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Tag: Congress

FBI Director Comey Makes Terrorism, Sequestration His Top Priorities in 2014

 

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Director James Comey said the agency’s priorities this year are combating terrorism and dealing with deep budget cuts, ABC 33/40 reports.

“One of the first challenges I’ve faced as FBI director was the impact of budget sequestration on the bureau,” Comey said during a visit to Birmingham.

Budget cuts have left the FBI with fewer resources and agents.

“The first promise that we have made to the American people is that we will do everything in our power to keep the American people safe from terrorist attacks. That’s our number one priority,” said Comey.

Comey said those efforts may be compromised by deeper cuts and said he and Congress must work on a compromise.

“I’m optimistic we are on the cusp of a budget agreement that will allow the FBI to start hiring again and avoid the devastating furloughs we were facing,” Comey said.

Fox News: Surveillance of Americans Violates Constitution, Reduces Our Free Choices

By Judge Andrew Napolitano 
Fox News 

Readers of this page are well aware of the revelations during the past six months of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). Edward Snowden, a former employee of an NSA vendor, risked his life and liberty to inform us of a governmental conspiracy to violate our right to privacy, a right guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

The conspiracy he revealed is vast. It involves former President George W. Bush, President Obama and their aides, a dozen or so members of Congress, federal judges, executives and technicians at American computer servers and telecoms, and the thousands of NSA employees and vendors who have manipulated their fellow conspirators. The conspirators all agreed that it would be a crime for any of them to reveal the conspiracy. Snowden violated that agreement in order to uphold his higher oath to defend the Constitution.

The object of the conspiracy is to emasculate all Americans and many foreigners of their right to privacy in order to predict our behavior and make it easier to find among us those who are planning harm.

To read more click here.

Some Congress Members Demand More Answers About Boston Marathon Bombing Probe

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some members of Congress are still not satisfied with FBI’s response to questions about the Boston Marathon bombings, My Fox Boston reports.

One of the lingering questions is: Why didn’t the FBI tell local law enforcement that Russian authorities had warned the U.S. about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the bombing suspect who was killed.

Leading the charge is Rep. William R. Keating, D-Bourne, who is frustrated that he can’t get more pointed responses from the FBI.

“(Information sharing) was an important piece after 9/11, and I’m not seeing any kind of formal effort to take information that’s there and share it with local law enforcement,” Keating told FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet.

The FBI responded that the police department had access to a computer system, Guardian, that would have divulged information about Tsarnaev.

Rep. Darrell Issa Accuses FBI of Stonewalling Investigation into IRS

Darrell Issa

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A leading California Congressman is threatening to subpoena FBI Director James B. Comey Jr. if the agency isn’t more forthcoming about its investigation into the federal government’s handling of a conservative group, the Washington Times reports.

Rep. Darrell E. Issa is accusing the FBI of stonewalling his inquiry about whether the IRS unfairly targeted True the Vote for scrutiny.

Six months into the investigation, the FBI still has not turned over a document and won’t brief him in person, the Washington Times wrote.

“The department’s tactics have impeded a congressional investigation and interfered with the comittee’s access to documents and information. Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime,” Issa wrote in a letter to Comey.

Ex-Secret Service Agent’s Book About Serving Under Obama Climbs New York Times Bestseller List

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Dan Bongino’s book about his time as a high-level Secret Service agent under President Obama is taking off and has reached the New York Times bestseller list.

“Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away From It All” tells the story of Washington insiders shielding the president from the fallout of poor policy choices.

The book climbed to No. 13 on the coveted bestseller list.

Bongino is running for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth District.

Surprise, President Obama’s choice for Homeland Security Head Faces Few Obstacles

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Jeh Johnson’s opposition to President Obama’s decision to unilaterally use warplanes to drop bombs on Libya in June 2011 may have paid off., the Los Angeles Times reports. Johnson was general council at the Defense Department at the time, and advised Obama to get Congressional approval.

His advice has won him Republican fans.

On Wednesday, Johnson, President Obama’s pick to run the Department of Homeland Security,appears on the verge being confirmed, the LA Times reports.

Tech Companies Urge Congress to Shed More Light on Secret Information Requests

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

More than two dozen companies and numerous trade groups are endorsing bills that would open more light on the government’s secret information requests, the Verge.com reports.

The businesses and trade groups are showing their support for bills that would allow them to reveal when they receive requests for national security-related data.

Among those who signed the letter to Congressional members are Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Those same companies have been forced to turn over information without the ability to disclose it.

The argument is that barring the disclosure of information to users violates free speech rights.

Columnist Argues Congress Should Get Rid of Beleaguered DEA

Bill Piper
The Seattle Times

Note: Piper is the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Already plagued by scandals, the agency has recently been revealed to be collaborating with the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on unsuspecting Americans. More than 120 groups from across the political spectrum and around the globe have called on Congress to hold hearings on the DEA.

There is no doubt the agency should be reformed. It is also worth asking if it should continue to exist.

According to a Reuters investigation, the DEA has been gathering information from other agencies, as well as foreign governments, for years. The DEA has also been collecting its own arsenal of data; constructing a massive database with about 1 billion records.

This information is shared in secret. By hiding the origins of its data from defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges, the agency and its partners effectively are undermining the right of the people it targets to a fair trial.

To read more click here.