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Bernie Sanders Once Advocated Abolishing CIA, Calling It a “Dangerous Institution’

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders once called the CIA a “dangerous institution that has got to go,” Politico reports. 

At the time, Sanders was a 29-year-old socialist angry over the spy agency’s interventions in other country, including what he called America’s history of “overthrowing governments.”

Sanders was running for the U.S. Senate on the ticket of the anti-war Liberty Union Party.

Hillary Clinton allies have seized on the opportunity to attack Sanders, whose views have softened over time.

“Abolishing the CIA in the 1970s would have unilaterally disarmed America during the height of the Cold War and at a time when terrorist networks across the Middle East were gaining strength,” said Jeremy Bash, who served as chief of staff to CIA director Leon Panetta and now advises Clinton’s campaign. “If this is a window into Sanders’ thinking, it reinforces the conclusion that he’s not qualified to be commander in chief.”

Sanders supporters said it’s disingenuous to attack Sanders for something he said four decades ago.

“I think people should look at his 25-year congressional career,” said one person who worked for Sanders in the House of Representatives, and whose employment circumstances prohibit him from speaking on the record. “You don’t have to look at some speech from the early ’70s to know where he is on issues. There’s a very clear congressional record. I think he should be measured and judged on that.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Director James Comey on Encrypted Phone: ‘San Bernardino Litigation Isn’t About Trying to Set a Precedent or Send Any Kind of Message’

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The battle between the FBI and Apple is on. The FBI wants the giant company to help the bureau crack the encryption of a phone belonging to one of the terrorist in San Bernardino is a big deal.

A federal judge has ordered the company to help the FBI, but Apple has vowed to fight the case in court, saying the privacy of Americans is at issue.

Besides a legal battle, a battle is being fought on the public stage of opinion.

On Sunday night, the FBI released this statement from James Comey, director of the FBI, who has expressed great frustration over the issue of encrypted devices.

Comey stated:

The San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message. It is about the victims and justice.  Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined.  We owe them a thorough and professional investigation under law.  That’s what this is.  The American people should expect nothing less from the FBI.

The particular legal issue is actually quite narrow. The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve.  We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly.  That’s it.  We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land.  I hope thoughtful people will take the time to understand that.  Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists.  Maybe it doesn’t.  But we can’t look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don’t follow this lead.

Reflecting the context of this heart-breaking case, I hope folks will take a deep breath and stop saying the world is ending, but instead use that breath to talk to each other.  Although this case is about the innocents attacked in San Bernardino, it does highlight that we have awesome new technology that creates a serious tension between two values we all treasure – privacy and safety.  That tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living.  It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living.  It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before.  We shouldn’t drift to a place – or be pushed to a place by the loudest voices – because finding the right place, the right balance, will matter to every American for a very long time.

So I hope folks will remember what terrorists did to innocent Americans at a San Bernardino office gathering and why the FBI simply must do all we can under the law to investigate that.  And in that sober spirit, I also hope all Americans will participate in the long conversation we must have about how to both embrace the technology we love and get the safety we need.

Parker: Supreme Court Oral Arguments in March, With An Empty Seat On the Bench

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

When counsel approach the lectern in the Supreme Court for oral argument during the rest of the term, instead of facing the blistering questions of the Court’s most aggressive inquisitor, they will instead see an empty chair among the nine on the bench, draped with a black sash. One of the Court’s most active and entertaining interrogators has bedeviled his last lawyer. There will be less laughter in the courtroom.

Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016, one month shy of his eightieth birthday. Befitting his colorful life, it was after a day of quail hunting in West Texas. Although the politicians are rumbling about his successor and the conspiracy theorists whispering about the circumstances of his death, it was in all likelihood a peaceful death after an active life of purpose, whether you agree with his brand of conservatism or not.

In criminal cases, he generally supported the government. Along with Justice Thomas, he was unapologetically pro-death penalty, whether the defendant was under-age, mentally retarded, or subject to a botched execution. After all, those were all legal in 1791 when the 8th Amendment was ratified. He also labored to overrule the Warren revolution of cases restricting the police, especially Miranda v. Arizona.

But he could vote for the defendant, too, especially in areas involving jury trial rights and the traditional authority of trial judges. His Booker opinion ended mandatory Sentencing Guidelines. And Apprendi v. Arizona stopped judge-decided facts leading to sentence enhancements. He also was protective against the reach of technology. In Kylio he authored the opinion requiring search warrants for thermal imaging searches. Marijuana grow lights became a bit more private.

Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia

Despite his sometimes angry and outrageous vitriol during argument and in his opinions, he was by all accounts well liked by his colleagues on the bench and the staff. He was one of a kind and his death diminishes the energy and vivacity of the institution.

Without Justice Scalia’s contributions, the Court will consider two criminal cases during its March oral arguments. Betterman v. Montana raises one of those issues that you would have thought had already been decided — whether the 6th Amendment guarantee of a speedy trial applies to the sentencing phase. Are defendants protected against inordinate delay in the final disposition of sentence by the 6th Amendment?

The defendant pled guilty to bail jumping after he failed to appear for sentencing on a domestic assault conviction. He explained that he did not have transportation from Butte to the courthouse in Billings. He eventually sobered up enough to turn himself in to the county jail, where he remained for 14 months when he was finally sentenced to 7 years consecutive to his 5 year sentence for assault, with no credit for time served. Don’t go in the wind in Montana after beating up your spouse.

Read more »

Weekend Series on Crime History: Chicago Mobster Tony Spilotro; 30 Years of ABC News Footage

Facebook, Twitter Support Apple’s phone encryption battle with FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are siding with Apple’s fight against the FBI’s attempt to weaken encryption.

“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services,” Facebook said in a statement Thursday.

“However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: We stand with @timcook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)!”

The comments come after a federal magistrate ordered Apple to make it easier to crack the iPhone’s password. The FBI has been unable to access an iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino killer.

Technology companies are worried about setting a legal precedent to allow the government to using hacking tools to access private information.

The FBI argues that the uncrackable encryption is thwarting its fight against terrorism.

Buffalo Woman Accused of Supporting ISIS, Threatening FBI Agents on Twitter

Safya Roe Yassin

Safya Roe Yassin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Buffalo woman is accused of using Twitter to make pro-ISIS statements and threaten two FBI agents.

A criminal complaint says Safya Roe Yassin, 38, tweeted the names, phone numbers and cities of two FBI agents under the words, “Wanted to Kill,” the Springfield News-Leader reports. 

Yassin also is accused of using dozens of Twitter accounts to post statements supporting ISIS.

“The West thinks that caging Muslims will stop ‘terrorism’ …but they will be finding out soon, it only increases the attacks against them,” one of the tweets read.

Yassin has been charged with communicating threats of violence over the Internet.

Inspector General: Remote Border Patrol Facilities Riddled with Security Issues

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Most of the remote Border Patrol facilities along the southwest border are riddled with security issues, according to a report by the Homeland Security Inspector General.

Seven of the 11 facility, known as “Forward Operating Bases,” were inspected and found to have security lapses, such as inoperable cameras, ABC News reports. 

Some have problems with providing safe drinking water to employees, and one facility had inadequate living conditions.

“Because of their proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, it is essential that FOBs are equipped with proper, functioning surveillance equipment,” the report stated.

The report also criticized customs officials for failing to perform required inspections and keeping documentation of repairs.

“Without regular inspections and timely maintenance and repairs, CBP cannot ensure it will continue to provide adequate security, safety and living conditions,” read the report.

West Texas Man Found Guilty of Trying to Kill Border Patrol Agent

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A West Texas man faces up to 20 years in prion after a jury found him guilty of trying to kill a Border Patrol agent.

Carl Wayne Wiley, of Midland, was found guilty of one count of attempting to kill a Border Patrol agent, one count of assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, or interfering with Border Patrol agents using a deadly or dangerous weapon, and two counts of using and discharging a firearm.

Wiley fired a gun at a Border Patrol agent after a high-speed pursuit.

Wiley faces a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.