Government Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The Merchant Marine Academy has the highest rate of sexual assault and harassment of any U.S. military school. While the school received just one report of sexual assault in the 2014-2015 academic year, student surveys taken by the government reveal that 63 percent of women and 11 percent of men experienced unwanted advances or other sexual harassment. And 17 percent of women and 2 percent of men endured some kind of sexual assault, defined as unwanted contact, from groping to rape. Those numbers exceed the combined rates at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Naval, Air Force and Coast Guard academies, where 48 percent of women and 10 percent of men described sexual harassment in similar surveys. Under pressure from Congress, Kings Point hired its first sexual assault coordinator four years ago and beefed up online and face-to-face prevention training. But officials were shocked to find so few victims reporting when surveys told them otherwise. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education - which does 10-year accreditation reviews for the U.S. Education Department - placed the Merchant Marine Academy on warning in June. The commission described a “campus climate and incidence of sexual harassment and sexual assault that have been a serious and recognized problem for over 10 years. The report [criticized] the academy’s efforts to prevent misconduct as “insufficient and ineffective.”
Russia was behind the hacks into the Democratic National Committee’s computer network that led to the release of thousands of internal emails just before the party’s convention began, U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded. The FBI is investigating. WikiLeaks promises there is more data to come. The political nature of this cyberattack means that Democrats and Republicans are trying to spin this as much as possible. Even so, we have to accept that someone is attacking our nation’s computer systems in an apparent attempt to influence a presidential election. This kind of cyberattack targets the very core of our democratic process. And it points to the possibility of an even worse problem in November. Over the years, more and more states have moved to electronic voting machines and have flirted with Internet voting. These systems are insecure and vulnerable to attack. But while computer security experts ... have sounded the alarm for many years, states have largely ignored the threat, and the machine manufacturers have thrown up enough obfuscating babble that election officials are largely mollified. Government interference with foreign elections isn’t new, and in fact, that’s something the United States itself has repeatedly done in recent history. But what is new is a foreign government interfering with a U.S. national election on a large scale. Our democracy cannot tolerate it, and we as citizens cannot accept it.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency’s elite group of hackers have been revealed in recent days. A cache of hacking tools with code names such as Epicbanana, Buzzdirection and Egregiousblunder appeared mysteriously online over the weekend, setting the security world abuzz with speculation over whether the material was legitimate. The file appeared to be real, according to former NSA personnel who worked in the agency’s hacking division, known as Tailored Access Operations (TAO). The exploits are not run-of-the-mill tools to target everyday individuals. They are expensive software used to take over firewalls, such as Cisco and Fortinet, that are used “in the largest and most critical commercial, educational and government agencies around the world,” said [former TAO operator] Blake Darche. Some former agency employees suspect that the leak was the result of a mistake by an NSA operator, rather than a successful hack by a foreign government of the agency’s infrastructure. It is not unprecedented for a TAO operator to accidentally upload a large file of tools ... one of the former employees said. “What’s unprecedented is to not realize you made a mistake,” he said. “You would recognize, ‘Oops, I uploaded that set’ and delete it.” Critics of the NSA have suspected that the agency, when it discovers a software vulnerability, frequently does not disclose it, thereby putting at risk the cybersecurity of anyone using that product.
Note: Former US Senator Frank Church warned of the dangers of creating a surveillance state in 1975. By 2013, it had become evident that the US did not heed his warning. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
A lawsuit filed in a US district court claims that American aid to Israel is illegal under a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear powers who don’t sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, who filed the lawsuit ... said the United States has given Israel an estimated $234 billion in foreign aid since Congress in 1976 passed the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act, with its stipulation regarding countries that did not sign the NPT. Though Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Smith noted that it is a known nuclear power and recipient of US aid. Israel ... is widely believed to possess dozens, if not hundreds of nuclear warheads. Smith’s lawsuit comes on the eve of an aid deal that would boost US assistance to the country. Israel already gets $3 billion a year in US aid. To sustain a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” on Israel’s weapons program, Smith says the government uses improper classification and threatens federal employees and researchers with prosecution, fines and imprisonment. The gag is driven ... by a Department of Energy directive known as WNP-136, Foreign Nuclear Capabilities. “This is an Energy Department directive that demands imprisonment for any federal official or contractor who even mentions that Israel might have a nuclear weapons program,” Smith said. Foreign aid to Israel violates two amendments of the 1961 Foreign Aid Act ... which ban aid to clandestine nuclear powers.
Note: How interesting the the US press is not covering this. Consider also that $3 billion in US aid divided by Israel's population of 8.5 million means Israel receives the equivalent of about $350 in aid per person per year, far greater than any other country. Watch a good interview with Miko Peled, a former member of Israeli special forces, on this topic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Privately operated government prisons, which mostly detain migrants convicted of immigration offenses, are drastically more unsafe and punitive than other prisons in the federal system, a stinging investigation by the US Department of Justice’s inspector general has found. Inmates at these 14 contract prisons, the only centers in the federal prison system that are privately operated, were nine times more likely to be placed on lockdown than inmates at other federal prisons and were frequently subjected to arbitrary solitary confinement. In two of the three contract prisons investigators routinely visited, new inmates were automatically placed in solitary confinement as a way of combating overcrowding. The review also found that contract prison inmates were more likely to complain about medical care, treatment by prison staff and about the quality of food. These facilities house around 22,000 individuals, mostly deemed “low risk”, at an annual cost of $600m. They are operated by three private companies: Geo Group, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and Management and Training Corporation (MTC). These facilities were also more dangerous than others in the federal system. For example, the report found that inmate on inmate assaults were 28% higher in contract prisons. “This is the latest in a whole series of reports and investigations that have found very serious issues with Bureau of Prisons shadow systems of private prisons,” said Carl Takei, a staff attorney with the ACLU.
Note: Immediately following this inspector general's investigation, the US Justice Department announced plans to phase out private federal prisons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles.
Princeton professor Andrew Appel decided to hack into a voting machine. He bought one online. Appel parted with $82 and became the owner of ...the Sequoia AVC Advantage, one of the oldest and vulnerable, electronic voting machines in the United States. He summoned a graduate student named Alex Halderman, who could pick the machine’s lock in seven seconds. Clutching a screwdriver, [Appel then] deftly wedged out the four ROM chips - they weren’t soldered into the circuit board, as sense might dictate - making it simple to replace them with one of his own: A version of modified firmware that could throw off the machine’s results, subtly altering the tally of votes, never to betray a hint to the voter. The attack was concluded in minutes. Elections could be vulnerable at myriad strike points, among them the software that aggregates the precinct vote totals, and the voter registration rolls that are increasingly digitized. But the threat, the cyber experts say, starts with the machines that tally the votes and crucially keep a record of them - or, in some cases, don't. It’s not just the voting machines themselves - it’s the desktop and laptop computers that election officials use. And the computers that aggregate the results together from all of the optical scans. If any of those get hacked, it could could significantly disrupt the election. Hackers this year have [already] targeted voter registration rolls in Illinois and possibly Arizona, another attack highlighted by the Princeton alums.
Note: For the text of the video at the above link and more, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
Federal drug agents regularly mine Americans’ travel information to profile people who might be ferrying money for narcotics traffickers - though they almost never use what they learn to make arrests or build criminal cases. Instead, that targeting has helped the Drug Enforcement Administration seize a small fortune in cash. The DEA surveillance is separate from the vast and widely-known anti-terrorism apparatus. DEA units assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade “They count on this as part of the budget,” said Louis Weiss, a former [DEA group] supervisor. “Basically, you’ve got to feed the monster.” Federal law gives the government broad powers to seize cash and other assets if agents have evidence that they are linked to crime. That process, commonly known as asset forfeiture, has come under fire ... after complaints that police were using the law as a way to raise money rather than to protect the public or prevent crime. Court records show agents and informants flagged travelers for questioning based on whether they were traveling with one-way tickets, had paid in cash, had listed a non-working phone number on the reservation or had checked luggage. Agents said Zane Young fit that profile when they ... seized $36,000 from his bags. Young’s lawyer, Thomas Baker, said in a court filing that the drug agency’s profile was “vague, ambiguous, overbroad, and can be manipulated to include just about anyone.”
Note: Read about how the DEA stole a young man's life savings without ever charging him with a crime. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
Days before an ISIS sympathizer attacked a cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, he received a text from an undercover FBI agent. “Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday. “U know what happened in Paris,” Simpson responded. “So that goes without saying ... No need to be direct.” That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. The texts were included in the indictment, released Thursday, of Erick Jamal Hendricks. He was charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. [Hendricks] tried to recruit other Americans to form an ISIS cell on secret compounds and introduced an undercover agent to one of the Draw Muhammad attackers, according to the FBI. But Hendricks did more than make a connection. According to the court papers, he asked the undercover officer about the Draw Muhammad event’s security, size, and police presence, during the event, according to an affidavit filed in court. FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty hung up on The Daily Beast after being asked about the “tear up Texas” text. But shortly after that exchange, Simpson and his accomplice, Nadir Soofi, drove up to the contest and opened fire. Both men were killed in the altercation, but Hendricks would remain free for another year. Every major U.S. attack was linked to FBI investigation before it happened.
Note: The FBI has been stepping up its use of stings in ISIS cases. Read how an FBI mole posing as a potential lover recently convinced a man to become a terrorist. If terrorism is such a grave threat in the US, why does the FBI have to manufacture "terrorist" plots and then exaggerate its anti-terrorism success?
Weeks after taking a job as a breeding technician at Eagle Point Farms, an anguished Sharee Santorineos sat down and wrote a three-page whistleblower complaint. "I seen pigs that are pregnant beat with steel bars," said her letter to the Illinois Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare. Santorineos knows about raising animals. At a friend's rural Illinois farmhouse, she grows pigs and poultry that they eventually will have slaughtered. Like other worker allegations about animal abuse in Illinois' 900-plus hog confinement facilities, Santorineos' account went nowhere. The state has regularly discounted or dismissed such worker complaints, a Tribune investigation has found. In the Illinois hog confinements that send 12 million pigs to market annually, the bureau did not find a single animal welfare infraction or violation during the past five years. A lack of inspectors - the bureau has just six - contributes to the scant enforcement, while weak Illinois and federal livestock protection laws do little to safeguard animals. In on-the-record interviews, Santorineos and more than a dozen other Illinois swine-confinement workers told the Tribune they witnessed fellow employees whip pigs with metal rods and gouge them with pliers and ballpoint pens to hurry the animals from one stall to the next or onto the trucks that took them to slaughter. They described employees abusing pigs for amusement and encouraging colleagues to take out their frustrations on the animals.
Think tanks, which position themselves as “universities without students,” have power in government policy debates because they are seen as researchers independent of moneyed interests. But in the chase for funds, think tanks are pushing agendas important to corporate donors, at times blurring the line between researchers and lobbyists. And they are doing so while reaping the benefits of their tax-exempt status, sometimes without disclosing their connections to corporate interests. On issues as varied as military sales to foreign countries, international trade, highway management systems and real estate development, think tanks have frequently become vehicles for corporate influence and branding campaigns. “This is about giant corporations who figured out that by spending, hey, a few tens of millions of dollars, if they can influence outcomes here in Washington, they can make billions of dollars,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, a frequent critic of undisclosed Wall Street donations to think tanks. Washington has seen a proliferation of think tanks, particularly small institutions with narrow interests tied to specific industries. At the same time, the brand names of the field have experienced explosive growth. [The Brookings Institution]’s annual budget has doubled in the last decade, to $100 million. The American Enterprise Institute is spending at least $80 million on a new headquarters in Washington, not far from where the Center for Strategic and International Studies built a $100 million office tower.
Note: Read more about how big money buys off institutions democracy depends on. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Police departments will be required to give the US justice department full details of deadly incidents involving their officers each quarter, under a new government system for counting killings by police that was influenced by the Guardian. Announcing a new program for documenting all “arrest-related deaths”, federal officials said they would actively work to confirm fatal cases seen in media reports and other open sources rather than wait for departments to report them voluntarily. The new system, which aims to replace a discredited count by the FBI, mirrors that of The Counted, an ongoing Guardian effort to document every death caused by law enforcement officers. Writing in the Federal Register, Department of Justice officials said their new program should increase transparency around the use of force by police and improve accountability for the actions of individual officers. The federal government has kept no comprehensive record of killings by police officers, even as a series of controversial deaths set off unrest in cities across the country over the past two years. An annual voluntary count by the FBI of fatal shootings by officers has recorded only about half the true number. The new system is being overseen by the department’s bureau of justice statistics (BJS). It would, like the Guardian’s, document deaths caused by physical force, Taser shocks and some vehicle crashes caused by law enforcement in addition to fatal shootings by officers.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows. Medical intelligence can include information about disease outbreaks; the ability of a foreign regime to respond to chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks; the capabilities of overseas drugs companies; advances in medical technology; medical research, and the medical response capabilities of various governments, according to the document and others like it, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. One of the more prominent examples of focused medical spying came in 2010, when the agency crafted a plan to stow tracking devices with medical supplies bound for an ill Osama bin Laden in order to locate the terrorist leader. One article from August 2003 identifies an NSA project to keep an eye on the evolution of biotechnology in various countries. “Can we ... determine the specific features that would distinguish a Bio Warfare Program from a benign civilian pharmaceutical production effort?” the author wrote, identifying a “suspect Iranian [biological warfare] facility” as a target for inspection. Medical intelligence gathering has continued since then, according to the so-called “black budget” proposed for the 2013 fiscal year, published in February 2012.
Buried below the ice sheet that covers most of Greenland, there's an abandoned U.S. Army base. Camp Century had trucks, tunnels, even a nuclear reactor. It was also a test site for deploying nuclear missiles. The camp was abandoned almost 50 years ago. But serious pollutants were left behind. Now a team of scientists says that as climate warming melts the ice sheet, those pollutants could spread. [Researcher William Colgan] found unclassified records that described what was left behind there - for example, the nuclear reactor was removed, but low-level radioactive cooling water used in it was not. There were very likely PCBs, which are toxic compounds in electrical equipment. There's no record of how much remained. Colgan says the Army figured all of it would be entombed forever. "They thought it would snow in perpetuity," he says, "and the phrase they used was that the waste would be preserved for eternity by perpetually accumulating snow." Except now, the climate has changed. Greenland's ice sheet is melting. Computer models say the camp could be uncovered by the end of this century. Meltwater could easily end up in the buried camp and then carry contamination through under-ice channels to the ocean. Colgan says it's unclear who owns this waste. The Army built the camp under a treaty between the U.S. and Denmark, which had jurisdiction over Greenland. It's a legal dilemma that's likely to start cropping up more often.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing global warming news articles from reliable major media sources.
Bechtel - a behemoth among closely held companies - has been the world’s builder, benefiting from vast government contracts for engineering and infrastructure work in difficult places while it nurtured relationships with power brokers in Washington. In The Profiteers, journalist Sally Denton seeks to unravel the history of Bechtel. Her story is one of “how a dynastic line of rulers from the same American family conducts its business” and how its system of networking now pervades US capitalism. Anecdotes of Bohemian Grove, the secretive retreat that became an all-male “summer camp” for US corporate, political and military elites to toast marshmallows, skinny-dip in the river north of San Francisco and dress in drag for skits, elucidate the chummy nature of big business. As of 2014, [Bechtel's] reported revenue was $37bn, with projects and employees in 37 countries. The corporation’s embrace of Saudi Arabia as a lucrative client and its decades-long and contorted experience in Iraq also makes sense of some aspects of US foreign policy - as well as its intelligence-gathering operations. The life and times of John McCone, a former Bechtel executive who later served as CIA director in the US administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, is chronicled deftly here. It is worth noting: McCone was and is critical to Bechtel’s dominance today. He devised the idea of “cost-plus contracts” for the toughest jobs sought by government. Contractors are guaranteed a profit in such deals.
Note: Bechtel was at the center of a major Iraqi reconstruction scandal in 2007. More recently, major defense contractors have been publicly congratulating themselves for steering US policy towards militarism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
When Ebony Buggs followed the noise of commotion to a vacant unit below her apartment on Chicago’s West Side, she found a group of men beating teens from the neighborhood. One man grabbed her and punched her in the face, according to Buggs, now 26. Buggs’ mother, seeing her daughter lying on the ground, threatened to call the police. “We are the police,” one of the men responded, as he grabbed her phone and threw it. The man who Buggs alleges beat her is Edwin Utreras. He was part of a group of five officers that city residents dubbed the “Skullcap Crew”, who patrolled the city’s South Side public housing communities until they were torn down. The members of this crew – Edwin Utreras, Robert Stegmiller, Christ Savickas, Andrew Schoeff and Joe Seinitz – have together faced at least 128 known official allegations from more than 60 citizen-filed complaints over almost a decade and a half. They have also been named in more than 20 federal lawsuits. Yet over the course of their careers, these officers have received little discipline. Instead, they have won praise from the department, accruing more than 180 commendations. All of them remain on the force except Seinitz, who resigned in 2007. The Citizens Police Data Project, a repository of more than 56,000 official complaints against police, has found that less than 3% of Chicago police misconduct complaints lead to disciplinary action.
Note: Another gang of Chicago police was recently reported to have run a drug dealing and extortion ring with the tacit support of their fellow officers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Before the 2010 Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United, all money spent in federal elections urging the election or defeat of a candidate had to originate from identifiable human beings. Corporations and unions were forbidden from involvement beyond organizing individuals’ contributions. Then Citizens United struck down the prohibition ... so corporations had the right to spend unlimited money espousing their political views. This was the birth of Super PACs. Citizens United [also] opened ... paths for foreign money to flow into the U.S. political process. The 2016 election has seen a surge of contributions to Super PACs by so-called ghost corporations, which appear to exist solely to make those donations and whose ownership is unknown. Almost all large publicly traded U.S. companies have some degree of foreign ownership. Any donations by such corporations are technically partially of foreign origin. Nonprofit corporations ... have always been able to accept unlimited donations from individuals or corporations, but before Citizens United, could engage in little federal political activity. Now, thanks to the combination of Citizens United and a 2007 Supreme Court decision, “social welfare” organizations ... and trade associations [can] make independent political expenditures just like Super PACs. Unlike Super PACs, they are not required to publicly disclose their donors. This is why contributions to politically active nonprofits are often referred to as “dark money.”
Note: Read more about how ghost corporations are funding the 2016 elections. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
The chief executive of the Democratic National Committee and two other top officials have resigned in the wake of an email hack that embarrassed the party on the eve of its presidential nominating convention. CEO Amy Dacey, Chief Finance Officer Brad Marshall and Communications Director Luis Miranda left their jobs on Tuesday, the party said in a statement. The resignations are the latest fallout from the hacked emails, which exposed an apparent lack of neutrality in the primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with some party officials disparaging Sanders. Marshall wrote the most explosive email, questioning Sanders' Jewish faith and suggesting he could be portrayed as an atheist. He has apologized for the missive. Earlier, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned her position and, after being booed at a pre-convention appearance last week in Philadelphia, chose not to speak from the convention stage. The cache of more than 19,000 messages was made public by the group WikiLeaks just before the convention. Democratic Party officials learned in late April that their systems had been attacked after they discovered malicious software on their computers.
A new study of male honeybees shows that two insecticides, banned in some European nations but still used in the United States, can significantly reduce the bees’ ability to reproduce. The study ... found that thiamethoxam and clothianidin, two chemicals from the neonicotinoid family of insecticides, reduce living sperm in male honeybees, called drones, by almost 40 percent. The effects of pesticides on honeybee populations are considered one culprit among several factors causing periodic declines. Neonicotinoids have been shown by other studies to harm the health of individual bees and the reproductive ability of female insects. The new study expanded on the dangers of the pesticides for males. The two neonicotinoids used in the study were banned in the European Union in 2013, but are used on an industrial scale in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency ... will release risk assessments for the two chemicals, as well as another neonicotinoid, dinotefuran, in December. A significant amount of the global food supply is made up of plants that require pollinators like bees to survive. Any widespread threat to bees also constitutes a greater ecological threat. Beekeepers in the United States lost 44 percent of their honeybee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016, according to an annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership. The loss was 3.5 percent greater than that found from 2014 to 2015, when beekeepers lost 40.6 percent of colonies.
WikiLeaks published the DNC’s hacked emails. There has been a flurry of accusations – including from the Hillary Clinton campaign – that Russian president Vladimir Putin orchestrated both the hack and the leak, in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the presidency. It’s amazing how quickly the media are willing to forgo any skepticism and jump to conspiracy-tinged conclusions where Putin is involved. There is some circumstantial evidence that the hack may have originated in Russia, but there are also many questions that haven’t been resolved. As Adam Johnson detailed, when you look closely, the evidence is shoddy and often contradictory. The bulk of the “evidence” has come from the statements of cybersecurity firms FireEye and Crowdstrike, both of which have lucrative contracts with the US government. As FireEye’s CEO once made clear, his company has a financial stake in nation-state hacking tensions. As Edward Snowden pointed out ... with an accompanying NSA document, “Our government specifically authorized the hacking of political parties.” The US has also considered hacking and then releasing sensitive and embarrassing information in China in retaliation for cybersecurity attacks, as the New York Times reported last year. If the US wants to place blame at the feet of the Russians, they should do so transparently and in public, without leaving it to anonymous officials and cybersecurity firms to make claims without providing hard evidence.
A Wall Street Journal reporter was detained by federal agents at the Los Angeles airport who demanded to confiscate her two cell phones. Maria Abi-Habib, a reporter who covers the Middle East for the paper, detailed in a long Facebook post Thursday how Department of Homeland Security agents detained her in "a special section of LAX airport" to ask her questions. Abi-Habib has both U.S. and Lebanese citizenship and was traveling on an American passport. "They grilled me for an hour," she wrote. The agents then asked for her cellphones. "That is where I drew the line," Abi-Habib wrote. "I told her I had First Amendment rights as a journalist she couldn't violate and I was protected under." The agent then presented a DHS document that read that the government has the right to confiscate phones within 100 miles from U.S. borders. "If they forgot to ask you at JFK airport for your phones, but you're having a drink in Manhattan the next day, you technically fall under this authority," she wrote. "And because they are acting under the pretense to protect the U.S. from terrorism, you have to give it up." Abi-Habib told the agents that they would have to call the Wall Street Journal's lawyers because the phones are the property of the newspaper. This led to the agent accusing her of "hindering the investigation." The agent left to speak with her supervisor, returning 30 minutes later to tell Abi-Habib that she was free to go. DHS acknowledged the incident occurred, [and] asserted it has legal authority to confiscate anyone's electronics.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.