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11751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 06, 2010, 11:08:11 AM

Homeland Security’s National Operations Center ‘Unable’ to Do Its Job, Inspector General Finds
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer – The Homeland Security Department’s National Operations Center (NOC) is “unable” to do its job of ensuring coordination among the 22 federal agencies that make up the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and focuses too much on disaster management rather than terrorism prevention, according to its own inspector general.
The National Operations Center, in fact, functions largely in name only, and current operations apparently have diminished its ability to respond to terrorist threats.
These assessments are presented in a redacted report from the DHS Office of Inspector General released in November and entitled “Information Sharing at the National Operations Center.”
11752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 06, 2010, 10:20:16 AM

Jan 6, 2010 8:18 am US/Eastern

Comedy Of Errors: Cameras Didn't Work At Newark
Sources Tell CBS 2 That TSA Surveillance Cameras Were Inoperable At Time Of Terminal C Security Breach
TSA Apparently Didn't Know Number For Continental To Get Other Footage
11753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 06, 2010, 10:11:59 AM

State Department leaps into action!
11754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 06, 2010, 08:43:47 AM

How a Double Agent Lured Seven CIA Operatives to Their Deaths
Suicide Bomber Al-Balawi Convinced Americans He Was the 'Golden Goose'
Jan. 5, 2010 —

As the CIA mourns its dead from a devastating suicide bombing in Afghanistan, the questions grow about how professional spies could have been so taken in, failing to spot a double agent and letting a bomber into their midst.

Some 13 CIA operatives, including private contractors from the company once known as Blackwater, had gathered to hear the informant's report when the bomb went off. Among the nine people killed were seven CIA operatives, the informant, and a Jordanian intelligence officer, a cousin of Jordan's King Abdullah, who had been the liaison between the informant and the CIA.

The suicide bomber, who killed some of the CIA's top al Qaeda hunters, lured the agents to the meeting by claiming he had just met with Ayman al-Zawahiri, this country's most wanted terrorist after Osama bin Laden, sources told ABC News.
11755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 06, 2010, 08:31:08 AM

The Ramzi Yousef Standard
The Administration has ways of making terrorists not talk.
11756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Where did they learn this attitude? on: January 06, 2010, 07:59:12 AM

Sweatshirt Sparks School Controversy
Hoodie Contains Image Of World Trade Center Towers

POSTED: Tuesday, January 5, 2010
UPDATED: 6:24 pm EST January 5, 2010

DEARBORN, Mich. -- About 15 Arab-American students at Edsel Ford High School are in trouble over a class sweatshirt they had made over the holiday break.

The class of 2011 sweatshirt has the number 11 made to look like the World Trade Center Towers. The school's mascot, a Thunderbird, is seen flying toward the number.

Watch: Sweatshirts Sparks Controversy

Under the graphic, a tagline reads, "You can't bring us down."

The students wore the hooded sweatshirts to school Monday. They were immediately sent to the principal's office.

The sweatshirts were confiscated.

“What took place here today was an inappropriate, distasteful act,” said David Mustonen, a spokesman for Dearborn Schools. “(It was) totally inappropriate, totally disrespectful, and they just were not thinking.”

The students told the principal they didn’t mean any harm by having the sweatshirts made.

Other students who heard about and saw the shirts said they were disgusted.

“I found them very offensive and I didn’t think it was funny or fun at all,” said Brittany Johnson, a senior at Edsel Ford High.

The school has not said what disciplinary action will be taken against the students.

“If I was in charge, I would have them expelled,” said Lindsey Winstrand. “But I think suspension is the least they can do.”

The students told the principal they had the sweatshirts made at the Gibraltar Trade Center for about $25 each.
11757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: January 06, 2010, 07:33:32 AM
If I recall correctly, CPB officers can detain a border crosser up to 72 hrs. without probable cause/warrant.
11758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: January 05, 2010, 10:19:50 PM
Counterterrorism Blog
Google and the Problem with al-Manar
By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

UPDATE, 4/12/2006, 11:09 A.M.: Video clips from the CD-ROM that accompanies Avi Jorisch's Beacon of Hatred are available at this website. It is worth visiting to get a sense of the kind of propaganda that al-Manar regularly broadcasts.

Last Thursday, my colleague Olivier Guitta noted that Google carries the Hizballah-run al-Manar as one of the sources in its news section. (See this link, showing that al-Manar is still featured in Google News.) Questions have been raised in the past about the criteria used for selecting Google News sources. For example, there is a 2005 post by Michelle Malkin noting that her website and Little Green Footballs were rejected as news sources, while Democratic Underground and the malicious were included. What is clear, though, is that the Google team believes -- rightly -- that it confers a degree of prestige upon those websites that it chooses to include in its Google News feed. That is why Google's selection of al-Manar as a news source is disturbing.

Guitta noted that al-Manar was placed on Treasury's list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities and that al-Manar has also been banned in France. But to understand why Google's use of al-Manar as a news source is disturbing, it's necessary to look beyond the mere fact of its designation and understand the kind of propaganda that al-Manar is known for disseminating. The definitive study on al-Manar, Beacon of Hatred: Inside Hizballah's al-Manar Television, was written by Avi Jorisch and published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 2004. The research performed for the monograph was extensive: Washington Institute staff recorded and analyzed hundreds of hours of primetime al-Manar programming, and Jorisch conducted a number of interviews at al-Manar's headquarters in Lebanon, as well as at the offices of other Lebanese TV stations and al-Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar.

Jorisch's study makes clear that al-Manar views its mission as propagandizing for Hizballah and promoting violence against the United States and Israel. Hizballah has openly called for violence against American forces in Iraq, and al-Manar's programming has accordingly incited violence and hatred toward Americans. Among many examples, Jorisch's description of a music video was particularly interesting:

Al-Manar has also broadcast explicit calls for acts of resistance against U.S. forces in Iraq. One video lambastes U.S. troops in Iraq with the following lyrics: "Down with the mother of terrorism! America threatens in vain, an occupying army of invaders. Nothing remains but rifles and suicide bombers." The video ends with an image of a suicide bomber's belt detonating.

Al-Manar also calls for the destruction of Israel. One video featuring Hizballah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah makes this desire crystal clear:

In it, he challenges fellow Arabs to account for what they have personally done to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem. Population figures for each Arab country are listed, and the video ends with big letters that read, "Population of the Arab world: 300 million Arabs. Occupied Palestine: 5 million Jews. What are you waiting for?" The clear message to viewers is that the Arab world should encounter no difficulty in destroying Israel through sheer numbers alone.

Al-Manar consistently supports acts of terror against Israelis. The programming frequently praises suicide bombers, and indeed, Jorisch writes that "station officials maintain that one of al-Manar's aims is to promote suicide missions. The station also strives to ensure that the families of suicide bombers know that they will be compensated for their loss."

Nor is this advocacy of violence limited to Israelis: Many al-Manar guests portray all Jews as part of a sinister conspiracy to dominate the world. As Sheikh Taha al-Sabounji, the head mufti of northern Lebanon, said on al-Manar: "Judaism is a project against all humanity. It is about time the world understands this. Those who are fighting Israel are not just defending themselves; they are defending the whole world. They are protecting all the future generations of humanity. If they don't believe this, then they should read in the Jewish books what is written about Islam, Christianity, about Jesus and Muhammad. It's our job as Muslims to call upon the Christian world to rise up and become aware of what the Jews are doing. . . . There is no such thing as Zionism . . . . There is only Judaism." And Nasrallah stated on a diferent show, "If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

Reasonable minds can differ about the relative merits of, Little Green Footballs and Democratic Underground for inclusion in Google News. But the inclusion of al-Manar -- itself a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, and known for its unrelenting support of terror against Americans and Israelis -- is simply indefensible.

UPDATE, 3:16 P.M.: If you find the inclusion of al-Manar as a Google News source outrageous, I encourage you to send a polite but firm e-mail to encouraging them to remove al-Manar as a news source.

UPDATE, 5:03 P.M.: I just learned that, in refusing to list a website called Alain's Newsletter as a Google News source, the Google team explained: "We've reviewed your site and cannot include it in Google News at this time. While we make an effort to provide a well-rounded perspective on controversial topics by including sites that represent contrasting points of view, we do not include sites that contain hate speech." If Hizballah's al-Manar isn't hate speech, I don't know what is.

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on April 11, 2006 3:08 PM
11759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 09:52:28 PM
Aha! Vindication!  grin
11760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 09:22:09 PM
Go ahead and mock the looming threat to privacy and freedom that horses present. Don't say I didn't warn you when they crush the constitution under their steely hooves!
11761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 06:39:53 PM
Oh yeah, horses are cute. Don't buy into the propaganda, man.

Who had horses? The nazis! Yeah, that's right. Who else has horses? The UK! See the connections? It's all becoming more clear by the moment. First come the horses, then the cops get aircraft, next thing you know, you can't get a filthy sanchez in your backyard without some fascist jackboot clomping by on his "cute and fuzzy" POLICE HORSE!

I know the founding fathers would never tolerate the government having horses.....
11762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The sound of totalitarianism on horseback on: January 05, 2010, 06:27:15 PM

Trotting a beat in San Francisco
Delfin Vigil

Sunday, October 2, 2005

"I was patrolling down on Ocean Beach when a homeless guy came up to me and the horse and said, 'Man, you horse cops have got like a totally different vibe than the cops down in the Tenderloin,' " remembers Downs, smiling.

"You know, he's probably right. Because in all my years of being in a patrol car, nobody ever came up to me just to say hello. Now it happens every day."

Once SFPD police officers become eligible, they always add their names to the bottom of a long waiting list in hopes of becoming an officer in the country's second-oldest mounted patrol unit, according to Downs.

"Let's just say it was hardly a spur-of-the-moment decision to join," admits the no-pun-intended sergeant, who was on a waiting list for 13 years.

Officially founded in 1872 (two years after New York City's), the mounted patrol unit has been trotting through the city's streets fighting and preventing crime in three centuries. While in its -- ahem -- heyday, there were upward of 30 badge-wearing horses, and although at one point every substation in the city had horses, there are only 13 on-duty patrol ponies left at the department's stables in Golden Gate Park.

There have been attempts to close the unit, including budget-crunching efforts from former Mayor Art Agnos and a proposition put on the 1988 ballot by real estate investor Nicholas Roomel.

"For too long the city of St. Francis has been forced to watch disgusting, undiapered horses annoying the public littering the streets, parks and beaches with excrement," wrote Roomel in his losing argument, which cost $10,000 in campaign funding to defeat.

Although some critics write off the mounted patrol as a chance for police officers to joyride through the park, many don't realize that the horses are putting their lives at risk.

"During crowd control on New Year's Eve, we'll get drunks throwing champagne bottles and other sharp objects right at the horses' faces," says Downs. "We've even had people pick up entire police barricades and throw them at us."

Crowd control is where the horses come in especially handy, because they have the ability to be imposing without being threatening, says Downs.

During one of the initial and largest protests against the current war in Iraq, the mounted patrol unit was brought in to help the first officers on the scene, who were being backed in and surrounded by protesters near Third and Market streets.

"Eleven horses were brought in to save the officers," remembers Downs. "We were able to part the sea of protesters without hitting, stepping on or even touching a single person. That's the beauty of the horse."

All 13 horses on patrol are geldings (neutered males) and include Clydesdale mixes, American quarter horses and Tennessee walkers. Long before they join the force, candidates are spotted for personality traits that would make them good horse police officers. Being calm, curious and affectionate with people is a must. But always following strict orders and going through an intense noise desensitization training is even more important before a horse can take on the noisy and unpredictable streets of San Francisco.

Aggressive dogs are probably the biggest danger to the four-legged officers.

In November 2003, a woman was walking Nettie, a pit bull mix, in Golden Gate Park when she decided to take off the dog's leash to let it play with other dogs. But instead it went after police horse AAA Andy.

AAA, who is not in the insurance business but was given to the department by the company, was bitten several times in the belly and legs by the dog, which continued to chase him for about a half mile as AAA Andy tried to find his way back to the stables. The officer was thrown to the ground during the frenzy. Another officer had to shoot the dog (who survived) to stop the attack.

AAA Andy went on disability for a couple of months. Within weeks of being back on the job he was in the news again for galloping down the "Spider-Man" burglar who had a record of more than 60 acrobatic burglaries through skylights and ventilation shafts in Sunset District buildings. This time, "Spider-Man," a.k.a. 27-year-old Kristian Kwon Marine, was on the run after snatching a purse at a cafe on Ninth Avenue and Irving Street. With only a good old-fashioned "he went thataway," tip, AAA and Officer Kaan Chin chased the burglar down in a field in Golden Gate Park.

"What people don't always understand is that most of what all police officers do involves crime prevention," says Kaan, who still rides AAA Andy. "But these horses are very capable of fighting crime in heat-of-the-moment ways as well. Once that saddle is put on, their personalities change and they are ready to work."

Like all police fraternities, the horses occasionally don't get along and even give each other some grief. No doubt the General, an American quarter horse with seven years on the force, had to put his tail between his legs when his corral compadres heard what happened to him.

"We tied him near Ninth Avenue during a break, and some idiot jumped on and rode him across the street," remembers Downs, a little embarrassed for the General. "That guy was so far gone no psychiatrist would have said he was sane in court," Downs says about the General's rogue rider, as any good cop would to defend a buddy with a wounded ego.

E-mail Delfin Vigil at

This article appeared on page PK - 23 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:
11763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 02:29:28 PM
Hopefully no one is stupid enough to try to make the tea party movement into a formal political party.
11764  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Violence against Women on: January 05, 2010, 02:13:52 PM
Suspect in NH machete attack regrets girl survived
January 05, 2010 1:49 PM EST

MILFORD, N.H. (AP) — Newly released court documents say one of the men charged with killing a New Hampshire woman in her bed told police his only regret was that he didn't succeed in killing her 11-year-old daughter.

In the documents released Tuesday, 20-year-old Christopher Gribble told police that he had wanted to kill someone for a long time. He said he was disappointed he didn't feel any emotion following the Oct. 4 killing of Kimberly Cates in her Mont Vernon home.
11765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: January 05, 2010, 01:52:55 PM

11766  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Violence against Women on: January 05, 2010, 01:38:26 PM

CHESHIRE, Conn., July 25, 2007
Ghastly Details In Conn. Home Invasion
Papers Report Mother, Two Daughters Raped Before Their Deaths

Home Invasion Murder
Authorities in Connecticut believe two paroled convicts in custody are to blame for a violent home invasion that turned deadly. Bianca Solorzano reports.

The SUV that authorities say was used by the two suspects in an attempt to get away, with a damaged police cruiser in the background, July 23, 2007.  (AP)
. Firemen investigate a burned area of the home of Dr. William Petit in Cheshire, Conn., on July 23, 2007.  (AP)
 Suspects Joshua Komisarjevky, left, and Steven Hayes, July 24, 2007.  (CBS/AP)

Home Invasion Horror
Connecticut family terrorized by intruders, wife, two daughters killed, husband wounded.
.(CBS/AP)  The two men accused of a brutal Connecticut home invasion may not have had violent crimes in their long lists of prior convictions, but sources tell local newspapers the pair's record changed when they invaded the home of a prominent doctor early Monday morning.

"This is everyone's worst nightmare," Lt. Jay Markella, Cheshire police spokesman, told the Waterbury newspaper. "It's by far the worst thing any of us have ever seen."

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, of Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, arson, larceny and risk of injury to children. More charges are pending, state police said Tuesday night. The two men could face the death penalty.

Prosecutor Michael Dearington said he had not yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty.

"I know the public consensus is they should be fried tomorrow," he said.

The state medical examiner confirmed that Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, was strangled and that her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, died of smoke inhalation. The deaths were ruled homicides.

The girls' father, Dr. William Petit Jr., a prominent endocrinologist, remained hospitalized with head injuries.

All three women were raped, sources familiar with the investigation told both the Waterbury Republican-American and Hartford Courant. Petit was beaten with a baseball bat, thrown down the basement stairs, and then tied up in the cellar.

The girls, sources told the Courant, were tied to their beds and raped repeatedly, then left to burn after gasoline was poured around their beds and ignited.
11767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 01:08:03 PM
From 7/10/2009

Obama gives Iran deadline on nuclear program

L'AQUILA, Italy -- President Obama said Friday that Iran faces a September deadline to show good-faith efforts to halt its nuclear weapons program, and said the statement issued by the world's leading industrial nations meeting here this week means the international community is ready to act.


January 02, 2010
Iran deadline passes without notice
Ethel C. Fenig

It is now January 2, 2010 in Teheran, Washington DC and Hawaii. In other words it is past the absolutely, positively final deadline that President Barack Obama (D) offered to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to come clean by halting Iran's nuclear weapons program before Obama gets really, really angry and does something drastic like not be so engaging.

Ok, Ahmadinejad may be busy, what with countering the riots against him with deadly, bloody suppression, but not too busy to negotiate the purchase of still yet more uranium from Kazakhstan for Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.

Oh sure, the UN Security Council demanded a halt to this work but this is the UN Security Council and Iran so this edict can--and will--be ignored without any consequences.

But what about Obama's deadline? Will this too be ignored without consequences?
11768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 12:51:46 PM
Obama is a one term president. Still, the US and the world will pay dearly for his 4 years of destruction. Israel may well not exist by the end of his term, as an example.
11769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Enjoy the lawfare, Obots! on: January 05, 2010, 12:17:37 PM

Brennan: Deal 'on the table' for terror suspect

The U.S. Government is offering the suspect charged with attempting to bomb an aircraft on Christmas Day, Omar Abdulmutallab, some kind of incentives to share what he knows about Al Qaeda, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Sunday.

Asked why Abdulmutallab should cooperate given his right, as criminal defendant, to remain silent, Brennan replied: "He doesn't have to but he knows there are certain things that are on the table... if he wants to engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways he can do that."

Asked if Abdulmutallab's willingness to talk changed once he had an attorney, Brennan declined to answer. "I'm not going to address what he did before or after he talked with a lawyer," the adviser said.

Brennan declined to say what criteria are used to decide whether a prisoner should be taken into criminal court or before a military commission. "There are no downsides or upsides in particular cases," he said. "What we're trying to do is make the right determination in particular cases."
11770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 11:59:44 AM
The irony seemingly missed by you, the tv news and the tinfoil hat youtube poster is that the media has helicopters with cameras that allow them to fly and photograph just as police aircraft do. Modern cameras allow closeup still and video to be taken from distances where the helo can't be seen or heard. This could allow for you to be seen getting a Clinton in your back yard.
11771  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crimes using knives on: January 05, 2010, 11:34:19 AM
Suspect in NH machete attack regrets girl survived
January 05, 2010 1:49 PM EST
MILFORD, N.H. (AP) — Newly released court documents say one of the men charged with killing a New Hampshire woman in her bed told police his only regret was that he didn't succeed in killing her 11-year-old daughter.

In the documents released Tuesday, 20-year-old Christopher Gribble told police that he had wanted to kill someone for a long time. He said he was disappointed he didn't feel any emotion following the Oct. 4 killing of Kimberly Cates in her Mont Vernon home.
11772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 11:23:31 AM
Friedman is a smart guy, but some of his analysis is a not much more than a geopolitical just so story.
11773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 11:08:01 AM
So, you want to ban all aircraft?
11774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 11:03:03 AM
Why pander to the empty suit president leading the US into decline? China understands power politics and continues to put pieces into play on the global chessboard.
11775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 05, 2010, 10:59:28 AM
I'ver never been much of a Rush fan. Frankly, his time is past. Beck and younger voices that can appeal to 18-35 year olds are who need to be cultivated and pushed to the forefront.
11776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: January 05, 2010, 10:56:33 AM
Sanctity of contract? The rule of law is soooo pre-obama. We have Changed!
11777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: January 05, 2010, 10:51:39 AM
I'm probably one of the last Americans without a DVR.
11778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 05, 2010, 10:48:08 AM
Who here thinks the founding fathers would have wanted jihadists to enjoy constitutional protections? "Lawfare" will be the death of us.

Security for trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed would cost $200M a year: sources
BY Michael Saul

Tuesday, January 5th 2010, 4:00 AM

Security for the federal trial of self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four accused cohorts will run $200 million a year, sources told the Daily News.

The NYPD's newly revised projection is almost triple the estimate of $75 million in November, after Attorney General Eric Holder announced he would move the prisoners from Guantanamo to Manhattan for trial.

The legal process is expected to play out over more than a year.
11779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: January 05, 2010, 10:35:52 AM
The public is waking up and the Obama koolaid is turning bitter in many mouths.
11780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 05, 2010, 09:46:50 AM
The core issue is that the American legal system is not structured to fight the global jihad. The Clinton administration tried to indict al qaeda into submission. I think 9/11 demonstrated how unsuccessful that strategy was. The criminal justice system and the military both have roles in fighting the war, but we have to fight the war by aggressive, intelligence driven strikes. Just as they use asymmetrical tactics against us, we must use asymmetrical tactics against them. The way to fight and win is by hunting them down, capturing and killing their networks. You don't do that by trying to appease the ACLU.

We could never teach the jihadists to love us, we can however teach them to fear us. They have no legal standing under the rules of law. We can catch them, interrogate them and kill them as needed. We should not hesitate to do so.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Moussaoui Conviction Upheld   [Andy McCarthy]

The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction and sentence of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Enthusiasts of the law-enforcement approach to terrorism will undoubtedly claim this development as more evidence that their strategy works. To the contrary, I have argued several times (see, e.g., here and here) that we dodged a bullet with Moussaoui — i.e., if he had not surprised everyone by pleading guilty, if he had instead insisted on proceeding with his trial (not just the penalty phase but the guilt phase), the case might well have ended disastrously.

The Fourth Circuit's 78-page decision bears me out. The appellate court notes that Moussaoui claims it was error for the trial judge to interfere with his unqualified right to represent himself; "to have personal, pretrial access to classified, exculpatory evidence"; and to be able to summon witnesses like co-conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for trial testimony. The Fourth Circuit acknowledges that all these claims have merit, but the court finds that Moussaoui, by pleading guilty, waived any claim of prejudice. Opinion at pp. 24–28. Even more alarming, the Fourth Circuit concedes that its waiver rationale is inconsistent with a decision by the Ninth Circuit on which Moussaoui relies — i.e., if the Fourth Circuit had followed the Ninth Circuit, there's a good chance it would have had to agree that, regardless of the guilty plea, Moussaoui's convictions should be reversed.

The Fourth Circuit also reminds us that the trial judge initially struck the death penalty from the case because the government refused to give Moussaoui access to the al-Qaeda prisoner witnesses. The Fourth Circuit reversed the judge at the time, but on the condition that it would be open to revisiting that conclusion if the government failed to provide Moussaoui with all the classified exculpatory information to which he was entitled. At that critical moment, Moussaoui decided to plead guilty. That is, we never found out what would have happened if Moussaoui had insisted on a trial at which he'd have access to all these witnesses and other national-defense information. The guilty-plea is deemed to have waived any claim by Moussaoui that he was denied the information to which he was entitled.

In the next case — like, say, KSM's civilian trial — the defendants will be smart enough not to plead guilty. They will insist on getting every piece of intelligence they're entitled to. And the prosecutors will look at this ruling on Moussaoui's appeal and realize they'd better give it to them or risk having the case thrown out. That's what the law-enforcement approach buys you.
11781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: January 05, 2010, 09:37:16 AM
- FrontPage Magazine - -

Frontpage’s Man of the Year: Glenn Beck – by David Forsmark

Posted By David Forsmark On January 4, 2010 @ 12:09 am In FrontPage | 133 Comments

The year of Obamarific “change” quickly became the year of dissent as Americans grew disillusioned with the “trillion here and a trillion there” spending of President Barack Obama even as unemployment rose. The so-called “Stimulus Package,” which promised to cap unemployment at 8%, did nothing to generate private sector jobs. The only area that seemed to be stimulated was joblessness, which soared above 10%.

Despite an economic disaster, the Democrats in Congress and the White House focused on socializing American health care and an economy-busting “cap and trade” scheme to hike energy taxes.  To top it off, it seemed every day brought revelations about radicals with unconscionable views who either held high offices in the new administration or were funded with taxpayer money.

Suddenly, the loudmouths of the Left and the poobahs of the Lame-Stream Media — who had deemed dissent to be “the highest form of patriotism” when George W. Bush occupied the White House — whistled another tune. They began savaging of opponents of the Obama regime as Nazis, racists and ignorant rubes. Their targets weren’t just public figures who stood in the way of their agenda; rather, they viciously attacked ordinary Americans, the tea partiers, to whom they gave a sobriquet (tea-baggers) that no network censors would have allowed just a few years ago.

For our Man of the Year issue, we justifiably could have taken the cheap and easy route (such as Time circa 2006 [1]) and said it was the year of the “ordinary citizen.” After all, the anti-Obama Tea Party movement shook the foundations of the political establishment this summer.

All of our nominees contributed mightily to the informed dissent that gave hope for the right kind of change in the next few election cycles. Here are the nominees:

Dick Cheney

Ex-Veep Cheney, the man most hated (and feared) by the Left, won every argument he picked with Obama, scoring huge in the public arena on Attorney General Eric Holder’s ridiculous persecution of the CIA staffers who interrogated suspected terrorists; and he has been effective in all other national security debates.  Almost as important as the vice president’s comeback is the emergence of daughter Liz Cheney as one of conservatism’s most articulate defenders.  If this award were for Family of the Year, the Cheneys would be the hands-down winners.

Andrew Breitbart

Orginally known as Matt Drudge’s lieutenant in compiling the still-essential Drudge Report, Breitbart became the most influential conservative figure on the Internet this year.  His smash hit site Big Hollywood [2] immediately became a must-read on a daily basis, and he launched Big Government [3] with the Story of the Year — the ACORN prostitution sting videos.  With more sites on the way, Breitbart will continue to be one of the brightest lights in the conservative movement.

Sarah Palin

Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, deserves a slot on this list just for the self-revealing rage she generates with the liberal establishment. The former Alaska governor also is the most beloved figure among the ordinary people who are newly minted activists in the wake of Obama’s big government excess.  Is there any other person who can change the debate and the political lexicon with a mere Facebook entry?  Death Panel is certainly the phrase of the year.

Rush Limbaugh

One could make the case that Limbaugh has been the conservative MVP — most valuable player or politico — every year since 1994.  It’s doubtful Obama ’s approval rating would be under 50% and Obamacare would hover at about 60% disapproval without El  Rushbo. Instead of a routine annual update on Rush’s contribution to the debate, however, it’s time to just name the trophy after him and move on.

And the winner is…


Glenn Beck

Whether you love him or hate him, or consider him to be a must-see TV or DVR necessity, radio and TV talker Beck is a bright new star in the conservative firmament. You might get fired up by his calls to action or wince at his emotional outbursts – you even might tune in today only to see if this is when his head finally explodes—but you have to admit, this was the Year of the Beck.

In the past 12 months, Beck rose from hosting an obscure TV show on CNN Headline News to a terrible time slot on Fox News’ cable juggernaut.  Regardless, his show at 5 p.m. became a ratings smash hit and attracted direct angry response from the White House.

Beck’s show now attracts a far bigger audience than his competitors on CNN, MSNBC and Headline News combined. In fact, he doesn’t really have any competition – on any given day, Beck can attracts 20 times the audience of Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

This, indeed, was the Year of the Beck. In NBA terms, Limbaugh is the 30-points-per game superstar with several championship rings, who last year played for an otherwise pathetic team.  Beck is the team’s rookie draft pick who exceeded expectations and brought fresh energy that caught the other team flat-footed and changed the game.

Beck is such a major part of the political landscape today that it’s hard to remember he was still a minor factor just a year ago. Sure, his books sold very well, and his radio show was making a move to the top tier of the market; but during the 2008 election, the Left and the MSM were not sneering and using the term, “Limbaugh/Hannity /Beck,” and Obama was not calling him out by name.

In one short year, the epithet has become “Limbaugh/Beck/Palin,” and the White House is responding defensively.

Beck made the cover of Time magazine, was one of Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People of 2009″ and makes an almost nightly appearance as one of Keith Olbermann’s “Worst People in the World.” (A great honor, no doubt.)

Probably no other broadcaster in any medium is as in tune with the feisty mood of the times.  While other talk show hosts certainly connect with the Tea Partiers, and I’m sure the vast majority of them listen to Limbaugh and watch a certain amount of Hannity, no media figure has the direct connection to the Tea Party dissidents that Glenn Beck enjoys.  No one.

Only Sarah Palin gets that kind of love from the crowds that have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shaking in fear, and making up wild accusations on the while the cameras roll.

In his rookie year on live television, Beck has the White House reeling. He already has two major scalps dangling from his lance—self-proclaimed communist Van Jones, the green jobs czar, and White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, a devout fan of Maso Tse-Tung.

Leftist Cass Sunstein, the proposed “Regulatory Czar” who puts animal rights on a par with human rights,  and  Keith Jennings, a pedophilic Activist ironically named as Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar,” are also in his sights. While Breitbart deserves the lion’s share of the credit if ACORN goes down, no one has supplied more context on the community activist/con job organization and its tentacles into the Obama a Administration than Beck.

So where does Beck go from here?  His meteoric rise in 2009 will be a tough act to follow.  He obviously cannot again increase his TV audience tenfold — that would put him in “Who Shot J.R.” territory.  He has gained an audience and, for now, seems to be holding it.

The cheap and easy analysis would be to suppose that Beck’s emotional approach will wear on the audience or he will burn out.  However, as I learned when reviewing Beck’s latest bestseller, Arguing with Idiots [4], (still sitting at No. 3 as of this writing), Beck’s antics may draw people in, but there is a deep well of substance behind his act.

Beck, to be sure, is a performer and a showman.  He takes risks, and enough of them pay off to make up for his small mistakes.  Beck is attuned to the times, perfectly situated to benefit from the Obama backlash.  However, he has the substance for the long haul.

Whether 2010 is another Year of the Beck, or not, it is poised to be a comeback year for conservatism.  If it is, then Glenn Beck will have been a major part of the reason — and my bet is that is what will matter most to him.

• [5]


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] Time circa 2006:,9171,1569514,00.html

[2] Big Hollywood:

[3] Big Government:

[4] reviewing Beck’s latest bestseller, Arguing with Idiots:

[5] Image:
11782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 09:29:44 AM
Maybe I want to pick my nose, or scratch my ass.  Maybe I want to have great sex in the middle of a field.   Maybe I just want to act in ways I don't want others to see.

**The fouth requires a reasonable expectation of privacy. Nose picking, ass scratching or sex in a public location has no reasonable expectation of privacy.**

If a policeman is sitting on the traffic light, I know he is there. 

**Much of the time traffic enforcement is being done, you don't see the cop that's seeing you. Nothing new there.**

If there is some mini-high-tech camera, I probably don't know I am being watched.  From a human and budgetary POV, it is impossible to put a policeman on every traffic light.  In contrast t is quite easy to put a camera on every light and every corner.  Just look at the UK.

**I like red light cameras, if used in the right way. As far as the UK putting cameras everywhere, I recently read something that said that as far as a tool for reducing crime, it's a flop.**

If there is a helicopter with a policeman in it, from a human and budgetary POV, there is a limit to how many helicopters buzzing around there will be.  A drone costs a tiny fraction of a helicopter to buy and to operate-- and as a practical matter we the American people, a people who have fought to establish our freedom, will not know whether we are being watched or not. 

With this, we enter the landy of the creepy and the Orwellian.
11783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: January 05, 2010, 08:46:21 AM
I'm usually sleeping when his TV show is on, and I listen to Opie and Anthony as I drive home from work. Sorry.
11784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 08:19:35 PM
So, police pilot in aircraft, ok, but police pilot not in aircraft, scary orwellian development?
11785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 08:02:13 PM
SoCal is famous for it's use of police helicopters. Do you feel oppressed?
11786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 07:58:56 PM
Funny, more than a few law enforcement agencies are cutting back/eliminating their aviation programs due to budget cuts. I doubt the unmanned aircraft are anywhere near cheap.
11787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 06:57:55 PM
Since law enforcement has been using aircraft for close to a century, what's the crisis now?
11788  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.
11789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 04, 2010, 04:42:16 PM
11790  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

11791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 04, 2010, 01:51:24 PM

Extremists Online Discussed Blowing Up Planes Weeks Before Northwest Flight 253 Attempt
Online Extremists Recommended Methods Exactly Like Those Used by Abdulmutallab
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."

11792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 04, 2010, 12:09:36 PM
We are pretty much fcuked.
11793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 04, 2010, 12:07:55 PM

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

  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?:
11794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 04, 2010, 11:43:17 AM

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.
11795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: January 04, 2010, 10:24:20 AM

No rise in atmospheric carbon fraction over the last 150 years: University of Bristol
11796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: January 04, 2010, 10:06:46 AM

$27 million in Porkulus money spent in nonexistent zip codes
11797  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
11798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 02, 2010, 03:51:17 PM

Gee, who coulda seen this coming?Huh   rolleyes
11799  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".
11800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 02, 2010, 03:28:44 PM

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