Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Chas Kissick
Thursday, June 11, 2020, 4:12 PM

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said that he should not have been with President Trump during a photo opportunity outside St. John's Church last week, which he said created the appearance of military involvement in politics, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Gen. Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a letter to the House Armed Services Committee that the National Guard’s role in police responses to protests in Washington, D.C. was a precautionary measure. The letter came after a missed deadline to answer legislators’ questions on the military’s actions during the protests, the Washington Post reports.

Amazon has placed a one-year moratorium on sales of its facial recognition software to police after civil rights advocates raised concerns of racial bias in the technology. IBM made a similar decision this week, the BBC writes.

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday authorizing expanded visa sanctions and introduced new economic sanctions against International Criminal Court (ICC) officials in response to ongoing ICC investigations into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, the Hill reports.

Germany has called for the European Union to impose sanctions on a Russian suspect accused of hacking the German parliament in 2015, the Journal reports. The sanctions would mark the first use of a new EU power to place travel bans and freeze bank accounts in response to cyberattacks.

Some prominent critics of the Chinese government and pro-democracy activists have accused Zoom of caving to pressure from Beijing by shuttering their accounts and live events in three separate incidents, the Post writes. The events were being hosted outside of China, but Zoom responded that it was forced to respect Chinese laws due to the presence on the call of viewers based in China.

A bipartisan bill proposes to allocate $12 billion to semiconductor research at federal agencies and create a $10 billion fund to match state and local incentives for the construction of semiconductor manufacturing facilities. The bill aims to boost U.S. competitiveness against recent Chinese investments in chip production, according to the Journal.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Reps. Katie Porter and Jackie Speier argued against Department of Defense requests to roll back post-service lobbying restrictions on members of the military and senior civilians at the Pentagon.

Jack Goldsmith advocated for Congress to limit the president’s discretion to appoint temporary inspectors general rather than placing constitutionally-questionable “for-cause” restrictions on their removal.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of Rational Security, in which Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes discuss the government’s response to protests against police violence in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

Elliot Setzer shared an amicus brief by John Gleeson filed in opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Setzer also shared the transcript of last week's House deposition by former State Department inspector general Steve Linick regarding his abrupt firing last month.

Mikhaila Fogel announced a Lawfare Live discussion with David Kris on what a Joe Biden presidency would mean for U.S. national security priorities.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring an interview with David Frum on President Trump, Trumpism and dealing with “Trumpists.”

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