By Sonu Munshi, The ArizonaRepublicUpdatedPEORIA, Ariz. – A policesergeant under internalinvestigation for posting acontroversial photo on Facebook has been taken off patrol dutypending a complete inquiry,Peoria Police Chief Roy MinterJr. told The Republic Tuesday.• By Rob Schumacher, TheArizona Republic PresidentObama visits Intel's OcotilloCampus in Chandler, Ariz., onJan. 25. A controversial photo of him was posted days before hisvisit.By Rob Schumacher, TheArizona RepublicPresident Obama visits Intel'sOcotillo Campus in Chandler,Ariz., on Jan. 25. A controversialphoto of him was posted daysbefore his visit.The photo, that has since beenremoved, along with Sgt. PatShearer's Facebook profile,featured seven students fromCentennial High in Peoria, withone holding up a T-shirt with animage of President Obamariddledwith bullets.The Facebook photo was postedJan. 20, days before thepresident's visit to the area.The police launched itsinvestigation after theU.S. SecretServicebegan looking into thematter. A spokeswoman with theU.S. Department of Justice onTuesday declined to comment onwhether they would pursue thematter.The widely reported posting drewinterest from across the country.Shearer since Monday has beenassigned to administrative dutiesuntil the internal investigation iscompleted, Minter said.He declined to comment on if and how the sergeant's actionshave impacted the department,citing the ongoing investigation."Part of the conversation we havehad with department members isthe need to be aware of not justthe social media policy but alldepartment policies andprocedures," Minter said.The police department's 1-year-old social media policy states that"employees shall not use theagency's name, logo, patch,badge, uniform, marked vehiclesand other identifying symbols onany internet site or any forum(public or private) unlessexpressly authorized to do so aspart of their specific job duties."When the photo was posted,Shearer's profile photo showedhim in uniform. He also identifiedhimself as working for the PeoriaPolice Department.Danielle Airey, spokeswoman forthe Peoria school district, said shehas met with the seven students inthe photograph, some of whomare on the school football team.She said the teens met with theentire football team and schooladministrators to apologize.The school principal also sent anautomated call to families of Centennial students. "Part of hermessage was this is an opportunetime to remind all students andadults that it's important to becognizant of your digitalfootprint," Airey said.Peoria spokesman Bo Larsen saidsome top city officials intend touse this case as a learningopportunity."At the end of the day, employeesrepresent the city so this issomething we want to address forthe future," Larsen said. "It'sopened some eyes as to what weneed to address going forward aswell." For more information aboutreprints & permissions, visit ourFAQ's. To report corrections andclarifications, contact StandardsEditor Brent Jones. Forpublication consideration in thenewspaper, send comments email@example.com. Includename, phone number, city andstate for verification. To view ourcorrections, go tocorrections.usatoday.com. USATODAY is now using Facebook Comments on our stories and blogposts to provide an enhanced userexperience. To post a comment,log into Facebook and then "Add"your comment. To report spam orabuse, click the "X" in the upperright corner of the comment box.To find out more, read theFAQandConversation Guidelines.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
WASHINGTON (AP) –Supposedly friendly Afghansecurity forces have attackedU.S.and coalition troops 45 timessince May 2007, U.S. officialssay, for the first time laying outdetails and analysis of attacks thathave killed 70 and wounded 110.By Allauddin Khan, APAfghan policemen walk withU.S. soldiers Jan. 7 in Kandahar.U.S. defense officials say Afghansattacked American troops forpersonal reasons in most cases.In testimony prepared fordelivery Wednesday to theHouseArmed Services Committee,defense officials said that in mostcases the Afghans acted out of personal motivation and were notcontrolled or directed by insurgentgroups. The second most commoncircumstances involved insurgentsimpersonating or infiltratingAfghan security forces.Such insider attacks by Afghansecurity forces have been on therise, punctuated by the Jan. 20shooting of four French troops byan Afghan soldier, whichprompted France to halt itstraining program and threaten towithdraw its forces fromAfghanistan earlier than planned.The incidents further erodesupport for the increasinglyunpopular war in Afghanistan,and add more complications to thealready difficult mission of U.S.forces.The figures do not include anincident Wednesday in which anAfghan soldier shot and killed aNATOservice member insouthern Afghanistan.International forces and theAfghan army disagreed on exactlywhat happened in the killing. Aspokesman for the internationalmilitary force said Afghansoldiers detained the gunman afterhe attacked NATO troopsTuesday night.Afghan NationalArmycommander Sayed Malluk confirmed the shooting, but saidthe Afghan soldier toldinvestigators it was an accident.The U.S. defense officials'testimony, obtained by theAssociated Press in advance of Wednesday's hearing, lays out thescreening process for Afghannationals who are brought in toprovide security for U.S. forces.And it includes improvements inthe program made after an attack at Forward Operating BaseFrontenac in March 2011 thatkilled two U.S. soldiers andwounded four others. The base isinKandahar Provincein southernAfghanistan, and lawmakers havebeen demanding details about theincident."The insider threat is an issue of increasing significance tocoalition forces andAfghanNational Security Forcesoperating in Afghanistan," thedefense officials said. "It createsdistrust between our forces andtheir Afghan counterparts during acritical juncture in Afghanistan."Among the officials scheduled topresent the data to the committeeare Deputy Assistant DefenseSecretary David Sedney and Brig.Gen. Stephen Townsend, who isthe Pentagon's director of thePakistan-Afghanistancoordination group.While there have been someinstances of insurgents secretly joining the Afghan securityforces, officials said it is difficultto determine how often that hashappened because the infiltratoroften remains undetected.Insurgents can easily disguisethemselves as Afghan securityforces and have been doing somore often, the military said,noting that the attackers simplyobtain and wear Afghan uniforms.Overall, however, officials saidmost attacks have come frommembers of the Afghan forces"acting intentionally yetindependently" without any directguidance from outside insurgentgroups. They are generallyspurred by personal motivations,grievances, ideologicaldifferences or even combat stress.Until now, Pentagon officials hadnot released figures on thenumber of incidents. But theofficials said there have been 42incidents involving Afghansecurity forces and three othersinvolving private securitycompany personnel. In most casesthe assault involved small armsfire.The report to Congress alsoincludes details about the March2011 incident that involved anAfghan man hired by the privatesecurity contractor Tundra, whichprovides protection at nineinstallations in Afghanistan.Security companies that hireAfghans are required to carry outan in-depth vetting process thatincludes verifying applicants'identities, work history, addressand other personal information, aswell as police checks,fingerprinting and other biometricinformation such as iris scans andphotographs. The contractors arealso required to report individualswho turn out to be security risks.According to the defenseofficials, Tundra's official recordshad indicated the company hadinvestigated the man involved inthe Frontenac attack as a possiblethreat but the allegation wasunsubstantiated. And Tundra didnot pass that information along toU.S. military authorities prior tothe Frontenac incident.As a result of the attack, themilitary issued a request forcorrective action — a formalaction taken against contractorsthat requires them to submit plansto fix the problems found. Tundrasubmitted a plan, which wasaccepted by the military, and thecase was closed, although thecontract will continue to beaudited.Since then the U.S. has directedcommanders to conduct randomchecks on private securitycompanies to ensure that all of their personnel are properlyscreened, including all of thebiometric requirements.Commanders also have to doweekly biometric screenings of local nationals to compare againstwatch lists.Copyright 2012 The AssociatedPress. All rights reserved. Thismaterial may not be published,broadcast, rewritten orredistributed. For moreinformation aboutreprints &permissions, visit our FAQ's. Toreport corrections andclarifications, contact StandardsEditor Brent Jones. Forpublication consideration in thenewspaper, send comments firstname.lastname@example.org. Includename, phone number, city andstate for verification. To view our
Updated 10:23 a.m. ETFresh from his decisive Floridaprimary victory, Mitt Romneysaid this morning the combativeattacks he traded with rival NewtGingrich were "helpful" and willmake him tougher.STORY:Romney the comeback kidRomney acknowledged the sharptenor of the GOP presidential racein a round of morning talk-showinterviews. He said the bittercharges he and Gingrichexchanged in Florida will helphim in the fall if he wins theRepublican nomination.The former Massachusettsgovernor, who has won two of thefirst four primaries or caucuses,said he's prepared to take the GOPrace all the way to the nationalconvention in Tampa this August."I recognize this is going to be along road," he said on CNN'sStarting Point. "I certainly want togo a long way, go to theconvention as a winner."On NBC's Today show, Romneysaid "the path ahead is lookingvery good." He added that he triedto give the "truth" to Floridavoters about Gingrich. The formerHouse speaker charged severaltimes in the last 10 days thatRomney was distorting his record."What's going to come fromBarack Obama will be the same, just a heck of a lot more it,"Romney said.Romney also noted that Gingrichdid not call him last night tocongratulate him on his 14-pointFlorida victory or when he wonthe New Hampshire primary, eventhough Romney called Gingrichwhen he won the South Carolinaprimary."I guess Speaker Gingrich doesn'thave our phone number," he saidon NBC.C. Edmund Wright, a spokesmanfor the pro-Gingrich groupWinning Our Future, decried thenegative advertising unleashed inFlorida. "Mitt Romney will neverbe president, and the campaign hehad to run in Florida proves thathe knows it," Wright said in an e-mail sent to reporters.Asked about a Boston Globereport that he is seeking formerrival Michele Bachmann'sendorsement, Romney did notanswer specifically about courtingthe Minnesota congresswoman.But he told NBC that he wouldlike "all endorsements I canpossibly get."This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.