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FBI: White Supremacists, Domestic Extremists Infiltrated Law Enforcement

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has found that “white supremacists and other domestic extremists” have been getting jobs with law enforcement agencies across the country.

“Domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,” reads a classified FBI counterterrorism policy guide obtained by The Intercept.

Although law enforcement was aware of the threat posed by right-wing extremist, the agencies have failed to properly combat the infiltration of domestic extremists or even address the systemic issue.

“No centralized recruitment process or set of national standards exists for the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, many of which have deep historical connections to racist ideologies. As a result, state and local police as well as sheriff’s departments present ample opportunities for white supremacists and other right-wing extremists looking to expand their power base,” The Intercept wrote.

Chicago Tribune: Trump Wrong for Ousting of AG Yates over ‘Unconstitutional’ Order

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Editorial Board
Chicago Tribune

President Donald Trump, the former TV reality star, has never said “You’re fired” like this.

His decision Monday night to oust acting Attorney General Sally Yates heightens the drama over his deplorable executive action on immigration. Trump’s move is petulant and unsettling, especially for Americans with long memories. That said, amateur historians rolling out comparisons to Richard Nixon‘s 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” — the firing of his attorney general over Watergate — are overwrought.

We don’t know how this confrontation will end, but we’re certain we know where it is headed: to a cluster of federal courts. That’s where the Trump administration will attempt to defend the president’s overly broad order temporarily halting the country’s refugee program and banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump’s sweeping directive, signed Friday, was intended to protect the country from terrorism, but it’s deeply problematic and arguably unconstitutional. It was rolled out too quickly, without adequate time to debate its merits or explain the scope. The Associated Press reports that at least three top national security officials — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department — have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time Trump signed it.

To read this click here. 

White House Press Secretary Defends Firing of Acting Attorney General

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended President Trump’s decision to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, saying she serves at the pleasure of the executive branch. 

New Border Patrol Chief Appointed Under President Trump’s Administration

Border Patrol chief Ron Vitiello.

Border Patrol chief Ron Vitiello.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has a new leader under President Trump’s administration.

Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan named his replacement, Ron Vitiello, according to the agency’s Twitter account on Tuesday.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ron Vitiello as U.S. Border Patrol Chief,” McAleenan wrote.

The National Border Patrol Council – the agents’ union – supported the appointment of Vitiello, who had endorsed Trump during the election.

Vitiello joined Border Patrol more than 30 years ago and most recently served as CBP’s executive assistance commissioner for operations support.

Vitiello briefly served as acting Border Patrol chief and also had the role of deputy chief in the Obama administration.

No Senate confirmation is required.

Mark Morgan resigned as Border Patrol chief less than a week ago.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Works with Local, State Authorities to Make Super Bowl Safe in Houston

At the Super Bowl command post, a Texas Highway Patrol officer takes part in a “rehearsal of concept” exercise several weeks prior to the command post going operational.

At the Super Bowl command post, a Texas Highway Patrol officer takes part in a “rehearsal of concept” exercise several weeks prior to the command post going operational.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As tens of thousands of fans plan to attend the Super Bowl in Houston, federal officials are working with state and local authorities to reduce the dangers of a terrorist attack.

“We’ve been working for several years with our partners to make sure appropriate security is in place,” Perrye Turner, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Division, said in a statement. “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure it’s a safe event.”

“On the day of the big game, we will be here, but our presence may not necessarily be seen,” said Mark Webster, an FBI assistant special agent in charge in Houston who is coordinating the Bureau’s Super Bowl security efforts. “We will have multiple elements in place onsite as well as offsite.”

The FBI will provide intelligence about possible terror threats while the Houston Police Department takes the lead role in security planning.

“We are using all the elements within our office,” Webster said.

The FBI will be providing SWAT teams and cyber squads leading up to the game on Feb. 5.

President Trump’s Cyber Security Plan Diminishes FBI’s Role

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s cybersecurity plan diminishes the role the FBI played in protecting the nation’s digital infrastructure.

A draft copy of the executive order also fails to mention protecting elections. 

“We are not sure how to explain this, as the FBI and law enforcement secured an important role in cybersecurity early in the Obama administration,” Charley Snyder and Michael Sulmeyer wrote Monday on the Lawfare blog, which focuses on national security law. “FBI zealously guards its role in investigating malicious cyber activities, and had been given a leading role in Obama-era policies.”

The executive order also failed to mention that the federal government will protect digital election systems.

President Trump Fires Acting AG Yates for Defying Executive Order on Immigration

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday after she refused to defend his executive order on immigration.

Yates served as deputy attorney general for the Obama administration and named the acting attorney general until Sen. Jeff Session is confirmed.

In the meantime, the Trump administration appointed Dana Boente, 63, to serve as acting attorney general. Boente served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, NBC News reports.

Yates had directed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the executive order, but Boente rescinded the directive.

Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House said in a statement, adding: “Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with [the Justice Department’s] responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” Yates wrote. “For as long as I am the acting attorney general, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the executive order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”

San Francisco Chronicle: President Trump to Blame for ‘Ill-Conceived’ Travel Ban

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Editorial Board
San Francisco Chronicle

Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates took a bold stand Monday in refusing to defend the indefensible executive order to ban refugees and travelers from a selective group of Muslim-majority nations. Doing so would have defied her “solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” she said, adding that she was not “convinced that the executive order is lawful.”

By day’s end, President Trump fired her.

Yates had to have known when she told the Justice Department not to defend Trump’s order that she would be ousted. As a candidate and in his first week as president, Trump has been combative at even the slightest hint of dissent. Yates had been appointed to the temporary post by President Barack Obama.

Yet the Trump White House cannot escape its culpability for the chaos that ensued from an ill-conceived and insufficiently vetted travel ban that resulted in unwarranted detentions at U.S. airports, anxiety among allies and undue validation of the jihadist narrative that Islamists were engaged in a war against infidels.

Federal judges in different cities ruled against elements of the order. Following this pressure, the White House said green card holders should be allowed to enter the country.

That’s not good enough. The executive order is far too broad, it wasn’t vetted by the nation’s security experts and diplomatic brass — let alone the U.S. Justice Department — and its narrow focus against a religious group is constitutionally suspect.

To read more click here.