Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 2, 2015

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on October 2, 2015

William R. Cumming Forum

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Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2015 @ 12:32 am

The night before last Charlie Rose interviewed Lisa Monoco.

Wiki entry:

Lisa Oudens Monaco (born February 25, 1968) is an American federal prosecutor who currently serves as the United States Homeland Security Advisor to President Barack Obama; the chief counterterrorism advisor to the President, and a statutory member of the United States Homeland Security Council.

Monaco previously served as the Assistant Attorney General for National Security from 2011 to 2013, and as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department.

Contents [hide]
1 Early life, education, and career
2 United States Department of Justice
3 Counterterrorism advisor
4 References
Early life, education, and career[edit]
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents Anthony and Mary Lou Monaco, she was raised in Newton, Massachusetts, and graduated from The Winsor School in 1986.[1][2][3]

Monaco attended Harvard University, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in American History and Literature, in 1990.[4] After graduating, she worked as a research associate for The Wilson Quarterly at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 1990 to 1991, and as a senior associate for the Health Care Advisory Board, a healthcare advisory group, from 1991 to 1992.[5] She worked for as a research coordinator for the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 1992 to 1994 under then chairman Joe Biden, where she worked on the Violence Against Women Act;[6] before enrolling into the University of Chicago Law School where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Chicago Law School Roundtable.[7] During her time at the University of Chicago, she briefly worked as an intern for District Court Judge Wendell P. Gardner, Jr., on the D.C. Superior Court and as an intern for the United States Department of Justice in 1995.[8] She worked as an intern for the White House Office of Legislative Affairs in 1996, and entered private practice as a summer associate for the law firm Hogan and Hartson, LLP, before receiving her Juris Doctor in 1997.[9] She was admitted to the New York City Bar Association in 1998.

United States Department of Justice[edit]
From 1997 to 1998, Monaco worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Jane Richards Roth on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and as the Counsel to then Attorney General Janet Reno from 1998 to 2001.[10] From 2001 to 2007, she worked in the United States Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, where she was as an assistant prosecuting attorney, and was appointed as a special prosecutor, co-leading the trial counsel for the Justice Department’s Enron Task Force, from 2004 to 2006.[11] Monaco received Department of Justice Awards for Special Achievement in 2002, 2003 and 2005.[12] After the end of the Enron trial and the Justice Department’s disbandment of the special task force, Monaco worked as a special counselor to FBI Director Robert Mueller. She was later chosen by Mueller to work as a full-time counselor and as his Deputy Chief of Staff from May to September 2007,[13] when she was appointed by Mueller as his Chief of Staff; a position she held until January 2009.[7]

Lisa Monaco briefs President Obama on the investigation of the 2013 Boston bombings, in the Diplomatic Reception Room before the President departed the White House, April 18, 2013
In 2009, Monaco was appointed by United States Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden to serve as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General; the top aide to the Deputy Attorney General.[14] After Ogden left in February 2010, Monaco was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the Assistant Attorney General for National Security; leading the Justice Department division which oversees major counterterrorism and espionage cases, and authorizes the use of FISA warrants.[15] Monaco has been involved in meetings and the failed attempts to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[16][17]

Counterterrorism advisor[edit]
On January 25, 2013, President Barack Obama announced he would name Monaco to be his Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the chief counterterrorism advisor to the President.[18] Monaco succeeded John Brennan, who was nominated by Obama to become the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[19] Monaco took office on March 8, 2013, and became a statutory member of the United States Homeland Security Council.

On May 23, 2013, Daniel Klaidman, writing for the Daily Beast reported a “White House official” confirmed Monaco would “handle day-to-day responsibilities for Guantanamo.”[20]

In late July, 2014, Monaco answered a question as to whether the mandate to keep Guantanamo open would end when US troops had effectively retired from Guantanamo.[21][22][23][24] Scholars at Lawfare interpreted Monaco’s comment as a sign that the Obama Presidency would ask the United States Congress to pass legislation enabling Guantanamo to remain open after US involvement in the Afghan war ended.

Jump up ^ United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (May 17, 2011). “NOMINATION OF LISA O. MONACO TO BE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE” (PDF). intelligence.senate.gov.
Jump up ^ The Winsor School (March 8, 2013). “Alumna Selected for Top White House Counterterrorism Post”. winsor.edu.
Jump up ^ She has a French and Polish descent. Matt Viser (2013-04-19). “Newton native in key counterterrorism job”. Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 2013-05-25. Monaco’s parents, Mary Lou and Anthony Monaco, still live in Newton. She attended Winsor School, a prestigious all-girls prep school in Boston known for its “Ivy pipeline.”
Jump up ^ Practising Law Institute. “Lisa O. Monaco U.S. Department of Justice”. pli.edu. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Andrew Ramonas (May 5, 2011). “Meet Lisa Monaco”. mainjustice.com.
Jump up ^ University of Maryland (May 1993). “VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN THE RESPONSE TO RAPE: DETOURS ON THE ROAD TO EQUAL JUSTICE Prepared by the Majority Staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee”. mith.umd.edu. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
^ Jump up to: a b “Lisa Monaco Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (upon John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director)”. washingtonpost.com. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ “Posts Tagged ‘National Security Division’Meet Lisa Monaco”. mainjustice.com. May 5, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ “Lisa Monaco ’97 Nominated Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism”. law.uchicago.edu. January 28, 2013.
Jump up ^ Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs (June 28, 2011). “Attorney General Eric Holder Welcomes Confirmation of James Cole, Lisa Monaco and Virginia Seitz”. justice.gov.
Jump up ^ Associated Press. “BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON 2 TOP OBAMA AIDES”. bigstory.ap.org. Missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
Jump up ^ “Nomination of James Cole to be Deputy Attorney General”. fas.org. June 28, 2011.
Jump up ^ Federal Bureau of Investigation (March 20, 2007). “Lisa O. Monaco Named Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to FBI Director Mueller”. fbi.gov. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Charlie Savage (March 17, 2011). “Obama Acts on a Key Vacancy at Justice”. nytimes.com. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Evan Perez (March 17, 2011). “Obama Nominates New National Security Prosecutor”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Frank James (January 3, 2009). “Congress’ Dems Still Irked By Obama On Gitmo, Tribunals”. npr.org. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Dina Temple-Raston (February 3, 2012). “Justice Department Lawyers Play Role In Guantanamo”. npr.org. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Carrie Johnson, Mark Memmott (January 25, 2013). “Obama Names New Chief Of Staff, New Counterterrorism Adviser”. npr.org. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Adam Aigner-Treworgy (January 25, 2013). “Big shoes to fill: Replacing John Brennan”. cnn.com. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
Jump up ^ Daniel Klaidman (2013-05-23). “All In on Gitmo: Obama Returns to Fight for a Shutdown”. Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 2013-05-25. Wilner and his allies may soon get some good news. A White House official confirmed to The Daily Beast that Obama has asked his chief counterterrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco, to handle the day-to-day responsibilities for Guantanamo. Monaco has daily access to the president and clout within the national-security bureaucracy. She also has deep experience dealing with the Guantanamo conundrum. When she first joined the administration in 2009 as a senior Justice Department official, she worked on Gitmo.
Jump up ^ Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxman, Benjamin Wittes (2014-07-27). “A New White House Signal on AUMF Reform?”. Lawfare. Archived from the original on 2014-07-28. Josh Gerstein of Politico reports that “[a] top White House official suggested Saturday that Congress pass new legislation to support President Barack Obama’s authority to act against an array of terrorist groups not clearly linked to the September 11 attacks.”
Jump up ^ Steve Vladeck (2014-07-28). “Overreading Lisa Monaco on AUMF Reform”. Just Security. Archived from the original on 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
Jump up ^ Benjamin Wittes (2014-07-28). “What Lisa Monaco actually said”. Lawfare. Archived from the original on 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2014-07-28. Over at Just Security, Steve Vladeck objects to the piece Jack, Bobby, Matt and I wrote over the weekend on Lisa Monaco’s AUMF comments at the Aspen Security Forum.
Why this emphasis: Joe Biden a mentor.

In the interview Ms. Monoco related several reasons ISIS became a threat but IMO her emphasis on Social Media as being a principal reason for the rise of ISIS was interesting.

So in addition to funding, proliferation of weapons conventional and nuclear, clearly the rise of Social Media was a creature of US technological developments.

So I guess all involved in this creation and development have in fact been aiding and abetting terrorists?

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2015 @ 12:34 am

Last night Charlie Rose interviewed the Foreign minister of France who flatly stated that as of June 2012 there were no terrorists in Syria just anti-regime factions.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2015 @ 12:43 am

Messing around in FP [foreign policy] is always of interest to me as one of my majors as an undergraduate was International Relations. In fact maxed the GRE in IR my senior year.

But of interest is that the career opportunities in FP sem to overshadow HS and EM. The problem is that while FP will always be important to nation-states, it may or may not be so critical to their existence in a Globalized World.

Wondering if the writings of Amy Chua of interest to any here?

Am I wrong that whether the USA continues to exist as more than a flag and a song after January 2017 may turn on the 2016 elections?

And pretty clear to me this administration does not really give any more than lip service to HS and EM! My question is Why? No punchuating [sic] events?

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2015 @ 12:44 am

A Hurricane Katrina follow-up tidbit! NOLA has more restaurants now than before Katrina made landfall.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2015 @ 12:45 am

Hey Craig Fugate created the WAFFLE HOUSE postulate!

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2015 @ 6:57 am

Is there evidence the HSC [Homeland Security Council] a statutory entity is active?

Wiki extract:

The Homeland Security Council (HSC) is an entity within the White House Office and was created by Executive Order 13228 on October 29, 2001, and subsequently expanded on by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 1. It served as the successor to the Office of Homeland Security, established on September 20, 2001, immediately after the September 11 attacks. Congress subsequently codified the HSC in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, charging it with advising the President on homeland security matters.

On February 23, 2009, the Obama administration released Presidential Study Directive 1. This memorandum ordered a 60-day inter-agency review of the White House homeland security and counter-terrorism structure. The review recommended that the president merge the staff supporting the Homeland Security Council with the staff supporting the National Security Council. On May 26, 2009, Barack Obama signed the recommendation to merge the Homeland Security Council and National Security Council staffs into one National Security Staff. On February 10, 2014 President Obama renamed the National Security Staff the National Security Council (NSC) staff.

Policymakers and observers have debated whether the HSC staff should remain an independent entity within the White House or merged with the NSC staff. The HSC and NSC continue to exist by statute as independent councils of leadership advising the president.

The Homeland Security Council is responsible for assessing the objectives, commitments, and risks of the United States, and for making recommendations to the president with respect to homeland security policy.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2015 @ 7:00 am

IMO basic competent staff work is the key to governance, successful governance. The Obama Administration fundamental flaw IMO is poor staff work. Why? If the President does not insist or want competent staff work, he/she does not get it.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 3, 2015 @ 2:04 pm

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Please change the official title of the [your] Advisor to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism to the following:


Comment by William R. Cumming

October 3, 2015 @ 2:06 pm

We get links to many things on this blog but wondering if any have analysed the HS Act of 2002, as amended, for the presence or absence of the words PROTECTION OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY?

Comment by Vicki Campbell

October 4, 2015 @ 3:41 pm

Bill, I in no way share in your suggestion that the title of the Advisor to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism should be changed to:


No way, no how – for so many reasons it makes my head spin. Why would you want to do that?

Comment by Vicki Campbell

October 4, 2015 @ 4:47 pm

Bill, to try to bring forward a couple of themes from last week’s Friday Forum that I didn’t get to respond to:

First, re your question about whether national Law Enforcement use-of-lethal-force training standards exist – I’m not aware of any, beyond that in the constitution, whose language I’m also not clear about, but which apparently suggests a fairly low bar, focusing on whether or not someone has committed a truly violent crime, and/or poses an imminent, serious threat to either the police or others. Use of lethal force standards in the U.S. seem primarily to be codified at the state level, but even there it seems that at least 13 states don’t even meet our constitutional standard. Also, apparently as a nation we trail well behind other developed nations as well.

However, The UN has use of lethal force standards that have become the universal standard by which countries are judged, and the U.S., once again, falls well below these on just about all counts – rather dramatically actually. Amnesty International just released an extensive report on just this issue, comparing the U.S. to international law and standards, and examining each one of our 50 states’ pertinent statutes. Its incredibly eye-opening, and is an excellent reference for any examination of the topic. Here’s the link to the AI report:


From the Amnesty International Report on use of deadly force in the U.S.


1) The United States has failed to track how many people are killed by law enforcement officers. No-one knows exactly how many people are killed each year but estimates range from 400 to over 1,000.

2) African Americans are disproportionately impacted by police killings, according to the limited data avail- able. While blacks represent 13.2 per cent of the US population, they represent 27.6 per cent of the total deaths at the hands of police (6,338) included in the data on violent deaths recorded by the Center for Disease Control between 1999 and 2013.

3) The United States has failed to respect and protect the right to life by failing to ensure that domestic legislation meets international human rights law and standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

A.) All 50 states and Washington, D.C. fail to comply with international law and standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

B.) Nine states and Washington, D.C. have no laws on use of lethal force by law enforcement officers: Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Ohio; South Carolina; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin, Wyoming; and the District of Columbia.

C.) Thirteen states have laws that do not comply even with the lower standards set by US constitution- al law on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers12 : Alabama; California; Delaware; Florida; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; South Dakota; and Vermont.

D.) None of the state statutes require that the use of lethal force may only be used as a last resort with non-violent and less harmful means to be tried first.

E.) No state limits the use of lethal force to only those situations where there is an imminent threat to life or serious injury to the officer or to others.

F.) Nine states allow for the use of lethal force to be used to suppress a riot: Arizona; Delaware; Idaho; Mississippi; Nebraska; Pennsylvania; South Dakota; Vermont and Washington.

G.) Twenty two states allow for law enforcement officers to kill someone trying to escape from a prison or jail: Alabama; Colorado; Delaware; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Indiana; Kentucky; Maine; Mississippi; Montana; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Dakota and Washington.

H.) Only eight states require that a warning be given (where feasible) before lethal force is used, how- ever no state meets the requirement for a warning under international standards: Connecticut; Florida, Indiana; Nevada; New Mexico; Tennessee; Utah and Washington.

I.) Only three states provide that officers should create no “substantial risk” to bystanders when using lethal force: Delaware; Hawaii and New Jersey.

J.) Twenty states allow for private citizens (non-state actors) to use lethal force if they carry out law enforcement activities, for example assisting an officer in making an arrest: Alabama; Arizona; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Mississippi; Nebraska; New Hamp- shire; New Jersey; New York; North Dakota; Pennsylvania; South Dakota; Texas and Washington.

K.) Only two states provide by statute for training on the use of lethal force: Georgia and Tennessee.

L.) None of the states’ “use of lethal force” statutes include accountability mechanisms, including for example the requirement of obligatory reporting for the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officers.


1) All state legislatures should introduce or amend statutes that authorize the use of lethal force to ensure that they are in line with international standards by limiting the use of lethal force by law enforcement to those instances in which it is necessary to protect against the threat of death or serious injury. The statutes should be brought into compliance with the U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

2) The president and Department of Justice (DOJ) should support the creation of a national commission (National Crime and Justice Task Force) to examine and produce recommendations on policing issues, including a nationwide review of police use of lethal force laws, policies, training and practices, which is ur- gently needed, as well as a thorough review and reform of oversight and accountability mechanisms. These laws, policies and practices must be brought in line with international standards.

3)The Department of Justice must ensure the collection and publication of nationwide statistics on police shootings in accordance with the Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Act (1994) and the Death in Cus- tody Act (2014). The data collected should be disaggregated on the basis of race, gender, age, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and indigenous status.

4) Congress should take legislative action to ensure that all federal, state and local law enforcement officials restrict their use of lethal force in compliance with international law and standards. This should include enacting legislation requiring all law enforcement agencies to review and amend their policies by limiting the use of lethal force to those instances in which it is necessary to protect against the threat of death or serious injury. Congress should also pass the Police Reporting Information, Data, and Evidence Act and the End Racial Profiling Act.

Comment by Vicki Campbell

October 4, 2015 @ 4:59 pm

Below is an excellent article summarizing and highlighting aspects of the AI report:

US laws on lethal police tactics fail to meet world standard

by John Knefel @johnknefel

Not a single US state has laws that meet international standards for when police can use deadly force against civilians, according to a new human rights report. The report, issued by Amnesty International, also found that all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. lack any laws that mandate an official investigation following an officer-involved shooting that results in death. The findings, taken as a whole, paint local laws that govern when a police officer can use lethal force as either woefully inadequate or entirely absent.

The study, Deadly Force: Police Use of Force in the United States, comes at a time when police conduct is under more scrutiny than at any time in recent memory. The high-profile police killings of black Americans in Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland, Staten Island, N.Y., North Charleston, S.C. and Baltimore, and the ensuing demonstrations for justice, some of which organized under the banner “Black Lives Matter,” have resulted in nationwide calls for more accountability for law enforcement.

“We hope it’s propitious timing,” says Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International. “Our hope is the report will move for some much-needed reforms in state laws around the country.”

The Department of Justice doesn’t keep annual data on the number of civilians killed by the police, so the true extent of the problem remains unknown. Media reports, however, have attempted to catalog those who have died in interactions with police this year. An investigation by the Washington Post last month found officers had killed an average of about two people per day in 2015.

The Amnesty report, however, is the first to look at the laws that govern when police can use deadly force. There is no federal law that limits police use of deadly force, which means that legal guidelines — when they exist — come either from local laws or court decisions. “What we found has been really shocking,” said Hawkins. He added that some states have absolutely no law “of any type talking about the basic rules of when it would be permissible for police to use lethal force.”

International law, as codified by the United Nations, dictates that officers can only use deadly force when either they, or bystanders, face an immediate threat of death or serious physical harm, and only then as a last resort. Yet, in the U.S., there is not a single state law that holds police to that standard. States give cops much greater leeway. “All state laws fail to meet international law and standards,” according to the report. “None of the laws establish the requirement that lethal force may only be used as a last resort with non-violent means and less harmful means to be tried first.”

The wide latitude officers are given in the decision to use deadly force in some cases is disturbing. For example, “[n]ine states provide law enforcement officers with authority to use lethal force to suppress a riot,” according to the report. Other states allow cops to use lethal force on a fleeing suspect believed to have committed a violent felony, even if there is no immediate risk of harm. Nine states don’t have any law on the books restricting deadly force, leaving only court decisions to govern when officers are allowed to take potentially lethal action.

Many local laws extend the power to justifiably take a life to people who aren’t even members of law enforcement, but are acting on their behalf or at their direction. “Twenty states authorize private actors to use lethal force in assisting officers in making an arrest,” the report states. In April of this year, Tulsa, Oklahoma volunteer deputy Robert Bates — who some accounts refer to as a “pay to play” cop — shot and killed Eric Harris as he fled from police, the highest profile example of a private citizen using lethal force as he patrolled alongside actual officers.

Other laws don’t even live up to the U.S.’s own Constitutional standards. According to the report, 13 states “have statutes that currently violate the U.S. Constitution by allowing officers to use lethal force to apprehend a felon even if the crime committed did not involve the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm or the suspect does not pose a threat of death or serious injury to officers or the public.”

The report also concluded that the degree of discretion officers are given when it comes to using deadly force disproportionately affects African-Americans. “While blacks represent 13.2 per cent of the U.S. population, they represent 27.6 percent of the total deaths at the hands of police,” Amnesty wrote. And the problems of racist policing extend beyond unlawful killings. “The use of lethal force against people of color in the United States should be seen in the context of a wider pattern of racially discriminatory treatment by law enforcement officers, including unjustified stops and searches, and racial profiling.”

In response to recent calls for accountability, President Barack Obama convened a taskforce to examine whether police departments face too little accountability and oversight. In May, the taskforce released their findings, which included recommendations for law enforcement to work with communities of color to address areas of potential improvement. Additionally, the Obama administration pledged to slow the militarization of police departments nationwide. Still, according to the report, more has to be done to affirmatively protect the lives of Americans from police misconduct.

“What you find is that a lot of individuals doing this work assume that laws are in place to protect them, when really they’re not,” says Jamira Burley, senior campaigner at Amnesty. “So our goal is to make sure the U.S. is being held accountable at every level of government to protect individuals from police officers who are using deadly force.”

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 5, 2015 @ 1:31 am

Thanks Vicki for these very helpful and useful comments.

As to adding RESILIENCE over 30 [over 1/3?] of the NSS [national security staff] are housed in and nominally serve to facilitate the RESILIENCE mission of the NSC [National Security Council] personnel combined into the NSS by President Obama when he eliminated separate staffing of the NSC and HSC.

Few of the NSS actually work on RESILIENCE IMO.

And NO Committee or subcommittee of the House or Senate is charged with RESILIENCE for oversight either investigatory or legislative.

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