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9751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 11:05:21 AM
9752  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: November 25, 2010, 09:44:12 AM
Grateful for those far from home, in harm's way to protect this nation.
9753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 09:30:19 AM
There is a frustration that we aren't smarter than terrorists, we are a step behind them, to them this is laughable, we have fallen into their traps to the point of hating, scanning and fondling each other, there is no easy answer, but worst I think is that we are not doing EVERYTHING ELSE we can do to make our nation safe BEFORE we need to touch and scan each other (such as secure the borders, crack down on existing laws etc.).

**The lack of border security is a legitimate issue. There is no excuse for it not having been secured years ago. Not only are the SIAs and OTMs serious potential threats, the more conventional illegals are also presenting serious threats to Americans. Border security as it is or as it should be, we still have to secure our aviation system.**

Imagine the uproar right now if George Bush was President during this! Imagine the leftist equivalent of a comment Rush L. made yesterday...

RUSH LIMBAUGH: "Remember when Obama went swimming in the Gulf with his daughters to show it was safe during the oil spill? How about taking his daughters through a screening? How about Obama take his daughters to the airport and have a TSA groper go through the exact routine everyone else is going through right now to show it is safe...
Only over the top if you think nothing is wrong with current procedure.

It may be a standard LE pat down, except that is done as I understand it with suspects, not all victims, witnesses, bystanders, etc.  Our county government center now has a security check metal detector, but not the full pat down.  Flying is 'optional' but not really for some jobs or for some people to be with family over the holidays.  Appearing in a county courthouse can be mandatory and unavoidable in some situations.

**The leaked photos from courthouse security were from a federal courthouse. I doubt very much that many, if any non-federal courthouses use similar technology. People are free to choose to fly or not. If the current situation is untenable, then one is free to find other transportation. I personally hate flying and do so only when there is no other viable option.**
9754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: November 25, 2010, 12:44:40 AM
The NorKs wouldn't do shiite without the nod from with China's power structure, at least no big moves. Were I the president, I'd advise China informally that Japan is not reacting well to the NorKs having nukes and is strongly considering withdrawing from the US-Japanese defense treaty and developing their own nukes. The China-NorK gambit depends on us and the other interested countries trying to be reasonable and allowing ourselves to be shaken down. The answer is to say no mas, and force China to work with us and S. Korea to work on a "soft landing" for the end of the NorK monstrosity. China does not want a nuclear and militarized Japan (no one else in asia does either) and China doesn't want a shooting war between the Koreas either, or a violent collapse of the NorKs with  waves of millions of starving N. Koreans flooding into Northern China.

Time to put an end to the shakedowns and push China to act in it's own long term interest.
9755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / TSA "outrage": There's no "there" there. on: November 24, 2010, 08:49:30 PM

TSA "outrage": There's no "there" there.
1:11 PM Wed, Nov 24, 2010 | Permalink
Eric Torbenson/Reporter    Bio |  E-mail  |  News tips

A couple of hours at D/FW Airport this morning proved to me, at least, that the "fury" on the part of the passenger rights crowd about screening scanners and enhanced pat-downs seems essentially manufactured. And that the reliable media fell for it again.

Here's Howie Kurtz on the same subject.

Here's the Poynter Institute, our leading light in media self-examination, on the run-up and how mainstream media may have "missed" this issue initially. I'm quoted in this piece too saying how we would have liked to have jumped on it sooner, which is true in a sense that it was a topic worth exploring.

What I also expressed to that writer was the concern on my part that there's no real way of us knowing how "real" this "uprising" was because we had blog posts and loud voices on TV like Kate Hanni and some Twitter traffic and some outraged anecdotes, all of which seemed to point to some sort of groupthink uprising that would boil over on Wednesday, National Opt Out Day, at airports across the country.

Here's what's happened so far today at U.S. Airports: Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary for a Thanksgiving travel day.

Unless, of course, you believe everything the TSA is saying is lies. But other media haven't exactly found a different narrative.

Here's even more, this time from the NYT.

I guess we have to remove the fish hooks from our mouths as media.

My counter to the good folks at Poynter who suggest that the Fifth Estate is more nimble at seeing trends than the mainstream media is that what is really more likely the case is that bloggers and the Social Media sphere, at least to me, seem infinitely more likely to be hoodwinked and bamboozled seeing they generally lack any truth-finding powers and seem especially susceptible to Trending Twitter topics, a stray anecdote told through Facebook, a random link to a YouTube video that purports to show one thing, but actually isn't anything like what it appears to be at all.

Statistical significance still matters. Outliers are interesting and exciting, but they are nothing more than outliers and those who don't know the difference between significance and outliers are driving the narrative. It makes for headlines; does it make for better information?

It's exciting to be on that edge because of the speed and newness of finding out new information. The key to understanding what is really happening vs. some flash of insight is what we're still calling reporting and experience and context. That's still on our menu here at the DMN and in other places.

I stand ready to be wrong if there's some sort of surge of problems along the East Coast related to this. The day is still young. But so far it's a reminder that the loudest voices can be heard, but may not represent much more than a few people being loud.
9756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 24, 2010, 08:16:09 PM
Douglas Hagmann is far from credible. I do not doubt that individuals who cause a disturbance in a screening area will result in those individuals facing potential civil and criminal liability for those acts, and their information will be available through TSA's internal channels. I doubt very much the term "domestic extremists" would be used.
9757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 24, 2010, 08:13:11 AM
There is a distinct difference between tea partiers and tinfoil hatted ronulans.
9758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Showing how much they CAIR on: November 23, 2010, 09:48:31 PM

As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel. You have the right to complain about treatment that you believe is discriminatory. If you believe you have been treated in a discriminatory manner, immediately:


      Ask for the names and ID numbers of all persons involved in the incident. Be sure to write this information down.

      Ask to speak to a supervisor.

      Ask if you have been singled out because of your name, looks, dress, race, ethnicity, faith, or national origin.

      Ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information.

      Write down a statement of facts immediately after the incident. Be sure to include the flight number, the flight date, and the name of the airline.

      Contact CAIR to file a report. If you are leaving the country, leave a detailed message, with the information above at 202-488-8787.
9759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 09:18:19 PM
More Israel marketing puff pieces. Kind of leaves out the Shin Bet intel gathering and the documented ethnic/religious profiling.

Again, there is no magical Israeli security profiling that allows them to gaze at the teeming throngs in line and find the sweating terrorist, without all the un-PC ethic/religious profiling and domestic intelligence.

There is nothing about body language, interview and interrogation and behavioral analysis that is known by guys named "Rafi" and "Avi" that isn't known by US law enforcement.

Here is the biggest problem not addressed by the Israelis, in the US, law enforcement cannot force anyone to answer questions. Not even in a criminal trial or a grand jury, much less a consensual contact, an investigative stop or an arrest.

TSA Behavior Detection Officer sees an anxious, fidgeting person in line, amongst bored, irritated passengers.

TSA: "Hi, how are you doing today? Where are you flying to?"

Twitchy guy in line: "Ron Paul and the voices in my head say the TSA are nazis. Are you a nazi?"

TSA: Um, no. Where did you say you were flying?"

Twitchy guy: "Don't touch my penis. I don't talk to nazis"

The TSA BDO summons the LEO assigned to the checkpoint

Officer Friendly: "Hi, I'm officer Friendly! The reason I'm talking to you is the TSA officer told me you seemed to be upset about something. Can I help you?"

Twitchy guy: "I complied with the screening process and let them look at my abnormally small penis with their evil machine. I don't want to talk to you. Am I under arrest? Am I free to go?"

Mr. Twitchy has no wants or warrants. He was screened and no threat items were found. No matter how much he's sweating, twitching and pissed off, in the US these are not grounds for arrest Even if he's obviously mentally ill, unless you can articulate that he's an imminent threat to self or others or gravely disabled, you cannot lawfully detain him on a 72 hr psych hold.
9760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ‘Wartime’ urgency lacking on air security on: November 23, 2010, 08:15:30 PM

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2002 — When four hijacked airliners cost thousands of Americans their lives last September, the Bush administration vowed to make sweeping security changes. Yet six months after the attacks, those efforts are being hampered by a cost-conscious airline industry coupled with a federal aviation bureaucracy unwilling or unable to change, according to members of Congress, aviation officials and outside security experts.

The White House assured the public this week that new, stricter airport security measures make 24-hour fighter patrols above New York City unnecessary. That surprised many officials involved in revising aviation security regulations who say that changes since the Sept. 11 attacks have been largely cosmetic.

These officials, including several involved in monitoring the government’s implementation of new regulations, concede that locking cockpit doors, putting air marshals on some flights and increasing random checks of carry-on luggage - all instituted immediately after flights resumed in September - helped to improve security generally.

But they also say that a lack of urgency at the Department of Transportation and a sustained lobbying effort by the financially strapped airline industry have led to a go-slow approach to reforming a system that is itself a threat to the flying public.

“Now that they’ve got their bailout, the airlines have turned their money and attention to minimizing the number of permanent changes to the way they do business,” says one congressional staff member who deals with aviation issues.


Same old story?
Stories like this still make Bogdan Dzakovik’s blood boil. For over a decade, Dzakovik has worked on the FAA’s “Red Team,” a small unit of undercover investigators who test and retest airport security systems around the country. Risking his job, Dzakovik recently went public with allegations that, since the team began work in 1995, FAA superiors ignored an almost constant stream of reports about flaws and holes in security systems nationwide. He says the carnage of Sept. 11, and a dreadful feeling that it might have been prevented, finally convinced him he had to speak out.

The FAA has refused to comment on the allegations, though the inspector general at its parent agency, the Department of Transportation, has been ordered to investigate the charges under federal whistleblower statutes.

“We got all sorts of things through - pistols, grenades, even a rifle once,” Dzakovik says. “In each case, we would report the failure to our FAA bosses. And never once that I can remember in all those years was there any real follow-up.”

In fact, Dzakovik says, when Red Team reports began to show that security employees were failing to pick up weapons in baggage at a rate of 85 percent or more, “we were ordered to tip off the local security chief that we were there.” Invariably, that resulted in nearly perfect detection rates - a situation that seemed to please his bosses.

Again and again, Dzakovik argues, the results were rigged, or innovations proposed by the team to make the tests more realistic were rejected. Once, he said, the team wanted to try to smuggle liquid explosives past a checkpoint after al-Qaida terrorist Ramzi Yousef admitted to a plot involving such a compound in 1995. But the request was denied.

“We weren’t allowed to test for knives at all,” Dzakovik said. “We never tried realistic explosives. I mean, look at what these terrorists have done. We may not like them, but we can’t pretend they aren’t clever.”

Why would the FAA want to rig results? Dzakovik believes the answer is in the cozy relationship the agency developed with the airline industry over the years. “Security costs money, and that’s money that doesn’t go under the profit line,” he says. [Airlines] gave Congress something like $80,000 in the last election. They don’t do that just to be nice.”

[A week after this story appeared, the DOT confirmed that field tests conducted by its investigators after the attacks show major lapses at U.S. airports. Undercover inspectors tried to sneak guns, knives and other weapons through check pints. The results were jarring: guns got through screeners in over 30 percent of the tests; knives went undetected in 70 percent, and simulated explosives in over 60 percent of tests.]

Cozy relationship
Charges that the FAA has been soft on the industry it regulates are hardly new. Until 1996, in fact, the agency’s charge was to promote the growth of the industry as well as to regulate it, a legacy of the days when the airlines were aviation pioneers inaugurating historic trans-continental, trans-Atlantic and finally trans-Pacific services.

Those days are gone, but many believe the relationship hasn’t changed with the times.

Transcripts of congressional hearings on aviation - which in recent years have been dominated by “on-time departures and arrivals” and “air traffic capacity” and almost never by security issues - are evidence of that. Any suggestion that security procedures should be taken out of the airlines’ hands was branded a threat to their competitiveness.

There were exceptions. In the wake of every major airline terrorist incident of the past 15 years, there have been spikes in activity. But in almost every case, a triangle of mutual interest in not rocking the boat prevailed - a triangle with the airline lobby on one point, the campaign money hungry Congress on another and the regulators of the FAA on the other:
9761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 07:37:25 PM

In mid-1996, President Clinton created the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security and assigned it three specific mandates: to look at the changing security threat, and how the US could address it; to examine changes in the aviation industry, and how government should adapt its regulation of it; to look at the technological changes coming to air traffic control, and what should be done to take best advantage of them.

In the wake of concerns over the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, President Clinton asked the commission to focus its attention first on the issue of security. He asked for an initial report on aviation security in 45 days, including an action plan to deploy new high technology machines to detect the most sophisticated explosives.

From its inception, the commission took a hands-on approach to its work. President Clinton announced the formation of the commission on July 25, 1996 and a few days later, Vice President Al Gore, commission chairman, led a site visit to Dulles International Airport where he and other commissioners saw airport and airline operations firsthand, and discussed issues with front line workers. This was the first of dozens of such visits. Over the next six months, the commission visited facilities throughout the United States and in various locations abroad.

The Gore Commission held six public meetings, hearing from over fifty witnesses representing a cross section of the aviation industry and the public, including families of victims of air disasters. Recognizing the increasingly global nature of aviation, the commission cosponsored an International Conference on Aviation Safety and Security with the George Washington University, attended by over 700 representatives from sixty-one countries

There were a number of recommendations made the by Gore Commission, whose commissioners included family members of the victims of Flight 800. The recommendations included several measures to improve screening company performance, including a national job grade structure for screeners and meaningful measures to reward employees. It also called for airlines to hire screening companies on the basis of performance, not the lowest bidder.

The Gore Commission called for criminal background and FBI fingerprint checks for all airport and airline workers who screen passengers for weapons or have access to secure areas. The airlines industry had long opposed mandatory criminal checks.

Two weeks later, as reported in the Boston Globe, Gore retreated from his own commission's proposals in a letter to Carol B. Hallett, president of the industry's trade group, the Air Transport Association. ''I want to make it very clear that it is not the intent of this administration or of the commission to create a hardship for the air transportation industry or to cause inconvenience to the traveling public,'' Gore wrote. To reassure Hallett, Gore added that the FAA would develop ''a draft test concept ... in full partnership with representatives of the airline industry."

The day after Gore's letter to the Air Transport Association, Trans World Airlines donated $40,000 to the Democratic National Committee. By the time of the presidential election, other airlines had poured large donations into Democrat Party committees: $265,000 from American Airlines, $120,000 from Delta Air Lines, $115,000 from United Air Lines, $87,000 from Northwest Airlines, according to an analysis done for the Boston Globe by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks donations.A total of $627,000 was donated to the Democrats by major airlines.

Two of the commission members -- Victoria Cummock and Kathleen Flynn, who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack on Flight 800 -- believe that campaign contributions by the airline industry were a direct result of Al Gore backing away from the commission's security recommendations.
Don't bet on the mainstream news media reminding Al Gore of this flagrant example of homeland security taking a back-seat to campaign cash the next time they quote one of his frequent fever-pitched rants.
9762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security-1997 on: November 23, 2010, 07:23:53 PM

Chapter Three:

Improving Security for Travelers

"We know we can't make the world risk-free, but we can reduce the risks we face and we have to take the fight to the terrorists. If we have the will, we can find the means."

President Clinton

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence sources have been warning that the threat of terrorism is changing in two important ways. First, it is no longer just an overseas threat from foreign terrorists. People and places in the United States have joined the list of targets, and Americans have joined the ranks of terrorists. The bombings of the World Trade Center in New York and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City are clear examples of the shift, as is the conviction of Ramzi Yousef for attempting to bomb twelve American airliners out of the sky over the Pacific Ocean. The second change is that in addition to well-known, established terrorist groups, it is becoming more common to find terrorists working alone or in ad-hoc groups, some of whom are not afraid to die in carrying out their designs.

Although the threat of terrorism is increasing, the danger of an individual becoming a victim of a terrorist attack -- let alone an aircraft bombing -- will doubtless remain very small. But terrorism isn't merely a matter of statistics. We fear a plane crash far more than we fear something like a car accident. One might survive a car accident, but there's no chance in a plane at 30,000 feet. This fear is one of the reasons that terrorists see airplanes as attractive targets. And, they know that airlines are often seen as national symbols.

When terrorists attack an American airliner, they are attacking the United States. They have so little respect for our values -- so little regard for human life or the principles of justice that are the foundation of American society -- that they would destroy innocent children and devoted mothers and fathers completely at random. This cannot be tolerated, or allowed to intimidate free societies. There must be a concerted national will to fight terrorism. There must be a willingness to apply sustained economic, political and commercial pressure on countries sponsoring terrorists. There must be an unwavering commitment to pursuing terrorists and bringing them to justice. There must be the resolve to punish those who would violate sanctions imposed against terrorist states.

Today's aviation security is based in part on the defenses erected in the 1970s against hijackers and on recommendations made by the Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, which was formed in the wake of the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Improvements in aviation security have been complicated because government and industry often found themselves at odds, unable to resolve disputes over financing, effectiveness, technology, and potential impacts on operations and passengers.

Americans should not have to choose between enhanced security and efficient and affordable air travel. Both goals are achievable if the federal government, airlines, airports, aviation employees, local law enforcement agencies, and passengers work together to achieve them. Accordingly, the Commission recommends a new partnership that will marshal resources more effectively, and focus all parties on achieving the ultimate goal: enhancing the security of air travel for Americans.

The Commission considered the question of whether or not the FAA is the appropriate government agency to have the primary responsibility for regulating aviation security. The Commission believes that, because of its extensive interactions with airlines and airports, the FAA is the appropriate agency, with the following qualifications: first, that the FAA must improve the way it carries out its mission; and second, that the roles of intelligence and law enforcement agencies in supporting the FAA must be more clearly defined and coordinated. The Commission's recommendations address those conditions.

The terrorist threat is changing and growing. Therefore, it is important to improve security not just against familiar threats, such as explosives in checked baggage, but also to explore means of assessing and countering emerging threats, such as the use of biological or chemical agents, or the use of missiles. While these do not present significant threats at present, it would be short-sighted not to plan for their possible use and take prudent steps to counter them.

The Commission believes that aviation security should be a system of systems, layered, integrated, and working together to produce the highest possible levels of protection. Each of the Commission's recommendations should be looked upon as a part of a whole, and not in isolation. It should be noted that a number of the Commission's recommendations outlined in the previous chapter, particularly those relating to certification and regulation, apply to the FAA's security programs, as well.


3.1. The federal government should consider aviation security as a national security issue, and provide substantial funding for capital improvements.

The Commission believes that terrorist attacks on civil aviation are directed at the United States, and that there should be an ongoing federal commitment to reducing the threats that they pose. In its initial report, the Commission called for approximately $160 million in federal funds for capital costs associated with improving security, and Congress agreed. As part of its ongoing commitment, the federal government should devote significant resources, of approximately $100 million annually, to meet capital requirements identified by airport consortia and the FAA. The Commission recognizes that more is needed. The Commission expects the National Civil Aviation Review Commission to consider a variety of options for additional user fees that could be used to pay for security measures including, among others, an aviation user security surcharge, the imposition of local security fees, tax incentives and other means.

3.2. The FAA should establish federally mandated standards for security enhancements.

These enhancements should include standards for use of Explosive Detection System (EDS) machines, training programs for security personnel, use of automated bag match technology, development of profiling programs (manual and automated), and deployment of explosive detection canine teams.

3.3. The Postal Service should advise customers that all packages weighing over 16 ounces will be subject to examination for explosives and other threat objects in order to move by air.

The Postal Service now requires that packages weighing over 16 ounces must be brought to a post office, rather than be placed in a mailbox. To improve security further, the Postal Service should mandate that all mail weighing over 16 ounces contain a written release that allows it to be examined by explosive detection systems in order to be shipped by air. The Postal Service should develop and implement procedures to randomly screen such packages for explosives and other threat objects. If necessary, the Postal Service should seek appropriate legislation to accomplish this.

3.4. Current law should be amended to clarify the U.S. Customs Service's authority to search outbound international mail.

Currently, the Customs Service searches for explosives and other threat objects on inbound mail and cargo. This recommended legislative enhancement parallels the Customs Service's existing border search authority.

3.5. The FAA should implement a comprehensive plan to address the threat of explosives and other threat objects in cargo and work with industry to develop new initiatives in this area.

The FAA should place greater emphasis on the work of teams, such as the Aviation Security Advisory Committee and the Baseline Cargo Working Group, to address cargo issues. The Commission believes that the FAA should implement the Baseline Group's recommendation with regard to profiling by "known" and "unknown" shippers. In addition, unaccompanied express shipments on commercial passenger aircraft should be subject to examination by explosives detection systems; the FAA should work with industry to develop a computer assisted cargo profiling system that can be integrated into airlines' and forwarders' reservation and operating systems; requirements should be implemented requiring that trucks delivering cargo for loading on planes be sealed and locked; the FAA should develop and distribute air cargo security training materials; and enhanced forwarder and shipper employee screening procedures should be developed.

3.6. The FAA should establish a security system that will provide a high level of protection for all aviation information systems.

In addition to improving the physical security of the traveling public, information systems critical to aircraft, air traffic control and airports should also be protected. Although government is responsible for a great number of aviation related information systems, a partnership must be formed in order to create integrated protection among these and related private sector systems. Some protective measures will become the responsibility of airlines, some that of the airports and others of the aircraft and air traffic control systems manufacturers and maintenance providers. The National Security Agency must play a role in coordinating information security measures, setting standards and providing oversight of system security to ensure protection against outside interference, disruption and corruption. Specific legislation should be reviewed that makes willful interference with information systems a federal crime with substantial penalties to provide a clear deterrent.

3.7. The FAA should work with airlines and airport consortia to ensure that all passengers are positively identified and subjected to security procedures before they board aircraft.

Curb-side check-in, electronic ticketing, advance boarding passes, and other initiatives are affecting the way passengers enter the air transportation system. As improved security procedures are put into place, it is essential that all passengers be accounted for in that system, properly identified and subject to the same level of scrutiny. The Commission urges the FAA to work with airlines and airport consortia to ensure that necessary changes are made to accomplish that goal.

3.8. Submit a proposed resolution, through the U.S. Representative, that the International Civil Aviation Organization begin a program to verify and improve compliance with international security standards.

Although 185 nations have ratified the International Civil Aviation Organization convention, and the security standards contained in it, compliance is not uniform. This creates the potential for security vulnerabilities on connecting flights throughout the world. To help raise levels of security throughout the world, the International Civil Aviation Organization needs greater authority to determine whether nations are in compliance. Strong U.S. sponsorship for adding verification and compliance capabilities to the International Civil Aviation Organization could lead to enhanced worldwide aviation security.

3.9. Assess the possible use of chemical and biological weapons as tools of terrorism.

FAA should work with the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy on programs to anticipate and plan for changing threats, such as chemical and biological agents.

3.10. The FAA should work with industry to develop a national program to increase the professionalism of the aviation security workforce, including screening personnel.

The Commission believes it's critical to ensure that those charged with providing security for over 500 million passengers a year in the United States are the best qualified and trained in the industry. One proposal that could accomplish this goal is the creation of a nationwide non-profit security corporation, funded by the airlines, to handle airport security. This concept, under consideration by the major airlines, merits further review.

The Commission recommends that the FAA work with the private sector and other federal agencies to promote the professionalism of security personnel through a program that could include: licensing and performance standards that reflect best practices; adequate, common and recurrent training that considers human factors; emphasis on reducing turnover rates; rewards for performance; opportunities for advancement; a national rank and grade structure to permit employees to find opportunities in other areas; regional and national competitions to identify highly skilled teams; and, an agreement among users to hire based on performance, not just cost.

3.11 Access to airport controlled areas must be secured and the physical security of aircraft must be ensured.

Air carriers and airport authorities, working with FAA, must develop comprehensive and effective means by which to secure aircraft and other controlled areas from unauthorized access and intrusion. Use of radio frequency transponders to track the location of people and objects in airport controlled areas, including aircraft, offers significant advantages over the current security measures commonly used today. Where adequate airport controlled area and aircraft security are not assured by other means, this technology should be considered for use at both international and domestic airports.
9763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 06:43:39 PM

From 1995 to 2001, Bogdan Dzakovic served as a team leader on the Federal Aviation Administration's Red Team. Set up by Congress to help the FAA think like terrorists, the elite squad tested airport security systems.

In the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Dzakovic says, the team was able to breach security about 90% of the time, sneaking bombs and submachine guns past airport screeners. Expensive new bomb detection machines consistently failed, he says.

The team repeatedly warned the FAA of the potential for security breaches and hijackings but was told to cover up its findings, Dzakovic says.

Eventually, the FAA began notifying airports in advance when the Red Team would be doing its undercover testing, Dzakovic says. He and other Red Team members approached the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General, the General Accounting Office and members of Congress about the FAA's alleged misconduct regarding the Red Team's aviation security tests. No one did anything, he says.

Then came 9/11.

"Immediately (after 9/11), numerous government officials from FAA as well as other government agencies made defensive statements such as, 'How could we have known this was going to happen?' " Dzakovic testified later before the 9/11 Commission. "The truth is, they did know."
9764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 05:31:10 PM
There has been much discussion of profiling, but the difficulty of creating a reliable and accurate physical profile of a jihadist, and the adaptability and ingenuity of the jihadist planners, means that any attempt at profiling based only on race, ethnicity or religion is doomed to fail. In fact, profiling can prove counterproductive to good security by blinding people to real threats. They will dismiss potential malefactors who do not fit the specific profile they have been provided.


MARC: Taking the liberty of inserting here:

 As we have discussed for many years, jihadists have long had a fixation with attacking aircraft. When security measures were put in place to protect against Bojinka-style attacks in the 1990s — attacks that involved modular explosive devices smuggled onto planes and left aboard — the jihadists adapted and conducted 9/11-style attacks. When security measures were put in place to counter 9/11-style attacks, the jihadists quickly responded by going to onboard suicide attacks with explosive devices concealed in shoes. When that tactic was discovered and shoes began to be screened, they switched to devices containing camouflaged liquid explosives. When that plot failed and security measures were altered to restrict the quantity of liquids that people could take aboard aircraft, we saw the jihadists alter the paradigm once more and attempt the underwear-bomb attack last Christmas.  In a special edition of Inspire magazine released last weekend, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) noted that, due to the increased passenger screening implemented after the Christmas Day 2009 attempt, the group’s operational planners decided to employ explosive devices sent via air cargo (we have written specifically about the vulnerability of air cargo to terrorist attacks).

MARC:  Yes wink


While understanding that the threat is very real, it is also critical to recognize that there is no such thing as absolute, foolproof security. This applies to ground-based facilities as well as aircraft. If security procedures and checks have not been able to keep contraband out of high-security prisons, it is unreasonable to expect them to be able to keep unauthorized items off aircraft, where (thankfully) security checks of crew and passengers are far less invasive than they are for prisoners. As long as people, luggage and cargo are allowed aboard aircraft, and as long as people on the ground crew and the flight crew have access to aircraft, aircraft will remain vulnerable to a number of internal and external threats.

MARC:  Yes.

GM: Never have argued that absolute security is possible. Of course there isn't absolute security. However, does not mean that you don't take reasonable steps to address a threat. If a car thief really wants to steal your car, he probably will be able to. Knowing this, do you leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition? No.

What do you do? You harden the target. You make it harder for those that wish you ill to be able to act on their intent. There are no silver bullets that magically resolve threats. Don't like TSA screening ?, well then just "profile" meaning, "screening for thee, not for me". I have already posted in great detail why this is not an answer. Just as there are no technological stand-alone fixes for this problem, neither is "profiling" the solution. Do I disagree with behavioral analysis? No, but I recognize it's inherent weaknesses within the American context. TSA has it as a tool as part of a strategy of layered security. It's a tool, and in most cases a minor one in the larger context.

Layered security is always the approach to take, even if you don't like some of the layers used by TSA. No matter if you are securing your home, you are doing EP for a principal or securing a correctional facility, you always strive to use multiple mechanisms between the threat and that which you wish to protect. You'd never say that you don't need to lock your home up at night, because you have a gun. 

Chaos and entropy weigh on everyone, including al qaeda. When you raise the bar for AQ, they then have to address many more difficulties in planning and then successfully carrying out their attacks. Of course, aviation is far from their only target, but given the lethality and socio-economic impact from successful aviation attacks, we must invest resources to prevent future attacks, when possible.
9765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 05:17:27 PM

 A manual written by the airline industry years before the Sept. 11 attacks instructed airport screeners to confiscate from passengers boxcutters like those used by the hijackers, documents show.

Though the federal government did not specifically bar the objects before Sept. 11, the airlines were in charge of security and the manual they compiled was the guidebook for determining what items could be brought aboard flights.

The instructions were part of the Checkpoint Operations Guide, a manual issued by the Air Transport Association, which represents the major airlines, and the Regional Airline Association, the trade group for smaller carriers. The groups issued the guide to carry out Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

A copy of the 1994 manual was obtained by The Associated Press.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said keeping boxcutters off planes was an industry requirement, not a government order. She said the FAA allowed airline passengers to carry blades less than four inches long before Sept. 11. Government rules now prohibit such items.

Other items allowed into airplane cabins, according to the manual, included baseball bats, darts, knitting needles, pocket utility knifes less than four inches long and scissors.

ATA spokesman Michael Wascom would say only: "Boxcutters were not prohibited by the FAA on 9-11-01." Officials of the regional airlines group declined comment.

Former FAA chief counsel Kenneth Quinn, now a lawyer representing several security companies, said the agency, not the industry, was responsible for keeping boxcutters off planes. "There's only one way to prohibit items from being carried on board airplanes, and that is through mandatory security directives from the FAA," Quinn said.

Before the terrorist attacks, the industry was responsible for security, under FAA oversight. The $15 billion airline aid bill enacted shortly after Sept. 11 limited the airlines' liability to the amount of their insurance coverage. The House Republican version of legislation creating a Homeland Security Department would give the same liability limits to screening companies.
9766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 05:02:42 PM

b) I don't see that it is necessary to use the palm of the hand; wouldn't the back of the hand suffice?

**The old TSA procedure was using the back of the hand for the "sensitive areas. The problem being that the back of the hand would probably detect a edged weapon or firearm, it has a lesser chance of detecting packet of powder or putty like explosive charges.**

c) I gather that dogs can be extremely useful, yet I have yet to see one in use

**Because unlike the checkpoints, the external security procedures at the airport are decided by the local airport authority/law enforcement agencies. For example, the number of dogs trained in explosive detection at LAX would be the responsibility of the LA airport police and/or LAPD, not the TSA.**

d) Although I wasn't impressed with the synopsis of Ron Paul's proposal posted here the other day, I did hear an interview with him wherein he sounded rather persuasive about what can be accomplished by allowing the private sector (e.g. the airlines) to take over; which the Homeland Security law which created the TSA allows.

**The airlines were running aviation security before 9/11 and contracted it out to security companies that hired convicted felons, illegal aliens and anyone else willing to work for minimum wage with no benefits. Airlines used their lobbying power in congress to fight every attempt to improve security prior to 9/11. The FAA was the airline's lapdog, not the watchdog. Of course, after 9/11, the airlines got bailed out by congress (meaning by us, the taxpayers) and spared the liability from their negligence that resulted in 9/11. Why would it be different this time?**
9767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 03:31:30 PM
There is no Israeli magic. We can have El Al like aviation security with no nekkid backscatter x-ray machines if we have Shin Bet like domestic intelligence gathering. Who's up for that?
9768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 03:09:00 PM

Shin Bet: Citizens subverting Israel key values to be probed
In letter to Arab rights group, Shin Bet head says role of security service is to uphold 'Jewish, democratic' state.
By Jack Khoury and Yuval Yoaz

The Shin Bet security service believes it is within its charter to carry out surveillance operations, such as phone taps, on individuals deemed as "conducting subversive activity against the Jewish identity of the state," even if their actions are not in violation of the law.
9769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 02:41:29 PM

Israel's secret police blocked a Muslim Arab citizen from being appointed to a publicly funded job, in its latest attempt to assert authority over public political debate in Israel, a case in Tel Aviv's labour court has revealed.

The case emerged when the state rejected Sheikh Ahmed Abu Awaja's application to serve as the imam at a mosque in Jaffa, a neighbourhood south of Tel Aviv. He appealed to Tel Aviv's labour court after he was told that he did not get the job even though he was the only candidate to meet the requirements. The court is due to deliver its decision today.

During the case the district prosecutor said that Abu Awaja had been rejected because the General Security Service, commonly known as the Shin Bet, believed he would "jeopardise peace and security in Jaffa, especially in view of the sensitivity of the delicate relationship between the city's Jewish and Muslim populations".

It has previously been revealed that the Shin Bet deems Israel's indigenous Arab minority population and public criticism of the state's Jewish character as security threats. It accuses Abu Awaja, who is a member of the Islamic Movement, of inciting hostility against Israel and its Jewish citizens.

The Islamic Movement is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is opposed to Israel's existence, but Abu Awaja, who has been preaching for 15 years, says he has never advocated violence. "I have called on people to act within the law. The Shin Bet's interference in my nomination is political persecution and it's been going on for years," he told the daily Haaretz.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (Acri), which released its annual state of human rights report yesterday, accused the Shin Bet of harassing Israel's indigenous minority Arab citizens and restricting freedom of expression. During the past year the security service has questioned Israeli-Arab MPs and Israeli-Arabs who work for human rights groups.

The Shin Bet makes "veiled, but occasionally overt" threats and "makes it clear" to those being questioned "that they are under constant surveillance, hints that there could be repercussions in their private life and [makes] warnings that if they continue with what they are doing they are liable to have criminal charges brought against them", Acri's report says.
9770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 02:29:32 PM
I can say observing China's aviation security, their pre-flight screening is comparable to US screening pre-9/11. Why? Because China's Ministry for State Security has a dossier on every chinese citizen and every foreigner is under full spectrum surveillance. If you are seen as a threat, you won't be allowed anywhere near an airport, and are probably under some sort of detention anyway. Post 9/11, China simply banned muslims from flying for a while, and they know exactly who is or isn't muslim.

Again, the US doesn't have those databases of who is or isn't muslim and I doubt many people would advocate banning all muslims from flying. I expect that Israel has extensively researched potential jihadists within it's borders, but who here wants to see flyers and their luggage with distinctive labels denoting ethnicity and religion as El Al does?
9771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 01:43:40 PM

You've said you do want there to be some form of security screening at airports. What exactly would that look like were you running the TSA?
9772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: November 23, 2010, 01:39:39 PM
Any expect Barry to vote present and/or grovel?
9773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 23, 2010, 01:38:27 PM
I hope we get candidates that have the skillset to do the job. Enough of the empty suits, such as the one we have now.
9774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 12:06:37 PM
"So how many planes would have to kaboom before you figured that the statistical outliers had been exhausted?"

   Being, like you, of triple digit IQ, I get that. smiley   

   That said, we must also look at the other side of the coin too.   What happens if they bomb a train e.g. the AMTRAK one that then Senator Joe Biden used to take every day/weekend?  Do we then institute the same level of security on trains?  What if they bomb the DC or the NYC subway?  Do we then institute the same level of security?  What about buses?  AQ now talks of a strategy of hemorraging us with tactics of a plethora of smaller and smaller attacks and bleeding us with the costs of our current responses.
TSA joins NYPD in subway baggage screening

Published 22 April 2010

TSA joins BYPD in a trial for screening passengers' baggage on New York subways; TSA says it does not know how long the agency would run the program, but that mass transit riders should anticipate a TSA presence underground "for the foreseeable future"

Subway riders on their way to and from work Wednesday were surprised to see Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials, who usually screen luggage in airports, checking bags at local subway stations.

The TSA launched a pilot partnership with the NYPD Wednesday morning to enhance security on city trains, a spokeswoman for the TSA said. About a dozen stations are covered daily, according to the NYPD. “While there is no specific threat to mass transit in the United States at this time, TSA and NYPD continuously work together to strengthen overall security efforts and keep the American people safe,” the administration said in a statement.

   The variety of ways in which an open society such as ours can be attacked is infinite?  We cannot do "whatever it takes" to achieve perfect security.

**There is no perfect security. We "harden the target" on the parts of our infrastructure that are the most vulnerable, where the terrorists get the most "bang for their buck". Wherever you have densely packed humans, such as aircraft and mass transit, you have the ideal target for AQ. When you do your cost/benefit analysis, you have to include not only the cost of the attack and the direct impact, but the ripples it sends through the economy and national psyche.**

    Maybe we need a more aggro response-- more like El Al and more based on playing the probabilities.

**Again, El Al/Shin Bet can do things we can't because of the constitutional restrictions we operate under. Remember the screams from the left because we waterboarded 3 AQ terrorists, no matter how many lives we saved because President Bush decided that the trade off was worth it? Shall we revisit the the various privacy/libertarian threads here where anything done by law enforcement is seen as a totalitarian destruction of freedom as we know it?

You want me to address those people who are comparing the TSA to nazis? If Ron Paul and his paultards thought the TSA were nazis, they'd be hitting them up for political donations and support.

How dumb, as well as morally blind does one have to be to associate an agency designed to protect the public from dying horribly to those who killed masses of people horribly? Well, Ron Paul stupid. Worried that some gubbamint employee will see your sub-normal genitals, Rarick? Don't fracking fly.
9775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 10:49:36 PM

Five years is a long time on Wall Street, except when it comes to erasing the psychological damage from the Sept. 11 attacks.

Stocks are up since then, though not by much: The Dow Jones industrial average is up 18.6% and the Standard & Poor's 500 18.9% from just before the attacks, a 3.5% annual return that's way below long-term averages.

It's impossible to know how much the terrorist attacks are to blame for the market's malaise. After all, an earnings recession started in late 2000, and the USA has just emerged from one of its worst periods of corporate fraud in at least a generation. But the attacks injected a new permanent variable into stocks: fear.

"There's a chronic sense of caution and pessimism" that didn't exist before the attacks, says Jim Paulsen of Wells Capital Management. That is showing up in:

•Depressed valuations. Heightened trepidation partly explains why investors won't pay as much for stocks, says Bob Doll, chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. corporate profits have jumped nearly 75%. Yet that has minimal effect on stock prices, which have pushed the price-earnings ratio down. On Sept. 10, 2001, the S&P 500 traded for 23.2 times its earnings over the previous 12 months. That's sunk to 15.9. That quantifies reduced investor confidence. "The threat of terrorism is in people's minds, so it's in their investment lives," Doll says.

•Ripple effects. Since the attacks hit during a recession, it forced the Federal Reserve to slash short-term interest rates more than expected, says Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab. Short-term rates hit an almost unheard of low of 1% in 2003, which helped inflate a housing bubble, she says. Now that bubble's deflation is haunting stocks as investors worry how consumers will be affected, she says.

•Faster reactions. Investors have learned to react more rapidly and less severely to terrorism, Doll says. When trading resumed after the Sept. 11 attacks, the S&P 500 initially tumbled 11.6% before bottoming. But investors collected themselves: The S&P was up 20.3% six months afterward. The Bali bombings in 2002 had a similar shock: The Jakarta composite index fell 10.4% at first and six months later was up 29.9%. Responses have been more muted since. The IBEX 35, FTSE 100 and BSE Sensex 30 indexes fell just 7.2%, 1.4% and 6.3%, respectively, after the 2004 Madrid, 2005 London and 2006 India bombings.

Investors realized many doomsday scenarios didn't materialize. "We now know that many of the fears ...that emerged in the wake of 9/11 proved to be unfounded," Joseph Quinlan of Bank of America wrote in a report. But Sonders hopes investors aren't forgetting the risk. "With additional time without an attack, (investors) may be lulled into the sense (terrorism) may not affect them."
9776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 10:26:54 PM
So how many planes would have to kaboom before you figured that the statistical outliers had been exhausted?
9777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homegrown jihadis on: November 22, 2010, 09:27:13 PM

The arrest of a suburban Pennsylvania woman known by the alias Jihad Jane, who allegedly plotted with Islamic radicals abroad to kill a Swedish cartoonist, has raised fears about homegrown terrorists in the United States who may be difficult to spot.

"This woman might as well have advertised in the Washington Post," former White House counterterrorism official and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke said on "Good Morning America" today. "It was easy for the FBI to find her, but there are other people who are much more covert."

"There will likely be more attacks," Clarke said. "Hopefully, they will be small, and hopefully, we can catch them early." Colleen R. LaRose, 46, of Montgomery, Pa., was arrested in October 2009 and charged with trying to recruit Islamic fighters and plotting to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist who made fun of prophet Mohammed, according to a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday.

The FBI had kept the case secret while it looked for more suspects in the United States and abroad. The case was made public after seven men were arrested in Ireland this week, suspected of plotting to kill the Swedish cartoonist.

LaRose's case is rare, Clark said, but it shows the capability of international dissident groups to reach out to Americans via the Internet.

"This is a very rare case of a disturbed woman," he said, but it signifies how "the Internet not only allows them to communicate, it allows them to recruit."

Their persuasive speeches and sermons, which have been effective in recruiting men and women in the Middle East, are "beginning to work for some misfits in the United States," he said.

LaRose was arrested in Philadelphia Oct. 16, 2009, and has been in federal custody ever since, without bail. She has not entered a plea. If convicted, she faces a potential sentence of life in prison and a $1 million fine.

Her three federal public defender lawyers have yet to return calls from ABC News.

LaRose could easily fit the part of a soccer mom. She was described by neighbors as an average housewife.

"Oh, my God, unbelievable, I can't believe that," one neighbor told ABC News.

Another said the news was an "amazing, shocking surprise."

Clarke said there is likely a small group of people like LaRose. But their numbers are less of a concern than the idea that radical groups can convey their ideology via this "remote control through cyberspace," he said.

"I think it's very small but it doesn't have to be very large," he said. "So it's not so much a matter of size. It's the fact that it's going on."

Authorities said LaRose's U.S. citizenship and appearance made her appealing to the Islamic radicals she first contacted on the Internet.

"The terrorists figured out that they can't all look like Middle Eastern people, whether they be male or female," former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett said. "And so they've put a lot of time and energy particularly into the Internet, of recruiting people."
9778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 08:57:53 PM

Ann Could should stick to things she's good at, like snarky comments and looking like a post-op tranny. Aviation security isn't anything she knows anything about.

If Byron York had actually read the law and researched the topic, he'd know that there are a number of airports that used non-TSA screeners from the very beginning, the catch being that they MUST use the exact same techniques that TSA uses, and are still regulated by the TSA.
9779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 08:48:19 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29, 2009;lst;1

When Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab attempted to trigger an in flight explosion, he also rekindled the fear every security official has felt since 9/11 - of a passenger smuggling explosives on an airplane.

"The number one area we need to focus on, the biggest potential vulnerability, is a bomb on the body," said Kip Hawley, head of the TSA under George W. Bush.

Eliminating that vulnerability has been a problem. Eight years since Richard Reid, tried to ignite his shoes, and five years since the 9/11 commission pointedly said, "The TSA and Congress must give priority attention to (detecting) … explosives on passengers," no clear solution has emerged.

For example, when passengers remove their shoes the x-ray machine can detect metal, powder or alterations in the shoe, but not the chemicals from a bomb.

For years the TSA thought the solution was "puffer machines" which do sniff out explosives. But more than $30 million later, there's only one problem: "What we found is the machines were constantly clogging and were out of service and that you end up in a worse case than not having them at all," Hawley said.

Hawley and other officials say the next best choice is full body imaging machine. These don't detect chemicals either, but would have found the package Abdulmutallab sewed into his underwear.

The system is not defenseless against bombs. The TSA has greatly expanded the use of dogs to detect explosives, and the machines used for secondary screening - when a passenger's bags are swabbed - do detect bomb making chemicals.

Officials firmly believe that had Abdulmutallab been flagged he would have gone to secondary screening and been caught.
9780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 08:39:09 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2009

(CBS)  It was a security breach and a big embarrassment for the Transportation Security Administration. A secret manual that tells airport screeners around the country how to do their jobs somehow wound up on line for all the world to see.

It detailed who should be screened, how often bags are checked for explosives, how to deal with CIA agents traveling with high-value intelligence assets - even provided images of various special identification cards, as CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports.

The breach reveals some of the government's most sensitive aviation security secrets. A 93-page manual prepared for federal airport screeners shows samples of law enforcement and official credentials - federal air marshals, CIA officers, and members of Congress - IDs which criminals or terrorists could copy.

The document also reveals that travelers from a dozen countries including Cuba, North Korea, Somalia and Yemen are always subjected to extra screening.

The Transportation Security Administration says the security playbook, prepared in May 2008, is out of date and sensitive methods have been updated six times since then, adding in a statement that "TSA is confident that screening procedures currently in place remain strong."

**No matter what they say officially, this was a major fcukup. It gave AQ and everyone else our entire aviation security playbook. Jihadist sites today post copies of it.**


**Not long after they get what they need to plan an attack, we get a proof of concept attack.**

Airports worldwide tightened security a day after the passenger tried to detonate a device that contained a high explosive on a flight into Detroit. After that attack, passengers have had to contend with extra pat-downs before boarding, staying in their seats without blankets or pillows for the last hour of the flight and more bomb-sniffing dogs.

President Obama has called for a review of watch lists and screening procedures at airports in the wake of the attempted attack, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday on CBS' "Face The Nation".

"The president has asked for two reviews to take place as a result of this potential terrorist attack," Gibbs said. "The first is a watch listing review… so we want to ensure that all of the information that needs to go to decision makers gets to where it needs to go. The president has asked for a review of the procedures that in some cases are several years old."

CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer reports that Mr. Obama was briefed Sunday morning by Homeland Security and Counterterrorism advisor John Brenan and senior National Security official Denis McDonough.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said the briefing covered "security measures being taken to keep the traveling public safe, the most recent intelligence regarding that incident as well as reviews the president ordered into watch lists and detection capabilities."

9781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 07:42:40 PM

I couldn't myself vouch for the effectiveness of Rapidscan 1000. I doubt either the TSA or Rapiscan would allow me to run my own tests due to OPSEC.

AQ is known to employ the following process:

1. General target consideration/Intelligence gathering

2. Secondary target selection

3. Secondary intelligence gathering/analysis

4. Acute intelligence gathering, physical recon of target

5. Final target selection/operational planning

6. Finalization of plan/Logistics in place

TSA uses OPSEC as part of a strategy to deny AQ the ability to effective plan attacks. If your jihadist operatives do not anticipate success, it's difficult to recruit high quality operatives. 72 virgins and paradise are denied to those who get caught and die in a kufir prison. In planning, they are forced to assume that the Rapiscan 1000 is totally effective, no matter if it is or not in reality.

9782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 04:03:46 PM


Passenger screening is also evolving to keep up with changing threats. Threats now include not only guns, knives, and plastic explosives but also liquid explosives, radioactive materials, and pathogens. These threats have increased the need to move beyond the traditional metal detector, but that creates special challenges because humans cannot be subjected to the same x-rays as baggage.

Full-body imaging. One way that this challenge is being met is with the full-body scan systems, which use backscatter x-ray or millimeter wave technology. These generate much lower levels of radiation (less than 10 microREM versus 100 milliREM allowed per year). While they rely on different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, backscatter and millimeter wave machines operate on the same principle. Like radar or sonar, the machines project energy onto an object, and the software interprets what is reflected back.

Generally, the waves penetrate clothing unaffected, are absorbed by hard objects like guns or explosives, and are “scattered,” or reflected back to varying degrees by organic material, including flesh.

A backscatter machine is about the size and shape of a vending machine; the subject gets scanned twice—once while standing facing the machine, then again while facing away from it. The millimeter wave machines that TSA has purchased, manufactured by L-3 Communications, are hexagonal booths with dual sensors that simultaneously sweep across a subject’s front and posterior. They produce a photo negative-like image of a bare body with inorganic threats in black.

The technology works, but it has run into opposition based on privacy concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union has dubbed the machines a “virtual strip search” and “an assault on the essential dignity of passengers that citizens in a free nation should not have to tolerate.”

TSA defends the technology. The agency notes that it is far less invasive than the traditional physical search. In fact, passengers subjected to secondary screening at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, when given a choice between a physical pat down and a full-body scan, choose the latter 90 percent of the time, according to TSA. Civil libertarians counter that most people don’t know exactly what the images entail.

“Determining how the public feels about this is going to affect the future of it,” Howe says.

To address the privacy concern, TSA has asked manufacturers to tweak the algorithm to blur the face in the image. Certain backscatter systems offer what may be a more desirable privacy feature: the subject’s body is presented not as a full image, but instead as a white outline reminiscent of the chalk outline at a crime scene. Threat objects are superimposed.

To boost privacy further, the TSO who views the full scans is sequestered from the checkpoint. If the TSO spots a potential threat, he or she radios the checkpoint to order a pat down.

In addition, the TSA’s policy requires that the scan images be deleted the moment review of the scan has been completed, Howe says. Asked about the value that such threat images might have in criminal investigations, prosecutions, or for intelligence, Howe says the TSA wrestled with the question, but opted to make a clear commitment for the sake of privacy.

“If [a suicide bomber] was going to get screened, they’d have blown themselves up already. And if you call over law enforcement, you’re not going to need the image,” because they will have the actual item, Howe says.

As of this summer, the TSA operated backscatter machines manufactured by American Science & Engineering Inc. (AS&E) at three airports—Los Angeles International, JFK, and Phoenix—for secondary screening versus a pat down. A total of 38 L-3 millimeter wave machines were in use at nine major airports for primary continuous screening, with three more airports planned by the end of the year, says Howe.

Howe notes that a millimeter wave scan takes 15 seconds compared to the backscatter’s 40 seconds—extra time that adds up at high-volume checkpoints.

Checkpoints also still use magnetometers. Given the prevalence of nonmetallic threats and the prevalence of harmless metal items both on—and in—passengers’ bodies, such as medical devices, Joe Reiss, vice president of marketing for AS&E, questions the ongoing value of magnetometers.

Howe, however, predicts that walk-through magnetometers will be present at TSA checkpoints for the foreseeable future. Each one costs about $5,000, while a new millimeter wave scanner costs roughly $200,000.

As for the privacy issue—it’s not going away. Cathleen A. Berrick, director of homeland security and justice issues for the independent Government Accountability Office, tells Security Management that the TSA has yet to fully allay privacy concerns surrounding the use of full-body scans.
9783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 03:46:45 PM

01/08/2010 -

The decision by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his terrorist handlers to conceal high explosives in Abdulmutallab's underpants on a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas has led to renewed interest into whole body imaging technology, or full body scans, to detect contraband passengers may smuggle onboard an airplane.

Already, the British, French, Dutch, and Nigerian governments say they will embrace the technology, which allows operators to peer underneath a passenger's clothes and identify hidden threats on their body. The European Union, which overwhelmingly said no to the technology in 2008, is reconsidering its position post-Detroit, reports The Christian Science Monitor. And yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department will accelerate the deployment of whole body imaging technology at U.S. airports. There are already about 40 machines deployed at certain airports nationwide, but Napolitano said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will fast track at least another 300 units into the field this year.

This increased push for whole body imaging, however, has led to fears that the technology unnecessarily violates passengers' privacy rights and even their health. So what's true and false about whole body imaging technology? Security Management  has scoured publicly available information to answer some of the most pressing questions.

How does whole body imaging technology work?

That depends, because there are two different ways to generate a full body image: millimeter wave technology and backscatter technology.

How do these technologies differ?

Millimeter wave technology beams the passenger with millimeter wave radio frequency (RF) energy from two antennas that spin around the passenger at very fast speeds from head to toe. The energy reflected off the body and other objects generates a three-dimensional image of the passenger's body and anything else carried on his person.

Backscatter technology, however, uses very weak X-rays to generate a two-sided image of a passenger and anything else on that person's body.

Do these technologies identify the same types of threats?

Yes. Manufacturers of each technology say their respective technologies can detect the same types of threats.  L-3 Communications' machines, which use millimeter wave technology,  boast that they can "reveal and pinpoint hidden weapons, explosives, drugs and other contraband."

RapiScan, which uses backscatter technology, states that its machines screen passengers "for a wide range of potential threats including liquids, contraband, ceramics, explosives, narcotics, concealed currency and weapons." American Science and Engineering (AS&E), another manufacturer of backscatter technology, says its system "displays both organic and inorganic materials, revealing objects such as guns and knives, liquid and plastic explosives, composite weapons, and other hidden threats and contraband."

On its Web page devoted to whole body imaging, the TSA makes no distinction between the types of threats each technology can detect.
9784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / UK's assessment of Rapiscan 1000 on: November 22, 2010, 03:41:01 PM

Assessment of comparative ionising radiation doses from the use of rapiscan secure 1000 x-ray backscatter security scanner

Published: 1 February 2010.

Health Protection Agency, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards  January 2010 - Axel MacDonald, Phil Tattersall, John O’Hagan, Jill Meara, Richard Paynter, Peter Shaw.

The Government may require airport operators to use enhanced screening techniques using x-ray scanning equipment to safeguard flights from UK airports. The Justification of Practices Involving Ionising Radiation Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/1769)(Justification Regulations) came into force on 2 August 2004. These regulations are applied to new practices utilising ionising radiation that arose after May 2000. Those practices in use prior to May 2000 are regarded as existing practices and are not required to go through the justification process required of new practices, although any important new information on their effectiveness and potential doses may prompt a review of their justification. X-ray backscatter scanning systems to detect concealed items were in use prior to May 2000 and this is listed as an existing practice1.

This assessment addresses exposures and risks from the use of an x-ray backscatter body scanner, specifically a model that has been trialled in the UK in both a single scan and double scan (single pose) set-up. X-ray transmission body scanning systems, for instance those used by customs on those suspected of smuggling narcotics within their body, are not considered and it is thought that the use of such systems for routinely scanning passengers would be considered as a new practice. The Department of Energy and Climate Change hold a register of applications for new practices under the Justification Registrations2.

The effective dose from one scan from an x-ray backscatter unit (single or double scan) is 0.02 micro Sv or less (worst case scenario). Effective dose is a quantity that integrates radiation dose across the whole body. This dose is a small fraction of the annual background radiation.

People are constantly exposed to ionising radiation, most of which is from natural sources and medical exposures wherever they live. In the UK, the average dose to a member of the public from all sources (natural and artificial) is 2700 micro Sv/year. Natural radiation sources include cosmic rays, for which the radiation exposure increases with altitude; the typical dose rate during a commercial flight is approximately 5 micro Sv/h. In comparison, the dose rate from terrestrial and cosmic radiation sources at ground level is approximately 0.08 – 0.12 micro Sv/h.

Therefore the total radiation dose from an examination (which might involve 2 or 3 scans) is less than that received from two minutes flying at cruising altitude, or from one hour at ground level. However, it must be emphasised that these figures are based on the two variants (single and double scan) of the scanner model that HPA has assessed, and rely on the correct installation, operation and maintenance of the unit.  Significantly higher doses may occur if these criteria are not satisfied.

HPA recommends a dose constraint of 300 micro Sv/year to a member of the public from practices involving the deliberate use of ionising radiation sources3. A passenger would need to be examined 5000 times before exceeding this constraint value (based on three scans per examination). It is concluded that the potential doses received from the use of a correctly installed and used x-ray backscatter body scanner are likely to be very low.  Even in the case of frequent fliers the doses are unlikely to exceed 20 micro Sv/year.

It is important to note that the installation and use of this equipment will be subject to the requirements of the relevant radiation protection legislation4.
Comparative risks

The radiation doses from backscatter scanners are so low that the traditional radiation risk comparators, for example cancer risk may not provide the best illustration. A range of traditional and other comparators are given below. The data are taken from Office for National Statistics accident figures as presented on the ROSPA website5 and the JPNM “risk list” 6.

Whilst there are stages of pregnancy where a fetus is considered to be more susceptible to harm from radiation, the backscatter technology ensures that negligible doses are absorbed into the body (where the fetus is) and the fetal dose is thus much lower than the dose to a pregnant woman. Therefore for this comparison, which due to uncertainties only provides indicative risks, maternal and fetal dose can be considered the same. Similarly, because of the uncertainties at these low levels of exposure the risks to children, people with any type of illness or people undergoing any type of medical treatment are considered to be comparable to the risks to adults.
Therefore this risk assessment applies to the whole human population.
9785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 03:34:45 PM


UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Daniel Kuualoha AUKAI, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 04-10226.

Argued and Submitted En Banc March 21, 2007. -- August 10, 2007

The Fourth Amendment requires the government to respect “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons ․ and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”  U.S. Const. amend. IV. “A search or seizure is ordinarily unreasonable in the absence of individualized suspicion of wrongdoing.   While such suspicion is not an ‘irreducible’ component of reasonableness, [the Supreme Court has] recognized only limited circumstances in which the usual rule does not apply.”  City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 37, 121 S.Ct. 447, 148 L.Ed.2d 333 (2000) (citations omitted).   However, “where the risk to public safety is substantial and real, blanket suspicionless searches calibrated to the risk may rank as ‘reasonable’-for example, searches now routine at airports and at entrances to courts and other official buildings.”  Chandler v. Miller, 520 U.S. 305, 323, 117 S.Ct. 1295, 137 L.Ed.2d 513 (1997) (holding Georgia's requirement that candidates for state office pass a drug test did not fit within this exception) (citing Nat'l Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656, 674-76 & n. 3, 109 S.Ct. 1384, 103 L.Ed.2d 685 (1989) (upholding warrantless drug testing of employees applying for promotion to positions involving drug interdiction)).   Thus, “where a Fourth Amendment intrusion serves special governmental needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement, it is necessary to balance the individual's privacy expectations against the Government's interests to determine whether it is impractical to require a warrant or some level of individualized suspicion in the particular context.”  Von Raab, 489 U.S. at 665-66, 109 S.Ct. 1384.

Under this rationale the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the constitutionality of so-called “administrative searches.” 2  In New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. 691, 107 S.Ct. 2636, 96 L.Ed.2d 601 (1987), the Supreme Court upheld the warrantless search of a junkyard's records, permits, and vehicles.   The Supreme Court reasoned:  “Because the owner or operator of commercial premises in a ‘closely regulated’ industry has a reduced expectation of privacy, the warrant and probable-cause requirements, which fulfill the traditional Fourth Amendment standard of reasonableness for a government search have lessened application ․” Id. at 702, 107 S.Ct. 2636 (internal citation omitted).   Thus, New York's interest in regulating the junkyard industry, in light of the rise of motor-theft and comprehensive motor vehicle insurance premiums, served as a “special need” allowing inspection without a warrant.  Id. at 708-09, 107 S.Ct. 2636;  see also id. at 702, 107 S.Ct. 2636.   The regulatory statute also provided a “constitutionally adequate substitute for a warrant” because the statute informed junkyard operators that inspections would be made on a regular basis and limited the discretion of inspecting officers.  Id. at 711, 107 S.Ct. 2636.

In Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, 110 S.Ct. 2481, 110 L.Ed.2d 412 (1990), Sitz challenged the constitutionality of suspicionless sobriety checkpoints conducted on Michigan's highways, contending that the program violated the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable seizures.  Id. at 447-48, 110 S.Ct. 2481.   The Supreme Court upheld the sobriety checkpoints because “the balance of the State's interest in preventing drunken driving, the extent to which [the sobriety checkpoints] can reasonably be said to advance that interest, and the degree of intrusion upon individual motorists who are briefly stopped, weighs in favor of” finding the sobriety checkpoints constitutionally reasonable.  Id. at 455, 110 S.Ct. 2481.

Significantly, the Supreme Court has held that the constitutionality of administrative searches is not dependent upon consent.   In United States v. Biswell, 406 U.S. 311, 92 S.Ct. 1593, 32 L.Ed.2d 87 (1972), the Supreme Court upheld the warrantless search of a pawn shop owner's gun storeroom.   The search was authorized by a federal gun control statute.   The Court held that, “n the context of a regulatory inspection system of business premises that is carefully limited in time, place, and scope, the legality of the search depends not on consent but on the authority of a valid statute.” 3  Id. at 315, 92 S.Ct. 1593.   Thus, “[w]hen a[gun] dealer chooses to engage in this pervasively regulated business and to accept a federal license, he does so with the knowledge that his business records, firearms, and ammunition will be subject to effective inspection.”  Id. at 316, 92 S.Ct. 1593.

We have held that airport screening searches, like the one at issue here, are constitutionally reasonable administrative searches because they are “conducted as part of a general regulatory scheme in furtherance of an administrative purpose, namely, to prevent the carrying of weapons or explosives aboard aircraft, and thereby to prevent hijackings.”  United States v. Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 908 (9th Cir.1973);  see also United States v. Hartwell, 436 F.3d 174, 178 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 945, 127 S.Ct. 111, 166 L.Ed.2d 255 (2006);  Marquez, 410 F.3d at 616.   Our case law, however, has erroneously suggested that the reasonableness of airport screening searches is dependent upon consent, either ongoing consent 4 or irrevocable implied consent.5

  The constitutionality of an airport screening search, however, does not depend on consent, see Biswell, 406 U.S. at 315, 92 S.Ct. 1593, and requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post-9/11 world.6  Such a rule would afford terrorists 7 multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by “electing not to fly” on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found.   This rule would also allow terrorists a low-cost method of detecting systematic vulnerabilities in airport security, knowledge that could be extremely valuable in planning future attacks.   Likewise, given that consent is not required, it makes little sense to predicate the reasonableness of an administrative airport screening search on an irrevocable implied consent theory.   Rather, where an airport screening search is otherwise reasonable and conducted pursuant to statutory authority, 49 U.S.C. § 44901, all that is required is the passenger's election to attempt entry into the secured area 8 of an airport.   See Biswell, 406 U.S. at 315, 92 S.Ct. 1593; 49 C.F.R. § 1540.107. Under current TSA regulations and procedures, that election occurs when a prospective passenger walks through the magnetometer or places items on the conveyor belt of the x-ray machine.9  The record establishes that Aukai elected to attempt entry into the posted secured area of Honolulu International Airport when he walked through the magnetometer, thereby subjecting himself to the airport screening process.

To the extent our cases have predicated the reasonableness of an airport screening search upon either ongoing consent or irrevocable implied consent, they are overruled.


  Although the constitutionality of airport screening searches is not dependent on consent, the scope of such searches is not limitless.   A particular airport security screening search is constitutionally reasonable provided that it “is no more extensive nor intensive than necessary, in the light of current technology, to detect the presence of weapons or explosives [ ][and] that it is confined in good faith to that purpose.”  Davis, 482 F.2d at 913. We conclude that the airport screening search of Aukai satisfied these requirements.

9786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 02:31:43 PM
So let's wave Randy Royer and Yong Ki Kwan through and pull Massad Ayoob and Piyush Amrit Jindal aside for extra screening, right profilers?
9787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 02:21:07 PM

Witness testifies against Al-Timimi

The amazing story of Yong Ki Kwon, yet another convert to Islam who has misunderstood the religion. One would think, as long as we are being compelled by American Muslim advocacy groups and their allies in the media and government to swallow this farrago about how Islam is a peaceful religion that has been hijacked by "extremists," that at very least these advocacy groups would address this worldwide misunderstanding of Islam by the most pious Muslims. For here again, it is the Muslims who are most serious about Islam who are waging jihad, and those that are least devout and literal-minded who are staying home. Al-Timimi trial update, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

    FAIRFAX, Va. -- He never made it to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban, but Yong Ki Kwon -- a Northern Virginia engineer who fled the United States nine days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks -- said it wasn't for lack of effort.    Kwon, 29, is a South Korea-born graduate of Virginia Tech who is serving an 11-year prison sentence as a result of his guilty plea last year on federal conspiracy and weapons charges. He has emerged as the prosecution's star witness in the case against Ali Al-Timimi, an American Islamic scholar charged with recruiting soldiers for the Taliban just five days after Sept. 11....

    Kwon, one of nine men convicted last year in the so-called "paintball jihad" network, told a chilling tale of the birth of an American jihad.

    The holy war was conceived in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the dawn of the 21st century and was born at a meeting in his Fairfax, Va. apartment Sept. 16, 2001, when Kwon said he and several companions decided to heed the call of spiritual adviser Al-Timimi and to be trained to join the Taliban.

    Four days later, Kwon was on a flight to Karachi, Pakistan.

    The call to holy war took Kwon, who became a U.S. citizen in August 2001, to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba -- known as the LET -- a group that the U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001.

    Under the guidance of militants who trained holy warriors for battle in Afghanistan, Kwon honed his skills with semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher.

    Kwon, though, said he never was able to join the Taliban. He was simply too late. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training at the LET camp.

    He said his mentors offered him another option: Go back to the United States and gather information for the mujahadeen, or holy warriors....

    Dressed in a dark-green prison jumpsuit, the tall, bearded Kwon told jurors how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago.

    Born to Christian parents, Kwon converted to Islam in 1997 and quickly found scholar Al-Timimi lecturing regularly near his Northern Virginia home.

    Al-Timimi was known in strict Muslim communities across the word for his taped and Internet lectures. Supporters point to well-known lectures calling for peace in the wake of the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.

    Al-Timimi also was listed as an advisory board member of Assirat Al-Mustaqueem -- an international Arabic language magazine published in Pittsburgh from 1991 to 2000.

    The magazine called for holy war against Christians and Jews. It also lauded the international army that Osama bin Laden assembled for the Taliban in Afghanistan. The magazine once featured an article lauding Shamil Basayev, the Chechen rebel who took credit for last fall's bloody Beslen school massacre in which more than 300 people -- many of them school children -- were slain.

Wait a minute. He called for "peace in the wake of the first World Trade Center attack in 1993" but stayed until 2000 on the advisory board of a magazine that "called for holy war against Christians and Jews" and "lauded the international army that Osama bin Laden assembled for the Taliban in Afghanistan"? Some Islamic apologists and their allies have criticized my use of the word "taqiyya" on this site, pointing out that taqiyya properly refers only to Shi'ites pretending to be Sunnis for fear of persecution. Very well. I won't call it "taqiyya" this time, although I am not going to be intimidated away from using a word that sums up very well the Islamic doctrine of religious deception. That doctrine allows Muslims to lie about their faith when under pressure (cf. Qur'an 16:106 and also 3:28) and when in battle (cf. Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, book 52, nos. 268-270 and Sahih Muslim, book 32, no. 6303). Was al-Timimi practicing this deception that when he preached peace after the first WTC bombing? This is at least a question that prosecutors should investigate -- but they probably won't, because political correctness and fear will probably keep them from touching on any questions regarding Islam.

    Kwon said he grew to know and respect Al-Timimi as he regularly attended lectures at Dar Al Arqam mosque in Falls Church, Va.

    Al-Timimi's lectures on such topics as the purification of the soul and the new world order were only one side of Kwon's pursuit of Islam.

    The other side played out among Kwon and a small group of Muslim friends on the paintball fields and target ranges ringing Washington. That side focused on jihad -- violent holy war. And that focus turned to an obsession among Kwon and his friends long before Sept. 11, 2001, Kwon testified.

    The group, which included two U.S. military veterans and several engineers, gathered regularly, starting in early 2000, to talk about or prepare for jihad.

    "Russian Hell" -- a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war -- was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed.

    "They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration," Kwon testified.

    Martyrdom, too, was a topic.

    "As a Muslim, it's something you aspire to," Kwon said, answering questions from assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg. "We talked about it. I don't know how realistic we were, but we talked about it because it was very noble," Kwon told the jury of nine men and five women before U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.

    Members of the group wanted to be ready to take up arms -- should the need to defend Islam arise, Kwon said -- and they began traveling to shooting ranges for target practice and to paintball fields to execute military maneuvers.

    Al-Timimi never was a part of their games, Kwon said, but he and other witnesses said the man they characterized as a respected mentor was aware of them. Indeed, they consulted Al-Timimi when the FBI visited one of the members of their group with questions. Al-Timimi's advice: Be more circumspect about their activities, Kwon and others testified.

    Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque Sept. 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God, while his fellow scholar decried the attacks.

    That night, as they drove from the mosque, Kwon said Al-Timimi had a request.

    "He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America," Kwon said....

    Then, Kwon said, Al-Timimi advised the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen -- the holy warriors preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.

    Four days later, Kwon was on the plane to Pakistan, embarking on a jihad that would land him in prison.

    "I made the decision to go, but (Al-Timimi) was a big part of my decision to go," Kwon said.

Al-Timimi was, of course, wrong in thinking that "the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over." He didn't realize that even several years after 9/11, American leaders would prate about the religion of "tolerance" and "peace," and that apologists for Islam would compile reading lists for American generals, and that editors of supposedly tough, no-nonsense "conservative" publications would -- without having bothered to study Islam themselves -- refuse to publish some of the most important writers on Islam today (most notably Bat Ye’or), remove advertisements for books under pressure from an American Muslim advocacy group that a U. S. Senator has identified as having ties to terror, and dismiss as attempting to "discredit Muhammad and Islam" those who think that it is reasonable, in discussions of terrorism, to discuss Qur'anic passages and events in the life of Muhammad that terrorists themselves point to as the justification for their actions. No, if al-Timimi had foreseen all that, he would have been quite optimistic indeed.
9788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 01:43:54 PM
a) that former DHS head Chertkoff (sp?) lobbied for the Rapiscan scanners? and/or

GM Having people leave either elected or appointed office to then lobby for private industry is nothing new.

Marc:   Neither is corruption, the possibility of which is the point of my question.

b) assertions that they do not spot items such as the Crispy Weiner bomber's bombs?

GM: To determine that, we'd need to experiment with the backscatter device as it's used by TSA. I don't know that the critics have done that.

Marc:  Nor am I aware of data showing that these things WOULD pick up Crispy Weiner bombs.   You frequently amaze me with your ability to come up with citations for your positions.    Please feel free to amaze me again.  smiley

I think Popular Mechanics is credible.
9789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 01:18:13 PM

Massad F. Ayoob (born July 20, 1948) is an internationally known firearms and self-defense instructor. He was the director of the Lethal Force Institute in Concord, New Hampshire from 1981 to 2009,[1] has taught police techniques and civilian self-defense to both law enforcement officers and private citizens in numerous venues since 1974, and has appeared as an expert witness in several trials. He has served as a part-time police officer in New Hampshire since 1972 and holds the rank of Captain in the Grantham, New Hampshire police department.[2]

Ayoob has authored several books and more than 1,000 articles on firearms, combat techniques, self-defense, and legal issues, and has served in an editorial capacity for Guns Magazine, American Handgunner, Gun Week, and Combat Handguns. Since 1995, he has written self-defense- and firearms-related articles for Backwoods Home Magazine. He also has a featured segment on the television show Personal Defense TV, which airs on the Sportsman Channel in the United States.

While Ayoob has been in the courtroom as a testifying police officer, expert witness, and police prosecutor, he is not an attorney; he is, however, a former Vice Chairman of the Forensic Evidence Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and is believed to be the only non-attorney ever to hold this position.[3][4] His published work was cited by the Violence Policy Center in their amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the District of Columbia v. Heller case, and he himself filed a declaration in another amicus brief in this case.[5] His course for attorneys, titled "The Management of the Lethal Force/Deadly Weapons Case", was, according to Jeffrey Weiner (former president of NACDL), "the best course for everything you need to know but are never taught in law school."[4]

Ayoob remains an internationally prominent law enforcement officer training instructor. Since 1987, he has served as chairman of the Firearms Committee of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET).[dated info] He also serves on the Advisory Board of the International Law Enforcement Educators’ and Trainers’ Association, and is an instructor at the National Law Enforcement Training Center.[5]

Ayoob is of Arab descent

**Mas likes his Rolling Rocks. I've seen him put away many at ASLET functions. His parents were Syrian immigrants.**
9790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 01:09:25 PM

(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft, Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty of the Eastern District of Virginia announced that Randall Todd Royer and Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Hamdi were sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema for their convictions on charges stemming from their participation in a network of militant jihadists centered in Northern Virginia.

Royer, 31, pled guilty in January 2004 to a two-count criminal information charging him with aiding and abetting the use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and with aiding and abetting the carrying of an explosive during the commission of a felony. In his plea agreement, Royer admitted to aiding and abetting co-defendants Masoud Khan, Yong Ki Kwon, Muhammed Aatique and Khwaja Mahmoud Hasan in gaining entry to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan operated by Lashkar-e-Taiba, where they trained in the use of various weapons. Royer also admitted to helping co-defendant Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Hamdi gain entry to the Lashkar-e-Taiba camp, where Al-Hamdi received training in the use of a rocket-propelled grenade in furtherance of a conspiracy to conduct military operations against India.

Royer acknowledged that he committed his offenses to help other jihadists gain entry to the Lashkar-e-Taiba training camp following a meeting on Sept. 16, 2001, at which an unindicted conspirator said that the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, would be used as an excuse to trigger a global war against Islam, and that the time had come for them to go abroad and, if possible, join the mujahideen. Three other individuals attending that meeting, Yong Kwon, Muhammed Aatique, and Khwaja Hasan - all of whom pled guilty - stated that they went to the Lashkar-e-Taiba camp to obtain combat training for the purpose engaging in violent jihad in Afghanistan against the American troops that they expected would soon invade that country.

Royer was sentenced today to 20 years in prison. Judge Brinkema sentenced him to serve 10 years in prison on both counts, and the sentences are to run consecutively. In addition, he was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Al-Hamdi, 26, pled guilty in January 2004 to Count 20 of the government’s Superseding Indictment, charging him with possessing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and to a one-count criminal information charging him with carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony. In his plea agreement, Al-Hamdi admitted to possessing a Saiga.308 caliber rifle with a telescopic sight and various ammunition, including tracer rounds, for the purpose of enhancing his ability to train for violent jihad in Chechnya, Kashmir or other places outside of the United States. Al-Hamdi also admitted to carrying a rocket-propelled grenade in furtherance of a conspiracy to undertake a military operation against India.

Al-Hamdi was sentenced today to 15 years in prison. Judge Brinkema sentenced him to serve five years in prison on the firearms count and 10 years on the explosives count; the sentences are to run consecutively to each other and to the 18-month sentence Al-Hamdi presently is serving for his illegal possession of a firearm as a non-immigrant alien. In addition, he was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

“Today’s sentences demonstrate the severe penalties for aiding terrorist causes,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “We will not allow terrorist groups to exploit America’s freedoms to pursue their deadly goals.”

The pleas by Royer and Al-Hamdi follow guilty pleas in the case in August and September 2003 by Donald Surratt, Muhammed Aatique, Yong Kwon and Khwaja Hasan, who were members of the same jihad network in Northern Virginia. Defendants Seifullah Chapman, Masoud Khan, and Hammad Abdur-Raheem were convicted of various terrorism-related offenses by Judge Brinkema on March 4, 2004, after a three-week trial in which Surratt, Aatique, Kwon, Hasan, and Al-Hamdi each testified.

Khan, who Royer helped reach the Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistan shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, was convicted for his actions after 9/11 of conspiracy to wage war against the United States and provide to support to the Taliban. Khan, Chapman and Hammad Abdur-Raheem all were convicted of conspiring to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and to attack India in violation of the Neutrality Act, as well as of various firearms related offenses, for conduct that spanned from 2000 to 2003. Two other defendants charged in the case, Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur-Raheem and Sabri Benkhala, were acquitted at trial.

The government’s investigation of the Virginia jihad network is continuing. Under the terms of their plea agreements, both Royer and Al-Hamdi are required to cooperate fully with the government in the investigation and prosecution of other individuals associated with this network.

This case was investigated by agents of the Washington Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and David H. Laufman, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney John T. Gibbs of the Counterterrorism Section of the Criminal Division, prosecuted the case for the United States.
9791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 12:28:48 PM
Cleanskin-an undercover operative unknown to his or her targets, or a terrorist unknown to national security services.

Before Randall Todd Royer (Very profiling worthy name  rolleyes) developed his legal troubles, he would be free to sign up for a background check to fly with reduced screening. So could have Maj. Hasan, prior to the Ft. Hood shooting. Both were US born. Hasan had a secret level security clearance.
9792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 12:03:22 PM

a) that former DHS head Chertkoff (sp?) lobbied for the Rapiscan scanners? and/or

Having people leave either elected or appointed office to then lobby for private industry is nothing new.

b) assertions that they do not spot items such as the Crispy Weiner bomber's bombs?

To determine that, we'd need to experiment with the backscatter device as it's used by TSA. I don't know that the critics have done that.

c) Also, what about the use of dogs instead of radiation and groping?

Dogs are a useful tool, but they have a limited time they can be used, and they can't be used to detect all potential weapons/explosives. Some explosives are composed of such commonly available chemicals, that there would be an endless amount of false positives if the dogs were trained to detect them.
9793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 11:33:18 AM
The TSA personnel and/or LEOs at the airport looking at the teeming masses lining up to fly don't know who Crafty's mom, your sister or JDN's wife are. They are looking for the terrorist needle in the haystack. And the needles aren't going to be nice enough to label themselves as such.
9794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 11:25:28 AM
One of these two was arrested on a traffic stop with an AK-47 type rifle. One of these two is known for his love of Rolling Rock beer.
9795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 22, 2010, 10:57:59 AM
Anyone can buy an NRA jacket. Who gets profiled? One of those two is a convicted terrorist. Both were born in the US.
9796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ok profilers, spot the terrorist on: November 22, 2010, 10:28:55 AM

9797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: November 21, 2010, 05:49:12 PM
9798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: November 21, 2010, 05:22:05 PM

What's the Jewish concept(s) of the afterlife?
9799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 21, 2010, 11:43:15 AM
It's not just congress, it's anyone with a LEO security detail, like mayors, Governors and the like. The assumption is that the NYPD cops assigned to Bloomberg will keep him from wearing a suicide vest onto the flight.
9800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: November 21, 2010, 11:40:22 AM
More wailing and ad hominem attacks on the TSA. Oh noes!

Shut down the TSA now. Let's just see what the loss of life looks like.

The smell of jet fuel and human flesh burning. It's the smell of freeeedom!
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