Fascism is the union of government with private business against the People.
"To The States, or any one of them, or to any city of The States: Resist much, Obey little; Once unquestioning obedience, at once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, ever afterward resumes its liberty." from "Caution" by Walt Whitman

Thursday, October 17, 2013

DHS Watch

"Obama to Nominate Ex-Pentagon Lawyer for Homeland Security Post; Johnson Has Called for More Transparency in Counterterrorism"
2013-10-17 by Jess Bravin, Jared A. Favole from "Wall Street Journal" [http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303680404579141881388674454]:
President Barack Obama is picking Jeh Johnson, an experienced Defense Department lawyer and administration loyalist, to succeed Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security chief.

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama picked Jeh Johnson, an experienced Defense Department lawyer and administration loyalist, to succeed Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security chief.
The nomination announcement was set for Friday afternoon, an administration official said. The choice comes as something of a surprise as Mr. Johnson wasn’t among the leading names mentioned for the post.
Mr. Johnson, 56 years old, was general counsel of the Defense Department until last year.
At the Pentagon, Mr. Johnson was an architect of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism framework, and the president often relied on him to mark the elusive line where national-security imperatives impinge too far on civil liberties. Early in the administration, it was Mr. Johnson who fought to maintain military commissions, an alternative court system for terrorists, over objections from other officials who viewed the legal experiment conceived under President George W. Bush as fatally flawed.
But Mr. Johnson also proposed several changes to the commissions that gave defendants greater protections, such as limits on hearsay evidence. After Attorney General Eric Holder’s plan to try the alleged planners of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in federal court ran into political headwinds, Mr. Johnson maneuvered the case back into a Guantanamo military commission.
At the Pentagon, He was particularly proud of steering the military toward fairer treatment of gays and lesbians. The efforts culminated in a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a move that allowed gays to serve openly.
If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Johnson would take over from Ms. Napolitano, who announced her departure in July to become president of the University of California system. He would be the first African-American to lead the Department of Homeland Security, which was created after the Sept. 11 attacks and has a broad portfolio that includes policing the nation’s borders and leading the response to natural disasters.
After leaving the Pentagon, Mr. Johnson remained active in the national-security debate. In a March speech at Fordham Law School, Mr. Johnson said that while the administration’s counterterrorism policy had been effective, “the problem is that the American public is suspicious of executive power shrouded in secrecy.”
He said the program of using unmanned drones to attack terrorist suspects abroad would have a stronger legal foundation if the military controlled it. The military currently conducts drone strikes, but so does the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. Johnson, who didn’t respond Thursday to requests for comment, has long enjoyed the president’s confidence. In a November 2012 speech at the Oxford Union, Mr. Johnson said the U.S. was near a “tipping point” in its fight against al Qaeda, and that a day would come when it could no longer be considered an armed conflict. Six months later, Mr. Obama made similar remarks in an address at the National Defense University.
In contrast to Mr. Holder, Mr. Johnson also has good relations with some Republicans, and as Pentagon counsel regularly held private dinners with specialists in the national security field, including such Bush administration officials as former Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
Mr. Johnson, a former federal prosecutor and Clinton administration official, brings a wealth of global counterterrorism experience to the job, but he has less of a background in disaster response or immigration control.
Mr. Obama reiterated Thursday that he wants to overhaul the immigration system this year. House Republicans have expressed opposition to an immigration bill that passed the Senate, and immigration is likely to come up at Mr. Johnson’s confirmation hearings.
Mr. Johnson’s grandfather, Charles S. Johnson, was a sociologist who served as president of Fisk University, a historically black school in Tennessee, and traveled to Liberia in 1930 on a U.S. mission to investigate conditions there. He named his second son Jeh (pronounced “Jay”) after an African chief he met and admired, according to scholar John Stanfield’s introduction to a book Charles Johnson wrote about Liberia. That son, Jeh Johnson Sr., is the father of the Homeland Security nominee.
The selection of Mr. Johnson was earlier reported by the Daily Beast website.

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