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PolitFact: Relatives of Slain Border Patrol Agent Wrong About Available Agents

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Relatives of Brian Terry, the Border Patrol agent who was killed in a shootout with Mexican bandits in December 2010, criticized President Obama for “thinly equipped” Border Patrol agents.

“In Arizona, for example, there are only one and a half agents per every 10 square miles,” Kelly Terry-Willis said July 18. “This is unacceptable.”

Kent Terry continued, “Only one candidate is serious about border security, and that’s Donald Trump.”

PolitFact checked the assertion about Border Patrol staffing and concluded it was “false.” 

PolitFact wrote:

Terry-Willis said, in Arizona,”there are only one and a half (Border Patrol) agents per every 10 square miles.”

Based on our calculations, she actually overestimates the number of Border Patrol agents compared to square miles. But that’s still misleading — and leaves out important context.

Most Border Patrol agents survey areas closer to the Arizona-Mexico border, not the rest of the state. The number of agents per linear mile is much higher.

We rate the statement False.

Homeland Security Searches for Drones Capable of Facial Recognition

FBI-facial-recognitionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is looking to Silicon Valley for specially designed drones.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that officials met last week with technology entrepreneurs in search of small, light-weight drones that are easy to fly and can cover vast stretches of desert.

The drones also need to be able to provide images good enough to scan faces against a database for prior criminal history.

“There can be questions about how accurate that is and legitimate questions about how someone’s picture got into a database,” said John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project.

Border Patrol currently uses drones, but the technology isn’t up to snuff, officials said.

FBI Released Aerial Video Footage of Baltimore Protests

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI captured more than 18 hours of aerial surveillance video from the Baltimore protests following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

The video was shot from traditional piloted aircraft, not drones.

The videos were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU.

The raw video is available at the FBI’s website.

The FBI has been using surveillance planes since the 1970s.

Other Stories of Interest

D.C. Transit Officer First Law Enforcement Official Charged with Terrorism in U.S.

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A patrol officer with Washington D.C.’s regional transit police has become the first law enforcement official to be charged with terrorism in the U.S.

Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, was arrested and charged Wednesday with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, ABC News reports. 

The FBI alleges Young purchased gift cards that he thought ISIS would use to buy mobile messaging apps. Turns out, Young was talking to an undercover agent.

Young faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Secret Service Arrests Ex-Cop for Entering Trump Tower with Concealed Gun

Trump Tower in New York City, via Wikipedia.

Trump Tower in New York City, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former police officer was arrested after the Secret Service found him with a concealed gun trying to enter Trump Tower late Tuesday night.

The incident happened as Donald Trump’s motorcade was approaching the building in Manhattan just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Patch.com reports. 

The Secret Service said the man was in a secured area on the sidewalk and refused to obey commands of agents.

Authorities found him with a conceal weapon, which he had a permit to carry.

It was unclear whether the man intended to harm Trump, who “entered the building without incident,” the Secret Service said.

Homeland Security Fears Hackers Could Compromise Election

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As more voting machines use wireless technology, the Obama administration is trying to crack down on possible hackers.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson expressed concern Wednesday that the nation’s electoral system is vulnerable to hackers, BuzzFeed reports. 

“We are actively thinking about election cybersecurity … [and] whether our election system,” he said, “is critical infrastructure … like the electric grid.”

Speaking to reporters at the Monitor Breakfast in Washington D.C., Johnson said there needs to be new cybersecurity investments.

Trouble is, elections are handled by more than 9,000 jurisdictions with control over voting.

To get over that hurdle, Johnson said Homeland Security has to coordinate with “states, cities, counties, who all have their own way of doing business, down to the nature of the ballots, the nature of how votes are collected and tabulated.”

DEA Says Decision on Reclassification of Marijuana Could Be Soon

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA may be close to reaching a decision on rescheduling marijuana to recognize the medical benefits.

The DEA spokesman Russ Baer said no determination has been made yet on rescheduling pot, but the process is in the “final stages” of an eight-factor evaluating process, High Times reports. 

“I can’t give you a time frame as to when we may announce a decision,” Baer said. “We’re closer than we were a month ago. It’s a very deliberate process.”

High Times wrote:

All of the wild-eyed hope for a marijuana reschedule really heated up this year when the DEA fired off a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren in April, suggesting that the agency’s plan was to make a rescheduling announcement “in the first half of 2016.” Of course, confusion surrounding the implications of the DEA’s agenda quickly produced a number of ridiculous reports implying that marijuana was soon to be made legal in every state across the nation. This is far from true.

As it stands, marijuana is classified a Schedule I, dangerous drug under the confines of the Controlled Substances Act. In the eyes of the federal government, this means that anything derived from the cannabis plant has no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. But a schedule downgrade would make some modest changes to Uncle Sam’s hammer-fisted attitude toward the herb—opening up the plant to be considered as having some worth in the scope of modern medicine.

USA Today Column: CIA Isn’t Providing Presidential Candidates with Classified Info

donald trump rallyBy Ray Locker
USA Today

Intelligence briefings for presidential candidates, a tradition since 1952, have stirred more controversy this year than in any campaign since 1960, as the critics of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump say they can’t be trusted with vital national security information.

Trump’s habit of saying or tweeting anything that comes into his mind has led to unsubstantiated claims that he spilled secret information about Saudi Arabia, while critics such as House Speaker Paul Ryan say Clinton’s past use of an unsecured email server makes her ineligible to receive classified information.

Since President Harry Truman started the briefings to make sure the two nominees didn’t inadvertently veer into topics that interfered with ongoing policy, most briefings have been routine and uneventful. But there was an exception in 1960, when the fate of U.S. policy in Cuba drove much of the political debate, and that led to a change in nominee briefings that endures to this day.

Republican Vice President Richard Nixon and Democratic Sen. John Kennedy of Massachusetts were locked in an extremely tight race for the presidency. Kennedy claimed the incumbent administration of President Dwight Eisenhower was soft on the newly minted communist government of Fidel Castro in Cuba.

A growing exile community in the United States wanted Castro gone, and in March 1960, Eisenhower approved a covert program to oust Castro.

During the final weeks of the campaign, the Kennedy campaign released a statement calling for a brigade of exiled Cubans to retake Cuba. Kennedy, who was sleepingwhen the statement was issued, never saw it before it was released.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest