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Archive for September 15th, 2016

FBI Director James Comey Blames Twitter for ‘Monster of Bias’

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said Americans’ trust in government institutions is eroding because of “echo chambers” like Twitter.

“My children, again, discipline me not to go on Twitter because apparently people say bad things about me on Twitter. But things like Twitter offer us the opportunity only to encounter views consistent with our own, 24 hours a day,” Comey explained at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Wednesday, Politico reports. “There’s an opportunity to feed that monster of a bias, that confirmation bias, all the time. So it accelerates that fractionalizing of our society, and it makes it much harder for people like me, like you, like the people in here, to speak reason to folks about our institutions.”

Comey didn’t directly mention the Hillary Clinton investigation, but eluded to it.

Twitter has become an outlet for GOP attacks against the FBI’s decision against charging Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

“I’m not going to talk about the email investigation but I see some of the things people say about this thing, I’m like, ‘really?’ But it becomes truth to so many people. And I don’t know how to unring that bell,” he said. “So I do think it’s become enormously challenging for people in institutions that depend upon the trust of the citizens to recapture trust where it’s been lost, explain ourselves in a way that allows them to resist demagoguery or the Twitterverse.”

Truth about FBI’s Handling of Clinton Probe Is More Complicated Than Rhetoric

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Ronald Kessler
Washington Post

The notion that FBI Director James Comey took a fall to protect Hillary Clinton for political reasons is now gaining as much traction as the claim that President Obama was not born in the United States.

But as with the Obama conspiracy theory, a few simple facts undercut the claim that Mr. Comey acted improperly by not moving to indict Mrs. Clinton.

In the case of the Obama conspiracy theory, the Honolulu Advertiser ran an announcement of his birth in Hawaii at the time. Unless you believe that Obama’s parents knew in advance that he would be president of the United States and conspired to place the announcement in the Hawaii paper to legitimize his election, the announcement should have ended any claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S.

Likewise in the case of the FBI’s decision not to indict Mrs. Clinton, if you believe that Mr. Comey succumbed to pressure from President Obama to let her off, you would have to ignore the fact that Mr. Comey damaged her election chances far more than if he had moved to indict her by taking the unprecedented step of releasing the details uncovered by the FBI investigation.

Calling her actions in handling classified material “extremely careless” and refuting her yearlong litany of excuses and dissembling are hardly the actions of someone who is trying to cover up for her. To the contrary, had Hillary been indicted, a trial would not have taken place for at least a year. The electorate meanwhile would have been in the dark about the damaging details of how shockingly she violated the public trust.

To read more click here. 

Smuggler Forced Guatemalan Children into Hard Labor at U.S. Chicken Factories

Migrants were forced to work at chicken factories like this. Photo via FBI.

Migrants were forced to work at chicken factories like this. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Arnold Castillo-Serrano promised Guatemalan parents that a happy life awaited their children in the United States as he charged upwards of $15,000 to smuggle the young people to America.

But what awaited the children was something far from happiness, according to the FBI.

The bureau said children were smuggled across the border and forced to live in a trailer park and work on egg farms.

“We think the scheme was going on as early as 2011,” said Special Agent Matthew Komar, an investigator on the case from the FBI’s Cleveland Division. “The youngest trafficking victim we found was 14 years old.”

The victims were taken to farms, where they worked 12-hour shifts cleaning up chicken coops, loading crates of chickens and removing their beaks.

“When they were paid,” Komar said, “victims gave their checks to Castillo-Serrano or his associates, and they got back approximately $50. When some of the juveniles complained, they were threatened physically, and their families in Guatemala were threatened if they didn’t work.”

Castillo-Serrano, 33, was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison in June.

“This case is ongoing,” Komar said. “We believe there are still people who were complicit in the scheme. He added, “When people think of human trafficking, they usually think of sex trafficking. But forced labor is real, and it is eye opening when you see the damage it can do.”

Homeland Security Adviser: Hackers Largely Incapable of Compromising Election Systems

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Amid concerns about suspected Russian cyberattacks targeting Democrats, President Obama’s homeland security adviser said it would be very difficult to alter an election outcome by hacking America’s voting systems.

That’s because election systems, for the most part, aren’t connected to the Internet, said the adviser, Lisa Monaco, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

“That makes it extremely disparate, extremely diffuse and, as a consequence, extremely difficult to have an effect across the board that would result in a change in results,” Monaco said during a question-and-answer session.

To combat concerns about election tampering, the federal government is helping local election officials detect vulnerabilities and encrypt voter registration data.

“The efforts of malicious actors to intrude upon voter registration databases and other elements of our critical infrastructure, as well as our voting infrastructure” remain of concern, she said.

TSA Admits Air Marshals Aren’t on Flights to Cuba As Promised

airport lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When commercial flights to Cuba resumed for the first time in 50 years, President Obama’s administration pledged that air marshals would be onboard.

Turns out, that’s not happening, CBSMiami reports. 

“As of today, are there any federal air marshals allowed on any non-chartered flights between the United States and Cuba?” Rep. John Katko, R-New York asked a TSA official.

“No sir,” a Transportation Security Administration official responded.

Katko called out the TSA for providing false information to the American public.

“Federal air marshals serve as a last line of defense against terrorism,” Katko said. “You mislead the American public when you issued that press release saying that it was going to be on select commercial flights and you did it at a time when flights were about to start.”

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