A Customs and Border Protection agent is facing misconduct allegations for questioning a reporter about her sources

customs and border patrol

  • A Customs and Border Protection agent is being investigated by the agency on accusations that he questioned the New York Times reporter Ali Watkins about her confidential sources.
  • Agent Jeffrey Rambo reportedly approached Watkins by email and questioned her about her relationship with James Wolfe.
  • Wolfe, the longtime security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee, was arrested on charges of lying to the FBI about giving “nonpublic information” to reporters.
  • Rambo’s meeting with Watkins came as the White House, sought to rein in leaks that have embarrassed the Trump administration.

A Customs and Border Protection agent is reportedly being investigated by the agency on accusations that he questioned a New York Times reporter about her confidential sources, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Agent Jeffrey Rambo, who reportedly identified himself as a government agent but withheld his name, questioned  reporter Ali Watkins after contacting her by email. According to the report, Rambo and Watkins met at a restaurant where Rambo explained that the White House was trying to unmask the confidential leakers in various news reports.

Rambo’s sitdown with Watkins, who was working for Politico at the time, came as the White House sought to crack down on leaks.

His questions revolved around the alleged three-year relationship between Watkins and James Wolfe, the longtime security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee. Wolfe was arrested on charges of lying to the FBI about giving “nonpublic information” to reporters.

Rambo’s questioning, during which he cited dates and locations of Watkins’s and Wolfe’s overseas trips, reportedly unnerved Watkins, according to one person familiar with the situation who was cited by The Post.

The Post described Rambo’s line of questioning as “unorthodox,” given the subject matter, particularly because national security leaks do not fall under the Customs and Border Protection agency’s jurisdiction. Rambo was reportedly not involved in the FBI’s investigation into Wolfe, according to a law-enforcement official.

After The Post contacted the border patrol agency about Rambo’s involvement, a spokesman for the agency released a statement to The Post saying it “takes all allegations of employee misconduct seriously.”

“The allegation has been immediately referred to CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility,” the spokesperson said. “We encourage all members of the public to report any potential misconduct immediately so that it may be investigated.”

Watkins reportedly told The Times that Wolfe was not a confidential source in her stories. Wolfe has denied leaking classified information to reporters.

SEE ALSO: WikiLeaks, which published leaked classified information, just called out a reporter at the center of a DOJ investigation into leaks of classified information

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

Source link

THE ROOTS OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY FOR SELF-DEFENSE: BLOG #4 OF OUR 10-PART SERIES

by Lise Pearlman © 2018

h11How did Panther Party founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale become revolutionaries?

The Seale family arrived in the Bay Area from Texas the year before the worst disaster of World War II on continental United States soil. Munitions improperly loaded onto cargo ships in Port Chicago suddenly ignited on July 17, 1944 — less than 25 miles from where the family now lived. The explosion rattled windows 50 miles in every direction. The devastating accident accounted for 15% of all African-American casualties suffered on naval duty during the war. It prompted the Navy to begin desegregating its units in 1946 when Bobby Seale was ten.

Devastating explosion at Port Chicago

Devastating explosion at Port Chicago

Seale inherited his mother’s athleticism and blamed racism for spoiling his chances to excel in high school sports. He dropped out of Berkeley High and joined the Air Force in 1955 where he learned to be a sheet metal mechanic. In 1958, he received a dishonorable discharge due to an angry outburst at his commanding officer. Seale then worked at several different aircraft companies. Each fired him after learning of his bad conduct discharge — until his last job at Kaiser Aerospace where his boss considered Seale’s expertise on a missile project too hard to replace.

Robert Williams, exiled American author of Negroes with Guns (1962): "I advocated violent self-defense because I don’t really think you can have a defense against violent racists and against terrorists unless you are prepared to meet violence with violence."

Robert Williams, exiled American author of Negroes with Guns (1962): “I advocated violent self-defense because I don’t really think you can have a defense against violent racists and against terrorists unless you are prepared to meet violence with violence.”

In 1960, Seale started taking classes at Oakland City College (later renamed Merritt College). He began focusing on his heritage, grew his hair into an Afro and wore a moustache.  Increasingly political, he quit his job at Kaiser Aerospace to stop helping the war effort. A natural extrovert, Seale had some success as a stand-up comic. He also worked as a mechanical draftsman. When he met Huey Newton in September 1962, Seale had just joined a new West Coast chapter of the Revolutionary Action Movement (“RAM”), a secretive East Coast organization that advocated guerrilla warfare.  RAM found inspiration in a new book, Negroes with Guns, by former NAACP leader Robert Williams who had fled the United States for Cuba. [http://pbs.org/independentlens/negroeswithguns/rob.html]

Alameda Naval Air Station in the 1940s

Alameda Naval Air Station in the 1940s

Like the Seale family, the Newtons were World War II transplants from the South.  Huey Percy Newton, born February 17, 1942, was the youngest of Walter and Armelia Newton’s seven children. Walter left Monroe, Louisiana in 1944 for work in the Alameda Naval Air Station. His family joined him the following year, when Huey was three. By the time the Newtons moved to West Oakland, their oldest children were adults. The family relocated several times and ultimately settled in a racially mixed, working-class neighborhood in North Oakland.

h4Melvin was the next youngest boy, four years older than Huey (pictured with Huey in the early 1970s). While Melvin focused on academics, Huey favored the streets like his older brothers Leander “Lee” Edward and Walter, Jr., “Sonny Man.” But Huey was also a quick study with a phenomenal memory. He displayed talent for playing the piano and had three years of classical training. Yet, to his parents’ dismay, Huey was often truant in high school, preferring to spend time in pool halls like his brother Lee, who had already served a jail sentence. Huey also hung out with Sonny Man, a Korean War veteran employed at the Naval Air Station, who liked to frequent the race track. A violent incident at Berkeley High got Huey suspended and referred to juvenile court.  He graduated from Oakland Tech and escaped the draft with a 1-Y psychiatric exemption. Huey enrolled at Oakland City College focusing on courses in philosophy and militant politics, particularly the recent Cuban revolution and guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Recently retired, former Chief Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California was in an Afro-American Association study group with Huey Newton back in the early 1960s that Judge Henderson believed gave Newton many of the ideas for the philosophy of the Black Panther Party.

Recently retired, former Chief Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California was in an Afro-American Association study group with Huey Newton back in the early 1960s that Judge Henderson believed gave Newton many of the ideas for the philosophy of the Black Panther Party.

By 1962, 20-year-old Newton was well-known on the Oakland City College campus. He joined the Afro-American Association, an informal study group that met at the home of local lawyer and scholar Donald Warden (later known as Khalid Abdullah Tariq al Mansour) who hosted a radio program of the same name. [https://blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-dialogue-on-afro-american-association.html]. Among the association’s members were Ron Dellums, future Congressman and Oakland mayor, and future federal judge Thelton Henderson. When interviewed for our film project, Judge Henderson remembered Newton well: “A very bright young man . . .  a quick learner. He contributed a lot, and I’ve always imagined that many of the ideas he got for the Panthers’ philosophy and some of the interest areas that they had, came from those meetings at the Afro-American Association.  . . The premise of [which] was that blacks should not accept the white historical version of a Negro . . .”

Soon, Newton grew restless. Since the fall of 1962, he had often spoken at a forum by the Oakland City College campus known as the Grove Street orators. His favorite topics caught Seale’s attention — the Cuban revolution and the history of American colonial power. Seale impressed Newton, too, with his skills as an expert marksman, trained in the military to take apart and reassemble an M1 carbine blindfolded.  Seale suggested Newton for membership in RAM, but RAM turned Newton down because he resided with his parents in a “bourgeois” neighborhood. (Ironically, RAM had accepted undercover policemen as charter members).

h12Between 1962 and 1965, Newton and Seale saw each other infrequently. Newton took seasonal jobs at the nearby Del Monte cannery, which employed two of his sisters. From time to time, he hired on as a construction worker or longshoreman or city street cleaner. He supplemented his income with car burglaries and parking lot robberies, selling stolen property and, for several months, pimping. His first serious brush with the law came in 1964 after an argument with an aggressive stranger at a dinner party whom Huey stabbed with a steak knife. Huey was convicted of felony assault and served six months before his release on three years’ probation. En route to Santa Rita, the 22-year-old spent one month in an Alameda County jail cell known as “the soul breaker.” At Santa Rita, Newton also spent time in isolation, but he was outside in the prison yard in early December 1964 when busloads of arrested Cal Free Speech Movement demonstrators arrived. Their political commitment impressed him greatly. Upon his release, Huey returned to Oakland City College. He signed up for California criminal law taught by Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Ed Meese. Huey was a top student, eagerly memorizing the constitutional rights of suspects and the do’s and don’ts of California’s open-carry gun laws.

h6h7In 1965, Newton and Seale joined blacks on campus who founded the Soul Students Advisory Council. One of its leaders was Ken Freeman, a self-taught expert on African history and editor-in-chief of the new radical political and literary magazine Soulbook. The Council increased awareness among blacks of their heritage, lobbied for courses in black history and pushed for the hiring of African-American faculty.  Soulbook writer Louis Armmond introduced Seale to the works of the late revolutionary Dr. Frantz Fanon (pictured),  who had participated in the recent Algerian overthrow of French colonial rule. The Soul Students Advisory Council studied The Wretched of the Earth [the 1963 translation of Dr. Fanon’s 1961 book, les damnés de la terre] as a blueprint for how a liberation movement could be started for American blacks. Seale then recommended The Wretched of the Earth to Huey Newton.

In June 1966, SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael  made a powerful speech h13rejecting the pacifism of Martin Luther King in favor of black power. A SNCC voting rights group in Lowndes County,  Alabama had a black panther logo. Carmichael inspired the formation of Black Panther organizations elsewhere, including San Francisco. In October 1966, Newton and Seale launched their own Black Panther Party for Self-Defense while both were employed in the new Oakland federal jobs program headed by future Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson. Seale and Newton secretly used the office mimeograph machine at night to print out copies of their new 10-point program (modeled on The Nation of Islam’s “What We Believe”). Wilson discovered that the two of them brought guns to work and fired them. Seale and Newton then opened their first recruitment office in January, 1967 with final paychecks from the anti-poverty program. But Seale later pointed to the moment in 1965 when the two focused on the impact of Dr. Fanon’s writings as the true genesis of the Panther Party.

Next week Blog #5:  Launching the First Movement Trial

Click below to read Lise Pearlman’s previous Blog post:

“American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton” – the untold story by Lise Pearlman

www.lisepearlman.com           www.Facebook.com/LPAuthorandSpeaker/

Producer, American Justice on Trial www.americanjusticeontrial.com

Click on the links below to select books by Lise Pearlman:

With Justice for Some: Politically Charged Criminal Trials in the Early 20th Century That Helped Shape Today’s America

The Sky’s the Limit People V. Newton, the Real Trial of the 20th Century?

American Justice On Trial: People v. Newton

Call me PhaedraCALL ME PHAEDRA: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender

Lise Pearlman’s latest book just won the American Bookfest 2018 International Book Award for biographies and was named a finalist for both U.S. History and Multicultural Nonfiction!   See review in Counterpunch by Jonah Raskin

[Edit Post]

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

A judge just approved AT&T and Time Warner's merger — and it could be good news for a series of healthcare mega-mergers (CVS, AET, ESRX, CI)

CVS Health CEO

  • CVS Health and Aetna are planning to merge in a deal that would create a new, vertically integrated company containing a health insurer, a retail pharmacy, and a pharmacy benefits manager, which negotiates prescription-drug prices with drugmakers.
  • While CVS and Aetna shareholders have approved the deal, it remains to be seen whether federal or state regulators will step in to block it.
  • On Tuesday, a judge approved the merger of Time Warner and AT&T, another so-called vertical merger. The news sent CVS and Aetna’s stocks up after hours. 
  • The ruling could have big implications for how the Trump administration treats healthcare mergers.

 A decision about a proposed merger between two telecommunications companies could be good news for a series of healthcare mergers.

CVS Health’s proposed $69 billion mega-merger with Aetna would create a new company containing numerous healthcare businesses, including a health insurer, a retail pharmacy, and a pharmacy benefits manager, which negotiates prescription-drug prices with drugmakers.

Though the deal would combine healthcare businesses that don’t compete directly with each other, the US government could still move to block it on the grounds that it would affect competition in the healthcare system.

On Tuesday, a judge approved the case of Time Warner and AT&T, another so-called vertical merger that the Department of Justice took to court. 

The approval of the merger could have implications for how the Trump administration will address some of the healthcare mergers that have been unfolding over the past few months and if they’ll be challenged as well.

CVS and Aetna were the first to combine, but since then Cigna has made a $67 billion deal with Express Scripts, the US’s largest standalone pharmacy benefits manager, and reports have suggested Walmart may be interested in acquiring the insurer Humana

The news sent CVS and Aetna’s stocks rising after hours, along with Cigna and Express Scripts. 

But Henry Su, a partner at law firm Constantine Cannon, cautioned against extrapolating that other vertical mergers are in the clear based on the AT&T-Time Warner ruling. 

“There’ll be a temptation to do so,” he said. The judge’s written decision, however, made it clear that the ruling was based solely on the merger at hand and the facts presented. Because vertical integrations can be much more complicated than a horizontal merger in which two directly-competing compaines combine, Su said, these types of mergers will likely be evaluated on a case-by-cased basis.  

Deal-closing timeline

In February, the DOJ asked for an extension to gather more information from CVS and Aetna. The 30-day waiting period needed for the deal to close will not begin until all the information has been obtained, and that process can take a while. Cigna and Express Scripts received a similar request from the DOJ in April. 

The merging companies will have to prove to antitrust authorities that the deal is good for consumers.

While that’s unfolding, other steps needed to close the deal have moved forward. In March, shareholders from both CVS and Aetna approved the union. As recently as that month, the companies said they expected the deal to close in the second half of the year.

But apart from the federal government, states could also challenge the merger.

The termination fee for the merger, should it be called off, is $2.1 billion, or roughly 3% of the total deal price. On December 4, the day after the deal was announced, Aetna shares closed at $178.70.

As of Tuesday, the stock was trading at about $186, a 4% increase.

SEE ALSO: A handful of Allergan’s top shareholders want to bring back the old CEO as chairman

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 80% of startup money goes to 3 states — here’s what one visionary is doing to help spread the wealth

Source link