Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

October 1, 2014

Iran, Terrorists, North Korea Scariest Cybersecurity Threats, Obama Officials Say

john carlin 445x305 Iran, Terrorists, North Korea Scariest Cybersecurity Threats, Obama Officials Say

Carlin speaks as Attorney General Eric Holder, right, and U.S. Attorney for Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton, left, listen during a May announcement on indictments against Chinese military hackers on cyber-espionage. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Russia and China might be the the most advanced (non-U.S.) countries when it comes to cyber operations, but the cybersecurity threats a group of Obama administration officials said they worried about most come from another place. Namely: the countries and groups that are not “deterrable.” Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 10:16 a.m.
Cyber

September 30, 2014

Homeland Security Drones Fly Away From Border, Coasts 1/5th of the Time

cbp drone 445x296 Homeland Security Drones Fly Away From Border, Coasts 1/5th of the Time

A Predator drone operated by U.S. Office of Air and Marine (OAM), taxis towards the tarmac for a surveillance flight near the Mexican border in March of last year. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Customs and Border Protection drones operated along U.S. borders and coasts 80 percent of the time over the last three years — but strayed 20 percent of the time into restricted airspace due to things like malfunctions, or else entered into Federal Aviation Administration-approved airspace for things like disaster missions.

That’s according to the Government Accountability Office, which also found that the Department of Homeland Security’s CBP has put in place procedures for complying with civil liberties and privacy laws and standards. Full story

Will New Film, ‘Colonia,’ Starring Emma Watson, Address U.S. Role in Chile?

This could get awkward. A new film, “Colonia,” starring Emma Watson (@emwatson) and Daniel Bruhl, depicts events that transpired during the 1973 Chilean military coup. Will it touch on things the United States might or might not have done during that time frame? Full story

September 29, 2014

Pushback on Obama Faulting Intel Agencies Over ISIS (Plus Pushback on That)

What President Obama said Sunday night on “60 Minutes” about the intelligence community vis-a-vis ISIS has caused a stir — mainly from people who thought he was shifting blame for underestimating the terrorist group, but, also, from some that thought his remarks were misinterpreted. Full story

White House Security Breach, Video Games/Future of Unknown Conflict in the Week Ahead

 

456090166 445x287 White House Security Breach, Video Games/Future of Unknown Conflict in the Week Ahead

A member of the Park Police keeps watch infront of the White House on Sept. 25. The Secret Service is reviewing new security measures inside and outside the White House fence after a man made it all the way inside the presidential mansion before being tackled. (Mandel NganAFP/Getty Images)

A handful of congressional panels are in action this week despite the prolonged recess, and naturally there’s some discussion of Iraq and Syria around Washington, D.C. Also, video games.

Full story

September 26, 2014

Weekly Recap: ISIS, Qassem Suleimani & Eric Holder


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Welcome to the new Weekly Recap, featuring highlights of Five By Five posts you may have missed as well as interesting reads from around the web. Full story

The Islamic State in Syria, Through the Eyes of a Woman

A chilling video posted on YouTube allegedly gives a glimpse into the lives of women who flee their countries to join the Islamic State group and the desperation from their families for them to return home. Full story

Five By Five Friday Q&A: ‘America Invades’ Author Christopher Kelly

americainvadescover Five By Five Friday Q&A: America Invades Author Christopher Kelly

Author Christopher Kelly spoke with Five By Five via e-mail about his new book “American Invades,” co-written with Stuart Laycock, that details the extent of American military invasions and involvement around the world. An earlier Five By Five post on the subject can be found here, to which Kelly responds in part in the first answer. Full story

School Militarization Now a Thing (and Not Just in San Diego)

477270833 445x296 School Militarization Now a Thing (and Not Just in San Diego)

MRAP vehicles sit in the Redistribution Property Accountability Team yard at Kandahar Airfield on March 8 near Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

First came the concerns about militarization of local police spurred by Ferguson, Mo. Next came attention for a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle given to the San Diego Unified School District by the Pentagon. Now the attention has expanded to school militarization nationwide, with a CBS News analysis out Friday. Full story

September 25, 2014

Holder Resigns, Congress Reacts to His National Security Record

holder011 040814A 445x296 Holder Resigns, Congress Reacts to His National Security Record

Eric Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., is about to officially announce his resignation (CQ.com subscribers’ link here), and while much of the reaction to his departure has focused on non-national security topics — his civil rights record, the IRS scandal — he played a role in a number of security-related issues during his tenure.

Not so surprisingly, the Capitol Hill assessment of his national security record broke down along partisan lines, but it’s worth reviewing which aspects of Holder’s performance caught lawmakers’ eyes. Full story

#ThrowbackThursday on the Carousel, Military Training Tool

455357066 2 445x295 #ThrowbackThursday on the Carousel, Military Training Tool

A young fan enjoys a ride on a carousel prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St. Mary’s Stadium on Sept. 13 in Southampton, England. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Ah, the merry-go-round, an amusement park regular that delights all the children. Except the word “carousel” derives from Italian and Spanish words for “little war,” and used to be a tool for training the military — the subject of this week’s Throwback Thursday. Full story

‘Boobs on the Ground’: Fox News on Female UAE Pilot

You stay classy, Fox News. The sexist “boobs on the ground” crack on “The Five” about the first female UAE fighter pilot was preceded by a “bad at parking” joke, too. At least Greta Van Susteren (@gretawire) called them out over it. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 9:52 a.m.
Pop Culture, Veterans, War

September 24, 2014

Book: America Has Invaded, Fought in Nearly Half of the World’s Countries

A new book concludes that America has fought in or invaded nearly half of the countries in the world, and has been involved with all but three of them militarily, one way or another. Sounds like a lot, maybe, but a similar book on Britain found that it had invaded or fought in nine out of 10 of the world’s countries. Of course, they’re older. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3:54 p.m.
War

Pentagon Shunning Dysfunctional Libyan Security Force, Expert Says

photo1 445x333 Pentagon Shunning Dysfunctional Libyan Security Force, Expert Says

Right to left: Frederic Wehrey and Michele Dunne, Carnegie; Wolfram Lacher, SWP; Dirk Vandewalle, Dartmouth College. (Tim Starks/CQ Roll Call)

Libya’s new security force is, “by any definition,” a “train wreck,” a Middle East expert said Wednesday. And it’s so bad that the Pentagon — which has a planned role in training the force — is hoping it doesn’t move forward. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 2:16 p.m.
Foreign Policy, War

‘Bizarro World’ Indeed: Wall Street Journal Backs Obama on Syria, New York Times Doesn’t

 

Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies isn’t wrong: He did wake up in Bizarro World. That said, the split between the editorial pages of the reliably liberal New York Times and reliably conservative Wall Street Journal over President Obama’s bombing campaign in Syria isn’t so much a simple “yes/no.” Full story

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