Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2014

Posts in "Homeland Security"

July 25, 2014

Banana Terrorism Case Thrown Out

A seven-year legal battle to hold Chiquita responsible for killings in Colombia stemming from payments to a U.S.-labeled terrorist group might have come to an end late Thursday when a court dismissed a suit against the banana and produce giant. Full story

July 23, 2014

Border Task Force Boosts National Guard Role; Others Less Enthused

Treasury 05 042413 445x296 Border Task Force Boosts National Guard Role; Others Less Enthused

Granger at a hearing of her House Appropriations Committee State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs lat year. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

A House GOP border task forces recommended Wednesday that the National Guard be deployed to the southern border in response to a surge of unaccompanied minors entering the country, the same week Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans to use the Guard for just that. Others are less sure it’s the right answer. Full story

July 21, 2014

New Lawsuit, Legislation to Aid Iraqis, Afghans Who Helped U.S. in Wars

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Shaheen arrives for the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Tuesday, Feb. 25. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There were two developments Monday meant to ensure visas for Afghans and Iraqis who helped the United States in wars in those countries: 1., the announcement of a lawsuit filed by an Iraqi who served as a translator but has been waiting more than two years on his visa; and 2. the introduction of a bipartisan bill to boost the number of Special Immigration Visas (SIVs) available to Afghan civilians who served in a similar role. Full story

Obama Adviser on Cybersecurity: Limit Cyber Capabilities, Regulate Sometimes

By the reckoning of a new report by the left-leaning Center for New American Security, we screwed it up from the start when designing the architecture of digital computing — security just wasn’t drawn into those original blueprints. Now we have to live with it. The report, helmed by Richard Danzig, a former Navy secretary who currently serves as a member of the Defense Policy Board and The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, makes recommendations on how. Full story

Medal of Honor Recipient Ryan Pitts, 9/11 Commission, VA Secretary in the Week Ahead

Former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan J. Pitts will be at the White House on Monday to receive a Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. His story is both heroic and a tale of missteps by superiors, as he fought to fend off a wave of insurgents in Afghanistan in a patrol base in the bloody Battle of Wanat, all while badly wounded by shrapnel himself. Obama is awarding more Medals of Honor to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans than his predecessor, but the process has become slower.

The week’s offerings also include a confirmation hearing for a new leader at the Department of Veterans Affairs, a review of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Commission report and discussions on the cyber threat, the shape of U.S. Combatant Commands, Iraq and the Navy budget. Full story

July 18, 2014

After MH17, Senator Revives Commercial Airliner Anti-Missile Defense Idea

kirk008 011414 445x296 After MH17, Senator Revives Commercial Airliner Anti Missile Defense Idea

Kirk talks with reporters Jan. 14. after the Republican Senate luncheon in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., told the Washington Post Friday that, in the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster and with shoulder-fired missiles proliferating in places like Libya in Iraq, he would press the Federal Aviation Administration to install anti-missile defenses on commercial airliners.

It probably won’t be an easy sell. Right after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the idea had some real momentum. But it eventually suffered a long, slow death over cost, reliability and need. Full story

June 27, 2014

Five Questions With Rob Zitz of Leidos, on Cybersecurity

Rob Zitz has worked on national security for 35 years, 32 of them in the intelligence community, and now is a senior vice president at Leidos, the company that split last year with SAIC. It’s a top contractor for the Defense Department with nearly $6 billion in annual revenue.

Zitz spoke with Five By Five in an interview Friday about cybersecurity and the Department of Homeland Security. (Leidos has a number of prime contracts with DHS, some of which are related to cybersecurity, and Zitz is a former DHS official himself.) Here are some highlights: Full story

June 23, 2014

Cybersecurity, Drones and the Marines in the Week Ahead

The schedule is too jam-packed to just highlight one or two events each day. Full story

June 19, 2014

The Quest to Protect the Newest Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

At the beginning of 2012, the head of the National Guard Bureau joined the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the objections of top Pentagon brass, in a move that amounted to a coup for the National Guard’s profile. This January, he started getting the same level of continuous physical protection and security afforded to the other leaders with access to the nation’s most sensitive military secrets — after it took two years to get the application and paperwork completed. Full story

No Plans for Canada Invasion, Pentagon Leader Says

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Man without a plan: Dempsey testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wednesday’s hearing of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee was informative on a great many serious subjects. It also revealed that the United States isn’t prepared to take aggressive action against its looming menace to the north, according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Full story

Effort to Block Military Equipment for Local Police Stifled

grayson 055 040414 2 445x294 Effort to Block Military Equipment for Local Police Stifled

Grayson leaves the Capitol following the last vote of the week on April 4. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A New York Times story on the military giving equipment like grenade launchers and M-16s to local law enforcement caused a stir when the newspaper published it earlier this month. The American Civil Liberties Union has an ongoing project to detail such militarization.

On Wednesday evening, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., offered an amendment on the House floor to block military-to-police transfers of specific equipment. It didn’t make it very far. Full story

June 13, 2014

What the Departure of Eric Cantor Means for National Security

gop002 030514 445x303 What the Departure of Eric Cantor Means for National Security

Cantor, right, and Boehner attend a news conference at the RNC after a meeting of the Republican caucus on March 5. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Everyone is still digesting the fallout from this week’s surprise primary election defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., but the part related to its effect on national security and foreign policy is pretty well-chewed, enough to examine it as a whole. Full story

June 11, 2014

Paul Ryan: Rebuild Military, Stay in Afghanistan Longer, Develop Lasers

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Ryan walks by reporters outside of the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on May 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Prospective GOP presidential candidate Rep. Paul D. Ryan offered up his vision Wednesday for the military and diplomacy, contrasting himself with President Barack Obama and perhaps some potential primary challengers. And in offering up that vision, he proposed some specific ideas for what the Defense Department ought to be doing. Full story

June 10, 2014

The Technology the Intelligence Community Is About to Be Worried About

183634839 445x296 The Technology the Intelligence Community Is About to Be Worried About

A 3D printer constructs a model human figure in the exhibition ’3D: printing the future’ at London’s Science Museum on Oct. 8, 2013. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Previewing the National Intelligence Council’s next long-range forecast of worldwide trends, chairman Christopher Kojm said on Tuesday that the updated version of its report produced for each incoming president would turn its technological gaze to 3D printing, bioinformatics, technologies related to essential resources and most of all, information technology. Full story

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