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A counter-terrorism expert explains what border agents really think about Trump’s border wall

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On Wednesday, Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway chided Republicans for failing to secure funding for a border wall when they held both Houses of Congress.

Conway claimed that the GOP’s failure to build a wall while they were in a majority justified President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration.

“There’s no question the Republican House failed, and they failed us in securing the border, but they also failed to make good on the promise to him that we would get that money for the wall,” Conway said on Fox and Friends. “They completely lied about that.”

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When President Trump, who is currently conducting talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, makes his pitch for a wall, he cites the dangers that a wall would keep out of America.

That includes deadly drugs, criminals, and terrorists. He also claims that border agents largely support the idea of a wall.

But that’s hardly true across the board.

Raw Story spoke with Sgt. Terry Blevins, who worked as a detective in Arizona. He’s a former Terrorism Liaison Officer and security advisor with the US Department of Defense and State Department.

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Blevins explained why in all of his years battling crime and working to prevent terrorism, the idea of a wall—much less that illegal immigration constitutes a national emergency–rarely occurred to him.

Tana Ganeva: You’ve worked border security and anti-terrorism in Arizona. What do you think of the President’s border wall?

Terry Blevins: Well, I just don’t believe that it’s going to stop the flow of drugs. We know that the drugs that come across the areas of the border where there is no wall is a small percentage of the overall ingress of drugs.

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Most come through border check points and the cartels have all kinds of ingenious ways they smuggle drugs, like ultra light planes to fly over and drop, or by airports or by ships. There are SO many other ways … I feel like the money would be better spent in other areas than putting up a border wall.

To make the argument that a wall is going to stop the flow of drugs into the US betrays an ignorance of the actual numbers.

Tana Ganeva: What do you think of the President declaring a national emergency over immigration?

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Terry Blevins: You know, I don’t believe that it’s gotten to the level of being a national emergency. I don’t know the politics behind that particular part of it. But I just don’t see the danger that is created by the lack of a border wall that would elevate it to that level. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Tana Ganeva: The President’s main pitch regarding the wall is that it’s needed to keep Americans safe from criminals. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Terry Blevins: I worked in counter terrorism before and we really have not had significant ingress of people suspected or accused of terrorism crossing the border in the areas where there is no wall. Most of the people who have been suspected of terrorism came in by plane, or boat or legal entry check points.

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In a way it’s kind of surprising. But for whatever reason, the numbers just aren’t there to support the idea that we would be slowing down any kind of terrorist activity.

As far as crime goes … undocumented immigrants don’t commit crimes at any higher rates than the average US citizen or legal immigrants. I don’t think investing all that money on the wall is going to have a significant impact on crime. We should be focusing on spending that money elsewhere.

My instincts, back when I was working it…I might have felt different. But, when one looked at the numbers … and also just seeing what was happening. I was never involved in any kind of situation at the Arizona counter terrorism information center, where I worked with immigration and border control and county agencies that patrol the border … we never had any situation where we had suspected terrorists crossing the border through those areas. It just didn’t happen.

We used to get bulletins constantly. One of the main purposes … So this was a fusion center. After 9/11 there was a big push to have local and federal agencies communicate better.

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One of the first in the nation was the Arizona counter terrorism information center. We created these fusion centers to share intelligence. They’d share it with member agencies. It was really cool for getting intelligence.

Every day we got bulletins … it even got tiresome! And we just never had a situation where there were crimes, where putting up border walls would solve them.

Like, “Ohhhh we need a wall!” never occurred to me. We always needed more intelligence gathering, science, technology. But just building a wall … I just never felt like “We should have a wall there!” That was never really a conversation among law enforcement that I spoke to. Even the border patrol agents.

I guess someone might say a wall could solve border problems. But that’s by no means a unanimous feeling or push at the federal or local law enforcement level to get a wall built on the border.

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Justin Amash rips Trump for taking ‘orders’ from Saudi Arabia

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Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) blasted President Donald Trump for taking "orders" from Saudi Arabia as he threatened a military strike against Iran.

The Republican-turned-independent lawmaker called on Congress to determine what response was necessary to an alleged attack on oil production facilities in the Saudi Arabia, after the president warned the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" and awaiting further instruction from the kingdom.

"Under our Constitution, the power to commence war lies with Congress, not the president and certainly not Saudi Arabia," Amash tweeted. "We don’t take orders from foreign powers."

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REVEALED: Russia carried out ‘stunning’ operation that hurt FBI’s ability to track its spies during 2016 election

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Yahoo News is reporting that Russia carried out what is being described as a "stunning" operation in the United States that hampered the FBI's ability to track Russian spies during the 2016 presidential election.

According to Yahoo, Russia in 2016 made a technological breakthrough that allowed it to compromise the FBI's encrypted radio systems used by mobile surveillance teams who keep tabs on suspected Russian spies operating in the U.S. Russia even managed to compromise these teams' backup systems that consisted of cellphones with push-to-talk capabilities, thus further hindering the surveillance teams' ability to do their jobs.

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The DOJ is suing Omarosa over the same law Brett Kavanaugh is accused of violating: Ex-White House ethics chief

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On Monday, former Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub noted a massive double standard at the Justice Department, pointing out that government attorneys are suing Omarosa Manigault Newman for financial disclosure violations — while giving a free pass to Brett Kavanaugh, who is accused of even more serious financial disclosure violations.

In fact, noted Shaub, not only is the DOJ not pursuing that allegation, Attorney General Bill Barr is giving the DOJ employees who helped fast-track Kavanaugh through Supreme Court confirmation hearings a prestigious award, usually reserved for prosecutors who take down terrorists and mob bosses:

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