FBI chief not invited to White House extremism summit? Unreal. Everything democrat is a disaster.


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Dec 8, 2013
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WASHINGTON — The White House did not invite the most senior American official charged with preventing terrorist attacks — the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey — to the three-day conference this week on countering violent extremism in the United States and abroad because the administration did not want the event too focused on law enforcement issues, according to senior American officials.

But Mr. Comey’s Russian counterpart — Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, the director of the Russian Federal Security Service, the post-Soviet K.G.B. — was at the meeting, even though international human rights groups have repeatedly accused the Russian security service of unjustly detaining and spying on Russians and others.

The service also declined to provide American counterterrorism and intelligence officials with information before the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that would probably have led to more scrutiny of one of the suspects.

Several other foreign law enforcement officials attended the conference, which was held in Washington. The meeting has been criticized as ineffectual and irrelevant, and not focused on immediate and tangible solutions to stop terrorists. And some Republicans said that President Obama’s speech to the assembled leaders on Wednesday did not lay out a strategy for defeating groups like the Islamic State.

The omission of Mr. Comey adds further uncertainty over who in the government is in charge of the anti-extremist effort. Just a few months ago, the F.B.I. put out a lengthy bulletin on its website about how it was leading “a new approach to countering violent extremism.” Many of the strategies listed by the F.B.I. appear similar to ones mentioned at the meeting.

An Obama administration official defended the decision not to invite Mr. Comey, saying that “while the F.B.I. works tirelessly to keep the country safe, this conference was not centered on federal law enforcement.”

The official said that the administration’s efforts to counter violent extremists “are premised on the notion that local officials and communities can be an effective bulwark against violent extremism, and most of the participants — spanning community leaders, local, law enforcement, private sector innovators, and others — reflected this bottom-up approach.” A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment.

Mr. Comey’s boss, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., attended the conference, and several F.B.I. officials participated in its panels, the official said.

The administration did not specifically invite Mr. Bortnikov, the official said. Instead, it had sent a general invitation to the Russian government, which chose Mr. Bortnikov, along with others, to come to Washington.

The administration did not try to prevent Mr. Bortnikov, who rarely visits the United States, from attending, said the official, who did not want to be identified discussing internal White House deliberations. Mr. Bortnikov is on the European Union sanctions list in response to the crisis in Ukraine, but he is not subject to American sanctions.

The programs intended to prevent Americans from becoming extremists are led by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Obama administration said in a news release on Wednesday that the effort to counter violent extremism “encompasses the preventive aspects of counterterrorism as well as interventions to undermine the attraction of extremist movements and ideologies that seek to promote violence.”

What a fucking disaster.

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