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10351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 06:50:38 PM
NYPD started the first police aviation unit in 1919.



The Houston Police Helicopter Division was establish in 1970. The Helicopter Division's first helicopters were model 300c Hughes crafts. The Police Museum has an earlier style police helicopter hanging from the ceiling. The craft is called a "FOX" because of the call numbers on the tail of all HPD Helicopters. All HPD craft markings end with the letter "F." The Military alphabet uses this letter in conjunction with the word Fox. Thus, 53Fox would be the radio call numbers for the craft that now hangs in the museum.
10352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 04:42:16 PM
10353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 04:13:46 PM
OMG! The police have aircraft!!!!   shocked

10354  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 04, 2010, 01:51:24 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9471721

Extremists Online Discussed Blowing Up Planes Weeks Before Northwest Flight 253 Attempt
Online Extremists Recommended Methods Exactly Like Those Used by Abdulmutallab
By SIMON MCGREGOR-WOOD
JERUSALEM, Jan. 4, 2010 —


Extremist Internet forums discussed blowing up planes three weeks before the Detroit attempt -- and have also discussed ways of using deadly biological agents onboard planes.

A private Israeli intelligence company told ABC News Monday there was a surge of online discussions in extremist Islamic forums about blowing up planes three weeks before Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to bring down Northwest Flight 253. The discussions recommended using "improvised detonation chain" devices, exactly like the one used onboard the Detroit-bound flight.

The company has also tracked specific -- and in its view -- credible plans to attack planes using deadly biological agents.

The company, Terrogence, is run by former intelligence agents who for the last four years have monitored and occasionally participated anonymously in extremist Internet sites.

Three weeks ago company founder Gadi Aviran and colleagues noticed a surge in Internet traffic from well-known extremists talking about how to bring down planes using combinations of chemicals including PETN, the chemical used by Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day.

"These discussions were about the exact same technique used on the Detroit flight," he said. "There were very detailed instructions on how many grams of chemicals to use, so as to avoid detection. They also talked in great detail about what liquids should be used."

10355  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 04, 2010, 12:09:36 PM
We are pretty much fcuked.
10356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 04, 2010, 12:07:55 PM
http://volokh.com/posts/1116609947.shtml

Should the FBI Have Administrative Subpoena Authority?:

Yesterday's papers reported that Senator Roberts of the Senate Intelligence Committee has a bill in the works that would give the FBI the administrative subpoena authority it has been seeking in terrorism cases. So you're wondering: what's administrative subpoena authority? And should the FBI have it? I wanted to offer a few thoughts to shed light on the first question and frame the second. (Warning: long and inconclusive post ahead.)

  First some background, taken largely from my recent testimony on the Patriot Act. At the most basic level, any modern legal regime that allows the government to investigate crime or terrorism must address a number of basic methods for acquiring information. In particular, the law must cover three basic types of authorities:
1) Authority to conduct physical searches to retrieve physical evidence or collect information.
2) Authority to compel third parties to produce physical evidence or disclose information.
3) Authority to conduct real-time monitoring over communications networks.
  In the case of criminal investigations, the legal regime that covers these authorities is well established. The first authority is governed by the traditional Fourth Amendment warrant requirement. The police must have a search warrant based on probable cause to enter a home or business unless a person with apparent or actual authority over the place consents, exigent circumstances exist, or another exception to the warrant requirement applies.

  The second authority is governed by the Fourth Amendment rules governing subpoenas. A subpoena is an order to compel: it requires the recipient to either report to testify or to disclose physical evifence at a particular time and place. Although many different types of subpoenas exist, the basic idea is that the subpoena authority is vested in some body, whether in the grand jury (which is really run by prosecutors, but at least in theory is just a groups of citizens) or a government agency. A subpoena can be issued under a wide range of circumstances: the information need only be relevant to the government’s investigation, and compliance with the subpoena cannot be overly burdensome to the subpoena recipient. No judge is consulted before the subpoena is issued; instead, the recipient of the subpoena can challenge it in court before complying.

  So much for the regime applicable in criminal cases. What about the law for intelligence investigations? In these cases, the government is not trying to deter and punish crime, but rather to collect intelligence ifnromation about threats to the Nation so it can defend itself. The law governing monitoring for intelligence purposes is somewhat different than the law governing evidence collection for criminal cases. The Fourth Amendment’s requirements are much less clear – and generally less strong – than in the routine criminal context. As a general matter, the few courts that have confronted how the Fourth Amendment applies to intelligence collection have held that the rules are somewhat similar to the rules for criminal investigations but also more flexible. When the Fourth Amendment applies, information and evidence collection must be reasonable in light of the countervailing demands and interest of intelligence collection. See United States v. United States District Court, 407 U.S. 297, 323-24 (1972); In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 717, 745-46 (Foreign Int. Surv. Ct. Rev. 2002). This legal framework appears to place Congress in the primary role of generating the law governing intelligence collection, with the Fourth Amendment serving as a backstop that reviews Congress’s approach to ensure that it is constitutionally
reasonable.

  Congress has responded to the challenge by passing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as “FISA.” FISA attempts to create a statutory regime for intelligence monitoring that largely parallels analogous rules for gathering evidence in criminal cases. First, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1821-29 covers the authority to conduct physical searches, a parallel to the provision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that allows investigators to obtain a search warrant in criminal cases. Second, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1861-62 and 18 U.S.C. § 2709 covers authority to compel third-parties to disclose records and physical evidence, a parallel to the provision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that allows the issuance of subpoenas in criminal investigations.

  Okay, enough background. The debates over the FISA-related provisions of the Patriot Act — and the current debate on whether the FBI should have administrative subpoena authority — focus primarily on the second type of authority: powers to compel third parties to produce physical evidence or disclose information. For the most part, such powers to compel are used to obtain business records from third parties, like the phone company, banks, Internet service providers, and the like that have records relating to what the suspect has been up to recently. (It generally doesn't work to serve an order to compel on a suspect directly, as that tips off the suspect to the surveillance and raises Fifth Amendment privilege issues.) Specifically, critics object to the weak privacy regulations found in provisions such as Section 215 of the Patriot Act that address the government’s power to compel third parties to produce physical evidence or disclose information in intelligence cases. And they object to vesting the power to issue such orders in an agency like the FBI. The general concern is that these orders to compel give the government too much power, as they allow the government to issue an order without getting careful judicial review of the order beforehand.

  So what standard should apply? The difficult part about this question is finding the right frame of reference. If your frame of reference is the grand jury subpoena power in the criminal context, then giving the FBI administrative subpoena power probably doesn't seem so objectionable — it raises some concerns, but isn't entirely objectionable. The reason is that the grand jury subpoena power is already tremendously broad. The Supreme Court has held that a grand jury subpoena can be issued if the order to compel seeks information that may be relevant to a criminal investigation. See United States v. R. Enterprises, Inc., 498 U.S. 292 (1991). This authority “paints with a broad brush” by design, permitting subpoenas to be issued ordering third parties to disclose physical evidence and information “merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even just because . . . assurance [is sought] that it is not.” Id. at 297 (quoting United States v. Morton Salt Co., 338 U.S. 632, 642-643 (1950)). The Court has justified this low standard on the ground that orders to compel evidence from third parties are preliminary investigative tools designed to determine if more invasive forms of surveillance are necessary. "[T]he Government cannot be required to justify the issuance of a grand jury subpoena by presenting evidence sufficient to establish probable cause because the very purpose of requesting the information is to ascertain whether probable cause exists." See R. Enterprises, Inc., 498 U.S. at 297.

  The question is, should the government have an analogous power in intelligence investigations, and if so, what is exactly is the intelligence analogy to traditional criminal grand jury subpoena authority? On one hand, it makes some sense to give the government that power: if the government has long had the power to issue subpoenas in minor crime cases, it seems a bit strange that they don't have this same power in terrorism cases. In that sense, giving the FBI administrative subpoena power simply recognizes the historically contingent limitations on the grand jury power. At the same time, it's not clear that FBI administrative subpoena power would really be analogous to the grand jury power. If an FBI agent wants a subpoena, he still needs to go to a prosecutor; the proseuctor issues the subpoena in the name of the grand jury. This introduces one important check on the system, as the investigative agency cannot issue the grand jury subpoena itself. If you want the FBI to be tempered in its efforts by the check of another agency, administrative subpoena authority can seem troublesome.

  But once again, this depends on your frame of reference. More civil libertarian readers will object to the subpoena power, and argue that we should judge orders to compel evidence (category #2) based on the legal standards that traditionally govern orders to conduct direct searches (category #1). There are reasons why the law regulates category #2 less strongly than category #1 — Judge Friendly had the classic explanation in a case called United States v. Horowitz, and lawprof Bill Stuntz has doen a lot of great work on this area — but many will find these arguments unpersuasive and want orders to compel to follow the traditional warrant requirement. The subpoena power will seem like an end-run around the usual protections. At the same time, other readers may take the opposite frame of reference, and note that many agencies have had administrative subpoena power already, as detailed in this very good report from the Congressional Research Service. If lots of agencies have this power already, they'll reason, why not give it to the FBI for the most important of investigations?

  As this inconclusive post suggests, I'm not sure of where I come out on the bottom line. On one hand, I do think that the regime of intelligence investigation needs some kind of subpoena equivalent. All successful regimes of evidence collection rely on a mix of low-threshold investigatory steps and higher-threshold investigatory steps; the idea is that investigators should be able to do the less-invasive low-threshold investigatory steps to get evidence to be able to rule out or reaffirm the need to conduct more-invasive higher-threshold investigatory steps. I don't see why intelligence investigations are different on that score. At the same time, I'm not sure that giving the FBI administrative subpoena authority is the way to go. While a number of agencies have such power, they tend to have more limited scope. My initial sense is that there must be ways of increasing oversight beyond that of administrative subpoenas without interfering with their effectiveness as investigative tools. I hope Congress takes a hard look at them before giving the FBI administrative subpoena authority.

  Hat tip: Phil Carter, who also has thoughts on this.
Related Posts (on one page):

1.The Case for and Against Administrative Subpoenas:
2.Should the FBI Have Administrative Subpoena Authority?:
10357  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 04, 2010, 11:43:17 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34687312/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

NBC: Jordanian double-agent killed CIA officers
Officials: Perpetrator of Afghan attack was supposed to infiltrate al-Qaida
By Robert Windrem and Richard Engel, NBC News
updated 9:23 a.m. MT, Mon., Jan. 4, 2010
The suicide bombing on a CIA base in Afghanistan last week was carried out by a Jordanian doctor who was an al-Qaida double agent, Western intelligence officials told NBC News.

Initial reports said that the attack, which killed seven CIA officers, was carried out by a member of the Afghan National Army.

According to Western intelligence officials, the perpetrator was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, 36, an al-Qaida sympathizer from the town of Zarqa, which is also the hometown of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant Islamist responsible for several devastating attacks in Iraq.
10358  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: January 04, 2010, 10:24:20 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/04/no-rise-in-atmospheric-carbon-over-the-last-150-years-university-of-bristol/

No rise in atmospheric carbon fraction over the last 150 years: University of Bristol
10359  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: January 04, 2010, 10:06:46 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/04/27-million-in-porkulus-money-spent-in-nonexistent-zip-codes/

$27 million in Porkulus money spent in nonexistent zip codes
10360  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Corrections and Prison on: January 04, 2010, 08:33:18 AM

Prisons: Correctional Officers - Correctional Officer Stress

Correctional officer stress

A number of studies have documented that C.O.s experience higher levels of stress than most other occupational groups (Laskey, Gordon, and Strebalus; Lindquist and Whitehead; Honnold and Stinchcomb; and Wright). There are numerous stressors in the C.O.s' work environment. They live by a macho code that requires them to be rugged individualists who can be counted upon to do their duty regardless of circumstances. Both management and C.O.s expect that every officer will perform the functions of their assignment independently, and seek assistance only when it is absolutely necessary, as in the case of physical assault, escape, or riot. This macho code combined with the unpredictability of working with inmates, role ambiguity, and demographic changes in the work force create high C.O. stress levels.

In addition, C.O.s frequently complain of structural stressors associated with the traditional autocratic style of correctional management: feelings of being trapped in the job; low salaries; inadequate training; absence of standardized policies, procedures, and rules; lack of communication with managers; and little participation in decision-making (Philliber). The failure of managers to support line staff has been emphasized by Lombardo and Brodsky. There are also gender differences in stress perception. Zimmer and Jurik have found that female C.O.s report higher levels of stress than male C.O.s because of employee sexual harassment, limited supervisory support, and a lack of programs designed to integrate them into the male prison.

The consequences of stress include: powerful feelings of alienation, powerlessness, estrangement, and helplessness; physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and ulcers (Cornelius); twice the national divorce rate average; and high rates of suicide, alcoholism, and heart attacks. Cheek reports that C.O.s have an average life span of fifty-nine years compared to a national average of seventy-five years. The organizational consequences of stress include high employee turnover, reduced job productivity, high rates of absenteeism and sick leave use, and inflated health-care costs and disability payments (Patterson). Some C.O.s also respond to stress by engaging in corruption or inmate brutality.

Correctional managers have responded to these consequences by seeking to recruit and retain individuals who have the psychological resources to handle the stress of institutional life. Application selection methods rely on psychological testing, background checks, and rigorous interviews. Those applicants who are hired are required to complete a probationary period that is, on average, ten months in length and includes 232 hours of entry-level training (Camp and Camp, p. 146) before they can be assigned a permanent job within the correctional facility. This probationary period begins with standardized training in a correctional training academy whose instructors are qualified to provide oral instruction, written examination, and practical hands-on application of techniques. Training curriculums are designed to provide trainees with the knowledge necessary to become a human services–oriented professional who can assist inmates as they meet the challenges of incarceration and preparation for return to the community. The typical corrections curriculum includes instruction in such diverse areas as: the professional image; interpersonal communications; assertive techniques; development of observation skills; prison subcultures; classification of inmates; legal aspects of corrections; inmate disciplinary procedures; fire prevention; security awareness; stress awareness and management; control of aggressive inmate behavior; cultural sensitivity; emergency preparedness; HIV; report writing; suicidal inmates; mentally disturbed inmates and special behavior problems; principles of control; basic defensive tactics; standard first aid; use of the baton; firearms training; drug awareness; search procedures; use of inmate restraints; transportation of inmate procedures; and weapon cleaning and maintenance. Increasingly, academy curriculums include ethical behavior, cultural sensitivity, and awareness of diversity courses designed to help C.O.s adjust to a work environment that has become increasingly multicultured. State correctional systems now require C.O.s to annually participate in, on average, forty-two hours of in-service training designed to help them maintain high levels of professional efficiency and ethical behavior (Camp and Camp, p. 147).

In addition, correctional managers are increasingly adapting a participatory management style that emphasizes employee empowerment through shared decision-making and input solicitation, unit management, and formal mentoring programs (Cushman and Sechrest; Freeman). This management style is associated with higher levels of employee morale and job satisfaction than is the traditional autocratic management style (Duffee, 1989). As management and training philosophies become more sophisticated C.O.s will be better prepared to manage the stresses inherent in their critical role as human service professionals in an increasingly complex work environment.



Read more: Prisons: Correctional Officers - Correctional Officer Stress http://law.jrank.org/pages/1791/Prisons-Correctional-Officers-Correctional-officer-stress.html#ixzz0becHxcNc
10361  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 02, 2010, 03:51:17 PM

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/02/newsweek-saudis-briefed-top-obama-official-about-underwear-bombers-in-october/

Gee, who coulda seen this coming?Huh   rolleyes
10362  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: January 02, 2010, 03:41:06 PM
The jihadists tend to see charity as "jizya".
10363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 02, 2010, 03:28:44 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/WN/cia-attacker-driven-pakistan/story?id=9463880

Sophisticated.
10364  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 02, 2010, 03:11:48 PM
The double agent homicide bomber appears to have gutted the CIA's Af-Pak operations. I smell the ISI, or at least a jihadist element within.
10365  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "state actor"? on: January 02, 2010, 02:56:42 PM
"state actor"

Does anyone know what he is talking about by this phrase?

Does this mean someone who works for the State Dept., the government in general, or an actor like J.W. Booth?


He means the support of a nation-state, like Iraq or Syria to name a few potentials.
10366  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: January 01, 2010, 09:21:32 AM
Agreed.
10367  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: December 31, 2009, 07:33:37 PM
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/day_of_reckoning_hHNtbO7IbHnphV3rxxYZ8N

I bet the mullahs are losing sleep.  rolleyes
10368  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 31, 2009, 07:22:26 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/31/911-commission-chair-i-cant-believe-were-still-having-these-intel-problems/

Back at 9/10.
10369  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 31, 2009, 01:05:17 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2009/12/stating-and-fixing-obvious.html

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Stating--and Fixing--the Obvious

We've been critical of President Obama on numerous occasions, but today, we'll give him credit for describing last week's breach of airline security as a "systemic failure."

While Mr. Obama's comment might be described as stating the obvious, it was refreshing (if overdue) for someone in the administration to admit that we came periously close to catastrophe in the skies over Michigan on Christmas Day. The President's remarks also made a mockery of earlier statements by other officials, particularly Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano, who initially claimed that the "system worked."

Of course, the President's admission creates a few problems for his national security team. Ms. Napolitano's original assertion was remarkably similar to that of White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who also made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows. So, claims about the system "working" were clearly based on administration talking points. The White House apparently believed the public would accept that explanation until it became a national joke, forcing other officials--and finally, the President--to offer more realistic assessments. It would be an understatement to say Team Obama has suffered another serious blow to its credibility.

Then, there's the little matter of fixing that gaping security breach. The President, in best bureaucratic fashion, has ordered a "top-level review" of the intelligence failures that caused the near-disaster. A preliminary report is due on his desk on New Year's Eve; a more detailed assessment will follow in 2010. Mr. Obama is also promising accountability in the matter. Presumably, that means that someone will lose his (or her) job because of the screw-up, which nearly resulted in hundreds of fatalities.

Unfortunately, the government's track record in accountability is hardly promising. George Tenet, then-Director of Central Intelligence, kept his job after the debacles that led to 9-11. Ditto for other, senior intelligence officials. There's not much motive for senior bureaucrats to improve their job performance--or that of their subordinates--if everyone keeps their jobs, even after the most glaring intelligence failures.

The guarantee of lifetime employment is also a powerful disincentive to end the turf battles that still beset our intelligence community. Consider the "data trail" that preceded Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to bring down Flight 253. Abdulmutallab's father, a prominent Nigerian banker and former government economics minister, personally warned the U.S. Embassy in Lagos last month.

Given the elder Abdulmutallab's stature, it's clear he wasn't passed off to some minor consular official who passed the information along in a routine diplomatic cable. Reading between the lines of this AFP report, it seems clear that the CIA station in Lagos was notified immediately, and it's quite likely that agency personnel were involved in conversations with Abdulmutallab's father.

The CIA also insists that it passed the information to the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC), and ensured that Farouk Abdulmutallab's name was entered into a government database. What happened after that is a bit fuzzy; despite the initial report (and later information that highlighted Abdulmutallab's ties to terrorists in Yemen), the "underwear bomber" never made it onto a no-fly list. The failure was compounded by other red flags, also missed by security personnel. He had no checked luggage for his "trip" to Detroit; Adbulmutallab paid for his one-way ticket in cash and was allowed to board the Northwest flight without a passport.

We suspect that the intelligence problems resulted, in part, from differing security classifications for the various databases. The initial report from Abdulmutallab's father was likely classified at the "Secret" level and disseminated via SIPRNET, the government intranet cleared for material up to that level. Meanwhile, reporting that linked the Nigerian to radicals in Yemen might have been based on SIGINT reporting; information of that type is normally held at the "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI), and disseminated via another network, known as JWICS.

Put another way, it's quite likely that those vital bits of intelligence data were never fused together. That would have given the feds ample reason to bar Abdulmutallab from the flight, although his actions in Amsterdam were more than sufficient for a secondary screening which might have revealed his hidden bomb.

Of course, the intelligence community has an organization that's supposed to "fuse" terrorist-related intel information--the NCTC. But the center is hardly immue from the long-running turf battles between the CIA and the FBI. The two agencies have sparred for years over the counter-terrorism mission and that war has only intensified since 9-11. With billions of budget dollars on the line (and dominance in the counter-terror mission at stake), it's little wonder that the NCTC has become yet another battleground for the FBI and CIA. True, the center actually falls under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), but with the CIA and FBI providing most of the personnel, conflicts over intel sources, methods and information reliability are inevitable.

And the list of problems doesn't end there. Beyond database issues and turf wars, there's the "mindset" that dominates our battles against terrorists. With the arrival of the Obama Team, the U.S. government has returned to a "law enforcement" approach in dealing with terror groups. Closing Gitmo, shipping Khalid Sheik Mohammed to Manhattan for a civilian trial and even the handling of Farouk Abdulmutallab are evidence of a changing mindset, one that will make it more difficult to prosecute terrorists--and implement solutions to deter future attacks.

You see, there's already a successful system for dealing with the types of threats posed by radicals like Abdulmutallab and his handlers in Yemen. It's the Israeli model, based heavily on advanced passenger screening and profiling. Israel's state airline (El Al) and other carriers have used this approach for years, supplemented with additional layers of physical security at the airport and on individual aircraft. Additionally, Israel is the only nation to take the extra measure of installing missile defense systems on passenger jets, protecting them against yet another potential threat.

But enhanced screening and passenger profiling have become dirty words in the United States. Concerns about civil liberties (and the initial cost for such measures) have prevented profiling on U.S. carriers. And, sadly enough, neither the Bush or Obama Administrations have shown any leadership in these areas. Indeed, it will be an uphill battle to install advanced, "full-body" scanners in American airports.

It's easy enough to spot the holes in our existing security system. But mustering the political courage to implement the required fixes is another matter entirely. We're guessing that enhanced passenger screening and profiling measures won't be implemented until an Al Qaida bomber actually succeeds, and brings down a passenger jet, killing hundreds of innocent civilians.

Then--and only then--will our political leaders summon the courage to do the right thing.
10370  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 30, 2009, 02:29:36 PM
Intelligence experts have heard chatter for months about the explosive allegedly used by the underwear bomber. So why has the U.S. cut back on machines that detect it?

U.S. security officials had become increasingly worried in the months leading up to the attempted airplane bombing on Christmas Day about terrorists using the explosive agent concealed by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, several counterterrorism experts tell The Daily Beast. Internet chatter about PETN spiked over the summer, as monitored by U.S. intelligence services, the sources add.

Yet over the past 18 months, a Transportation Security Administration employee tells me, the U.S. has stopped using more than half of the Explosive Trace Portals that have capability of detecting PETN. These are dubbed “puffer” machines because they release several puffs of air to shake loose trace explosive particles as passengers walk through. The TSA employee, who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity and does not agree with the reduced use of puffers, says that there are fewer than 40 machines deployed today, down from 94 in service (and more than 200 purchased).



http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-12-30/the-terrorists-secret-weapon/full/
10371  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 30, 2009, 11:14:54 AM
http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2009/dec/tsa-clears-illegal-aliens-work-ny-airport

TSA Clears Illegal Immigrants To Work At NY Airport
10372  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 30, 2009, 11:01:48 AM
http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/%E2%80%9Cal-qaeda-practises-beating-body-scanners%E2%80%9D

A body scanner at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport would not necessarily have detected the explosives which the would-be syringe bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had sewn into his underwear. A Dutch military intelligence source told De Telegraaf newspaper that Al Qaeda has its own security scanners and has been practicing ways of concealing explosives.

The terrorist group has even carried out test runs at smuggling explosives through European airports, the paper reports.
10373  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 30, 2009, 09:57:56 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,581459,00.html

Better aviation security in Somalia?
10374  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 30, 2009, 01:40:38 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/29/report-cia-knew-about-abdulmuttalab-in-august/comment-page-1/#comments

Not exactly all knowing.
10375  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 30, 2009, 01:18:00 AM
Wait, wait, I know! Suspend habeas corpus and lock up everyone who doesn't pay lip service to the political sensitivities du jour while running roughshod over the rest of the constitution.

What did I win?

A big button that says "I got nothin'".
10376  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 29, 2009, 07:55:19 PM
So, how wquld you interdict blue eyed haji converts born and raised CONUS?
10377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 29, 2009, 05:37:30 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/29/video-former-el-al-security-official-explains-common-sense/

Crafty, BBG, you approve of El Al's methods?
10378  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 29, 2009, 09:12:25 AM
I have no doubt that this was an orchestrated and multi-pronged approach to disrupt not only American air travel, but to create sensitivities in our system to Muslims in order to lower our level of security screening they are put through. We have overt measures by some terrorists to bring down planes and kill Americans in other ways, and we have covert measures by other terrorists to cause law enforcement to be afraid to properly question and screen them. The ACLU and CAIR are as much players in this to use our own civil liberties against us as the overt acts of terror are. Multiple heads from the same snake, IMO.

Exactly!!!

CAIR April Fools
 By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 31, 2006



Once every year, CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations gathers its followers in various ‘hot spots’ around the nation to raise money and flaunt its homemade status as a “civil liberties group,” in an attempt to convince the world that they are something which they are not.  This year’s annual banquet in Florida will fall fittingly on April 1st or April Fools.  The title of the event is ‘Partners for Peace & Justice.’

The keynote speaker for this weekend’s event will be David Cole.  Cole is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, a board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Legal Affairs Correspondent for the publication, The Nation.  As an attorney, he has been involved in a number of high profile cases.  This includes United States v. Eichman, which established that the First Amendment allows for the burning of the American flag.


Cole also played the role of lead counsel for terror operative, Mazen Al-Najjar.  Following a 1997 deportation order for overstaying his student visa, Al-Najjar was jailed as a potential threat to the United States public.  In July, 2001, after a hard fought court battle, Cole and his legal team lost a federal appeal, thereby denying Al-Najjar asylum.  In August of 2002, he was deported to Lebanon.  [Al-Najjar would later be named as a co-defendant in the trial against his brother-in-law, Sami Al-Arian.]
 

Weighing in on the Al-Najjar case was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which stated, in a May 2002 press release: “Mazen Al Najjar has never been charged with a crime, yet he has spent more than four years behind bars, first on secret evidence that he had no chance to rebut, and for the last six months on no evidence of dangerousness whatsoever.”  But at the time, according to the Department of Justice, Al-Najjar “had established ties to terrorist organizations and held leadership positions in the Tampa-based Islamic Concern Project (ICP) and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise,” groups founded by Al-Arian.
 

This was not the first instance of the ACLU being wrong about those that fall under the inglorious title of ‘radical Islamist,’ and it seems that the group is continuing the trend, now with the appointment of a leader of CAIR to its ranks.

 

In a CAIR press release, dated March 8, 2006, the group announced to the world that its National Board Chairman, Parvez Ahmed, had been elected to the board of the ACLU of Florida.  In the past, the ACLU had participated in events with the group and had even ‘locked arms’ in legal actions with CAIR, but never had it gone so far as to take one of its leaders into its ranks.  About his new position, Ahmed, who is also a speaker at the April 1st fundraising dinner, stated: “American Muslims view the protection of civil liberties as one of the most important issues facing our nation today.  By working with the ACLU in Florida, I hope to strengthen constitutional rights and help balance those rights with legitimate national security concerns.”

 

Ahmed’s reason for making that statement – and for getting involved with the ACLU – is apparent.  Since CAIR has been in existence, it has lost a Civil Rights Coordinator, a fundraiser, a Director of Community Relations, and a founding Director of its Texas Chapter, all through conviction or deportation.  CAIR is currently the defendant in a lawsuit put forward by the family of an FBI agent for his murder, during the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.  Bringing Ahmed into its organization, the ACLU gives CAIR the legitimacy it both craves and needs to survive.

 

For Parvez Ahmed, it’s just one more step on his quick rise to power.  Ahmed, who is an assistant professor at the University of North Florida, became CAIR’s Chairman of the Board in May of 2005.  He previously served as Board Chairman for the Florida Chapter of CAIR and as a CAIR National Board member.  In addition to this, Ahmed incorporated – in Jacksonville, Florida, where he resides – CAIR’s now defunct Independent Writers Syndicate (IWS).  According to CAIR, the syndicate was created, because “after 9/11… newspapers became hungry for input from Muslims.”  The service would “distribute original commentaries to newspapers and web sites throughout North America.”  Unfortunately, there were problems with many of the writers.  They included:
 

•Arselan Tariq Iftikhar.  Iftikhar, who is currently CAIR’s National Legal Director, wrote a June 2002 IWS piece, entitled ‘Bush’s Speech – An Interim Insult,’ in which he described Ariel Sharon as a “terrorist.”  He stated, “Ariel Sharon is as much of a terrorist as Yasser Arafat, if not five times more.”  In 2002, Iftikhar was a speaker at a Muslim Students Association (MSA) Conference, which featured numerous Islamist radicals, including Siraj Wahhaj, a man named as a potential co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the South Asia Director for KindHearts, an Islamic charity that was recently closed down by the United States government for financing Hamas.
•Riad Z. Abdelkarim.  Abdelkarim was the Coordinator for IWS.  He was also the co-founder of KinderUSA, which suspended operations in December of 2002, amidst an FBI investigation into its Hamas-related activities.  In addition, he had been involved with the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which the United States government shut down after 9/11, and he was on the Los Angeles board of CAIR.  In May of 2002, Abdelkarim was detained by the Israeli government, along with fellow KinderUSA co-founder, Dallel Mohmed.  The Israelis claimed that the two “charity” workers were “transferring money to sponsor suicide bombings.”
•Fedwa Wazwaz.  In August of 2005, Wazwaz was a ‘Live Dialogue’ guest on Islam Online, a website that features live interviews with leaders of Hamas.  She authored a libelous tirade against Middle East expert Daniel Pipes, in August of 2003, falsely accusing him of “bigotry.”  The title of the piece was ‘Bush Appointee is a Bigot Disguised as a Scholar.’  Wazwaz also, in a November 2002 IWS piece, echoed a conspiracy theory about the Iraq war being started to assist Israel.  She stated, “So the plan to attack Iraq was plotted six years ago by pro-Israelis who now hold key positions in the Pentagon.”
Parvez Ahmed has written some disturbing things in his own right.  In December of 2005, he called for the release of terrorist Sami Al-Arian, in his op-ed entitled, ‘Al-Arian Verdict a Victory for Common Sense.’  Al-Arian had been the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an organization that carries out suicide operations against innocent Israelis.  Al-Arian had also been involved with CAIR’s parent organization, a Hamas-front called the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP).  Ahmed stated, “The Justice Department should respect this sentiment and the verdict reached by Al-Arian’s peers by releasing him so that he may resume a normal life, or as close to normal as possible after such an ordeal.”  Furthermore, Ahmed laments, in the piece, that “the government may retry him on the charges for which the jury could not reach a decision.”
 

Most of the time, though, Ahmed is smart and tries to put a positive spin on matters that would concern most Americans.  In his August 2005 article entitled, ‘A moderate Muslim way to counter terrorism,’ he agrees with the rationale that says suicide bombings have “little to do with the teachings of any religion but [are] rather a response… designed to compel the retreat of an occupation force.”  He says that “Islam… allows for defensive war against combatants but unequivocally forbids the killing of civilians.”
 

However, to Hamas – the organization that CAIR was born out of – targeting civilians is justified, because all Israelis serve in the military.  And the Hamas charter states explicitly that Israel must be destroyed by religious means.  According to the charter:  “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam witll obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it… It is necessary to instill the spirit of Jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters… It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.”
 

CAIR would not be around, if it weren’t for the fact that so many are willing to buy into the group’s ‘dog and pony show.’  With CAIR, the horrors of terrorism and destruction disappear like magic.  Except that they’re not really gone.  We’re just made to think they are.  This April Fools, once again, CAIR will attempt their magic act on the world.  And they’ll even throw in a comedian for good measure.  If we fall for this act, the real fool is us.
10379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 29, 2009, 08:57:47 AM
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-schoenfeld29-2009dec29,0,3794295.story

**How the American Criminal Liberties Union works to get you killed.**

The Bush administration was subjected to withering criticism for the way it managed the no-fly list. The American Civil Liberties Union put the system on its own list of the “Top Ten Abuses of Power Since 9/11,” asserting that “the uncontroversial contention that Osama bin Laden and a handful of other known terrorists should not be allowed on an aircraft” has been exploited “to create a monster.” In one of several lawsuits the group has filed involving terrorist lists, the ACLU alleged that they “violate airline passengers’ constitutional right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and to due process of law.”
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been one among a chorus of voices that accused the former administration of being far too sweeping, placing “infants, nuns and even members of Congress” on terrorist watch lists. The writer Naomi Wolf has called travel restrictions such as the no-fly list, “a classic part of the fascist playbook” akin to the depredations of Nazi Germany, where “families fleeing internment were traumatized by the uncertainties that they knew they faced at the borders.” This was hysteria directed against Bush counter-terrorism mechanisms that the Obama administration has left almost entirely unchanged.
The Department of Homeland Security has indeed received a high volume of complaints about airport screening by individuals attempting to travel. Yet only a minuscule 0.7% of the complaints stemmed from issues relating to the watch lists. And of that 0.7%, about 51% of the complaints led to the conclusion that the individual in question was appropriately on the watch list. Whatever problems exist, the system is not outrageously over-inclusive. Indeed, if anything, the opposite is the case.
We will never know whether fierce criticism from the left had any direct effect on the processing of Abdulmutallab’s file, but the political environment is important to consider going forward. The officials managing the watch lists are not eager to be hauled before a congressional committee if they blunder and bar innocent people from getting on flights. But they are also acutely aware of the potential price tag of being under-inclusive.
10380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 07:56:57 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/28/audio-jetblue-announces-dopey-new-tsa-regulations/

Wow. Now THIS is security theater. We are soooooooo fcuked.
10381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 02:05:46 PM
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/12/28/al-qaeda-group-claims-responsibility-for-christmas-day-attack/

Merry Christmas, from your friends in Yemen.
10382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama springs into action! on: December 28, 2009, 12:32:14 PM
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2009/12/27/could-obama-have-handled-the-christmas-day-attack-any-worse/

My pet goat, Hawaii edition.
10383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 11:34:05 AM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2009/12/she-said-it.html

Pay no attention to the jihadist behind the curtain....
10384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 10:25:02 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/28/state-department-ignored-warning-on-abdulmutallab/

I blame BoooOOOOOsh!
10385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 10:06:04 AM
Officials: Only A Failed Detonator Saved Northwest Flight
Screening Machines May Need to Be Replaced; Al Qaeda Aware of 'Achilles heel'
By RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS
Dec. 26, 2009 

Officials now say tragedy was only averted on Northwest flight 253 because a makeshift detonator failed to work properly.


Man accused of attempt to blow up plane was sent on mission by terror leaders. Bomb experts say there was more than enough explosive to bring down the Northwest jet, which had nearly 300 people aboard, had the detonator not failed, and the nation's outdated airport screening machines may need to be upgraded.

"We've known for a long time that this is possible," said Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar and ABC News consultant, "and that we really have to replace our scanning devices with more modern systems."

Clarke said full body scans were needed, "but they're expensive and they're intrusive. They invade people's privacy."
10386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 10:01:19 AM
The point is that 9/11 was more than the lives lost, it had symbolic and IMHO an economic impact that was intended as a form of "Unrestricted Warfare". AQ and others understand that if you kill America's economy, you kill it's military.

The TSA operates under this: http://www.justice.gov/crt/split/documents/guidance_on_race.php

I'm guessing El Al doesn't.

10387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 09:21:56 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/abdulmutallab-yemen/story?id=9430536

Abdulmutallab: More Like Me In Yemen
Accused Northwest Bomber Says More Bombers On the Way; Al Qaeda Promises to Hit Americans
By BRIAN ROSS and RICHARD ESPOSITO
Dec. 28, 2009 

American officials have cause to worry there may be more al Qaeda-trained young men in Yemen planning to bring down American jets.



Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab told FBI agents there are more just like him in Yemen.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, charged with the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253, told FBI agents there were more just like him in Yemen who would strike soon.

And in a tape released four days before the attempted destruction of the Detroit-bound Northwest plane, the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen boasted of what was planned for Americans, saying, "We are carrying a bomb to hit the enemies of God."
10388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 06:39:27 AM
25 Brits in jet bomb plots By ANTHONY FRANCE
Crime Reporter
and ALEX WEST

Published: Today
COPS fear that 25 British-born Muslims are plotting to bomb Western airliners.

The fanatics, in five groups, are now training at secret terror camps in Yemen.


It was there London-educated Umar Abdulmutallab, 23, prepared for his Christmas Day bid to blow up a US jet.



Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2785733.ece#ixzz0azDIkvLb
10389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 05:32:46 AM
Beyond the direct costs in lives, how many more 9/11s can we take economically?  I'm a fan of the El Al model of aviation security, what the US has is a reflection of our post-modern culture of victimhood rather than one structured to address the threat.
10390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 05:00:41 AM

Sa'id quotes Osama bin Laden on how the financial crisis plus the extended wars have weakened America's resolve: "This is America today, staggering under the strikes and consequences of the mujahideen. There is a human loss, a political beat, and a financial breakdown. Even it begs small, as well as big countries. Its enemies are no longer afraid of it, and its friends are no longer respects it."

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/04/al_qaedas_shadow_arm.php#ixzz0aypAWWRh
10391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 28, 2009, 04:55:32 AM

http://www.nypost.com/f/print/news/business/item_EnOOkzQvAgUbTJyeYv45dK

STILL FEELING EFFECTS OF 9/11 ATTACKS ON ECONOMY
By JOHN CRUDELE

Last Updated: 1:35 PM, September 12, 2008

Posted: 3:54 AM, September 11, 2008

SEVEN years ago today terrorists crashed four jetliners into the US economy.

It's downright callous, if not inhumane, of course, for me to talk about the financial fallout of Sept. 11, 2001, since 2,975 people were killed, thousands were injured and everyone was affected by those attacks.

And we will always remember, first and foremost, the human suffering caused by the small group of heartless cowards who hijacked those planes.

But it is a fact that a lot of the financial problems we are now experiencing - including federal deficits, a declining housing market, banking problems, the sickly dollar and a large drop in overall confidence - have, to one degree or another, grown from the aftermath of what happened seven years ago.

10392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 27, 2009, 02:46:41 PM
"According to reports I saw last night on Greta Van Sustern on FOX (i.e. one hopes for confirmation) the father of the jihadi is the head of the largest bank in Nigeria, is a Muslim and a prominent citizen, reported his own son over a month ago as a jihadi risk. The jihadi apparently has been on some lesser risk lists for some two years now. The jihadi got on the plane in Amsterdam with no luggage and paid cash.  Frankly, it seems like the proper use of intel that was already possessed would have been sufficient to stop this one before it even got going. "

**Yes, not exactly an example of omniscient police power.**

Keep in mind that if the device had functioned properly, then no passenger would have had an opportunity to intervene.
10393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 27, 2009, 09:21:11 AM
Yeah, well your mindless slogans and chest thumping will be missed.
10394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 27, 2009, 09:00:30 AM
If you think the US is a totalitarian country, you obviously haven't been to one.
10395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 27, 2009, 08:58:57 AM
http://www.hlswatch.com/2006/06/14/inside-tsas-intelligence-shop/
10396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 26, 2009, 11:36:35 PM
It gathers incidents CONUS and OCONUS and performs analysis and dissemination on threats to aviation/transportation.
10397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 26, 2009, 11:19:26 PM
Aside from the screening at airports, there is a lot of protective intel gathering/analysis done by TSA/DHS. Should that end?
10398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 26, 2009, 11:04:16 PM
Yup.

So keeping that in mind, please describe for me the aviation security you want in place the next time your family flies that won't offend your libertarian sensibilities.
10399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 26, 2009, 10:09:21 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/26/investigators-terrorist-wore-suicide-underwear-made-by-top-aq-bombmaker-in-yemen/

Read/watch the above and tell me what sort of aviation security you want in place the next time you put your wife and kids on a flight.
10400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: December 26, 2009, 07:00:05 PM
Yes, I am that guy.   sad

However, I will point out that there has been a substantial amount of market manipulation to inflate things beyond their actual value, yes?

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