Civil Rights Division » About The Division STATUTES ENFORCED BY THE CRIMINAL SECTION

U.S. Code Provision







18 U.S.C. § 241 Conspiracy Against Rights Section 241 makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in the United States in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States or because of his or her having exercised such a right.

Unlike most conspiracy statutes, §241 does not require, as an element, the commission of an overt act.

The offense is always a felony, even if the underlying conduct would not, on its own, establish a felony violation of another criminal civil rights statute.  It is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment unless the government proves an aggravating factor (such as that the offense involved kidnapping aggravated sexual abuse, or resulted in death) in which case it may be punished by up to life imprisonment and, if death results, may be eligible for the death penalty.

Section 241 is used in Law Enforcement Misconduct and Hate Crime Prosecutions. It was historically used, before conspiracy-specific trafficking statutes were adopted, in Human Trafficking prosecutions.


 18 U.S.C. § 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law This provision makes it a crime for someone acting under color of law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. It is not necessary that the offense be motivated by racial bias or by any other animus.

Defendants act under color of law when they wield power vested by a government entity.  Those prosecuted under the statute typically include police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and prison guards.  However other government actors, such as judges, district attorneys, and other public officials, can also act under color of law and can be prosecuted under this statute.

Section 242 does not criminalize any particular type of abusive conduct.  Instead, it incorporates by reference rights defined by the Constitution, federal statutes, and interpretive case law.  Cases charged by federal prosecutors most often involve physical or sexual assaults.  The Department has also prosecuted public officials for thefts, false arrests, evidence-planting, and failing to protect someone in custody from constitutional violations committed by others.

A violation of the statute is a misdemeanor, unless prosecutors prove one of the statutory aggravating factors such as a bodily injury, use of a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, death resulting, or attempt to kill, in which case there are graduated penalties up to and including life in prison or death.


18 U.S.C. § 249 The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act Section 249 prohibits willfully causing bodily injury, or attempting to cause bodily injury with a dangerous weapon, when the crime was committed because of

  1.  the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin of any person;
  2.  the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person and the crime affected interstate or foreign commerce (ICC); or
  3.  any of these characteristics (actual or perceived) if the crime occurred within federal special maritime and territorial jurisdiction (SMTJ).

There is no need to prove ICC or SMTJ for the first subsection because jurisdiction for enactment is based upon the Thirteenth Amendment.  For this reason, only those religions and national origins considered to be “races” at the time the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted may be prosecuted without proof of ICC or SMTJ.  See § 249, Findings, § (8).

A conviction carries a statutory maximum of ten years imprisonment; if death results, or if the defendant’s actions include aggravating factors such as kidnapping, sexual abuse, or death resulting from the offense, the offense may be punishable by imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

A prosecution may not be undertaken without written certification from the AG, or his designee, that (1) the state does not have jurisdiction, (2) the state has requested that the federal government assume jurisdiction, (3) the verdict or sentence obtained by the state left the federal interest demonstrably un-vindicated, or (4) prosecution is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

18 U.S.C. § 247 Damage to Religious Real  Property (sometimes called the

“Church Arson Prevention Act”)

Section 247 prohibits intentionally defacing, damaging or destroying religious real property because of the religious nature of the property, so long as the crime is committed in or affects interstate or foreign commerce (ICC).

The statute also prohibits anyone from intentionally obstructing or attempting to obstruct, by force or threat of force, a person in the enjoyment of that person’s religious beliefs, where the crime is in or affecting ICC.

Finally, the statute prohibits anyone from intentionally defacing, damaging or destroying any religious real property because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with the property, regardless of any connection to ICC.

Section 247 also prohibits attempts to do any of the above.

A violation of the statute is a misdemeanor unless prosecutors prove one of the statutory aggravating factors such as a bodily injury, use of a dangerous weapon, kidnapping , aggravated sexual abuse , death resulting from the offense, or attempt to kill, in which case there are graduated penalties up to and including life in prison or death.

A prosecution may not be undertaken without written certification from the AG, or his designee, that prosecution is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.


18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2) Federally Protected Activities Subsection (b)(2) of § 245, which is primarily enforced by the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, makes it unlawful to willfully injure, intimidate or interfere with any person –or to attempt to do so — by force or threat of force, because of that other person’s race, color, religion or national origin and because of the person has been doing one of the following:

  • Enrolling in or attending public school or college
  • Participating In or enjoying a service, privilege, program, facility or activity provided or administered by a state or local government
  • Applying for or enjoying private or state employment
  • Serving as a grand or petit juror in state court (or going to court in preparation to do so)
  • Traveling or using a facility of interstate commerce or common carrier.
  • Patronizing a place of public accommodation or place of exhibition or entertainment, including hotels, motels, restaurants, lunchrooms, bars, gas stations, theaters, concert halls, sports arenas or stadiums.

This statute also prohibits willful interference, by force or threat of force, with a person because he/she is or was participating in, or aiding or encouraging other persons to participate in, any of the benefits or activities listed above – or in any of the federal benefits (such as the right to vote or seek federal employment) listed in § 245(b)(1) of the statute — without discrimination as to race, color, religion, or national origin.

A violation of the statute is a misdemeanor unless prosecutors prove one of the statutory aggravating factors such as a bodily injury, use of a dangerous weapon, kidnapping , aggravated sexual abuse, death resulting from the offense, or attempt to kill, in which case there are graduated penalties up to and including life in prison or death.

A prosecution may not be undertaken without written certification from the AG, or an AAG to whom the AG has specifically delegated the power, that prosecution is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.


42 U.S.C. § 3631 Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing Section 3631 makes it unlawful for an individual to use force or threaten to use force to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person’s housing rights because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Among those housing rights enumerated in the statute are: 1) the sale, purchase, or rental of a dwelling, 2) the occupation of dwelling, 3) the financing of a dwelling, 4) contracting or negotiating for any of the rights enumerated above, and 5) applying for or participating in any service, organizations, or facility relating to the sale or rental of dwellings.

This statute also makes it unlawful to use force or threaten to use force to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person who is assisting an individual or class of persons in the exercise of their housing rights.

A violation of the statute is a misdemeanor unless prosecutors prove one of the statutory aggravating factors such as a bodily injury, use of a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, death resulting, or attempt to kill, in which case there are graduated penalties up to and including life in prison.



18 U.S.C. § 248 FACE Section 248 makes it unlawful for a person to use force, the threat of force, or physical obstruction to intentionally injure or intimidate a person because he or she is or has been obtaining or providing reproductive health services.

Section 248 also makes it unlawful for a person to use force, the threat of force, or physical obstruction to intentionally injure or intimidate a person because he or she is lawfully exercising the right of religious freedom at a place of worship.

Finally, Section 248 makes it unlawful for a person to intentionally damage or destroy the property of a facility because it provides reproductive health services, or because it is a place of worship. Section 248 also prohibits anyone from attempting to commit any of the above.

The term “reproductive health care facility,” includes both facilities that provide abortions as well as facilities that provide alternative counseling.

In the absence of aggravating factors, a first offense under this statute is a misdemeanor punishable by six months imprisonment for a non-violent obstruction offense, and up to a year for an offense involving force or threats.  A second offense (committed after conviction on a different FACE offense) is punishable by up to eighteen months in prison for a non-violent obstruction offense and by up to three years in prison for an offense involving force or threats.  If bodily injury results, then the penalty is increased to up to ten years.  If death results, the penalty may be up to life imprisonment.



18 U.S.C. § 1589 Forced Labor Section 1589 makes it unlawful to knowingly provide or obtain the labor or services of a person through one of the following prohibited means:

a.  Force, physical restraint, or threats of force or restraint to the victim or another

b.   Serious harm or threats of serious harm to the victim or another

c.   Abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process

d.   Any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause victims to believe that the victim or another would suffer serious harm or physical restraint if he/she did not perform labor/services.

Section 1589 also makes it a crime to benefit, financially or by receiving anything of value, from a venture that has engaged in conduct described in the paragraph above, knowing or in reckless disregard that the venture has provided or obtained the labor or services of a person using any of the listed prohibited means.

The statute specifies that “serious harm” may include physical or non-physical harm, including psychological, financial or reputational harm that is sufficiently serious to compel a reasonable person of the same background and circumstances as the victim to perform the labor or services in order to avoid the harm.

The offense is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, or up to life if the violation involves a statutory aggravating factor such as death resulting from the offense, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.


18 U.S.C. § 1590 Trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor Section 1590 makes it a crime to recruit, harbor, transport, provide or obtain a person by any means for labor or services in violation of Chapter 77 of U.S. Code Title 18 (covering crimes of peonage, slavery and trafficking in persons.)

The Section also punishes any person who obstructs, attempts to obstruct, interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this section.

The offense is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, or up to life if the violation involves a statutory aggravating factor such as death resulting from the offense, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

18 U.S.C. § 1591 Sex Trafficking of Children or by Force, Fraud, or Coercion Section 1591 criminalizes sex trafficking of children or of anyone by force fraud or coercion, in or affecting interstate commerce or within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United State.

Sex trafficking is defined as recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, advertising, maintaining, patronizing, or soliciting a person to engage in a commercial sex act – or benefitting financially from participating in a venture that does so.  The conduct is prohibited under this section where the trafficked person is a minor or where the trafficking conduct involves prohibited means:

  • The defendant knew or recklessly disregarded that force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion will be used to cause the victim to engage in the sex act OR
  • The defendant knew or recklessly disregarded that the victim was under the age of 18

A commercial sex act means any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.  A venture is defined as any group of two or more individuals associated in fact.

Section 1591 contains a special evidentiary provision whereby the prosecution need not prove knowledge or reckless disregard when the victim is a juvenile and the defendant had an opportunity to observe the victim.  This provision does not apply to cases that involve only benefiting financially or receiving anything of value.

The punishment is a fine and a minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment up to life if the conduct described above either involves a victim who is under the age of 14 or involves force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion.  Otherwise the punishment is a fine and a minimum of ten years imprisonment up to life.

Section 1591 also punishes any person who obstructs, attempts to obstruct, interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this statute with a fine, imprisonment up to 20 years or both.


18 U.S.C. § 1581 Peonage Section 1581 prohibits holding or returning a person to a condition of peonage, or arresting a person with intent to place or return him into a condition of peonage.

Peonage is defined as compelling someone to work against their will for payment of a debt.  Compulsion must be through force, the threat of force, physical restraint, or abuse or threatened abuse of law (imprisonment).  Section 1581 also prohibits obstructing, attempting to obstruct, interfering with or preventing enforcement of the above statute.

The offense is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, or up to life if the violation involves a statutory aggravating factor such as death resulting from the offense, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.


18 U.S.C. § 1584 Involuntary Servitude Section 1584 makes it unlawful to sell or hold a person in a condition of involuntary servitude.  This requires that the victim be forced into labor by force, threats of force, restraint, or legal coercion.

The offense is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, or up to life if the violation involves a statutory aggravating factor such as death resulting from the offense, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

Section 1584 also punishes any person who obstructs, attempts to obstruct, interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this statute with a fine, imprisonment up to 20 years or both.


18 U.S.C. § 1592 Unlawful Conduct with Respect to Documents Section 1592 makes it illegal to destroy, conceal, remove, confiscate, or possess certain documents of another person in the course of a violation of or with intent to violate certain slavery and trafficking statutes, or to prevent or restrict, or attempt to prevent or restrict, the movement or travel of a current or former victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons in order to maintain the labor or services of that person.  The statute applies to documents that are actual or purported passports, other immigration documents, or other government identification documents.

The statute also prohibits obstructing or attempting to obstruct, interfering with or preventing the enforcement of this section.

A victim of a “severe form of trafficking in persons” is defined in the civil victim protection provisions of the TVPA at 22 U.S.C. § 7102(9).The statute does not apply to the conduct of a victim of severe forms of trafficking in persons if that conduct is caused by or incident to that victimization.

The penalty for violating the statute is up to five years imprisonment.


18 U.S.C. § 1593 Mandatory Restitution This statute provides for mandatory restitution for trafficking victims in the “full amount of the victims losses” as determined by the court, and in addition to any other civil or criminal penalties.


18 U.S.C. § 1593A Benefiting financially from peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons This statute penalizes any person who benefits financially or receives anything of value from participation in a venture which has engaged in violations of §§ 1581(a) [peonage], 1592 [unlawful conduct with respect to documents], or 1595(a), knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the venture has engaged in this violation.

The penalty for a violation of this statute is the same as for a completed violation of the underlying section.

18 U.S.C. § 1594(a) Attempts This statute penalizes attempts to violate specified sections of Chapter 77, including Sections 1589 and 1591, the most commonly-charged trafficking statutes.  The penalty is the same as for a completed crime.
18 U.S.C. § 1594(b) and (c) Conspiracy These subsections of Section 1594 penalize conspiring to violate specified sections of the Chapter 77.

The penalty for conspiracy is punishable to the same extent as for the underlying violations, except in the case of § 1591 (sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud or coercion); there is no mandatory minimum for conspiracy to violate § 1591.

18 U.S.C. § 1594(d) and (e) Forfeiture This statute requires forfeiture of property used during the commission of a trafficking crime or which constitutes proceeds of such a crime.
18 U.S.C. § 1596 and

18 U.S.C. § 3271

Extra-territorial jurisdiction § 1596 gives extraterritorial jurisdiction over specified violations of Chapter 77, and over attempts and conspiracies to commit those offenses, if the alleged offender is a national or lawful permanent resident of the United States, or if the alleged offender is present in the United States.

For conduct that occurred prior to enactment of § 1596 or that is not covered by that section, § 3271 is available to prosecute extraterritorial violations of Chapter 77 (peonage, slavery and trafficking in persons) and Chapter 117 (transportation for illegal sexual activity) committed by individuals employed by or accompanying the federal government.

Related criminal statutes used to prosecute human traffickers Multiple Statutes In order to obtain justice against individuals involved in human trafficking, the Division makes use of a range of related criminal statutes.  The Division does not prosecute these statutes in every case in which they are violated, but only where there is evidence of a victim of severe forms of trafficking in persons.  Examples of related statutes commonly used to prosecute human traffickers include:

18 USC § 2421 – Transportation or attempted transportation of a person in interstate or foreign commerce, with intent that the person engage in prostitution or other sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a crime, is punishable by a fine or up to ten years’ imprisonment or both.

18 USC § 2422 – Transportation of a minor in interstate or foreign commerce, with intent that the minor engage in prostitution or other sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a crime, is punishable by a fine and a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment or for life.  This section also prohibits travel in interstate and foreign commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct involving children; engaging in such illicit sexual conduct in foreign places; and facilitating such travel.  These offenses are punishable by a fine or up to 30 years’ imprisonment, or both.  Attempts and conspiracy to violate this section are punishable to the same extent as the underlying violation.

18 USC § 1351 – Fraud in foreign labor contracting involves the use of materially false or fraudulent pretenses to recruit a person outside the United States for employment in the United States or for employment outside the United States on a US government contract, military installation or mission.  This violation is punishable by a fine or up to five years’ imprisonment, or both.

18 USC § 1546 – Fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other documents.

8 USC § 1324 – Bringing and harboring certain aliens.  This section describes violations related to smuggling, harboring and hiring for employment of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.  Penalties range from a fine and imprisonment for not more than one year up to life imprisonment or death, depending on the conduct and on the presence of aggravating factors.

8 USC § 1328 – Importation of alien for immoral purpose.  This section punishes any person who imports or holds, or so attempts, or keeps, maintains, controls, supports or harbors an alien for the purpose of prostitution or any other immoral purpose.  The penalty is a fine, imprisonment for up to ten years, or both.

Updated July 28, 2017



The Department of Justice (“The Department”) vigorously investigates and, where the evidence permits, prosecutes allegations of Constitutional violations by law enforcement officers. The Department’s investigations most often involve alleged uses of excessive force, but also include sexual misconduct, theft, false arrest, and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs or a substantial risk of harm to a person in custody. These cases typically involve police officers, jailers, correctional officers, probation officers, prosecutors, judges, and other federal, state, or local law enforcement officials. The Department’s authority extends to all law enforcement conduct, regardless of whether an officer is on or off duty, so long as he/she is acting, or claiming to act, in his/her official capacity.

In addition to Constitutional violations, the Department prosecutes law enforcement officers for related instances of obstruction of justice. This includes attempting to prevent a victim or witnesses from reporting the misconduct, lying to federal, state, or local officials during the course of an investigation into the potential misconduct, writing a false report to conceal misconduct, or fabricating evidence.

The principles of federal prosecution, set forth in the United States Attorneys’ Manual (“USAM”), require federal prosecutors to meet two standards in order to seek an indictment.

First, the government must be convinced that the potential defendant committed a federal crime. Second, the government must also conclude that the government would be likely to prevail at trial, where the government must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. SeeUSAM § 9-27.220.[1]

[1] The USAM provides only internal Department of Justice guidance. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter civil or criminal. Nor are any limitations hereby placed on otherwise lawful litigative prerogatives of the Department of Justice.



The federal criminal statute that enforces Constitutional limits on conduct by law enforcement officers is 18 U.S.C. § 242. Section 242 provides in relevant part:

“Whoever, under color of any law, …willfully subjects any person…to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States [shall be guilty of a crime].”

Section 242 is intended to “protect all persons in the United States in their civil rights, and furnish the means of their vindication.” Screws v. United States, 325 U.S. 91, 98 (1945) (quoting legislative history).

To prove a violation of § 242, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant deprived a victim of a right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, (2) that the defendant acted willfully, and (3) that the defendant was acting under color of law. A violation of § 242 is a felony if one of the following conditions is met: the defendant used, attempted to use, or threatened to use a dangerous weapon, explosive or fire; the victim suffered bodily injury; the defendant’s actions included attempted murder, kidnapping or attempted kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse or attempted aggravated sexual abuse, or the crime resulted in death. Otherwise, the violation is a misdemeanor.

Establishing the intent behind a Constitutional violation requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the law enforcement officer knew what he/she was doing was wrong and against the law and decided to do it anyway. Therefore, even if the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual’s Constitutional right was violated, § 242 requires that the government prove that the law enforcement officer intended to engage in the unlawful conduct and that he/she did so knowing that it was wrong or unlawful. See Screws v. United States, 325 U.S. 91, 101-107 (1945). Mistake, fear, misperception, or even poor judgment does not constitute willful conduct prosecutable under the statute.

Physical Assault

In cases of physical assault, such as allegations of excessive force by an officer, the underlying Constitutional right at issue depends on the custodial status of the victim. If the victim has just been arrested or detained, or if the victim is being held in jail but has not yet been convicted, the government must, in most cases, prove that that the law enforcement officer used more force than is reasonably necessary to arrest or gain control of the victim. This is an objective standard dependant on what a reasonable officer would do under the same circumstances. “The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396-97 (1989).

If the victim is a convicted prisoner, the government must show that the law enforcement officer used physical force to punish , retaliate against, an inmate, or otherwise cause harm to the prisoner, rather than to protect the officer or others from harm or to maintain order in the facility. See Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 319 (1986).

Sexual Misconduct

Law enforcement officers who engage in nonconsensual sexual contact with persons in their custody deprive those persons of liberty without due process of law, which includes the right to bodily integrity. The Department investigates and prosecutes instances of nonconsensual sexual misconduct committed by patrol officers, federal and state probation officers, wardens, and corrections officers, among others. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault without consent (rape), sexual contact procured by force, threat of force or coercion, and unwanted or gratuitous sexual contact such as touching or groping.

To prove that a law enforcement officer violated a victim’s right to bodily integrity, the government must prove that the victim did not consent to the defendant’s actions. Prosecutors can establish lack of consent or submission by showing that the defendant officer used either force or coercion to overcome the victim’s will. It is not necessary to prove that the defendant used actual violence against the victim. Coercion may exist if a victim is told that an officer will bring false charges or cause the victim to suffer unjust punishment.

Deliberate Indifference to a Serious Medical Condition or a Substantial Risk of Harm

Section 242 prohibits a law enforcement officer from acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to persons in custody. Therefore, an officer cannot deliberately ignore a serious medical condition of or risk of serious harm (such as a risk that an inmate will be assaulted by other inmates or officers) to a person in custody.  To prove deliberate indifference, the government must prove that the victim faced a substantial risk of serious harm; that the officer had actual knowledge of the risk of harm; and that the officer failed to take reasonable measures to abate it.

Failure to Intervene

An officer who purposefully allows a fellow officer to violate a victim’s Constitutional rights may be prosecuted for failure to intervene to stop the Constitutional violation. To prosecute such an officer, the government must show that the defendant officer was aware of the Constitutional violation, had an opportunity to intervene, and chose not to do so. This charge is often appropriate for supervisory officers who observe uses of excessive force without stopping them, or who actively encourage uses of excessive force but do not directly participate in them.

Updated July 28, 2017
Was this page helpful? 
Yes No



Since 1968, when Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed into law, the first federal hate crimes statute, the Department of Justice has been enforcing federal hate crimes laws.  The 1968 statute made it a crime to use, or threaten to use, force to willfully interfere with any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin and because the person is participating  in a federally protected activity, such as public education, employment, jury service, travel, or the enjoyment of public accommodations, or helping another person to do so.  In 1968, Congress also made it a crime to use, or threaten to use, force to interfere with housing rights because of the victim’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; in 1988, protections on the basis of familial status and were added.  In 1996, Congress passed the Church Arson Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. § 247.  Under this Act, it is a crime to deface, damage, or destroy religious real property, or interfere with a person’s religious practice, in situations affecting interstate commerce.  The Act also bars defacing, damaging, or destroying religious property because of the race, color, or ethnicity of persons associated with the property.

In 2009, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, expanding the federal definition of hate crimes, enhancing the legal toolkit available to prosecutors, and increasing the ability of federal law enforcement to support our state and local partners.  This law removed then existing jurisdictional obstacles to prosecutions of certain race- and religion-motivated violence.,, and added new federal protections against crimes based on gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.  Before the Civil Rights Division prosecutes a hate crime, the Attorney General or someone the Attorney General designates must certify, in writing, that (1) the state does not have jurisdiction; (2) the state has requested that the federal government assume jurisdiction; (3) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to state charges did not demonstratively vindicate the federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or (4) a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.  In the seven years since the passage of the Shepard-Byrd Act, the Justice Department has charged 72 defendants and convicted 45 defendants under this statute.  In total, as of July 15, 2016, the department has charged 258 defendants for hate crimes under multiple statutes over the last seven years.


The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, 18 U.S.C. § 249 The Shepard Byrd Act makes it a federal crime to willfully cause bodily injury, or attempt to do so using a dangerous weapon, because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin. The Act also extends federal hate crime prohibitions to crimes committed because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person, only where the crime affected interstate or foreign commerce or occurred within federal special maritime and territorial jurisdiction.  The Shepard-Byrd Act is the first statute allowing federal criminal prosecution of hate crimes motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.


Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing, 42 U.S.C. § 3631 This statute makes it a crime to use, or threaten to use force to interfere with housing rights because of the victim’s race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.
Damage to Religious Property, Church Arson Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. § 247 This statute prohibits the intentional defacement, damage, or destruction of religious real property because of the religious nature of the property, where the crime affects interstate or foreign commerce, or because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of the people associated with the property.  The statute also criminalizes the intentional obstruction by force, or threat of force of any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs.


Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights, 18 U.S.C. § 245 This statute makes it a crime to use, or threaten to use force to willfully interfere with any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin and because the person is participating  in a federally protected activity, such as public education, employment, jury service, travel, or the enjoyment of public accommodations, or helping another person to do so.


Conspiracy Against Rights, 18 U.S.C. § 241 This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory, or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or the laws of the U.S.
Updated July 28, 2017


    On April 5, 2017, Attorney General Sessions released details about the Department’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. The Attorney General highlighted the importance of combating hate crimes by creating, as part of that overall Committee, a Hate Crimes Subcommittee. The Attorney General stressed in the statement he made announcing the Subcommittee’s creation:

We will not tolerate threats or acts of violence targeting any person or community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs or background. Accordingly, the Hate Crimes Subcommittee will develop a plan to appropriately address hate crimes to better protect the rights of all Americans.

     The Hate Crimes Subcommittee is led by Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore, and is made up of subject matter experts including career prosecutors in the Civil Rights Division, United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. The Hate Crime Subcommittee also includes FBI agents with supervisory authority over hate crime investigations and FBI agents who oversee FBI’s hate crime data collection. The Subcommittee also includes members of DOJ’s Community Relations Service (CRS), who are community relations experts who are often deployed to communities in the wake of an incident, and experts from the COPS office, who are familiar with community orientated policing. Other experts from across the Department also will contribute their experience and expertise.

The Attorney General’s mandate to the Hate Crime Subcommittee is to take a hard look whether there is anything that the Department can do to improve reporting, investigation, and prosecution of hate crimes. The Hate Crime Subcommittee will both explore whether improvements can be made within the federal system and whether we can do more to assist our state and local partners. The Hate Crime Subcommittee will also examine hate crimes data collection.

As part of this mission, the Attorney General asked the Hate Crime Subcommittee to consult with the relevant stakeholders and gather suggestions on ways, big and small, that the Department might better investigate, prosecute, and prevent hate crimes. On June 29, the Hate Crimes Subcommittee will hold a one-day summit to foster a conversation around this topic. Stakeholders will also be afforded the opportunity to provide written suggestions. This summit will allow the members of the Subcommittee, identified above, to meet with stakeholders from across the community to get their input before making its recommendation to the Attorney General.

Updated August 30, 2017

NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE Joined by Allies, President Trump Takes Action to End Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attacks

The devastating images that emerged from Douma, Syria, on April 7 reveal the unique and gruesome danger that chemical weapons pose to the world. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s latest attack on innocent civilians violated his regime’s obligations under international law, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and several United Nations Security Council Resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 2118.

It also represents human cruelty in its most depraved form. The Assad regime must be held accountable.

Speaking to the Nation last night, President Donald J. Trump explained that he ordered U.S. Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with Syrian chemical weapons capabilities. He thanked the United Kingdom and France for joining America in the operation, which will continue to pressure Syria to stop using chemical weapons by integrating the other instruments of our national power: economic, informational, and diplomatic.

“Today, the nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality,” President Trump said. He emphasized the savagery of chemical attacks, with evidence from Douma documenting victims suffering from asphyxiation and foaming at the mouth.

“The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air,” the President said. “These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead.”

Unlike the regime and its backers in Syria, the United States and its allies made every effort to minimize the risk of civilian casualties in their response. Yesterday’s strikes against Syrian facilities were legitimate, proportionate, and justified.

Most important, they were necessary. Chemical weapons are a unique danger to civilized nations not only because of their brutality, but because even small amounts can trigger widespread devastation. To prevent their spread, everyone must understand that the costs of using chemical weapons will always outweigh any military or political benefits.

America’s past failures to act undermined that goal. With each chemical attack that goes unpunished, dangerous regimes see an opportunity to expand their arsenal. That threat alone is grave enough, but the biggest hazard is that unstable governments cannot control these stockpiles. As state inventories of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons grow, so too does the likelihood that such weapons will fall into terrorist hands—and put American lives at risk.

President Trump made it clear that Assad’s enablers share culpability for his actions. “To Iran, and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?” President Trump said yesterday. “The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep.”

The President’s comments come as the Trump Administration has taken new actions to confront destabilizing and malicious behavior by Russia, including tough sanctions on Russian oligarchs, government officials, and entities that support activities to undermine the United States, as well as the ejection of Russian intelligence operatives in response to Russia’s chemical weapons attack in Salisbury, England.

When it comes to Syria, “Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path, or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace,” President Trump said.

The Administration has set clear terms for America’s involvement in the Middle East. Nation-building is not on the table; the protection of American interests is. President Trump said the United States is not seeking a long-term presence in Syria, nor will it renege establishing a strong deterrent against the use of chemical weapons. If a true, lasting peace is to be found in Syria, it will be the result of the full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254 and the U.N.-led Geneva process rather than military means.

“In the last century, we looked straight into the darkest places of the human soul,” the President said. “By the end of the World War I, more than one million people had been killed or injured by chemical weapons. We never want to see that ghastly specter return.”

Remarks by CEA Chairman Kevin Hassett to New York Federal Reserve Bank ECONOMY & JOBS

As prepared for delivery by Kevin Hassett on April 23, 2018.

It is a pleasure to be here in New York today with you all to speak on the topic of situating Administration policy in a broader economic context, both in the U.S. and abroad. And it is an honor to be here in the presence of so many distinguished economists and policymakers.

Looking out at the crowd, I see many friends who I’ve known for years. And so I cannot help but be reminded of the first projects I worked on as an economist exploring the effects of policy changes on the economy. Being here takes me back to a time that was really only a few years ago—a few years, if you take the logarithm of the raw data, per the econometric conventions of the economics profession.

The econometric issue in question was a focus of mine in graduate school and as a faculty member at Columbia. It is the issue of how to generate causal estimates of the effect of policy changes. The intuition for this issue—one that as CEA Chair I can now confirm to be true—is that policy changes are not random. Policymakers formulate policy in response to current and expected economic conditions. Looking at correlations between policy variables and the trajectory of economic conditions would lead only to spurious estimates of how policy influences economic conditions. A correlation does not a causal estimate make. Moreover, the direction of the bias can tend to be non-random. Policies intended to reverse or mitigate bad economic conditions would appear to cause deteriorations in economic conditions. Think of it like this: Visits to the doctor would appear, based on a perusal of raw data on treatments and outcomes, to cause a downturn in one’s health.

I can remember that my first regression in this space in graduate school revealed that investment tax credits cause steep reductions in investment. Puzzling through a wrong-signed result, it rapidly became clear that ITC’s in the U.S. were almost always on during recessions. A large academic literature found that the user cost elasticity of investment was essentially zero. But policymakers tended to enact investment tax credits in response to current or expected downturns in economic conditions. Was the endogeneity of policy driving the result?

Indeed it was, as Alan Auerbach and I showed in one of my first publications. Alan Auerbach and I exploited the fact that the user cost of capital varies cross-sectionally when there is a tax reduction, but that this variation is surely inadvertent. Looking at the 1986 tax reform, Alan and I used this exogenous variation to generate a robust test of the predictions of the neoclassical model. We found the elasticity was not zero, but had the correct sign and might even be north of unity. The endogeneity of policy, unaccounted for in the previous literature, explained the apparent ineffectiveness of policy.

Only a few log(years) later, our inference that tax policy influences behavior seems to have stood the test of time. The capacity of economic research to identify the causal effects of variation in policy has also grown. The literature’s arc towards larger rather than smaller estimates of the effects of policy variables is all around us, and in the top journals. Consider, for instance, the emergence of what is called “the narrative approach” to identifying the effects of tax policy on economic activity. These methodologies harness advances in computational power and natural language processing to identify the stated motivations of the policymakers that Alan and I worried about only a few log(years) ago. While no single paper can be dispositive, consider that the February 2018 online issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics features an article that draws on this narrative approach to estimate an elasticity of personal income with respect to marginal tax rates. The paper’s headline estimates were north of 1 (1.2 to be exact)—very high by contemporary standards as well as those of the literature a few log(years) ago.

But the identification of causal effects from econometric estimates can require assumptions about the structure and functional form of relationships between a specified set of policy variables and measures of economic activity. That is in addition to the requirement, of course, that you have the relevant data at hand in the first place—a requirement typically only satisfied in hindsight. But we value knowing now whether the policy is working as intended. The observation of the variation in forecasts before and after a policy is changed offers one way of looking at the policy’s likely effects, just as Alan and I did in our first paper. And so, as we economists wait for evaluations of the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on economic growth to percolate through the peer-review process and into academic journals, looking at changes in growth forecasts before and after the TCJA offers one way to gauge its expected effect on growth.

The evolution of recent forecast revisions is quite revealing, and consistent with the tax act having a large effect on growth expectations. If one looks, for example, at the Blue Chip consensus forecast for four-quarter real GDP growth in 2018 and 2019, it was roughly flat throughout most of 2017, as media coverage of the legislative prospects for the Administration’s economic agenda was generally pessimistic. Consensus forecasts through November 2017 were therefore low—2.3 to 2.4 percent in 2018 and 2.1 percent in 2019.

Since November, however, we’ve seen steady upward revisions in private forecasts. As of this month, the Blue Chip consensus forecast is now for 2018 growth of 2.8 percent, and 2019 growth of 2.3 percent, upward revisions of 0.5 and 0.2 percentage point since the tax act was passed. Official forecasts revisions suggest an even bigger bump. In its last forecast before the tax bill was passed, the Congressional Budget Office projected growth of 2.0 and 1.5 percent in 2018 and 2019. That has now been revised up substantially—to 3.3 and 2.4 percent, respectively. In other words, the CBO now projects growth to be more than a percentage point higher, on average, over the next two years than they did a year ago. In addition, over the same timeframe, the CBO revised up its forecast of projected corporate income tax receipts over the 2018-2027 period by $476 billion. Which exceeds the CBO’s own $409 billion static score of the TCJA. Ex ante, knowing only that the TCJA passed, based on my paper on corporate tax rates and the Laffer curve with Alex Brill, one could have predicted such a revenue increase.

Meanwhile, last summer, before the tax debate got seriously underway, the Federal Open Market Committee median forecast was for growth of just 2.1 and 1.9 percent in 2018 and 2019. That has since been revised up by 0.6 and 0.5 percentage point, respectively, with most of the upward revision occurring in December, as the tax bill made it over the legislative finish line.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund released its April 2018 World Economic Outlook (WEO). Global growth for 2018 was revised up 0.2 percentage point from its October WEO release to 3.9 percent year-over-year. The IMF attributes roughly half of the global growth revision to changes in U.S. fiscal policy. When honing in on the United States, the IMF’s April 2018 update to its October 2017 World Economic Outlook revised up its growth forecast by 0.6 percentage point from October to 2.9 percent year-over-year. According to the IMF, one reason for this upward revision is the macroeconomic effects stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December.

The IMF’s April upwards revision to its October global growth forecast in the wake of the passage of the TCJA follows the OECD’s March upwards revision to its November global growth forecast. For the U.S., its 2018 outlook increased by 0.4 percentage point to 2.9 percent and its 2019 outlook increased by 0.7 percentage point to 2.8 percent. And the OECD’s March Economic Outlook cited as one of the “key factors behind the upward revision to global growth prospects in 2018 and 2019” the “tax reductions . . . announced in the last three months.”

I note in passing that these revisions are almost exactly what our analysis from last year implied they would be once the bill passes.

As for global growth, CEA’s own in-house analysis finds that exogenous tax changes in the world’s largest economy have large effects on global growth, suggesting the recent rise in growth expectations around the world is more the result of fiscal developments in the United States than the other way around. Applying the Romer & Romer exogenous tax shock series to a global structural vector autoregressive model indicates that a 1 percent cut in U.S. taxes as a fraction of GDP raises growth in the European Union by 0.8 percent in the year immediately following, with a peak impact of 1.2 percent after 2 years. We can reject the null hypothesis of no effect with 95 percent confidence. The estimated effect on the rest of the world is even bigger, with a peak impact after 2 years of 2.1 percent, and we can actually reject the null with 95 percent in both years 1 and 2.

While the mechanisms relating exogenous U.S. tax changes to global growth remain an open and, I believe, fascinating question for our ongoing work, the magnitude of the effect strongly suggests they extend far beyond the arithmetic relationship implied by the U.S. share of global GDP. Our own intuition is that other countries often learn from U.S. success, and adopt similar policies. Policy is endogenous, and successful policies are copied.

These forecasts are revised with an eye toward the literature that now rejects a user cost elasticity of zero. But don’t just believe the forecasts. You can already see the effects emerging in the data. Real private nonresidential fixed investment increased 6.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Equipment investment rose 8.9 percent, thanks largely to the tax law’s allowance for full expensing of equipment investment retroactively to September 2017. In March 2018, the Morgan Stanley Composite Capital Expenditure Plans Index reached its highest level since it began tracking in 2006. The three-month moving average is up 34 percent since November 2017, the last month before the bill became law. Goldman Sachs’ capex tracker is similarly at a cycle high.

When the literature settles, I am sure that we will discover many patterns in the data that we did not expect. But if this investment boom continues as expected, I think you will all agree, it will mark an important and historic moment of success for economics as a science that guides policy.

Understanding the Threat

The United States today faces very real, very grave national security threats. Extremism and international terrorism flourish in too many areas of the world, threatening our warfighters, our allies and our homeland. Regional conflicts can have serious effects on U.S. national interests. Hostile foreign governments and terrorists trade in, or seek to acquire, weapons of mass destruction and/or the materials to produce them. Tons of illegal drugs are smuggled into our country each year.

The newest threats we face, and perhaps the fastest growing, are those in cyberspace. Cyber threats to U.S. national and economic security increase each year in frequency, scope and severity of impact. Cyber criminals, hackers and foreign adversaries are becoming more sophisticated and capable every day in their ability to use the Internet for nefarious purposes.

As a nation, we are dependent on the Internet – we use it for everything. We communicate online, bank and shop online, and store much of our personal information there. In business, education and government, we all count on having ready access to the Internet and its many capabilities as we go about our daily routines. The Internet opens up new worlds to users.

But while cyberspace offers great opportunities, it also comes with vulnerabilities. Our information networks and technology are constantly at risk from a variety of bad actors using a multitude of techniques – remote hacking intrusions, the placement of malware, spearphishing and other means of gaining access to networks and information.

Some of these bad actors are criminals motivated by profit, particularly in the areas of identity theft and other forms of financial cybercrime. The cost of cybercrime – already in the billions of dollars – rises each year.

But cyber threats also come from nation states and other actors who seek to exploit information to gain an advantage over the United States. They might seek an economic advantage, or to gain insight into our military or foreign policy. Denial of service attacks disrupt business and undermine confidence.

Terrorists and extremist groups today use the power of the Internet, especially social media, to spread their messages of hate and intolerance, and to recruit new members, often targeting vulnerable young people. The global reach of cyberspace and the complexity of its networks provide bad actors ample places to hide, safe from the reach of international law.

To meet these threats, our national leaders, military leaders, policy makers and law enforcement personnel must understand who our adversaries are, where they are, and what their capabilities, plans and intentions are. At the same time, we must ensure that we protect our own national security information from those who would do us harm. These are the capabilities that the National Security Agency provides to our nation, to our leaders and to our fellow Americans – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Date Posted: May 3, 2016 | Last Modified: May 3, 2016

NSA’s Innovative Cyber Tool: “Unfetter” Makes Cyber Better

Unfetter text-based logo

Cyber threats are real, growing, and among the biggest security challenges that public and private institutions face.

The internet and connected systems are interwoven into our daily lives – and our economy would not function without them. At the same time, such dependency introduces new and evolving cyber threats, placing networks at risk.

In this environment, knowing how to take advantage of cyber threat intelligence to help protect systems is critical. But all too often, such information is complex and difficult to use.

What if a suite of tools could offer these critical research insights to anyone, positioning decision-makers in various industries to incorporate network-protection techniques?

NSA developed such a solution with “Unfetter,” which is designed for collaborative communities.

It brings together network defenders and threat analysts to create, share, and use complex cyber threat intelligence to enhance decision-making.


Unfetter creates a common lexicon to describe the intelligence for users’ consumption. It also includes an Analytic Exchange app that helps threat analysts publish and share analytics, encouraging collaboration.

Its Capability Assessment app helps network defenders assess security capabilities, critical controls, and analytics from the Exchange.

Additionally, Unfetter’s Threat Dashboard app helps threat intelligence analysts build detailed reports about threat actors’ behavior, attackers’ techniques, and the tools used. Threat intelligence teams can then track and share these reports with their customers.

Test it for yourself. The software can be downloaded and customized:

At the National Security Agency, our mission is to help protect the nation 24/7/365. We are constantly innovating. We are constantly seeking new ways to outmaneuver adversaries who want to harm the United States and our allies.

Date Posted: April 24, 2018 | Last Modified: April 24, 2018

The Anatomy of Counterintelligence

2 JULY 96

No Foreign Dissem

The essentials of organizing a counterintelligence service.


A. C. Wasemiller

The first purpose of this study was to help the authorities in emerging or young nations in which a counterintelligence capability is lacking or deficient. Such countries are especially vulnerable in this era, when Soviet skills in espionage, counterespionage, and subversion have been refined for half a century.

Even within the US intelligence community, however, some confusion and disagreement about counterintelligence persists. For example, it is often misunderstood as another name for security. Because the article strips away the flesh and reveals the bones of its subject, it may be useful to us here as well as to others overseas.

The paper describes the basic structure and functions of a counterintelligence service in a free society. The subject is not, however, a model CI service, if “model” is understood to mean an ideal or a pattern of excellence, created to be imitated. In this sense of the word, no model service exists. There are wide national variations in such matters as laws governing espionage and security, in budgets and manpower, and in the kind and intensity of threats. These differences are so great that a single model would not do for all countries, so that each must develop its own CI organization specifically adapted to its own environment and its own special requirements. It is possible, on the other hand, to describe the essential or standard functions which most such services share, and to show the kind of organization that derives from these functions.

The inquirers should also be put on clear notice concerning the gravity of the commitments they propose to undertake, and of the eventual dimensions of the task. The fact is that a defensive service usually must accept responsibilities which exceed the requirements of security if security is construed, as it often is, to consist of passive defenses against clandestine and covert attacks upon the installations, personnel, and activities of official or semi-official bodies whose methods and sources the government desires to protect against unauthorized disclosure. Although it is possible to describe and even to create a security service concerned solely with these defenses, such an organization would soon find itself unequal to its task. Established intelligence and counterintelligence services, especially those of the USSR, are too competent and too strong to be defeated or even contained by purely defensive tactics. The counterintelligence service must be aggressive. It must learn all it can about its country’s enemies. It must learn their secrets and be privy to their councils. This essay is intended as a short course in how these things can be done.



Counterintelligence is both an activity and its product. The product is reliable information about all those enemies of a country who attack it by stealth. Some of these enemies are professional intelligence officers and the agents who serve them. Others act under cover to promote subversion or insurrection rather than espionage or counterintelligence. Still others may be non-Communists or anti-Communists who employ the same underground tactics to try to take by stealth and force what they cannot gain through winning the open allegiance of a free people.

As an activity, counterintelligence consists of two matching halves, security and counterespionage. Security consists basically of establishing passive or static defenses against all hostile and concealed acts, regardless of who carries them out. Counterespionage requires the identification of a specific adversary, a knowledge of the specific operations that he is conducting, and a countering of those operations through penetrating and manipulating them so that their thrust is turned back against the aggressor.

Certain pre-conditions must exist if a domestic counterintelligence service is to be effective. Once these prerequisites are at hand, the service can develop a capability to carry out its functions. The functions, in turn, determine the structure of the service.

The primary pre-condition is that the service must be established by law as an element of the central government. If its existence is not based on law, its opponents will attack it openly or clandestinely, and eventually they will weaken and even destroy it. If it has a legal basis but is not a governmental entity, its position is little better; it cannot survive indefinitely.

The service must be an element or arm of the executive branch of the government. The executive may, at its own discretion, permit the legislature a degree of insight into the service and its work. But it ought not to permit any measure of legislative control, because if does so, the service will be unable to protect the secrets which it is legally charged with shielding. It will lose control of these secrets, partly because too many will know them for effective security. In addition, to the extent that they have control, legislators may try to use it for factional rather than national purposes. The service will stand in danger of becoming enmeshed in passing political struggles and of suffering internal splits and dissensions which mirror the factionalism of the political world.

The chief of the service must have direct access to the chief executive. The latter may interpose a person or group between himself and the chief of service for the conduct of routine business. But if the service is competent, it will from time to time obtain critical security information which must go directly to the chief executive for reasons of both efficiency and security. The need for direct access may arise infrequently, and a wise chief of service will exercise prudence in seeking it. The right to direct access, however, should be explicit and unquestioned.

The central office, or headquarters, of the service will need regional offices, except in a very small country. These regional offices should, by law or service regulation, be subordinate to the headquarters. If regional offices are autonomous or nearly so, the service can function only through the slow process of coordination and persuasion. The timing of counterintelligence operations is frequently dictated by the initiatives of the adversary or prompted by anticipating these initiatives. The delays which inevitably result from arguments about jurisdiction and pleas for voluntary cooperation would result in so many lost opportunities that the result would be a mounting heap of failures. The degree of centralization is something else again. Democratic nations rightly distrust any domestic service which wields anything even distantly approaching the power of a Gestapo or of the KGB inside the USSR.

We are here primarily concerned with the kind of internal counterintelligence service which does not have police functions and which therefore conducts appropriate coordination with the police. Sometimes, however, the two functions are blended. Many police forces have a special branch employing much the same equipment and techniques as those used by a counterintelligence service, and in some countries the special branch is the sole counterintelligence service. Under such circumstances, however, it is important that the special branch personnel be as adept in counterintelligence as in countering crime, and that they recognize the significant difference between the two. This is a difference in targets and timing rather than methods.

The Cl specialist is waging a secret war against hostile foreign intelligence services and against concealed subversion, whether it is directed by a foreign government, the international Communist movement, a local Communist Party, or any other internal or external foe. The specialist in police work is waging a war against crime. The two specialties merge when hidden hostile activity is also criminal, or when the criminal activity is concealed and directed against the country itself. When this is not the case, when the criminal is not a clandestine agent or the spy is not committing a crime, the differences between counterintelligence and police work are sharper. The duty of the police officer, for example, is to arrest a culprit as soon as possible. The counterintelligence officer, on the contrary, will usually prefer not to show his hand until he has all the information he can get. Or he may conceal his knowledge, even when all relevant facts have been dug out, in order to mislead his adversaries, to manipulate them with or without their knowledge, and thus to make their efforts serve his ends.

Whether the counterintelligence service should have police powers, as distinct from police duties, is moot. Generally it will not need them unless and until the spies and subversives who constitute most of its targets commit an illegal act, at which point the police can be called in to act as the executive arm if the counterintelligence service so chooses. Some executive powers are very useful to a counterintelligence service. Among these are the rights to take evidence under oath, to require citizens to give testimony which is not self-incriminatory, and to subpoena witnesses. Obtaining and using such powers may, however, arouse public resentment, and the price may be too high. A counterintelligence service in a free land needs the respect and support of the citizenry, which will fear and hate any internal service that uses dictatorial tactics or that acquires a reputation for doing so. Therefore, even if the law of the land allocates certain police powers to the internal service, they should be used very sparingly, never merely for convenience, and only when a failure to employ them would probably have grave consequences for the national security.

The director of the service may or may not have arbitrary powers of employment. The law may, for example, prescribe that the service will employ civil service regulations or procedures, including those governing hiring. The director may be barred from employing certain classes of personnel: known security risks, sexual deviates, criminals, etc. All such restrictions would do no significant damage if applied to the hiring of staff personnel. But the director must have the arbitrary power to refuse employment to a seemingly qualified applicant and to discharge an employee without publicly stating the cause. These provisions are essential to the security of the service. The director also needs the right to stipulate certain legally binding conditions not ordinarily imposed. Among these are the obligations of the employee to submit to physical search of his person or of objects which he wishes to carry from the place of employment, to keep secret all information about his duties even after employment ends, to submit to the service for advance clearance the text of any speech or manuscript intended for public release, and to report promptly and in detail any contacts, official or personal, which are potentially or actually damaging to the security of the service. It does not suffice to list such principles merely in internal service regulations which lack legal force. The director must have effective sanctions at his disposal.

If extant law does not include the equivalent of an official secrets act, the director will be well-advised to consider the desirability and feasibility of getting such legislation on the books. It is probable that his charter will charge him with protecting classified information, as well as methods and sources. But he may not be able to do so if any journalist or other private person who comes into possession of classified information can with impunity make it public.

The internal counterintelligence service should not be a military organization or part of one unless the principles of organization and management outlined above can be followed. In most instances, it would be difficult to do so because, in any military agency, the intelligence and counterintelligence components are quite properly subordinate elements serving the purposes of command. The service, on the other hand, should be solely and exclusively concerned with national counterintelligence. Its personnel should be professionals expected to devote their careers to the work.

Other departments and agencies of the government will also be custodians of national secrets. The security of these other components is therefore a matter of national counterintelligence concern, especially if they have representatives abroad. However, the managerial and operational responsibility for this kind of security should not be assigned to the internal CI service. Each government element should be responsible for its own departmental security. One reason is that a department so charged is likely to maintain higher standards and morale among its employees. Moreover, maintaining an effective watch over the security of the installations, personnel, and activities of other departments and agencies would be sure to exceed the capability of even a very large internal service.

It does not follow, however, that the service has no part to play here. On the contrary, it must try to establish high, uniform standards of security for all. It must provide advice and training to others. It should also keep them appropriately informed about hostile clandestine capabilities, personnel, and intentions. It ought to receive detailed reports from any department or agency which suffers security damage, collate this information, and draw conclusions. It should maintain a central registry of all non-overt operatives used by other departments and agencies, to prevent fraud and working at cross-purposes. It should also establish and keep current another kind of central file, containing information about known and suspected spies and subversives in the service of adversaries and about their superiors. In short, it needs to be kept fully informed about what friend and foe are doing and to play a central, coordinating role in the national intelligence community. But it does not play the part of policeman for the community.

[Top of page]



All the functions of counterintelligence derive from the nature and resultant activities of the adversary. For an imaginary example, let us suppose that country “X” is conducting espionage against country “Y” The latter’s counterintelligence service discovers that country “X” has changed its system for communicating with its agents in country “Y.” Until recently it had done so through couriers who left and picked up messages written in secret ink and concealed in dead drops. Now most of the agents are sending and receiving coded radio messages. The result will be the creation or sudden strengthening of a group in the defending counterintelligence service which will intercept messages, conduct electronic direction finding, try to break codes, capture radio operators and play them back, and so forth.

Generally speaking, the function of the internal counterintelligence service is to protect the lawfully constituted government against concealed attack, The government has other defenders to deal with open aggression; the CI service is properly concerned only with hostile clandestine and covert activity. Clandestine activity is that which the enemy tries to conceal totally. It usually takes the form of espionage, counterespionage, subversion, or—much more rarely—sabotage. Covert activity is not fully concealed; in fact, it is likely to take the form of a newspaper article or radio broadcast, or even terrorism, for which the widest possible publicity is sought. What the enemy tries to hide in this type of action is his sponsorship or other involvement. The goal of the CI service is to learn everything it can about these two kinds of inimical action, and therefore about the people carrying out the action, without letting these persons become aware that the service is acquiring such information. Only by making available to the government information about its enemies which is complete enough to include all essentials and which was acquired secretly, so that the enemies remain unwarned, can the counterintelligence service do the task for which it was created and designed.

[Top of page]



No counterintelligence service can do its job alone. The Communist services and parties are world-wide organizations which operate from Free Country “A” against Free Country “B,” from “B” against “C” (or “C,” “D,” and “E”) moving so fluidly across and over national borders that a defense which stops at the borders will lose its war. Therefore the service must have a close working relationship with other organizations, domestic and foreign, which can help it. The domestic departments and agencies most likely to have functions of counterintelligence significance are to be found in the executive and legislative branches of the government and in the intelligence components of the armed forces. The service also needs the cooperation of the citizenry.

Within the legislative branch of government there may be various committees also concerned with the country’s security, and especially with its defenses against subversion. The service will find it profitable to maintain a liaison relationship with such groups.

The counterintelligence service will also need to maintain liaison with other friendly services concerned with foreign collection as well as counterintelligence. Collaboration with services in the former category is useful because they sometimes acquire counterintelligence as a by-product of positive operations. Moreover, their primary targets in (and outside) the host country are representatives and installations of Communist states. They thus share with the defenders of the country’s security a solid common interest. The Communist services persistently use diplomatic, commercial, journalistic, and other representations for cover. By working with non-Communist espionage services attacking these targets, the CI service affords the foreign service added protection and acquires useful information in exchange.

The need for liaison with foreign counterintelligence services is obvious. Exchanging counterintelligence information freely within the wide limits imposed by national considerations is the only way in which the CI service can cope with an attack so varied, persistent, and intense that no service could hope to deal with it in isolation. The information that can be obtained about hostile case officer “X” during his tour of duty is not likely to since for the purposes of negating his efforts or, better, recruiting him. These goals require all the information about him which has been obtained during his total time outside his Communist homeland—in other words, the help of all other non-Communist counterintelligence services. For these reasons the liaison branch is an important part of the CI service. Its structure and its place in the service as a whole are discussed below.

The service will nevertheless have to get most of the information that it needs through its own resources and methods. Some countries may from time to time be faced by a significant clandestine or covert threat which is non-Communist in nature (for example, a hostile non-Communist neighboring country, a Fascist group inside the country, a non-Communist opposition plotting to seize control of the government by force). The service then sets up a corresponding group or branch which studies the nature of the threat, acquires expertise, and uses it to infiltrate the opposition or otherwise negate or control it. But when we consider the Free World as a whole, the non-Communist threat is dwarfed by the danger of Communist activity. So much of the service’s energy and time must be devoted to the principal adversary that it would be wrong to set up a Communist intelligence services branch or a Communist parties branch within the counterintelligence service. The service as a whole should be permeated with knowledge, skill, and a determination focussing on the chief target.

[Top of page]



The service will rely upon clandestine methods to obtain its information about the adversary for the reason already given: to keep him from knowing what it knows. It will therefore need an operations branch, which consists of specialists in clandestine methods. One element of the operations branch should be concerned with planning future operations. That part of counterintelligence which is essentially security work will be timed, for the most part, in response to adversary initiative. For example, a hostile service tries to recruit a local citizen as an agent; a microphone is discovered in the foreign ministry; or a pro-Communist radio broadcast is suspected of having been instigated by the KGB. Responses to these kinds of challenge cannot be planned in advance. Counterespionage, on the contrary, secures the initiative for the CI service and is therefore the activity with which the plans group is chiefly concerned. It also plans for non-CE opportunities that will inevitably arise from adversary initiative or by chance, from deception operations, for example, or an unexpected walk-in. Finally, the plans group should be available for consultation with any national service planning an espionage (or other non-CI) operation and wishing to avail itself of counterintelligence expertise in planning for the security of the operation at the outset.

Under the command of the chief of operations there should also be a group concerned with technical services. Counterintelligence relies heavily upon the various forms of surveillance. Foot surveillance teams may need radio equipment, purchased or built by the technical services group. The same is true for vehicular surveillance. All audio operations, microphone or transmitter, require equipment and expertise. It may for instance be useful to have a double agent record a conversation with an opposition case officer. Similarly, clandestine photography is often used in counterintelligence work. A technical capability to monitor all kinds of clandestine communications, including radio, and to analyze suspicious documentation, is also essential. Moreover, countering the technical attack of adversary services is a separate, though closely related, specialty.

The CI service, accordingly, will need a group of scientific experts capable of understanding all the technical equipment used in modern CI, to the point of building such equipment if it is not available or cannot be bought securely; of installing and maintaining it; of training others in its use; and of anticipating needs through a research and development program. An able technical services group is just as important in an agrarian country as in a complex, highly developed nation, because the adversary will press the technological attack regardless of the environment. The group is logically subordinate to the chief of operations because technology and operations should go hand-in-hand. An independent technical group responsive only to the chief of the service might too easily lose touch with pragmatic operational needs. Placing the chief of operations in charge of the technical services group will ensure that this does not happen, and that he becomes familiar with the help that science can provide and stays abreast of current developments.

No national CI service can afford to be wholly dependent upon cooperative foreign services for the acquisition of counterintelligence abroad, nor can it wait until the enemy is inside the nation’s frontiers before it begins to study him. The solution is the recruitment of certain carefully chosen citizens, from government or outside it, who spend significant amounts of time in Communist countries. These persons are likely to have contact with the C1 services of such countries of temporary residence: diplomats who have social contact, for example, or industrialists in whom a Communist service might reasonably be expected to take an operational interest. Such persons must be carefully screened before recruitment. Normally, they are told to remain passive, neither accepting nor rebuffing hostile offers on their own but reporting approaches immediately and following instructions thereafter. The CI service may also arrange to have one of its members stationed in each of the maim embassies of its country, as security officer or in some other suitable post. Such representation is valuable for the conduct of liaison with other counterintelligence services and also for investigations conducted in areas where the home country is especially vulnerable to clandestine attack. Direct representation abroad will, however, create difficulties for an internal counterintelligence service unless there is careful planning and meticulous prior coordination with other national elements represented in the same country—the foreign service, for example, and certainly the foreign ministry. Care must also be taken not to offend the host service or government.

Persons in the first category (recruits rather than staff members of the service) should be important enough so that the adversary service will take them seriously and assign senior personnel to recruiting and managing them, but they should not usually have access to important national secrets unless that access can be concealed indefinitely from the adversary.

The operations branch should also have an operating group with separate sub-groups allocated upon either a geographical or a functional basis. This branch runs the operations: surveillance and countersurveillance, penetrations, provocations, double-agent operations, technical and counter-technical operations, counterintelligence interrogations and debriefings, handling of walk-ins and defectors, joint operations with liaison, and so on. It is the largest component of the service. If the country and its service are large, it is suggested that a geographic organization will prove preferable, because this kind of structure will permit appropriate grouping of language skills and area knowledge.

If the service is small or has few language and area specialists at its command, a functional arrangement may be better. In this event the operations branch will need a minimum of four groups or subgroups, for counter-espionage, counter-subversion, counter-propaganda, and operational security. Thus, counter-espionage conducts all operations directed against hostile foreign services engaging in positive or counterintelligence activity in the country. Counter-subversion carries out all operations aimed against subversive activity; its principal target will be the local Communist party and international Communism. Counter-propaganda will monitor and control those propaganda activities directed from concealment against the national interests by foreign services or by local or foreign Communist parties. The key words here are “from concealment.” If the sponsorship of a propaganda attack is openly acknowledged, the government can deal with it openly. But if sponsorship is concealed, the government must depend upon its CI service to ferret it out and expose it, suppress it, or otherwise manipulate it so that it cannot harm the national interest.

Finally, operational security works closely with the plans group and with other operational elements to ensure that the service’s clandestine activity is properly hidden from the outset and stays that way.

The second unit may be called Research, Records, and Reports (111111). The CI service must grow in knowledge and capability; it is the function of the RRR component to see that it does so. As more and more is learned about the adversaries, the information is funneled into RRR, where it is organized, studied, recorded systematically, filed and retrieved, and used to produce the finished counterintelligence which Operations needs in order to work intelligently. RRR is not, however, restricted to close operational support. Operations writes case reports; RRR writes summary reports based on case reporting, but it also writes strategic as well as tactical papers. It moves from the KGB officer (who is the subject of operational reporting) to the Soviet Embassy (tactical reporting) to a finished compilation of what the service knows about the Soviet services (strategic reporting). Moreover, as the result of such studies, RRR becomes the promulgator of counterintelligence doctrine. Scrutinizing the enemy’s successes and failures, as well as the triumphs and mistakes of its own service, it is in a position to discern and express underlying principles.

From this generalizing activity, additional functions flow in the areas of training and regulations. Some services make training an autonomous or semi-autonomous function, headed by a director who reports more or less directly to the chief of the service. The disadvantage is that under such an arrangement training tends to grow isolated both from the operational context (that is, the living or recent operations conducted by the service) and the immediacy of doctrine (the constant learning from experience). Incorporating training into RRR creates an organic rather than an architectural structure. The life blood of operations and the living bones of doctrine thus become natural parts of the body of training.

The service needs internal rules, and these are best when they are a codification of doctrine. It is possible to write up internal service regulations abstractly, on a basis of what seems theoretically desirable, but such regulations tend to be legalistic, bureaucratic, and arbitrary. One desirable aim is to issue as few regulations as possible, to keep them simple in both language and intent, and to derive them, like laws, from experience and probabilities in the real world rather than upon theories and remote possibilities. Placing the regulations group in the RRR Branch will help to ensure an unblocked flow and transformation from operational facts to collated facts to underlying and unifying concepts to a body of coherent doctrine. RRR will, of course, check out draft regulations with the office of the Legal Advisor and other interested elements of the service.

The service will of course have a central collection of files or archives. If the service is large or growing, its holdings are also likely to be large or growing. Deciding what raw information should be destroyed and what kept, how it should be indexed and filed, how best to retrieve it, who shall have access to it, and all the related questions are matters peculiarly within the province of the RRR Branch. Accordingly, it should have the files or central library group under its jurisdiction.

The remaining parts of RRR, like certain elements of operations, can be organized geographically or functionally. Whichever kind of organization was chosen for operations, it is desirable to match it in RRR. If the structure is geographic and there is a USSR group in operations, it is helpful if there is also a USSR group in RRR. If the structure is functional, then only two more RRR groups may suffice, a research and collation group and a studies group. The former receives all raw and finished counterintelligence coming from operations, from other elements of the service, from liaison, and from any other sources. From this flow of mixed information it sorts out the various subjects into separate holdings. It forwards to operations and other service elements useful counterintelligence which those elements did not themselves produce. It also produces raw or immediate CI reports of significance for the chief of service, for other national services, other departments and agencies of the government, and for liaison exchange. It endeavors to assure that these reports have a uniform format. Finally, the research group maintains controls on dissemination and sources of its reports. The studies group produces finished counterintelligence.

The third major component is the security branch. As has been said, the security of operations is itself an operational function and is therefore assigned to the operations unit. The remaining elements of security are the responsibility of the security branch. These include the security of methods and sources, physical security, and security of personnel.

The Source Records and Control Group maintains the records of all non-staff personnel formerly or currently employed by the service. An officer of the service who plans the recruitment of a source submits to this group all available information about the potential recruit, and the group checks other service and governmental files as appropriate. It passes the results to the personnel security group if investigation of the prospective agent is indicated. If any other department or agency of the government, in addition to the national counterintelligence service, recruits and directs clandestine or covert assets, the personnel security group receives from the department or agency concerned prior notification of intent to recruit. On this basis it maintains an interdepartmental or government-wide roster of agents and can thus give notice if one department plans recruitment of a person already employed by another, of any derogatory information, and of other contraindications.

The physical security group is responsible for fences, floodlights, guards, passes, safes, and the like, and the personnel security group conducts background investigations of potential staff and agent personnel. It also conducts investigations of any employee suspected of serving a hostile service as a penetration or of otherwise jeopardizing the security of the service.

The functions of the liaison branch were mentioned earlier. It may be useful to divide it into two groups, one concerned with domestic liaison (relationships with other elements of its own government), the other with liaison with foreign services.

The service needs a minimum of four other offices: those of the inspector general, the chief of administration and personnel, the legal advisor, and the public affairs officer.

The inspector general has two main functions, in addition to routine inspection. One is to prevent or detect abuse of the service by the employee: theft, falsified reporting for personal gain, abuse of official status for personal motives, and the like. The second is to prevent or detect abuse of the employee by the service. Any staff employee who believes that he has been treated unjustly and who has unsuccessfully sought redress through normal channels should have the right of access to the inspector general or a member of his office, and no punitive action should result if he avails himself of this right. If this avenue is not open, a frustrated employee can become highly dangerous to the security of the service. The office of the inspector general carries out its own investigations as necessary. The results are made available to no one outside the office except the chief of the service, who may at his discretion communicate them on a need-toknow basis to another service component. For example, if investigation undertaken by the inspector general on the basis of an employee’s complaint should reveal insecure or disloyal conduct by the employee, the IG will pass this information to the chief of the security branch, who relays it to the chief of the personnel security group for action.

The office of the chief of administration and personnel handles the payroll, assignment of vehicles, vacation rosters, office equipment, promotions, and all similar matters.

The legal advisor and his staff maintain liaison with the legislative branch of the government if the chief executive wants such liaison to exist. The legal advisor’s office reviews all service regulations before promulgation to ensure compatibility with law. It drafts, or cooperates in drafting, legislation not yet enacted but essential to the service. The legal advisor counsels the chief of service on legal matters, including the protection of sources and methods. He is also responsible for ensuring that counterintelligence cases can be turned over to the police without violation of the chain of evidence or other legal considerations and without security hazard to the service itself.

The public affairs officer is charged with maintaining essential public, non-governmental relationships. Private citizens who seek contact with the service because they believe that they have significant information—or for any other reason—are directed to this office. So are journalists, businessmen, and all other persons seeking non-official contact.

It is vital to national security that all significant counterintelligence obtained by governmental components other than the service, such as the armed forces, or by non-govemmental groups or private individuals, be funneled into the service, either through the liaison branch or through the public affairs office. This information is screened and collated by the research, records, and reports branch and entered into files as appropriate. In this way the central holdings become the national counterintelligence repository. Each department or agency, other than the service, which conducts liaison with one or more foreign intelligence or security services should provide the national CI service with enough information about each such liaison relationship so that the service knows at all times who is doing business with whom.

This paper has attempted to lay out the functions and structure of the internal counterintelligence service. The problems that the service faces are, of course, another matter: these will vary with the size of the country and its population, the amount of support accorded the service by its government and citizenry, the qualitative level of the service’s personnel and equipment, the intensity and skill of the concealed attack by Communist intelligence services and parties, the effectiveness of liaison and liaison exchange conducted with other governmental departments and agencies and with foreign services, the legal mandate of the service, and many lesser factors. The counterintelligence service of a stable country with few disloyal citizens is plainly in a far more advantageous position than is a service in a land in which revolutionary sentiment is widespread, the government is unpopular, and the opposition is nearly strong enough to resort to force or has already launched guerrilla war. Whatever the problems and their gravity, any counterintelligence service can deal with them more effectively if it manages to combine two seemingly antithetical qualities: patience and aggressiveness.

CI work is laborious and involves frustrations which, if not met patiently, will incline the service to hasty action, such as an abrupt declaration that a Soviet intelligence officer is persona non grata, or the quick arrest of a single spy. The service which has identified a spy or his handler has taken the first big step. If it patiently studies such people, it may in time be able to control them, not merely suppress their activity, which is then resumed by unidentified successors. But patience by itself leads to the acquisition of counterintelligence for its own sake, a grave error. All counterintelligence, in principle, should be used as a basis for counteraction. The questions are, what kind of action and when? Neither question can be answered until the last piece of pertinent information is at hand.

The effectiveness of counterintelligence in the free world is crucially important to all of us. As in the past, intelligence and CI services properly continue to serve national ends. Yet the skilled cooperation of the non-Communist services in all areas of common interest is of growing importance. It is hoped that the facts and ideas discussed in this paper will contribute in some small measure both to internal or national capabilities and to our capacity for international cooperation.

[Top of page]


No Foreign Dissem

Historical Document
Posted: May 08, 2007 08:20 AM
Last Updated: Aug 04, 2011 01:49 PM

An eye on Russia and North Korea, Marines prepare to fight in the cold

 Story by :Shannon Vavara
British troops train in Norway. Photo: Getty

The Marine Corps has been ramping up its preparations for potential cold-weather conflicts in places like Russia or North Korea, per Marine Corps Times. Marine Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller said last month at CSIS: “There is a possibility we are going to be there.”

Why it matters: The Marine Corps is behind our allies and enemies in preparing to fight in such conditions, per Marine Corps Times. “We haven’t been in the cold-weather business for a while,” Gen. Neller said. Many Marines are used to training for battles in desert-like terrains in the Middle East, as opposed to icy, snowy, and mountainous terrains, which require vastly different skill sets.

Show less

History: The Marine Corps hasn’t fought in icy or snowy terrain since the Korean War about 70 years ago. Before that Marines occasionally trained by the North Pole and in Iceland.


Two rotations of hundreds of Marines have been deployed in Norway for a year to practice winter training. Another rotation is expected to deploy this spring.

  • Magnus Nordenman, the director of trans-Atlantic security at the Atlantic Council, told Marine Times, “The Marine rotational presence [in Norway] is an important signal to Russia that this region is on America’s radar.”

In cold weather, Marines need to wear extra layers, which can change how mobile they are and how quickly they fatigue. Marines also need to consume more food in such conditions.

  • There are more injuries in cold-weather terrain, according to the Corps’ guide on operations in mountains.
  • Equipment and weapons systems aren’t as effective in colder weather and optics also change, while radios and vehicles need extra maintenance.

NBA rookie uses his shoes to speak out on the Florida school shooting

By Doug Criss, CNN

(CNN)Parkland, Florida may be more than 2,500 miles away from Salt Lake City, Utah, but the Florida school shooting was close to the mind of NBA player Donovan Mitchell. Or more accurately, his feet.

Mitchell, a guard for the Utah Jazz, wore bright, yellow shoes during his team’s game Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns that both called for a stop to gun violence and asked for prayers. Written in black on the side of one shoe was “End Gun Violence.” On the other shoe was written “Pray for Parkland.”

‘There’s nothing being done’

A native of Connecticut, Mitchell told reporters when he heard about the shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people he thought about the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
“My mom’s a schoolteacher. I was about 15, 20 minutes away during the Sandy Hook shooting. It’s kind of scary,” said Mitchell, a candidate for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. “I’m not saying all shootings make me feel the same way, but especially school shootings, with my mom being a nursery teacher, it’s kind of scary that that could happen at any moment, anywhere.”
Twenty children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook in December 2012 by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who had earlier killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in their home.
Mitchell said he was praying for the families of the victims in the Florida shooting and feels the nation needed to do more to stop the violence.
“A lot of people, we talk about it, and there’s a lot of so-called awareness of it, but there’s nothing being done,” he said. “I looked something up, and the same gun that was used in Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, and I’m missing more. It’s interesting how it just continues to happen, and the movement doesn’t do much.”

US School Violence Fast Facts

(CNN)Here is a list of incidents of random elementary, middle and high school (excludes colleges and universities) violence with fatalities, from 1927 to the present. This list does NOT include suicides, gang-related incidents, or deaths resulting from interpersonal conflicts.

US Timeline (selected only):
January 23, 2018 – 
Marshall County High School – Benton, Kentucky. A 15-year-old male student opens fire killing two and injuring 18 others. The suspect is arrested at the scene.
December 7, 2017 – Aztec Hight School – Aztec, New Mexico. William Atchison shoots and kills students Casey Jordan Marquez and Francisco Fernandez. Atchison, a former student at the high school, died of what police believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
September 13, 2017 – Freeman High School – Spokane, Washington. One student is killed and three are injured in a shooting. The suspect is a sophomore at the school.
April 10, 2017 – North Park Elementary School – San Bernardino, California. Jonathan Martinez, 8, and his teacher, Karen Smith, are killed when Cedric Anderson, Smith’s estranged husband, walks into her special needs classroom and opens fire, armed with a large-caliber revolver. Two other students are wounded. Anderson then kills himself.
September 28, 2016 – Townville Elementary School – Greenville, South Carolina. A 14-year-old male opens fire on the playground, wounding two children and a teacher. Jacob Hall, one of the wounded children, dies three days later. Before going to the school, the teen shot and killed his father. He is in custody.
October 24, 2014 – Marysville-Pilchuck High School – Marysville, Washington. Freshman Jaylen Fryberg shoots five people in the school cafeteria, killing one. Fryberg dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene. A second victim dies of her injuries two days later; a third dies on October 31. A fourth victim dies on November 7, bringing the total fatalities to five, including the gunman.
June 10, 2014 – Reynolds High School – Troutdale, Oregon. Jared Padgett, 15, shoots and kills 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman in the school gym. He later takes his own life.
December 13, 2013 – Arapahoe High School – Centennial, Colorado. Karl Pierson, 18, opens fire inside, critically injuring one student and then killing himself. 17-year-old Claire Davis dies on December 21, eight days after being shot.
October 21, 2013 – Sparks Middle School – Sparks, Nevada. 12-year-old student Jose Reyes takes his parent’s handgun to school and shoots three, injuring two 12-year-old male students and killing Mike Landsberry, a teacher and Marine veteran. He then kills himself.
December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults, school staff and faculty, before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound. The final count is 28 dead, including the shooter.
February 27, 2012 – Chardon High School – Chardon, Ohio. Student Daniel Parmertor, 16, is killed and four others wounded when student T.J. Lane, 17, opens fire in the school. On February 28, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, dies from his wounds and Russell King Jr., 17, is declared brain dead. In March 2013, Lane is sentenced to life in prison. On September 11, 2014, Lane escapes from prison. He is captured early the next morning.
January 5, 2011 – Millard South High School, Omaha, Nebraska. 17-year-old Robert Butler Jr. opens fire on Principal Curtis Case and Vice Principal Vicki Kasper. Butler then kills himself about a mile from the school. Vice principal Kasper later dies at the hospital.
February 5, 2010 – Discovery Middle School, Madison, Alabama. 14-year-old Todd Brown dies after being shot in the head in a school hallway. Fellow ninth-grader Hammad Memon later pleads guilty and is sentenced to 30 years in prison.
October 16, 2009 – Carolina Forest High School, Conway, South Carolina. 16-year-old student Trevor Varinecz is shot and killed by a police officer after allegedly pulling a knife and stabbing the officer.
September 23, 2009 – John Tyler High School, Tyler, Texas. A 16-year-old Byron Truvia is taken into custody for stabbing and killing high school teacher Todd R. Henry. Truvia is later found unfit to stand trial.
September 15, 2009 – Coral Gables Senior High School, Coral Gables, Florida. 17-year-old Andy Jesus Rodriguez fatally stabs 17-year-old sophomore Juan Carlos Rivera during a fight. Rodriguez is later sentenced to 40 years in prison.
August 21, 2008 – Central High School, Knoxville, Tennessee. 15-year-old Jamar Siler shoots and kills 15-year-old Ryan McDonald. In 2011, Siler receives 30 years in prison in a plea agreement.
January 3, 2007 – Henry Foss High School, Tacoma, Washington. Student Douglas Chanthabouly, 18, fatally shoots another student, Samnang Kok, 17. Chanthabouly is sentenced in 2009 to more than 23 years in prison for second-degree murder.
October 2, 2006 – Georgetown Amish School, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. 32-year-old Charles Roberts IV goes to a small Amish school and takes at least 11 girls hostage. Five girls were killed and six others wounded. Roberts then kills himself.
September 29, 2006 – Weston High School, Cazenovia, Wisconsin. 15-year-old Eric Hainstock goes to school armed with a shotgun and a handgun. After a struggle with the school janitor, Hainstock shoots and kills the school principal. He is convicted of murder in August 2007 and sentenced to life in prison.
September 27, 2006 – Platte Canyon High School, Bailey, Colorado. 54-year-old Duane Morrison takes six female students hostage. When SWAT teams enter the school, Morrison shoots 16-year-old Emily Keyes. Morrison then kills himself. Keyes later dies at the hospital.
November 8, 2005 – Campbell County Comprehensive High School, Jacksboro, Tennessee. 15-year-old Kenneth Bartley Jr. opens fire on a principal and two assistant principals, killing one of them and critically wounding another, authorities said. In 2007, Bartley accepts a plea bargain, but his guilty plea is later vacated. In a retrial in February 2014, Bartley is found guilty of reckless homicide and not guilty of attempted first degree murder. He is sentenced to time served and released.
March 21, 2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota. 16-year-old Jeff Weise kills his grandfather and another adult, five students, a teacher and a security officer. He then kills himself.
February 3, 2004 – Southwood Middle School – Palmetto Bay, Florida. 14-year-old Michael Hernandez stabs to death 14-year-old Jaime Rodrigo Gough. In 2013, an appeals court tosses Hernandez’s life sentence and remands the case for re-sentencing. In 2016, Hernandez is again sentenced to life in prison.
September 24, 2003 – Rocori High School – Cold Spring, Minnesota. 15-year-old Jason McLaughlin shoots and kills 17-year-old Aaron Rollins and critically injures another student. The second student dies in October. In 2005, McLaughlin is sentenced to consecutive terms of life in prison for first-degree murder and 12 years for second-degree murder.
April 24, 2003 – Red Lion Area Junior High School – Red Lion, Pennsylvania. 14-year-old James Sheets brings a revolver to school and kills his principal, Eugene Segro, and then himself.
December 5, 2001 – Springfield High School – Springfield, Massachusetts. At a high school for troubled teens, 17-year-old Corey Ramos stabs to death Reverend Theodore Brown, a counselor at the school. In 2003, Ramos is sentenced to life in prison.
March 5, 2001 – Santana High School – Santee, California. 15-year-old Charles “Andy” Williams kills two classmates, a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old, and injures 13. Williams is sentenced in 2002 to at least 50 years in prison.
May 26, 2000 – Lake Worth Community Middle School – Lake Worth, Florida. 13-year-old Nathaniel Brazill, after being sent home for misbehaving, returns to school and shoots and kills his teacher Barry Grunow. Brazill is sentenced to 28 years in prison.
February 29, 2000 – Buell Elementary School – Mount Morris Township, Michigan. An unnamed six-year-old boy shoots and kills a six-year-old playmate, Kayla Rolland, at school. He is removed from his mother’s custody and put up for adoption.
November 19, 1999 – Deming Middle School – Deming, New Mexico. 12-year-old Victor Cordova shoots and kills a 13-year-old classmate. He is sentenced to two years in juvenile detention.
May 21, 1998 – Thurston High School – Springfield, Oregon. After killing his parents the previous day, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel returns to Thurston High armed with a rifle. He kills two students in the school cafeteria, a 16 and a 17-year-old. He is sentenced to 112 years in prison.
April 24, 1998 – James Parker Middle School – Edinboro, Pennsylvania. 14-year-old Andrew Wurst shoots and kills science teacher John Gillette at a school dance. He is sentenced to serve between 30 and 60 years.
March 24, 1998 – Westside Middle School – Jonesboro, Arkansas. 11-year-old Andrew Golden and 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson ambush fellow students and their teachers, killing five. Johnson is incarcerated in a youth facility and released on his 21st birthday August 11, 2005. Golden is released on his 21st birthday, May 25, 2007.
December 1, 1997 – Heath High School – West Paducah, Kentucky. 14-year-old Michael Carneal opens fire on a school prayer group, killing three girls, who were 14, 15, and 17. He is serving life in prison.
October 1, 1997 – Pearl High School – Pearl, Mississippi. After killing his mother at home, 16-year-old Luke Woodham arrives at school and shoots two classmates. Woodham is serving three life sentences plus 140 years.
February 19, 1997 – Bethel High School – Bethel, Alaska. 16-year-old Evan Ramsey uses a shotgun stolen from his foster home to kill a 15-year-old student and the school principal. He is currently serving a term of 210 years.
September 25, 1996 – Dekalb Alternative School – Decatur, Georgia. 16-year-old David Dubose Jr. shoots and kills English teacher Horace Morgan on the steps of the school. Dubose is found not guilty by reason of insanity and is committed indefinitely to a state mental hospital.
February 2, 1996 – Frontier Junior High School – Moses Lake, Washington. 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis takes a rifle to school and kills two classmates and a teacher. He is sentenced to life in prison.
January 19, 1996 – Winston Education Center – Washington. Two masked gunmen kill 14-year-old Damion Blocker in a stairwell. 16-year-old shooter Darrick Evans is given a sentence of 41 years to life in prison.
November 15, 1995 – Richland High School – Lynnville, Tennessee. 17-year-old Jamie Rouse kills a business teacher and a 16-year-old student. Rouse is serving a life sentence.
October 12, 1995 – Blackville-Hilda High School – Blackville, South Carolina. 15-year-old Toby Sincino kills a teacher and then himself.
November 7, 1994 – Wickliffe Middle School – Wickliffe, Ohio. 37-year-old drifter Keith Ledeger shoots and kills school custodian Peter Christopher and injures three others. Ledeger is sentenced to life in prison.
April 12, 1994 – Margaret Leary Elementary School – Butte, Montana. 10-year-old Jason Osmanson, teased because his parents have AIDS, shoots and kills an 11-year-old on the school playground. Osmanson is sent to a private residential treatment center.
February 1, 1994 – Valley View Junior High School – Simi Valley, California. 13-year-old Philip Hernandez stabs to death a 14-year-old student in a school hallway. Hernandez is sentenced to four years in a California Youth Authority prison.
December 1, 1993 – Wauwatosa West High School – Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. 21-year-old former student Leonard McDowell returns to his high school and kills Associate Principal Dale Breitlow. He is sentenced to life in prison.
May 24, 1993 – Upper Perkiomen High School – Pennsburg, Pennsylvania. 15-year-old student Jason Smith kills another student who had bullied him. He is sentenced to between 12 and 25 years in prison.
April 15, 1993 – Ford Middle School – Acushnet, Massachusetts. 44-year-old David Taber invades a middle school and takes three hostages. He later shoots and kills school nurse Carol Day. He is found not guilty of the murder by reason of insanity.
April 12, 1993 – Dartmouth High School – Dartmouth, Massachusetts. 16-year-old Jason Robinson is stabbed to death in his social studies class by three teenage attackers who invade the classroom.
January 18, 1993 – East Carter High School – Grayson, Kentucky. 17-year-old student Scott Pennington shoots and kills a teacher and custodian. He is sentenced to life in prison.
May 1, 1992 – Lindhurst High School – Olivehurst, California. 20-year-old dropout Eric Houston returns to his high school and kills a former teacher and three students. Houston is sentenced to death.
February 26, 1992 – Thomas Jefferson High School – Brooklyn, New York. A 15-year-old shoots and kills two other students. The shooter, Kahlil Sumpter, is sentenced in 1993 to between 6 2/3 and 20 years in prison and is released in 1998.
November 25, 1991 – Thomas Jefferson High School – Brooklyn, New York. A stray bullet kills a 16-year-old student during an argument between two other teens. Shooter Jason Bentley, 14, is sentenced in 1992 to three to nine years in prison.
January 17, 1989 – Cleveland Elementary School – Stockton, California. 24-year-old drifter Patrick Purdy uses an AK-47 to kill five children on an elementary school playground. He then takes his own life.
December 16, 1988 – Atlantic Shores Christian School – Virginia Beach, Virginia. 16-year-old Nicholas Elliot shoots and kills teacher Karen Farley. Elliott is sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
September 26, 1988 – Oakland Elementary School – Greenwood, South Carolina. 19-year-old James Wilson, copying the Winnetka, Illinois murders, kills 8-year-olds Tequila Thomas and Shequila Bradley in their school cafeteria. Wilson’s death sentence is overturned in January 2003.
May 20, 1988 – Hubbard Woods Elementary School – Winnetka, Illinois. 30-year-old Laurie Dann invades an elementary school and kills an 8-year-old boy. She injures six other people before taking her own life.
February 11, 1988 – Pinellas Park High School – Largo, Florida. Two 15-year-olds with stolen weapons, Jason McCoy and Jason Harless, shoot and kill Assistant Principal Richard Allen. McCoy serves two years in prison, and Harless serves eight.
March 2, 1987 – Dekalb High School – Dekalb, Missouri. 12-year-old Nathan Faris, who was teased about being overweight, shoots 13-year-old Timothy Perrin and then takes his own life.
December 4, 1986 – Fergus High School – Lewistown, Montana. 14-year-old Kristofer Hans shoots and kills substitute teacher Henrietta Smith. He is sentenced to 206 years in prison in 1988.
May 16, 1986 – Cokeville Elementary School – Cokeville, Wyoming. A couple in their 40s, David and Doris Young, take over an elementary school with a bomb and hold 150 children and adults hostage, demanding $300 million in ransom. The bomb accidentally detonates, setting the school on fire. Investigators later determine that during the fire David Young shot his wife and then killed himself. 74 people were injured in the fire.
January 21, 1985 – Goddard Junior High School – Goddard, Kansas. 14-year-old James Kearbey shoots and kills Principal Jim McGee. Kearbey spends seven years in juvenile detention and is released at the age of 21. On October 31, 2001, Kearbey is involved in a six-hour standoff with Wichita, Kansas, police. No injuries resulted and Kearbey is later acquitted of aggravated assault on a police officer.
February 24, 1984 – 49th Street School – Los Angeles. Sniper Tyrone Mitchell shoots at children on an elementary school playground, killing one and injuring 11. He later takes his own life.
January 20, 1983 – Parkway South Junior High – St. Louis. An unnamed 14-year-old shoots and kills another student before turning the gun on himself.
March 19, 1982 – Valley High School – Las Vegas. 17-year-old Pat Lizotte shoots and kills psychology teacher Clarence Piggott during class. Lizotte is sentenced to life in prison.
January 29, 1979 – Grover Cleveland Elementary – San Diego. 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opens fire on a school across from her home, killing the principal and janitor.
May 18, 1978 – Murchison Junior High School – Austin, Texas. 13-year-old John Christian shoots and kills his English teacher Wilbur Grayson, during class. The shooter is the son of George Christian, press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson from 1967 to 1969. After time in a psychiatric hospital, Christian attends high school in the Dallas area.
February 22, 1978 – Everett High School – Lansing, Michigan. 15-year-old Roger Needham kills another student who had bullied him. After four years in juvenile detention, Needham is released. He later earns a Ph.D in math and works as a professor in Missouri and New York.
March 18, 1975 – Sumner High School – St. Louis. 16-year-old Stephen Goods, a bystander, is shot and killed during a fight between other teens.
December 30, 1974 – Olean High School – Olean, New York. Honors student Anthony Barbaro kills a school janitor and two passers-by. Barbaro later kills himself while awaiting trial.
October 5, 1966 – Grand Rapids High School – Grand Rapids, Minnesota. 15-year-old David Black injures another student before killing teacher Forrest Willey.
September 15, 1959 – Edgar Allen Poe Elementary – Houston. Convict Paul Orgeron explodes a suitcase of dynamite on a school playground, killing himself, two adults and three children.
May 18, 1927 – Bath Consolidated Schoolhouse – Bath, Michigan. Farmer Andrew Kehoe sets off two explosions at the school, killing himself, six adults and 38 children.

FBI invents fake defendant to catch ‘corrupt’ judge

FBI invents fake defendant to catch ‘corrupt’ judgeFBI invents fake defendant to catch ‘corrupt’ judge

PHILADELPHIA — To catch a Philadelphia municipal judge they suspected of corruption, FBI agents invented a defendant — complete with a staged arrest and court appearances.

Court documents from Judge Joseph Waters Jr.’s guilty plea Wednesday to federal mail and wire fraud charges include details of the bogus arrest of a man named David Khoury for illegally carrying an unloaded Glock .40-caliber pistol during a 2012 traffic stop, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

According to the documents, an unnamed campaign donor asked Waters to help Khoury, describing him as a cousin of a business associate.

Waters then called a fellow judge who was scheduled to hear the case. According to Waters’ plea document, he identified Khoury as a friend and asked the judge hearing the case to help him.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers who worked briefly on Khoury’s case barely remembered the man, and were not in on the FBI’s secret.

“As I understand it, none of it was real. This whole sting was orchestrated,” Waters’ attorney, Michael Engle, said.

The police report on the Khoury arrest said that the arresting officer, John Snyder, pulled Khoury over in May 2012 for driving erratically on a busy stretch of Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia.

“When I approached the window, I asked him for his information,” Snyder testified later at a hearing in the case. “I noticed a black handgun on the floor mat area. I asked if he had a license to carry. He said ‘no.’”

The fake 40-year-old defendant was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, a felony. He told officers that he did not know his address and had no phone. He told probation officers he was from Louisville, Kentucky, and gave a Social Security number that appeared to have been issued in Texas in 1988. His black SUV had Virginia plates.

It remains unclear whether Snyder knew the Khoury case was a sting. He declined comment on it last week to the Inquirer.

Ultimately, the judge hearing the case reduced the charge to a misdemeanor. The charges were ultimately dropped when the fake defendant failed to appear for trial and court staff had no address on file.

All that remains of Khoury’s case is a manila court file on an office shelf in the Philadelphia courts building. On it is a single green sticky note that reads, “Withdrawn – FBI.”

House passes warrenless NSA spying bill after Trump tweets cause confusion

 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program, overcoming objections from privacy advocates and confusion prompted by morning tweets from President Donald Trump that initially questioned the spying tool.

The legislation, which passed 256-164 and split party lines, is the culmination of a years-long debate in Congress on the proper scope of U.S. intelligence collection – one fueled by the 2013 disclosures of classified surveillance secrets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Senior Democrats in the House had urged cancellation of the vote after Trump appeared to cast doubt on the merits of the program, but Republicans forged ahead.

Trump initially wrote on Twitter that the surveillance program, first created in secret after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and later legally authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), had been used against him but later said it was needed.

Some conservative, libertarian-leaning Republicans and liberal Democrats attempted to persuade colleagues to include more privacy protections. They failed on Thursday to pass an amendment to include a requirement for a warrant before the NSA or other intelligence agencies could scrutinize communications belonging to an American whose data is incidentally collected.

Thursday’s vote was a major blow to privacy and civil liberties advocates, who just two years ago celebrated passage of a law effectively ending the NSA’s bulk collection of U.S. phone call records, another top-secret program exposed by Snowden.

The bill as passed by the House would extend the NSA’s spying program for six years with minimal changes. Some privacy groups said it would actually expand the NSA’s surveillance powers.

Most lawmakers expect it to become law, although it still would require Senate approval and Trump’s signature. Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden immediately vowed to filibuster the measure, but it was unclear whether they could persuade enough colleagues to force changes.

The Senate will hold a procedural vote on the bill next week after it returns from a break, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday.

“The intelligence community and the Justice Department depend on these vital authorities to protect the homeland and keep Americans safe,” McConnell, a Republican, said in a statement.

The White House, U.S. intelligence agencies and Republican leaders in Congress have said they consider the surveillance program indispensable and in need of little or no revision.

Before the vote, a tweet from Trump had contradicted the official White House position and renewed unsubstantiated allegations that the previous Democratic administration of Barack Obama improperly surveilled the Republican’s 2016 presidential campaign.

FILE PHOTO: A man is silhouetted near logo of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in this photo illustration taken in Sarajevo March 11, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

“This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?” the president wrote in a tweet.


The White House did not immediately respond to a request to clarify Trump’s tweet, but he posted a follow-up less than two hours later, after speaking on the phone with House Republican leader Paul Ryan.

“With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!” Trump tweeted.

An illustration picture shows the logo of the U.S. National Security Agency on the display of an iPhone in Berlin, June 7, 2013. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

Unmasking refers to the largely separate issue of how Americans’ names kept secret in intelligence reports can be revealed.

After the vote Thursday, Ryan, asked about his conversation with the president, said Trump’s concerns regarded other parts of the law.

“It’s well known that he has concerns about the domestic FISA law. That’s not what we’re doing today. Today was 702, which is a different part of that law. … He knows that and he, I think, put out something that clarifies that,” Ryan told reporters.

Asked by Reuters at a conference in New York about Trump’s tweets, Rob Joyce, the top White House cyber official, said there was no confusion within the Oval Office about the value of the surveillance program and that there have been no cases of it being used improperly for political purposes.

Trump’s tweets on surveillance marked the second time this week that he appeared to veer from the administration’s position. During a meeting on Tuesday to discuss immigration with a bipartisan group of legislators he initially voiced support when Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein suggested a “clean” bill to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pointed out that a “clean” bill would not include the security and border wall that Trump has insisted be part of any immigration plan.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters there was no contradiction in Trump’s tweets on the surveillance program and that he was voicing broader concerns about FISA.

Without congressional action, legal support for Section 702 will expire next week, although intelligence officials say it could continue through April.

Section 702 allows the NSA to eavesdrop on vast amounts of digital communications from foreigners living outside the United States through U.S. companies such as Facebook Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.

Reporting by Dustin Volz; Additional reporting by David Shepardson, Patricia Zengerle, Richard Cowan and Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Bill Trott and Jonathan Oatis