Tagged: service

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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.

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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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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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Frustrated Military Tribunal Judge Indefinitely Halts Cole Bombing Case

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WASHINGTON — A deeply frustrated military judge on Friday halted the effort to use a military tribunal to prosecute a Guantánamo Bay detainee accused of orchestrating the 2000 bombing of the American destroyer Cole, bringing the already troubled case to an indefinite standstill.

The judge, Col. Vance Spath of the Air Force, suspended pretrial hearings in the death penalty case against the detainee, a Saudi named Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, after nearly the entire defense team quit late last year in a dispute over whether their attorney-client communications were subject to monitoring. The lawyers defied his orders to return, citing ethical obligations.

“I am abating these proceedings indefinitely,” Colonel Spath said, according to a transcript[1]. “I will tell you right now, the reason I’m not dismissing — I debated it for hours — I am not rewarding the defense for their clear misbehavior and misconduct. But I am abating these procedures — these proceedings indefinitely until a superior court orders me to resume.”

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Cmdr. Sarah Higgins, said it was “unknown when pretrial hearings will begin again.”

The Miami Herald first reported[2] Colonel Spath’s decision.

Mr. Nashiri was arraigned in 2011 in a case that centers on a ship attack that killed 17 sailors. His is one of two capital cases in the military commissions system, alongside the attempt to prosecute five detainees who were arraigned in 2012 on charges of aiding the Sept. 11 attacks. Both cases have been stuck in pretrial hearings.

When the Bush administration created the military commissions system in 2001, a debate erupted that was centered on individual rights. Proponents saw the tribunals as a means for meting out swift justice to terrorists, while human rights advocates feared that they would run roughshod over fair-trial protections.

As the years have passed, however, the focus has shifted to effectiveness. While the commissions system has achieved several convictions through plea deals, it has struggled to get contested cases to trial, and has been costing taxpayers about $100 million a year for three cases covering seven defendants. (Its third pretrial case is against an Iraqi detainee who was arraigned in 2014[3]; he is not facing capital charges.)

By contrast, civilian court prosecutors have routinely gotten terrorism cases to trial relatively quickly and won harsh sentences. On Friday, for example, a federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced a Qaeda terrorist known as Spin Ghul[4] to life in prison[5] for killing two American service members in Afghanistan and for plotting to bomb an American embassy in West Africa; he was convicted last March after a civilian court trial.

According to the transcript in the Cole case, Colonel Spath said the events that had led to its derailment “have demonstrated significant flaws within the commissions process,” and he accused defense lawyers of trying to block the system rather than working within it.

Citing his 26 years working in the regular court-martial system, he also described himself as “shaken” by the experience and portrayed Mr. Nashiri’s onetime defense lawyers as pursuing a “revolution to the system” by defying judicial orders.

Earlier this week, he had weighed having[6] United States marshals seize two of Mr. Nashiri’s former lawyers — both civilian employees of the Pentagon — to force them to appear by video link from Virginia after they failed to comply with subpoenas, but decided against it.

On Friday, he argued that in his efforts to get Mr. Nashiri’s defense lawyers back to work on the case, “I’m not ordering the Third Reich to engage in genocide — this isn’t My Lai.” And he said he was weighing imminent retirement.

The latest trouble began in June, when Mr. Nashiri’s defense team discovered something in a room where they talked with their client. The details remain classified, but after Colonel Spath rejected the notion that there was a problem and tried to proceed, the civilians on Mr. Nashiri’s defense team quit in October, saying they had an ethical conflict.

That left only a junior, uniformed defense lawyer, Lt. Alaric Piette of the Navy. Lieutenant Piette has continued to appear in court but has not participated, arguing that he was unqualified and that the presence of a “learned counsel,” or death penalty specialist, is necessary — a contention Colonel Spath rejected.

Colonel Spath in November declared Brig. Gen. John Baker, who oversees military commissions defense lawyers, in contempt of court for refusing to order the two civilian Pentagon employees to resume work on the case. The general argued that he had the authority to dismiss them without the judge’s consent — another contention Colonel Spath rejected.

Colonel Spath ordered General Baker confined to a trailer and fined him, but after several days, Harvey Rishikof, a former civilian Pentagon official who was then the so-called convening authority overseeing the commissions system, freed the general and overturned the fine[7], although he left the contempt finding in place.

In doing so, Mr. Rishikof also recommended that the military build or designate a “clean” facility to provide confidence that “the attorney-client meeting spaces are not subject to monitoring.” (This month, Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, abruptly fired Mr. Rishikof without explanation[8].)

On Thursday, Colonel Spath questioned Paul S. Koffsky, a senior civilian Pentagon lawyer who oversees the office of military commissions defense lawyers. Mr. Koffsky told the judge[9] that he only writes performance appraisals and does not tell defense lawyers what to do, and had not read the filings about the confidentiality dispute, a transcript shows[10].

“We need action from somebody other than me, and we’re not getting it,” Colonel Spath said on Friday, adding, “We’re going to spin our wheels and go nowhere until somebody who owns the process looks in and does something.”

Richard Kammen, a civilian defense lawyer who had been the death penalty specialist for Mr. Nashiri before quitting, said: “We’re certainly gratified that ultimately Judge Spath reached the correct decision that the case needs to stop. This should have happened months ago.”

Lieutenant Piette said that he expected the case to resume this year, probably without Colonel Spath as the judge. In the meantime, he said, he would try to take death penalty courses and get caught up on years of rulings in the case.

“I’m cautiously pessimistic,” he said. “Things happen here that don’t go on in normal courts, and this is one. A judge just called ‘time out’ for no clear legal reason. I don’t know how it will play out, but it will probably somehow be worse.”

Dave Philipps contributed reporting from Colorado Springs.

Follow Charlie Savage on Twitter: @charlie_savage[11].

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References

  1. ^ transcript (www.documentcloud.org)
  2. ^ Miami Herald first reported (www.miamiherald.com)
  3. ^ an Iraqi detainee who was arraigned in 2014 (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ sentenced a Qaeda terrorist known as Spin Ghul (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ life in prison (www.nytimes.com)
  6. ^ had weighed having (www.miamiherald.com)
  7. ^ freed the general and overturned the fine (www.documentcloud.org)
  8. ^ abruptly fired Mr. Rishikof without explanation (www.nytimes.com)
  9. ^ told the judge (www.documentcloud.org)
  10. ^ transcript shows (www.documentcloud.org)
  11. ^ @charlie_savage (twitter.com)
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Homeland Security Van Briefly Blocked From Leaving Downtown LA Jail

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A group of immigrant rights activists protested recent raids across Southern California by briefly blocking a Homeland Security van from leaving a downtown Los Angeles jail.

A crowd gathered at about 7 p.m. in the area of Aliso and Alameda streets, later surrounding a van trying to leave the Metropolitan Detention Center, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The protest eventually dispersed and no arrests were made.

The protest was in response to raids across Southern California this week. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, agents arrested 212 undocumented immigrants in a five-day operation that ended Thursday.

Federal officials say of those arrested 195 were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal but had still not left the country, or had already been deported and returned illegally. More than 55 percent had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, including child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault, according to ICE.

The operation also included the delivery of 122 notices of inspection to Los Angeles-area business, alerting them that ICE is going to audit their hiring records to determine whether employers had verified the identity and employment eligibility of their workers.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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ICE Raids Across Southern California Prompt Protests

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A group of immigrant rights activists protested recent raids across Southern California by briefly blocking a Homeland Security van from leaving a downtown Los Angeles jail.

A crowd gathered at about 7 p.m. in the area of Aliso and Alameda streets, later surrounding a van trying to leave the Metropolitan Detention Center, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The protest eventually dispersed and no arrests were made.

The protest was in response to raids across Southern California this week. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, agents arrested 212 undocumented immigrants in a five-day operation that ended Thursday.

Federal officials say of those arrested 195 were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal but had still not left the country, or had already been deported and returned illegally. More than 55 percent had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, including child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault, according to ICE.

The operation also included the delivery of 122 notices of inspection to Los Angeles-area business, alerting them that ICE is going to audit their hiring records to determine whether employers had verified the identity and employment eligibility of their workers.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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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 towards the Pentagon during the National Victory Day Parade on Saturday, June 8, 1991. The celebration to honor Gulf War troops drew an estimated 800,000 spectators. The Lincoln Memorial is visible in background. (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 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 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 from 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)
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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)