
  3. ^ declined (brightlinewatch.org)
  4. ^ Trump may put five military officers in top posts. That’s unprecedented. (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ Latin American Public Opinion Project (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  6. ^ Argentina, Chile and Uruguay (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  7. ^ several alternative wordings (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  8. ^ This map shows where more Americans are willing to support free speech (www.washingtonpost.com)
  9. ^ conference (macmillan.yale.edu)
  10. ^ Bright Line Watch (brightlinewatch.org)
  11. ^ White racial resentment has been gaining political power for decades (www.washingtonpost.com)
  12. ^ declined precipitously (www.vanderbilt.edu)
  13. ^ majority of Hungarians (www.pewglobal.org)
  14. ^ erode democratic institutions (foreignpolicy.com)
0

California teacher defends anti-military comments

By ROBERT JABLON | The Associated Press

PICO RIVERA — City Council members in a Los Angeles suburb passed a resolution Tuesday night condemning and asking for the resignation of one of their colleagues who in his work as a school teacher called members of the U.S. military “the lowest of our low.”

“God bless America!” one Pico Rivera councilman shouted as the vote passed.

Councilman Gregory Salcido, who has been on leave from El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, is seen on a video scolding a 17-year-old student wearing a U.S. Marine Corps sweatshirt and urging him not to join the military.

“They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people; they’re the frickin’ lowest of our low,” Salcido said on a recording made by a student. “I don’t understand why we let the military guys come over here and recruit you at school. We don’t let pimps come in the school.”

The video was posted to social media and has drawn millions of views, along with outraged comments.

President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly said last month in a radio interview that Salcido “ought to go to hell” for his remarks.

Mayor Gustavo Camacho called it “bullying, arrogant and aggressive behavior.” The council can’t force Salcido from his post but Camacho introduced a motion to censure Salcido, which would bar him from city committees and appointments, and to ask him to resign from the council.

The meeting was Salcido’s first public appearance since making the comments Jan. 26.

He said he was sorry to anyone his comments may have hurt, but he did not apologize for the remarks themselves, which he said “were definitely out of context.”

Salcido said he was trying to get his students, most of whom are low-income minorities, not to settle for the Army or Navy.

“My goal as it relates to my students is to get them to do everything to get to college,” said Salcido, who was shouted down by some angry members of the audience. “I wanted to challenge them to reach their academic potential.”

He gave no indication he would resign from the council.

Salcido’s comments came after he listened to nearly 50 angry but mostly orderly and calm speakers, many of them veterans.

“America: Love it or leave it. That’s the bottom line,” said Raul Rodriguez, 76, an Army vet and retired warehouse worker from Apple Valley, who wore a camouflage outfit.

Dennis Jackson, 67, who grew up in Pico Rivera, was one of several who said Salcido was abusing his position as a teacher.

“A classroom is a place of learning, not propaganda,” Jackson said.

One of his former students spoke on Salcido’s behalf.

Eric Gleason, 20, of Pico Rivera, who graduated from El Rancho in 2015, denied that Salcido bullied students. He said Salcido urged students who disagreed with him to “speak from the heart.”

“I believe that I probably wouldn’t even be here today if it wasn’t for him,” he said.

Gleason said he was bullied throughout school and Salcido helped him.

“I believe he gave me courage to just be myself.”

The student who made the video and his family chose not to attend, saying through an attorney that they believed their presence would inflame the situation.

Salcido said he has gotten fairly constant and profane threats via social media and phone calls since the video spread, some saying they were going to kill him and make his son an orphan.

“I am a pacifist,” Salcido said. “I am opposed to any sort of violence. If any of you try to do me any harm, I’m not going to fight you.”

The mayor and three city council members voted to urge the resignation. Salcido voted against the resolution and a fifth council member abstained, saying the resolution, which is not binding except to bar Salcido from committees and appointments, was pointless.

___

Associated Press Writer Christopher Weber contributed to this report.

References

  1. ^ new Morning Report weekday newsletter (bayareane.ws)
  2. ^ Facebook page (bayareane.ws)
  3. ^ Get the free PM Report newsletter. (bayareane.ws)
0

California teacher who slammed military refuses to quit, but is …

A Southern California city council member and teacher who called members of the military the “lowest of our low” was condemned Tuesday by his council colleagues — some of whom demanded he resign.

Gregory Salcido, who was placed on leave from El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, was heard on a video denigrating members of the military in a rant directed toward a 17-year-old student wearing a U.S. Marine Corps sweatshirt.

“They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people; they’re the frickin’ lowest of our low,” he said. “I don’t understand why we let the military guys come over here and recruit you at school. We don’t let pimps come in the school.”

Pico Rivera, Calif., City Councilman and El Rancho High School teacher Gregory Salcido addresses the public during a city council meeting at Pico Rivera City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Pico Rivera, Calif. The city council passed a resolution Tuesday asking for the resignation of Salcido, who was recorded making anti-military remarks to his students in January. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Pico Rivera, Calif., City Councilman and El Rancho High School teacher Gregory Salcido addresses the public during a city council meeting at Pico Rivera City Hall on Tuesday.  (AP)

The remarks prompted President Trump’s Chief of Staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, to say Salcido “ought to go to hell.”

Pico Rivera Mayor Gustavo Camacho called Salcido’s remarks “bullying, arrogant and aggressive behavior.” The council cannot force Salcido to resign, but a motion was introduced to censure Salcido – which would bar him from city committees and appointments, and ask him to resign from the council.

Salcido, who made his first public appearance since Jan. 26, said he was sorry to anyone who was offended by his comments. Ultimately, he did not apologize for the remarks themselves.

Salcido said he was trying to get his students to not settle for the military.

“My goal, as it relates to my students, is to get them to do everything to get to college,” he said. “I wanted to challenge them to reach their academic potential.”

The student who was targeted by Salcido and the student’s family chose not to attend the hearing, saying through an attorney they believed their presence would inflame the situation.

Jamie Park of Pico Rivera, Calif., holds up signs during a city council meeting at Pico Rivera City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Pico Rivera, Calif. The city council was to consider a resolution Tuesday asking for the resignation of Pico Rivera City Councilman and El Rancho High School teacher Gregory Salcido, who was recorded making anti-military remarks to his students in January. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Jamie Park of Pico Rivera, Calif., holds up signs during a city council meeting at Pico Rivera City Hall on Tuesday.  (AP)

The teen told the Orange County Register in January he thought Salcido went too far with his comments.

“It was so disrespectful to my dad and my uncles and all veterans and those still in the military,” he said.

Salcido gave no indication he was going to step down from his post. He voted against the resolution.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos[1].

References

  1. ^ @RyanGaydos (twitter.com)
0

Terrorists find new ways to recruit online, DHS chief says

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington DC. US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that terrorists will turn to blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps to keep spreading their message online.

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that terrorists will turn to blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps to keep spreading their message online.


Getty Images

As major tech companies get better at ridding their platforms of gory videos and calls to commit violence, terrorists are finding new ways to post their messages, Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, said Tuesday.

“They’ve continued to demonstrate their will,” Nielsen said, noting that blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps can serve as ways for terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit new members.

Nielsen spoke at an the 2018 Digital Forum on Terrorism Prevention in Silicon Valley focused on counterterrorism efforts on the internet. The event took place at Palantir, a data analysis firm that contracts with government agencies in counterterrorism operations. 

Nielsen’s remarks hinted at the tangle of challenges faced by the tech world and the government alike when it comes to terrorists on the internet. Tech companies have had to learn how to keep ISIS, for example, from running Twitter accounts[1], or from sharing graphic videos involving beheadings or other forms of executions on YouTube[2]. Meanwhile, DHS says it has developed a strategy of supporting people within communities where recruitment is taking place who want to spread a counterterrorism message, rather than trying to put out its own “terrorism doesn’t pay” style communications.

In fighting ISIS, that involves supporting “Imams and moms,” Nielsen said. In dealing with the threat from white supremacists, she added, the agency looks to people who’ve left organizations driving that movement to help fight recruitment and calls to violence.

While thanking the tech companies partnering with DHS on the effort to remove and respond to online terrorist recruitment, Nielsen said she wants to be realistic. After all, the internet is vast.

“Users around the world post four hours of content every minute,” Nielsen noted.

Nielsen highlighted the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, an effort led by Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter that was announced in June[3], as a key factor in removing terrorist recruitment content from their sites. In December, the companies announced[4] they were sharing information with each other to identify users posting terrorist content.

Joining Nielsen was UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who said technology like machine learning will be instrumental in finding and removing online recruitment content. The UK is partnering with machine learning company ASI Data Science[5] for just this purpose.

This technology “ultimately can prevent content being made available to internet users in the first place,” Rudd said.

Security[6]:  Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.

iHate[7]: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

References

  1. ^ running Twitter accounts (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ on YouTube (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ announced in June (newsroom.fb.com)
  4. ^ the companies announced (www.cnet.com)
  5. ^ The UK is partnering with machine learning company ASI Data Science (www.cnet.com)
  6. ^ Security (www.cnet.com)
  7. ^ iHate (www.cnet.com)
0

Homeland Security chief: Terrorists remain active online

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington DC. US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that terrorists will turn to blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps to keep spreading their message online.

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that terrorists will turn to blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps to keep spreading their message online.


Getty Images

As major tech companies get better at ridding their platforms of gory videos and calls to commit violence, terrorists are finding new ways to post their messages, Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, said Tuesday.

“They’ve continued to demonstrate their will,” Nielsen said, noting that blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps can serve as ways for terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit new members.

Nielsen spoke at an the 2018 Digital Forum on Terrorism Prevention in Silicon Valley focused on counterterrorism efforts on the internet. The event took place at Palantir, a data analysis firm that contracts with government agencies in counterterrorism operations. 

Nielsen’s remarks hinted at the tangle of challenges faced by the tech world and the government alike when it comes to terrorists on the internet. Tech companies have had to learn how to keep ISIS, for example, from running Twitter accounts[1], or from sharing graphic videos involving beheadings or other forms of executions on YouTube[2]. Meanwhile, DHS says it has developed a strategy of supporting people within communities where recruitment is taking place who want to spread a counterterrorism message, rather than trying to put out its own “terrorism doesn’t pay” style communications.

In fighting ISIS, that involves supporting “Imams and moms,” Nielsen said. In dealing with the threat from white supremacists, she added, the agency looks to people who’ve left organizations driving that movement to help fight recruitment and calls to violence.

While thanking the tech companies partnering with DHS on the effort to remove and respond to online terrorist recruitment, Nielsen said she wants to be realistic. After all, the internet is vast.

“Users around the world post four hours of content every minute,” Nielsen noted.

Nielsen highlighted the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, an effort led by Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter that was announced in June[3], as a key factor in removing terrorist recruitment content from their sites. In December, the companies announced[4] they were sharing information with each other to identify users posting terrorist content.

Joining Nielsen was UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who said technology like machine learning will be instrumental in finding and removing online recruitment content. The UK is partnering with machine learning company ASI Data Science[5] for just this purpose.

This technology “ultimately can prevent content being made available to internet users in the first place,” Rudd said.

Security[6]:  Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.

iHate[7]: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

References

  1. ^ running Twitter accounts (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ on YouTube (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ announced in June (newsroom.fb.com)
  4. ^ the companies announced (www.cnet.com)
  5. ^ The UK is partnering with machine learning company ASI Data Science (www.cnet.com)
  6. ^ Security (www.cnet.com)
  7. ^ iHate (www.cnet.com)
0

Terrorists find new ways to recruit online, DHS chief says

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington DC. US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that terrorists will turn to blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps to keep spreading their message online.

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that terrorists will turn to blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps to keep spreading their message online.


Getty Images

As major tech companies get better at ridding their platforms of gory videos and calls to commit violence, terrorists are finding new ways to post their messages, Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, said Tuesday.

“They’ve continued to demonstrate their will,” Nielsen said, noting that blogs, chat rooms and encrypted chat apps can serve as ways for terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit new members.

Nielsen spoke at an the 2018 Digital Forum on Terrorism Prevention in Silicon Valley focused on counterterrorism efforts on the internet. The event took place at Palantir, a data analysis firm that contracts with government agencies in counterterrorism operations. 

Nielsen’s remarks hinted at the tangle of challenges faced by the tech world and the government alike when it comes to terrorists on the internet. Tech companies have had to learn how to keep ISIS, for example, from running Twitter accounts[1], or from sharing graphic videos involving beheadings or other forms of executions on YouTube[2]. Meanwhile, DHS says it has developed a strategy of supporting people within communities where recruitment is taking place who want to spread a counterterrorism message, rather than trying to put out its own “terrorism doesn’t pay” style communications.

In fighting ISIS, that involves supporting “Imams and moms,” Nielsen said. In dealing with the threat from white supremacists, she added, the agency looks to people who’ve left organizations driving that movement to help fight recruitment and calls to violence.

While thanking the tech companies partnering with DHS on the effort to remove and respond to online terrorist recruitment, Nielsen said she wants to be realistic. After all, the internet is vast.

“Users around the world post four hours of content every minute,” Nielsen noted.

Nielsen highlighted the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, an effort led by Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter that was announced in June[3], as a key factor in removing terrorist recruitment content from their sites. In December, the companies announced[4] they were sharing information with each other to identify users posting terrorist content.

Joining Nielsen was UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who said technology like machine learning will be instrumental in finding and removing online recruitment content. The UK is partnering with machine learning company ASI Data Science[5] for just this purpose.

This technology “ultimately can prevent content being made available to internet users in the first place,” Rudd said.

Security[6]:  Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.

iHate[7]: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

References

  1. ^ running Twitter accounts (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ on YouTube (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ announced in June (newsroom.fb.com)
  4. ^ the companies announced (www.cnet.com)
  5. ^ The UK is partnering with machine learning company ASI Data Science (www.cnet.com)
  6. ^ Security (www.cnet.com)
  7. ^ iHate (www.cnet.com)