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G M
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« Reply #1150 on: April 09, 2012, 06:39:57 PM »

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/08/bloomberg_articlesM1K3W40UQVI901-M24XZ.DTL&type=printable

American Universities Infected by Foreign Spies Detected by FBI

Daniel Golden, ©2012 Bloomberg News

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon contacted the Central Intelligence Agency in late 2009 with an urgent question.
 
The school's campus in Dubai needed a bailout and an unlikely savior had stepped forward: a Dubai-based company that offered to provide money and students.
 
Simon was tempted. She also worried that the company, which had investors from Iran and wanted to recruit students from there, might be a front for the Iranian government, she said. If so, an agreement could violate federal trade sanctions and invite enemy spies.
 
The CIA couldn't confirm that the company wasn't an arm of Iran's government. Simon rejected the offer and shut down undergraduate programs in Dubai, at a loss of $3.7 million.
 
Hearkening back to Cold War anxieties, growing signs of spying on U.S. universities are alarming national security officials. As schools become more global in their locations and student populations, their culture of openness and international collaboration makes them increasingly vulnerable to theft of research conducted for the government and industry.
 
"We have intelligence and cases indicating that U.S. universities are indeed a target of foreign intelligence services," Frank Figliuzzi, Federal Bureau of Investigation assistant director for counterintelligence, said in a February interview in the bureau's Washington headquarters.
 

'Academic Solicitation'
 

While overshadowed by espionage against corporations, efforts by foreign countries to penetrate universities have increased in the past five years, Figliuzzi said. The FBI and academia, which have often been at loggerheads, are working together to combat the threat, he said.
 
Attempts by countries in East Asia, including China, to obtain classified or proprietary information by "academic solicitation," such as requests to review academic papers or study with professors, jumped eightfold in 2010 from a year earlier, according to a 2011 U.S. Defense Department report. Such approaches from the Middle East doubled, it said.
 
"Placing academics at U.S. research institutions under the guise of legitimate research offers access to developing U.S. technologies and cutting-edge research" in such areas as information systems, lasers, aeronautics and underwater robots, the report said.
 

World-Class Talent
 

Welcoming world-class talent to American universities helps the U.S. sustain global supremacy in science and technology, said University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. He chairs the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's academic advisory council, which held its first meeting March 20 and is expected to address such topics as federal tracking of international students.
 
Foreign countries "can never become competitive by stealing," he said. "Once you exhaust that technology, you have to start developing the next generation."
 
Foreigners on temporary visas made up 46 percent of science and engineering graduate students at Georgia Institute of Technology and Michigan State and 41 percent at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009, according to a federal survey. China sent 76,830 graduate students to U.S. universities in 2010-2011, more than any other country and up almost 16 percent from the prior year, according to the Institute of International Education in New York.
 

Finding Recruits
 

While most international students, researchers and professors come to the U.S. for legitimate reasons, universities are an "ideal place" for foreign intelligence services "to find recruits, propose and nurture ideas, learn and even steal research data, or place trainees," according to a 2011 FBI report.
 
In one instance described in the report, the hosts of an international conference invited a U.S. researcher to submit a paper. When she gave her talk at the conference, they requested a copy, hooked a thumb drive to her laptop and downloaded every file. In another, an Asian graduate student arranged for researchers back home to visit an American university lab and take unauthorized photos of equipment so they could reconstruct it, the report said.
 
A foreign scientist's military background or purpose isn't always apparent. Accustomed to hosting visiting scholars, Professor Daniel J. Scheeres didn't hesitate to grant a request several years ago by Yu Xiaohong to study with him at the University of Michigan. She expressed a "pretty general interest" in Scheeres's work on topics such as movement of celestial bodies in space, he said in a telephone interview.
 

Unaware of Credentials
 

She cited an affiliation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a civilian organization, Scheeres said. The Beijing address Yu listed in the Michigan online directory is the same as the Academy of Equipment Command & Technology, where instructors train Chinese military cadets and officers. Scheeres said he wasn't aware of that military connection, nor that Yu co-wrote a 2004 article on improving the precision of anti- satellite weapons.
 
Once Yu arrived, her questions made him uncomfortable, said Scheeres, who now teaches at the University of Colorado. As a result, he stopped accepting visiting scholars from China.
 
"It was pretty clear to me that the stuff she was interested in probably had some military satellite-orbit applications," he said. "Once I saw that, I didn't really tell her anything new, or anything that couldn't be published. I didn't engage that deeply with her."
 

Wrote About NASA
 

Yu later wrote a paper on the implications for space warfare of the NASA Deep Impact mission, which sent a spacecraft to collide with a comet. She couldn't be reached for comment.
 
American universities have also trained Chinese researchers who later committed corporate espionage. Hanjuan Jin, a former software engineer at Motorola Inc., was found guilty in February in federal court of stealing the Schaumburg, Illinois-based company's trade secrets and acquitted of charges she did so to benefit China's military. She is scheduled for sentencing in May and has also filed a motion for a new trial.
 
Jin joined the company, now known as Motorola Solutions Inc., after earning a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. While at Motorola, she received a second master's, this time in computer science, from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. IIT's own research wasn't compromised, institute spokesman Evan Venie said in an e-mail. A Notre Dame spokesman declined to comment.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1151 on: May 29, 2012, 10:26:50 AM »



Border Patrol on the job in the Pacific Northwest, Pravda on the Hudson harrumphs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/us/hard-by-canada-border-fears-of-crackdown-on-latino-immigration.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120529
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« Reply #1152 on: June 30, 2012, 10:20:35 AM »



Border Patrol union blasts Homeland Security instructions to 'run away' and
  'hide' from gunmen

By Perry Chiaramonte

Published June 29, 2012

FoxNews.com

Border Patrol agents in Arizona are blasting their bosses for telling them, along with all other Department of Homeland Security employees, to run and
  hide if they encounter an "active shooter."

It's one thing to tell civilian employees to cower under a desk if a gunman starts spraying fire in a confined area, say members of Tucson Local 2544/National Border Patrol Council, but to give armed law enforcement professionals the same advice is downright insulting. The instructions from DHS come in the form of pamphlets and a mandatory computer tutorial.

“We are now taught in an ‘Active Shooter’ course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’" union leader Brandon  Judd wrote on the website of 3,300-member union local. “If we are cornered by  such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become ‘aggressive’
  and ‘throw  things’ at him or her. We are then advised to ‘call law enforcement’ and wait  for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are  slaughtered)."

The FEMA-administered computer course, entitled “IS-907- Active  Shooter:
What You Can Do,” is a 45-minute tutorial that provides guidance to all employees on how to recognize indicators of possible workplace violence and what
  to do should their office be invaded by gunmen and focuses around three main  options; either evacuate, hide out, or in dire circumstances, take action.

Main Points of the "Active Shooter" training course

Evacuate: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate  the premises.

Hide out: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Take action: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter.

Once the course is completed, employees are urged to download  additional materials including a summary booklet and pocket-sized card outlining protocol, which was also handed out to employees two months ago.
One DHS  employee told FoxNews.com the instruction cards were handed out to employees six  weeks ago. At the time, he assumed they were only for civilian employees, not  armed law enforcement officers within the department, which oversees the U.S.  Customs and Border Protection.

"Requiring BP agents to follow the same steps is egregious,” he  said.

DHS officials maintain that the Active Shooter course was designed for  all employees—civilian and law-enforcement officers-- and no one should rush into a situation where they, or others around them, could get hurt.

“The Department of Homeland Security takes very seriously its responsibility to protect all of its employees from threats that may surface in  the workplace,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said  in a written statement to FoxNews.com

“CBP workforce training is designed to prepare all employees, including leaders, managers, supervisors, law enforcement personnel and non-law enforcement personnel, to understand their own roles and the roles of their  fellow employees in responding to threats. In an active shooter scenario, employees are taught to take actions that keep them alive.”

But members of Local 2544 say they are obligated to protect the public  in such a situation, whether they are on duty or not. Given the instructions, some wonder if they would be disciplined for taking down a gunman in a situation  like the Fort Hood shooting or the January, 2011 case in Casa Adobes, in which a  deranged gunmen shot 19 people, including Democratic Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords.  Six people were killed.

“It is always comforting to know that for those of us who carry a  weapon when we are off-duty, if we should encounter such a situation, stop a shooter and save countless lives, we can look forward to being disciplined or fired by the Border Patrol because we should have run away to hide and then maybe thrown objects at the deranged killer instead of taking action and stopping him with a firearm,” the union local's website says.

_http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/29/border-patrol-union-claims-homeland-se
curity-safety-course-promotes/#ixzz1zHiUxvm9_
(http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/29/border-patrol-union-claims-homeland-security-safety-course-promotes/
#ixzz1zHiUxvm9)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1153 on: July 18, 2012, 11:49:04 AM »



Covert FBI Power to Obtain Phone Data Faces Rare Test 
By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES

 In a rare test of a tool expanded in the U.S. Patriot Act, a telecom company is fighting the government's use of a secretive tool called a national security letter to get access to customer records without a court order. WSJ's Jennifer Valentino-DeVries reports.

Early last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent a secret letter to a phone company demanding that it turn over customer records for an investigation. The phone company then did something almost unheard of: It fought the letter in court.

The U.S. Department of Justice fired back with a serious accusation. It filed a civil complaint claiming that the company, by not handing over its files, was interfering "with the United States' sovereign interests" in national security.

The legal clash represents a rare and significant test of an investigative tool strengthened by the USA Patriot Act, the counterterrorism law enacted after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

FAQ: The Case of the National Security Letter

A mobile and long distance company is challenging a counter-terrorism tool known as a national security letter. Take a look at important documents related to the case, and what they tell us about the issue.

The case is shrouded in secrecy. The person at the company who received the government's request—known as a "national security letter," or NSL—is legally barred from acknowledging the case, or even the letter's existence, to almost anyone but company lawyers.

"This is the most important national-security-letter case" in years, said Stephen Vladeck, a professor and expert on terrorism law at the American University Washington College of Law. "It raises a question Congress has been trying to answer: How do you protect the First Amendment rights of an NSL recipient at the same time as you protect the government's interest in secrecy?"

The confidentiality requirements make it impossible to definitively identify the company fighting the case. Its name and other identifying details have been redacted in court documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The phone company's lawyer declined to name his client or respond to questions about its identity.

There are thousands of telecom companies in the U.S. However, the court papers offer clues that can be used to narrow down the list. The Journal cross-referenced the court papers against corporate websites and Federal Communications Commission records of telecom firms, and identified five firms that appeared to be possible matches with the company described in the case.

Four of the five companies denied any involvement in the case and declined to be interviewed about national security letters. At the fifth company, a top executive declined to confirm or deny, either on or off the record, whether his firm had received an NSL or is involved in the case.

That company, Working Assets Inc., runs a San Francisco-based telecom subsidiary called Credo, and uses some of its revenue to support liberal causes. The chief executive of Credo, Michael Kieschnick, offered his firm's view, in general terms, of these types of government requests. "There is a tension between privacy and the legitimate security needs of the country," he said. "We think it is best to resolve this through grand jury or judicial oversight."

Unlike search warrants, NSLs don't require a judge's oversight.

National security letters, which date back to the 1980s, have become more common since the passage of the Patriot Act, which expanded the government's ability to use them to collect information about people. As long as the head of an FBI field office certifies that the records would be relevant to a counterterrorism investigation, the bureau can send an NSL request without the backing of a judge or grand jury.

Nicholas Merrill mounted an early attack on 'national security letters' in 2004, forcing a change in the law, which previously offered no clear way for the letters to be challenged.

Since the 1970s, the Supreme Court has largely held that authorities don't need a full search warrant to obtain information that people have stored with "third parties"—such as their bank or phone company—on the principle that people have already willingly given up that data.

NSLs generally seek financial, phone and Internet records but don't request information about the content of emails, texts or phone calls. According to a Justice Department report, the FBI sent 192,499 such requests between 2003 and 2006. The vast majority go uncontested.

In the challenge playing out in California, the company is fighting the letters on constitutional grounds. It is arguing, among other things, that the gag orders associated with most of these letters improperly restrain speech without a judge's authorization.

The FBI says it must maintain the secrecy of national security letters to avoid tipping off potential terrorists. The letters are "critical to our ability to keep the country safe," then-Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Todd Hinnen told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security last year.

National security letters were originally for FBI investigations where there were "specific and articulable facts" indicating the information was related to a foreign agent. The Patriot Act eliminated the requirements for specific facts and a link to a foreign agent.

Since then, use of the letters has increased. In 2000, there were about 8,500 such requests; last year, the FBI made 16,511, according to the Justice Department. That number includes letters asking for things such as records of the numbers called by a phone, or the "to" and "from" lines of emails, but it doesn't count requests that ask only what subscriber is associated with an account. Including those, more than 49,000 requests were sent in 2006, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general.

Justice Department officials have testified that NSLs have been instrumental in breaking up terrorist cells in Lackawanna, N.Y., and northern Virginia. But the department's inspector general also reported in 2007 that the FBI sometimes used the letters improperly, and in more than 700 cases circumvented the law altogether. To speed the processing of letters, phone-company representatives were embedded with the FBI and sometimes let investigators see data even without proper NSLs, the inspector general said in a separate finding. After the 2007 report, the FBI said it put a new system in place to address the problems.

The first public legal challenge to national security letters came in 2004. Nicholas Merrill, founder of a small New York Internet service provider, disputed the law's constitutionality after receiving an NSL. That year, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found the law was unconstitutional in part because there was no clear way to challenge the letters. Congress changed the law in 2006 to explicitly allow challenges.

The company in the current California case is challenging the letter as well as the gag order, arguing that the national security letter statute itself is unconstitutional. The 2006 amendment allows such a challenge, the company says.

Such challenges appear to be unusual. A 2010 letter from the Office of the Attorney General indicated that over nearly two years, there were only four challenges to a letter's gag order. Statistics on challenges to the letters themselves aren't available.

The Justice Department argues that people who get these letters can't use the 2006 amendment to contest the law itself, only to fight individual letters and secrecy orders. A challenge to the law itself would need to be brought under the Constitution, not the amendments to the law, a Justice Department spokesman said. The government also said the company is violating federal law because it "has not complied with" the request in the letter.

Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who crafted the 2006 amendment, said the law means that people who challenge a letter don't need to provide the information sought by the government until the court orders them to do so.

The Justice Department also argues that the court doesn't have the right to determine the constitutionality of the law in this case because of "sovereign immunity," a long-standing legal principle that exempts the government from lawsuits unless the government consents.

Orin Kerr, a professor at George Washington University Law School and former computer-crime attorney at the Justice Department, said sovereign immunity usually is applied in lawsuits against the government that seek monetary damages, not in cases disputing the constitutionality of a law.

"I would say this is a puzzling argument," he said. "There has to be a way to challenge the constitutionality of the law."

The Justice Department declined to comment on the matter of sovereign immunity.

The Justice Department's civil suit against the unnamed telecom company seeks a judge's order compelling the firm to give up the data. The government has agreed to a temporary stay of that lawsuit, a Justice Department spokesman said. But the government is still separately seeking the judge's order to compel release of the data.

Matt Zimmerman, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil-liberties group that is representing the telecom company, said his client intends to comply with the outcome of the judicial process. "We don't appreciate the assertion that we are trying to break the law," he said.

The NSL sent to Mr. Zimmerman's client, which isn't on the regular public docket but is available for review at the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, states that the recipient has a right to challenge "if compliance would be unreasonable, oppressive, or otherwise unlawful."

The letter in the case is one of the more limited types of NSLs: It asks for the name, address and length of service associated with one or more accounts.

While it is impossible to identify the firm with certainty, court documents suggest it is an atypical phone company. Particularly, a line from the government's court papers suggests the company may be involved in actions that aren't telecom-related.

For example, the company's argument rests partly on the idea that disclosing a customer's name would impinge on the First Amendment right of free association. The government responds by saying it served the NSL on the firm "solely in its corporate capacity as a telephone company."

That exchange implies the company has other activities, perhaps involving the principle of free association.

Credo, the firm that agreed to speak with the Journal, is unusual in that it is also engaged in activities largely unrelated to telecommunications. It is active in funding and helping to organize left-leaning political events and activities. Some of its recent efforts include one to "jail Wall Street crooks" and to call on the FCC to "revoke the broadcast licenses held by Rupert Murdoch's media empire." (Mr. Murdoch is the chief executive of News Corp., which owns the Journal.)

Credo has fought various parts of the Patriot Act in the past. It also sends a percentage of its revenues to what it describes on its website as "progressive nonprofit groups" including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the legal counsel in the California case. This year, Credo started a "super PAC," a political-action committee, aimed at ousting 10 Tea Party Republicans from Congress.

Credo has about 120,000 mobile customers and three million activists on its rolls, it says.

Three of the five other companies identified by the Journal as possibly being involved in the case are more traditional small telecoms. They are: Michigan-based Long Distance Consolidated Billing Co., California-based Network Enhanced Technologies Inc. and Telecare Inc., which is based in Indiana. The fourth company, Cause Based Commerce Inc., located in Ohio, donates proceeds from its business to Catholic and antiabortion charities.

Executives at all four of these companies said they weren't familiar with or involved in the case. The CEO from Credo, Mr. Kieschnick, said he was willing to discuss NSLs in general terms in order to tell his customers that his company can't protect their privacy in all situations.

It remains unclear whether Credo is the recipient of the NSL in the court fight in California. If Credo is the company, Mr. Kieschnick is taking a risk by speaking. The penalty for knowingly breaking the gag order with the intent to interfere with an investigation is up to five years in prison.

In its legal arguments, the Justice Department says the company in question "remains free" to talk about national security letters generally, as long as it didn't get the information from the investigation. "The object of the nondisclosure provision is not to censor private speech," the Justice Department says in its filings.

Write to Jennifer Valentino-DeVries at jennifer.valentino-devries@wsj.com

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1154 on: July 28, 2012, 10:44:50 AM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb2_3R6oHSQ
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bigdog
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« Reply #1155 on: August 01, 2012, 05:57:47 AM »

http://www.anh-usa.org/the-backlash-against-backscatter/
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bigdog
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« Reply #1156 on: August 28, 2012, 08:14:25 AM »

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/08/prosecutors-us-soldiers-plotted-kill-president-obama/56238/
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« Reply #1157 on: August 28, 2012, 09:54:08 PM »

IF TRUE this is terrible, but I'd like to see more substantiation before getting worked up about this.
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« Reply #1158 on: September 14, 2012, 05:08:14 PM »

In that our embassy's are American soil, I suppose this goes here:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/14/Obama-releases-sequester-report-cuts-defense-embassy-budget
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1159 on: September 15, 2012, 07:43:45 PM »



http://news.yahoo.com/teen-charged-trying-blow-chicago-bar-203440707.html
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« Reply #1160 on: September 16, 2012, 08:27:13 PM »

ATF’s latest gun grab
Agency reduces due process for seizing firearms


The Obama administration is making it easier for bureaucrats to take away guns without offering the accused any realistic due process. In a final rule published last week, the Justice Department granted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authority to “seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled-substance abuses.” That means government can grab firearms and other property from someone who has never been convicted or even charged with any crime.

It’s a dangerous extension of the civil-forfeiture doctrine, a surreal legal fiction in which the seized property — not a person — is put on trial. This allows prosecutors to dispense with pesky constitutional rights, which conveniently don’t apply to inanimate objects. In this looking-glass world, the owner is effectively guilty until proved innocent and has the burden of proving otherwise. Anyone falsely accused will never see his property again unless he succeeds in an expensive uphill legal battle.

Such seizures are common in drug cases, which sometimes can ensnare people who have done nothing wrong. James Lieto found out about civil forfeiture the hard way when the FBI seized $392,000 from his business because the money was being carried by an armored-car firm he had hired that had fallen under a federal investigation. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Mr. Lieto was never accused of any crime, yet he spent thousands in legal fees to get his money back.

Law enforcement agencies love civil forfeiture because it’s extremely lucrative. The Department of Justice’s Assets Forfeiture Fund had $2.8 billion in booty in 2011, according to a January audit. Seizing guns from purported criminals is nothing new; Justice destroyed or kept 11,355 guns last year, returning just 396 to innocent owners. The new ATF rule undoubtedly is designed to ramp up the gun-grabbing because, as the rule justification claims, “The nexus between drug trafficking and firearm violence is well established.”

The main problem is that civil forfeiture creates a perverse profit motive, leaving bureaucrats with strong incentives to abuse a process that doesn’t sufficiently protect those who may be wrongly accused. Criminal forfeiture is more appropriate because it’s tied to a conviction in a court with the option of a jury trial and evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Innocents like Mr. Lieto have to fight against the might of the U.S. government with a watered-down standard that stacks the legal deck so prosecutors can get a quick win.

The rule extending civil-forfeiture power to the ATF recognizes this dynamic, stating with perhaps unconscious cynicism that an uncontested civil forfeiture “can be perfected for minimal cost” compared to the “hundreds or thousands of dollars” and “years” needed for judicial forfeiture. Nowhere is there any recognition of the burden placed on innocent citizens stripped of their property, or of the erosion of their civil liberties. In fact, the rule argues that, because in the past the ATF could turn over requests for civil forfeiture to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there has been no change in “individual rights.”

Instead of expanding the profit motive in policing, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should be working to eliminate it.

Nita Ghei is a contributing Opinion writer for The Washington Times.
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« Reply #1161 on: September 20, 2012, 12:00:22 AM »



President Obama's National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16 does to the country as a whole what the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act did to the Constitution in particular -- completely eviscerates any due process or judicial oversight for any action by the Government deemed in the interest of "national security." Like the NDAA, the new Executive Order puts the government completely above the law, which, in a democracy, is never supposed to happen. The United States is essentially now under martial law without the exigencies of a national emergency.

Even as the 2012 NDAA was rooted in the Patriot Act and the various executive orders and Congressional bills that ensued to broaden executive power in the "war on terror," so the new Executive Order is rooted in the Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the Government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergencies, except now virtually every aspect of American life falls under ultimate unchallengeable government control, to be exercised by the president and his secretaries at their discretion.

The 2012 NDAA deemed the United States a "battlefield," as Senator Lindsey Graham put it, and gave the president and his agents the right to seize and arrest any U.S. citizen, detain them indefinitely without charge or trial, and do so only on suspicion, without any judicial oversight or due process. The new Executive Order states that the president and his secretaries have the authority to commandeer all U.S. domestic resources, including food and water, as well as seize all energy and transportation infrastructure inside the borders of the United States. The Government can also forcibly draft U.S. citizens into the military and force U.S. citizens to fulfill "labor requirements" for the purposes of "national defense." There is not even any Congressional oversight allowed, only briefings.

In the NDAA, only the president had the authority to abrogate legitimate freedoms of U.S. citizens. What is extraordinary in the new Executive Order is that this supreme power is designated through the president to the secretaries that run the Government itself:

• The Secretary of Defense has power over all water resources;
• The Secretary of Commerce has power over all material services and facilities, including construction materials;
• The Secretary of Transportation has power over all forms of civilian transportation;
• The Secretary of Agriculture has power over food resources and facilities, livestock plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment;
• The Secretary of Health and Human Services has power over all health resources;
• The Secretary of Energy has power over all forms of energy.

The Executive Order even stipulates that in the event of conflict between the secretaries in using these powers, the president will determine the resolution through his national security team.

The 2012 NDAA gave the Government the right to abrogate any due process against a U.S. citizen. The new Executive Order gives the government, through the Secretary of Labor, the right to proactively mobilize U.S. citizens for "labor" as the government deems necessary and to coordinate with the Secretary of Defense to maintain data to coordinate the nation's work needs in relation to national defense.

What is extraordinary about the Executive Order is that, like the NDAA, this can all be done in peacetime without any national emergency to justify it. The language of the Order does not state that all these extraordinary measures will be done in the event of "national security" or a "national emergency." They can simply be done for "purposes of national defense," clearly a broader remit that allows the government to do what it wants, when it wants, how it wants, to whomever it wants, all without any judicial restraint or due process. As Orwell famously said in 1984, "War is peace. Peace is war." This is now the reality on the ground in America.

Finally, the 2012 NDAA was hurried through the House and Senate almost like a covert op with minimal public attention or debate. It was then signed by the president at 9:00 PM on New Year's Eve while virtually nobody was paying attention to much other than the approaching new year. This new Executive Order was written and signed in complete secret and then quietly released by the White House on its website without comment. All this was done under a president who studied constitutional law at Harvard.

It is hard to know what to say in the face of such egregious disregard for the integrity of what America has stood and fought for since its founding. It is hard in part because none of us thought such encroachments would ever happen here, certainly not under the watch of a "progressive" like Obama.

At one level, the prospect for war with Iran is probably an immediate justification. But the comprehensiveness of the Executive Order, like that of the 2012 NDAA, speaks to something much deeper, more sinister. I would suggest that this Order, like the NDAA, has been in the works for some time and is simply the next step in the logic of the "global war on terror." Our political elites have come to consider democracy an impediment to effective governance and they are slowly and painstakingly creating all the democratic legalities necessary to abridge our democratic rights with impunity, all to ensure our "security." Of such measures do republics fall and by such measures tyrants emerge.

The only thing that really remains is the occasion to test the new rules of the game. Perhaps that will be war with Iran, perhaps some contrived emergency, or perhaps, as long as the public and media remain asleep, no occasion will be necessary at all. It will just slowly happen of its own accord and we, like the frog in the pot of slowly boiling water, will just sit there and be consumed by our own turpitude.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-garrison/martial-law-under-another_b_1370819.html
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bigdog
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« Reply #1162 on: September 20, 2012, 03:13:01 PM »

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/higher-education/university-responses-bomb-threats-undergo-scrutiny/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1163 on: September 30, 2012, 11:15:39 AM »

Various media reporting that Univision has a powerful piece on Fast and Furious (Operation Dead Mexicans and Border Agent) airing today, Sunday at 7pm eastern time, 4pm pacific.
(http://noticias.univision.com/aqui-y-ahora/):

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2012/0929/Univision-The-untold-story-of-what-Fast-and-Furious-wrought-in-Mexico

Univision: The untold story of what 'Fast and Furious' wrought in Mexico

Sunday evening, Univision airs an investigative report on how the botched 'Fast and Furious' program resulted in a deadly toll in Mexico when US authorities allowed guns to 'walk' across the border.

By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / September 29, 2012

The ATF is under fire over a Phoenix-based gun-trafficking investigation called "Fast and Furious," in which agents allowed hundreds of guns into the hands of straw purchasers in hopes of making a bigger case.

When a journalist for Univision asked President Obama last week why he hasn’t fired Attorney General Eric Holder over the “Fast and Furious” gun walking fiasco, the reporter, it turns out, had an inside scoop that added urgency to the question.

At 7 p.m. on Sunday, Univision says it’ll air a blockbuster investigation detailing the impact of the deeply flawed gunrunning investigation, which operated between Oct. 2009 and January 2011.

The Spanish-language channel says the “Aqui y Ahora” program will expose the true deadly toll of a covert program where US officials allowed over 2,000 high-powered rifles to “walk” into the hands of violent Mexican cartels. Expecting American interest, Univision will caption the program in English.

In the US, “Fast and Furious” is most noted for its ties to the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and for political fallout over the extent of involvement of the Obama administration, including Attorney General Holder. But in Mexico, the program may reignite furor over how a US government that had promised to try to halt the border gun traffic instead covertly contributed to it.

“Americans have been getting a lot of information about the possible cover-up in the Justice Department, the tragedy of Brian Terry getting killed, but what about the Mexicans?” says Miami-based Gerardo Reyes, Univision’s director of investigative reporting, in an interview Saturday with the Monitor.

“The sinister part of this, and I know it sounds very hard, is that the success of this operation depended in part on the fact that the guns were used in Mexico to kill,” says Mr. Reyes. “In order to reach the target of the operation, which was identifying the drug traffickers who were using the guns, [ATF agents] were waiting for the guns to be used. And how are guns used in Mexico? Killing people. I talked to an ATF agent who said there was no other way to explain it.”

By cross referencing gun tracing data, Univision identified 57 weapons linked to murders and crimes in Mexico, and used that data to highlight “the face of the tragedy in Mexico,” says Mr. Reyes.

Reyes said the program will detail Fast and Furious ties to the massacre of 16 teenage boys and girls in Ciudad Juarez, the nation-shaking murder of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez, the brother of the former Chihuahua attorney general, the extent to which the Mexican government knew about the program, and an interview with a drug trafficker who says he heard from colleagues that the US government was selling guns to the cartels.

The program comes two weeks after a long-awaited DOJ inspector general report was met with bipartisan approval as it chided the Justice Department and ATF for allowing Fast and Furious to ever happen, identified 14 people who should be held responsible, and suggested that the program was ultimately what Obama and Eric Holder originally said after Agent Terry’s murder: The product of an ill-advised ATF gambit in Phoenix, where employees later tried to cover up the fact that gunwalking was occurring.

The author of the report, Michael Horowitz, did note to the House Oversight Committee that a person who could have possibly connected Fast and Furious to the White House refused to be interviewed. Mr. Horowitz also faulted the Department of Justice for failing to pick up on what the program entailed, which could have been easily gleaned from wiretap applications sent for approval to the department in Washington.

Under the program, about 2,000 mostly AK-47s and some .50 caliber guns were allowed to be purchased by known straw buyers and “walk” without trace into Mexico. The gunwalking was at first denied by the Justice Department, which then had to concede that the government did indeed knowingly allow guns to cross the border.

President Obama has called the program a mistake, but it had an honorable intent: Under intense pressure to stymie tens of thousands of illegal guns flowing across the border, ATF, building on a smaller Bush-era program that cooperated with Mexican authorities, hoped agents could trace the guns beyond low-level straw buyers and to the highest levels of cartel. Some 40 people were indicted on charges brought using intelligence gleaned from Fast and Furious.

The question remains how far up in the Justice Department knowledge of the program went. Some Republicans suspect that it was a ploy brewed up at the highest levels, including Holder and President Obama, to foment support for more domestic gun restrictions.

But Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, found only blame at the lower reaches of justice, positing that it was the product of a regional taskforce not a national subterfuge intended by the administration to sway policy.

No matter how far up knowledge of Fast and Furious actually went, exposure of its true toll in Mexico will likely raise new questions about how such a fatally flawed operation could ever have happened.

In a press release for Sunday’s program, Univision says, “Univision News’ Investigative Unit was also able to identify additional guns that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used in different types of crimes throughout Mexico. Furthermore, some of these guns – none of which were reported by Congressional investigators – were put in the hands of drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A person familiar with the recent Congressional hearings called Univision’s findings ‘the holy grail’ that Congress had been searching for.”
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bigdog
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« Reply #1164 on: September 30, 2012, 12:17:56 PM »

Thanks, Doug. I hope to see more on this, though I don't have Univision at home.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1165 on: September 30, 2012, 12:35:50 PM »

BD, I don't have Univision here either and I assume it will be in Spanish language.  Hoping for followup later from others.
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« Reply #1166 on: October 02, 2012, 10:40:43 AM »



http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/02/2-us-border-agents-shot-1-killed-near-major-drug-cooridor-in-arizona/
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« Reply #1167 on: October 04, 2012, 12:24:39 AM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_NDT7am2VWw
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« Reply #1168 on: October 04, 2012, 05:51:35 AM »

http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/media/investigative-report-criticizes-counterterrorism-reporting-waste-at-state-and-local-intelligence-fusion-centers
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« Reply #1169 on: October 09, 2012, 06:05:28 AM »

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/08/confusion?page=0,0
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G M
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« Reply #1170 on: October 09, 2012, 06:14:00 AM »

There  may be problems  with these  fusion  centers  but  to claim that there are no domestic terror threats is beyond laughable.
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« Reply #1171 on: October 29, 2012, 07:23:50 AM »



Stopping 'Predisposed' Terrorists Is giving a fake bomb to an eager, aspiring jihadist entrapment?
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
 
For the 53rd time since Sept. 11, 2001, authorities this month thwarted a terror attack in the U.S. The attack was discovered and prevented through intelligence gathered by tricking the would-be terrorist into working with undercover agents. These successes should be a cause for celebration, but instead there are calls to go back to the pre-9/11 era, when the role of law enforcement was only to investigate crimes after they occurred, not to prevent them.

The accusation is that the FBI and local police are entrapping people who wouldn't be able to carry out terror attacks anyway. But informants and sting operations are crucial to stopping terror attacks. It's wrong to suggest that exposing would-be terrorists amounts to unlawful or unethical entrapment.

Consider the latest of the 15 plots in New York, which have included plans to blow up subways, bridges, tunnels and several iconic buildings. Earlier this month, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old man from Bangladesh, thought he was blowing up the New York Federal Reserve when he remotely triggered 1,000 pounds of explosives he left in a van parked outside the bank. The bomb was a fake, provided by a supposed co-conspirator who was an undercover FBI agent.

Mr. Nafis, who entered the U.S. early this year on a student visa, made the mistake of trying to recruit a person into a jihadist cell who then contacted the FBI. Mr. Nafis told the anonymous informant that all Muslims in the U.S. are "talafi," meaning not true Muslims, that he admired "Sheikh O" (Osama bin Laden) and wanted to commit terror. Mr. Nafis used Facebook FB -2.74%to ask al Qaeda for help.

Enlarge Image


Close
Associated Press
 
This image taken from the social networking site Google Plus shows an undated photo of Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis.
.
According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Nafis met an undercover officer in Central Park and told him, "I just want something big. Something very big. Very very very very big, that will shake the whole country . . . make one step ahead for the Muslims . . . that will make us one step closer to run the whole world." He said he was inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda online recruiter killed in a drone strike last year. After considering several targets, Mr. Nafis decided on the Fed.

Lawyers for terrorist defendants often claim entrapment, but this defense has failed in every post-9/11 case, according to a report by the New York University School of Law. Under federal law, the test for whether law enforcement has entrapped someone is whether the defendant was "predisposed" to commit the crime. The accused might not have all the resources he needs, but so long as his goal is to commit acts of terror, it's permissible for authorities to conduct a sting to prove willingness to act on evil intentions.

Some commentators claim this is unfair, with headlines including "Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the FBI" (New York Times), "To Protect Freedom, U.S. Jurists Must Pardon Terror Suspects Caught by Entrapment" (Christian Science Monitor) and "How Terrorist 'Entrapment' Ensnares Us All" (London's Guardian).

But try this thought experiment: Can anyone be entrapped to carry out an act of terror? People either want to commit terrorist acts or they don't. In a typical case where law enforcement has been found to have wrongly entrapped, a defendant says he was lured into buying drugs for the first time. That's very different from a terrorist looking for collaborators.

"If the recruits were susceptible to the undercover agent, they would also be 'recruit material' for the real terrorists," wrote law professor Dru Stevenson in a 2008 Boston College Law Review article. "We can infer predisposition merely from the fact that the person agreed to engage in such a horrible act, and other evidence of predisposition is unnecessary." In the case of Mr. Nafis, the criminal complaint cites evidence that he wanted to serve al Qaeda from the time he arrived in the U.S.

Even with informants and stings, it's important to keep in mind that the FBI and local police now must wear two different hats. They're gathering intelligence to stop terrorism while also having their traditional role of prosecuting criminals after the fact. One sign of how different intelligence gathering is from law enforcement is that the New York City Police Department now has 1,000 officers working on counterterrorism.

The Heritage Foundation, which tracked the 53 failed Islamist terror plots against the U.S. since 9/11, notes that key provisions of the Patriot Act, including for electronic surveillance, require annual reauthorizations. The Obama administration has only partly launched a program of background checks on high-risk people seeking visas. Overseas, President Obama's order limiting interrogation of terrorists caught on the battlefield has reduced intelligence.

There are still plenty of people who enter the U.S. expressly to commit terrorism—they're predisposed and thus not subject to wrongful entrapment. Better for them to be caught through informants and sting operations than to remain free to plot and perhaps commit acts of terror.
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G M
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« Reply #1172 on: October 29, 2012, 04:58:14 PM »

Crovitz is exactly right.



Stopping 'Predisposed' Terrorists Is giving a fake bomb to an eager, aspiring jihadist entrapment?
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
 
For the 53rd time since Sept. 11, 2001, authorities this month thwarted a terror attack in the U.S. The attack was discovered and prevented through intelligence gathered by tricking the would-be terrorist into working with undercover agents. These successes should be a cause for celebration, but instead there are calls to go back to the pre-9/11 era, when the role of law enforcement was only to investigate crimes after they occurred, not to prevent them.

The accusation is that the FBI and local police are entrapping people who wouldn't be able to carry out terror attacks anyway. But informants and sting operations are crucial to stopping terror attacks. It's wrong to suggest that exposing would-be terrorists amounts to unlawful or unethical entrapment.

Consider the latest of the 15 plots in New York, which have included plans to blow up subways, bridges, tunnels and several iconic buildings. Earlier this month, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old man from Bangladesh, thought he was blowing up the New York Federal Reserve when he remotely triggered 1,000 pounds of explosives he left in a van parked outside the bank. The bomb was a fake, provided by a supposed co-conspirator who was an undercover FBI agent.

Mr. Nafis, who entered the U.S. early this year on a student visa, made the mistake of trying to recruit a person into a jihadist cell who then contacted the FBI. Mr. Nafis told the anonymous informant that all Muslims in the U.S. are "talafi," meaning not true Muslims, that he admired "Sheikh O" (Osama bin Laden) and wanted to commit terror. Mr. Nafis used Facebook FB -2.74%to ask al Qaeda for help.

Enlarge Image


Close
Associated Press
 
This image taken from the social networking site Google Plus shows an undated photo of Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis.
.
According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Nafis met an undercover officer in Central Park and told him, "I just want something big. Something very big. Very very very very big, that will shake the whole country . . . make one step ahead for the Muslims . . . that will make us one step closer to run the whole world." He said he was inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda online recruiter killed in a drone strike last year. After considering several targets, Mr. Nafis decided on the Fed.

Lawyers for terrorist defendants often claim entrapment, but this defense has failed in every post-9/11 case, according to a report by the New York University School of Law. Under federal law, the test for whether law enforcement has entrapped someone is whether the defendant was "predisposed" to commit the crime. The accused might not have all the resources he needs, but so long as his goal is to commit acts of terror, it's permissible for authorities to conduct a sting to prove willingness to act on evil intentions.

Some commentators claim this is unfair, with headlines including "Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the FBI" (New York Times), "To Protect Freedom, U.S. Jurists Must Pardon Terror Suspects Caught by Entrapment" (Christian Science Monitor) and "How Terrorist 'Entrapment' Ensnares Us All" (London's Guardian).

But try this thought experiment: Can anyone be entrapped to carry out an act of terror? People either want to commit terrorist acts or they don't. In a typical case where law enforcement has been found to have wrongly entrapped, a defendant says he was lured into buying drugs for the first time. That's very different from a terrorist looking for collaborators.

"If the recruits were susceptible to the undercover agent, they would also be 'recruit material' for the real terrorists," wrote law professor Dru Stevenson in a 2008 Boston College Law Review article. "We can infer predisposition merely from the fact that the person agreed to engage in such a horrible act, and other evidence of predisposition is unnecessary." In the case of Mr. Nafis, the criminal complaint cites evidence that he wanted to serve al Qaeda from the time he arrived in the U.S.

Even with informants and stings, it's important to keep in mind that the FBI and local police now must wear two different hats. They're gathering intelligence to stop terrorism while also having their traditional role of prosecuting criminals after the fact. One sign of how different intelligence gathering is from law enforcement is that the New York City Police Department now has 1,000 officers working on counterterrorism.

The Heritage Foundation, which tracked the 53 failed Islamist terror plots against the U.S. since 9/11, notes that key provisions of the Patriot Act, including for electronic surveillance, require annual reauthorizations. The Obama administration has only partly launched a program of background checks on high-risk people seeking visas. Overseas, President Obama's order limiting interrogation of terrorists caught on the battlefield has reduced intelligence.

There are still plenty of people who enter the U.S. expressly to commit terrorism—they're predisposed and thus not subject to wrongful entrapment. Better for them to be caught through informants and sting operations than to remain free to plot and perhaps commit acts of terror.

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« Reply #1173 on: November 01, 2012, 09:11:13 PM »

Yes, Sean Hannity is frequently an ass, and yes this is over three years old, but IMHO yes these camps are probably still here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WubEFsN5pk8&feature=youtu.be
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« Reply #1174 on: November 14, 2012, 08:46:08 AM »




The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A. and has now entangled the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans.



On the Internet, and especially in e-mails, text messages, social network postings and online photos, the work lives and personal lives of Americans are inextricably mixed. Private, personal messages are stored for years on computer servers, available to be discovered by investigators who may be looking into completely unrelated matters.

In the current F.B.I. case, a Tampa, Fla., woman, Jill Kelley, a friend both of David H. Petraeus, the former C.I.A. director, and Gen. John R. Allen, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, was disturbed by a half-dozen anonymous e-mails she had received in June. She took them to an F.B.I. agent whose acquaintance with Ms. Kelley (he had sent her shirtless photos of himself — electronically, of course) eventually prompted his bosses to order him to stay away from the investigation.

But a squad of investigators at the bureau’s Tampa office, in consultation with prosecutors, opened a cyberstalking inquiry. Although that investigation is still open, law enforcement officials have said that criminal charges appear unlikely.

In the meantime, however, there has been a cascade of unintended consequences. What began as a private, and far from momentous, conflict between two women, Ms. Kelley and Paula Broadwell, Mr. Petraeus’s biographer and the reported author of the harassing e-mails, has had incalculable public costs.

The C.I.A. is suddenly without a permanent director at a time of urgent intelligence challenges in Syria, Iran, Libya and beyond. The leader of the American-led effort to prevent a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is distracted, at the least, by an inquiry into his e-mail exchanges with Ms. Kelley by the Defense Department’s inspector general.

For privacy advocates, the case sets off alarms.

“There should be an investigation not of the personal behavior of General Petraeus and General Allen, but of what surveillance powers the F.B.I. used to look into their private lives,” Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in an interview. “This is a textbook example of the blurring of lines between the private and the public.”

Law enforcement officials have said they used only ordinary methods in the case, which might have included grand jury subpoenas and search warrants. As the complainant, Ms. Kelley presumably granted F.B.I. specialists access to her computer, which they would have needed in their hunt for clues to the identity of the sender of the anonymous e-mails. While they were looking, they discovered General Allen’s e-mails, which F.B.I. superiors found “potentially inappropriate” and decided should be shared with the Defense Department.

In a parallel process, the investigators gained access, probably using a search warrant, to Ms. Broadwell’s Gmail account. There they found messages that turned out to be from Mr. Petraeus.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, said the chain of unexpected disclosures was not unusual in computer-centric cases.

“It’s a particular problem with cyberinvestigations — they rapidly become open-ended because there’s such a huge quantity of information available and it’s so easily searchable,” he said, adding, “If the C.I.A. director can get caught, it’s pretty much open season on everyone else.”

For years now, as national security officials and experts have warned of a Pearl Harbor cyberattack that could fray the electrical grid or collapse stock markets, policy makers have jostled over which agencies should be assigned the delicate task of monitoring the Internet for dangerous intrusions.
=============


Advocates of civil liberties have been especially wary of the National Security Agency, whose expertise is unrivaled but whose immense surveillance capabilities they see as frightening. They have successfully urged that the Department of Homeland Security take the leading role in cybersecurity.




That is in part because the D.H.S., if far from entirely open to public scrutiny, is much less secretive than the N.S.A., the eavesdropping and code-breaking agency. To this day, N.S.A. officials have revealed almost nothing about the warrantless wiretapping it conducted inside the United States in the hunt for terrorists in the years after 2001, even after the secret program was disclosed by The New York Times in 2005 and set off a political firestorm.

The hazards of the Web as record keeper, of course, are a familiar topic. New college graduates find that their Facebook postings give would-be employers pause. Husbands discover wives’ infidelity by spotting incriminating e-mails on a shared computer. Teachers lose their jobs over impulsive Twitter comments.

But the events of the last few days have shown how law enforcement investigators who plunge into the private territories of cyberspace looking for one thing can find something else altogether, with astonishingly destructive results.

Some people may applaud those results, at least in part. By having a secret extramarital affair, for instance, Mr. Petraeus was arguably making himself vulnerable to blackmail, which would be a serious concern for a top intelligence officer. What if Russian or Chinese intelligence, rather than the F.B.I., had discovered the e-mails between the C.I.A. director and Ms. Broadwell?

Likewise, military law prohibits adultery — which General Allen’s associates say he denies committing — and some kinds of relationships. So should an officer’s privacy really be total?

But some commentators have renewed an argument that a puritanical American culture overreacts to sexual transgressions that have little relevance to job performance. “Most Americans were dismayed that General Petraeus resigned,” said Mr. Romero of the A.C.L.U.

That old debate now takes place in a new age of electronic information. The public shaming that labeled the adulterer in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter” might now be accomplished by an F.B.I. search warrant or an N.S.A. satellite dish.
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« Reply #1175 on: November 14, 2012, 11:47:51 AM »



Lame. In any job where you have some element of governmental authority, your off duty behavior can be investigated and result in bad things for you, potentially. There is caselaw upholding a Police Chief's ability to punish an officer because his unkempt lawn angered his neighbor. Some agencies in the flyover states can and will terminate an officer for adultery.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1176 on: November 14, 2012, 12:17:07 PM »

I agree with GM (write the date down!). When you take a job with a TS clearance, you waive your privacy rights is some important ways.
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« Reply #1177 on: November 17, 2012, 02:02:58 AM »

http://lawenforcementtoday.com/2012/11/16/informant-islamic-compounds-in-america-are-training-for-jihad/
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bigdog
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« Reply #1178 on: November 17, 2012, 06:38:42 AM »

Why is there an NYPD informer at a camp 150 miles from NYC?
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« Reply #1179 on: November 17, 2012, 10:52:24 AM »

Ummm , , ,forgive the smartass response BD, but it could be because the facts led them there?   Because there are these things called cars that could carry them from there to and from NYC?



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bigdog
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« Reply #1180 on: November 17, 2012, 12:14:29 PM »

I will forgive it, Guro, but it was asked for real. Are there not jurisdictional issues? Is it not possible that the state police should be handling this matters, what with these "cars" you mention which might mean that it is a state, not local, issue? Or, for that matter, is this a state AND federal issue with the alleged presenece of these camps in multiple states? Where is the fusion center in all of this?Huh?

Ummm , , ,forgive the smartass response BD, but it could be because the facts led them there?   Because there are these things called cars that could carry them from there to and from NYC?




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« Reply #1181 on: November 17, 2012, 01:58:01 PM »

My understanding is this:

NYC is and has been a major target for Islamo-fascism for a long time (e.g. the effort to take down the WTC in 1993 and various other attempts in addition to 911).   As a result the NYPD has developed serious intel capabilities against Islamo-fascists.  DHS regularly confers with them.  I do not find it inherently implausible that their investigations in NYC would have led them to have professional interest of certain individuals who are at this camp.   The fact that they are outside of NYC at the time does not mean that they are not working on attacking NYC.

Certainly this does not pre-empt Federal action (FBI, DHS, and?) but I do not see that NYPD is blocked from going where their investigations lead them;  there is no objection here from the State of NY or the Feds-- not that I am sure that it would matter if there were.
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« Reply #1182 on: November 17, 2012, 04:14:03 PM »

Why is there an NYPD informer at a camp 150 miles from NYC?

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/national/12007244414171/bomb-maker-in-nyc-subway-plot-testifies/

The testimony ended Tuesday before Zazi could describe how he relocated to the Denver area, where he used beauty supplies to try and cook up explosives in a hotel room and set out for New York around the time of the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Once he suspected he was under surveillance, he aborted the mission and returned to Colorado, where he was arrested.

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« Reply #1183 on: November 17, 2012, 04:34:31 PM »

http://www.theonion.com/articles/shiite-terrorists-cross-county-line,1636/

Shi'ite Terrorists Cross County Line
May 7, 1997 | ISSUE 31•17 | More News

TANNER COUNTY, GA—A pair of Islamic Shi'ite terrorists, wanted in connection with a string of airport bombings dating back to 1983, broke out of Tanner County Jail Monday, escaping justice by crossing the county line, sources close to the sheriff said.

Enlarge Image

Sheriff Buford Colfax gives up his hot pursuit of Hezbollah terrorists Ahmad and Gamel Farouk after the pair jumped across Crooked Creek in their souped-up Mustang.
Cousins Ahmad and Gamel Farouk, longtime Hezbollah members and internationally wanted terrorists, are believed to be hiding out in neighboring Calhoun County, beyond the jurisdiction of Tanner County authorities.

"We'll never get 'em now," said Deputy Clem Pickett, who fell asleep while guarding the Islamic extremists and woke up tied to his chair. "Once somebody crosses that county line, it's over."

"Them boys done hijacked that Pan Am Flight 140 and killed 11 passengers back in '92," Sheriff Buford Colfax said. "That ain't right."

At 2 p.m., Colfax received an emergency CB transmission reporting that Ahmad and Gamel Farouk had escaped from jail and were headed for the county line in their souped-up Mustang, the affectionately nicknamed "General Habib."

Colfax then chased the Islamic fundamentalists to Crooked Creek. "I thought I had them trapped there," he said. "After all, everyone knows that ever since the bridge washed out in the big flood there's been no way to get across Crooked Creek."

The Shi'ites, however, were not deterred by the missing bridge. Using nearby road construction as a makeshift ramp, the pair jumped all the way across the creek. Stunned by their bold move, Colfax drove into the creek, wrecking his car and soaking himself and his lethargic bloodhound, Willie.

Witnesses said that Colfax then crawled out from under his overturned police cruiser and threw his hat to the ground, shouting, "Ooh, them Shi'ites!"

After landing on the far side of Crooked Creek, the Shi'ites easily penetrated a county-line roadblock set up by the sheriff's department by driving the General Habib on two wheels, squeezing through a gap between two parked patrol cars. Deputies gave chase, but were forced to stop upon reaching the sign for Calhoun County.

In a statement from his compound in Beirut, Hezbollah leader Mahmoud al-Aziz praised the two fugitive terrorists. "Allah straightens the curves, and in his might, hills are made flat. Sooner will the mountain catch the Farouk boys than the law."


Ahmad and Gamel Farouk.
Ever since the escape, federal anti-terrorist agents have been working closely with Sheriff Colfax on a plan to lure the Farouks back to Tanner County. Though details of the plan have been kept a secret, it is widely believed to involve the planting of a fake treasure map that purports to lead to a stash of machine guns, plastic explosives and more than 40 million dinar buried behind Old Man Potter's place.

Tanner County law officers are also preparing for any potential tricks the terrorists may play on them. In 1995, Deputy Pickett almost caught the two Islamic fundamentalists, but lost them when Fatma al-Qaawi, the pair's sexy cousin, clad in a skimpy outfit of cutoff jeans and a knotted, midriff-revealing blouse, asked him to help her fix her broken truck. She then distracted Pickett by bending over the radiator while the General Habib drove off behind him.

"Them Farouk boys won't be so lucky this time," Pickett said. "Maybe they can get away with this stuff over and over again with the Israelis, but we won't fall for it here in Tanner County."

Calhoun County Sheriff Duane Parsons could not be reached for comment, as he was cleaning hay and chickens out of his car after chasing the Shi'ites through an abandoned barn.

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« Reply #1184 on: November 17, 2012, 05:19:36 PM »

http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_3_terrorism-threat.html

Judith Miller
New York 9/11/11
Ten years after the terror attacks, the city is safer, thanks to the NYPD—but the threat remains.



On a clear summer day, Lieutenant Isa Abbassi and Officer Jamal Kilkenny are taking in the sights, NYPD-style. Their Agusta A119 helicopter, bearing the NYPD’s distinctive blue and white markings, soars 700 feet above the East River, its single engine purring at top speed. Heading north at 70 miles per hour, the chopper whirls by the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges as Kilkenny points its L-3 Wescam multisensor camera at various tourist destinations: the South Street Seaport, the United Nations’ headquarters, the 59th Street Bridge. Fifteen minutes later, the chopper circles the Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty, scanning the statue’s base for anything suspicious—for example, the wrong boat in the wrong place or scuba divers off Lady Liberty’s dock.

Abbassi and Kilkenny also check out sites that the public doesn’t visit—the army base at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn; the alleys, warehouses, and storage areas near LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports; a power plant in Queens; the giant ventilator shafts that aerate the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels; and the entrance in Queens to the Buckeye Pipeline—which carries millions of gallons of jet fuel to JFK and which was the target of a foiled Islamist terrorist attack in 2007. From time to time, Kilkenny monitors his radiation detectors, technology so sensitive that it sometimes mistakes crates of potassium-rich bananas for nuclear material. It takes just 25 minutes for the chopper to circumnavigate the five boroughs of New York and the more than 100 “critical locations” that the 62-person aviation unit patrols day and night.

The NYPD’s fleet now has seven helicopters: four Agusta A119s and three Bell 412s, larger twin-engine choppers that can transport 15 SWAT-team members to a rescue scene. The aircraft contain an arsenal of monitoring equipment powerful enough to read a license plate or the name of a book in a pedestrian’s hand almost a mile away. Their satellite navigation system lets pilots zoom in on any location simply by typing in an address on a keyboard, while their giant strobe lights can turn night into day on dark rooftops or bridges. The choppers also have compartments for .50 caliber swiveling machine guns and other heavy weapons. Such capability isn’t cheap: the Agustas cost $4.5 million apiece, and the Bells $14 million. But Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly says that the aviation unit is vital to protecting New York City from terrorism. “We could not cover this much territory in such depth so quickly and thoroughly any other way,” Kelly says.

The fleet’s size, activity, and capabilities make it a good symbol of the NYPD’s relentless focus on counterterrorism since the attacks of September 11, 2001. No other city in America has a comparable fleet; then again, no other city faces comparable danger. Since 2001, at least 11 serious plots against New York have failed or been thwarted, police say. Preventing another terrorist catastrophe is Kelly’s paramount mission. A decade after 9/11, the NYPD has adapted to the challenge and become not just the nation’s most highly regarded police department but the nation’s most effective counterterrorism force.

The extent of the NYPD’s fight against terrorism is enormous. Few New Yorkers know that each of the department’s 76 precincts dedicates at least one patrol car to routine checks on houses of worship and other sites that terrorists might try to strike. Or that Kelly allocates some $330 million of his $4.6 billion annual budget to counterterrorism-related activities, with 1,200 of his 50,000 employees assigned to the war on terror. Or that he has continued to give priority to counterterrorism during the budget-mandated shrinkage of his force, which now has about 10 percent fewer officers than it did in 2001. (The force has still achieved a 40 percent drop in serious crime since Kelly returned to the commissioner’s job in 2002.)

A recent demonstration of the NYPD’s ongoing engagement with terrorism came on May 1, after Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The audacious raid, Kelly told his top aides, was “good news—with complications.” Those complications included the possibility that some of bin Laden’s followers would seek to avenge his death by attacking the global jihad’s top target: New York. By the time President Obama made the late-night announcement that bin Laden was dead, a message instructing police officers to prepare for trouble had already gone out to all commands, and precincts were heightening security around station houses and the city’s iconic sites. A midnight tour of cops working transit hubs was held over, almost doubling the number of officers deployed in subways and around the city’s train and ferry stations. The next morning, New Yorkers on their way to work found extra police, bomb-sniffing dogs, and bag-check posts in subway and train stations; a similar increase was ordered for the evening rush hour.

Some of those emergency measures remained in force weeks later, as the heat of summer began. While Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano stressed that her agency had received no warnings that would elevate its now colorless alert system to a higher level, Kelly continued to believe that the threat to New York had increased, at least in the short run. “Threats to New York keep coming out in bin Laden’s notes,” Kelly tells me. So far, the material that the SEALs plucked from bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound has not revealed the existence of a specific plot aimed at New York, a senior official in Washington says. But the material apparently does show that bin Laden kept thinking about how to attack Gotham. References to New York—as well as to Chicago, Los Angeles, and other leading American destinations—show up repeatedly in the documents, photos, e-mails, and other material that the CIA and other intelligence agencies are currently analyzing.

Ray Kelly begins each working day with a briefing on terrorist trends from two top aides: David Cohen, his chief of intelligence and a former chief of the CIA’s operations division; and Richard Daddario, his deputy for counterterrorism. Since early June, the sessions have taken place in Kelly’s sleek new Executive Command Center on the 11th floor of One Police Plaza, the department’s dilapidated 1970s-era headquarters overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. From 9 to 10 am, the three men sit at the center’s long oval table and pore over reports of terrorism incidents at home and abroad; ongoing investigations; splits and internal ideological shifts in militant jihadist groups; and developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. As they talk, television broadcasts fill the giant wall-to-wall screens that surround them—Al Jazeera in English and Arabic; New York

One, which monitors developments in the city; breaking news from Fox, MSNBC, and CNN; and alerts from the all-important Weather Channel. The screens can also display live video feeds from some 200 subway cameras and from the NYPD’s helicopters. The windowless room, which can seat up to 40, is “secure”: with its own independent air and electrical supply, officials can seal it off in an emergency.

On a typical morning, a police source says, Cohen outlines reports from the department’s 11 overseas liaisons—detectives embedded in local police forces in London, Lyons, Jerusalem, Amman, Singapore, and other terrorist hot spots. The presence of the department’s eyes and ears abroad has occasionally rankled the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has its own extensive network of overseas agents. But Kelly insists on receiving terrorism-related information in a timely manner. “This was our way of ensuring that the New York question in any terror investigation is always asked,” says Paul Browne, the deputy commissioner for public information and Kelly’s long-standing confidant.

One morning in June, the official says, the trio discussed the commissioner’s plans for the NYPD’s World Trade Center Command, a temporary post of 200 to 240 cops and support staff assigned to protect the new memorial at Ground Zero, which is scheduled to open on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Eventually, says Kelly, as many as 700 officers may be assigned to secure the 16-acre World Trade Center site, which, as currently configured, will house the 9/11 memorial, five towers, an arts center, and a transit hub that the NYPD will police in cooperation with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns much of the land. Terrorists have already attacked the World Trade Center twice, of course, and in 2006, the police disrupted a plot to bomb a train tunnel and a retaining wall at Ground Zero. Browne calls the site the “Number One target in the city that remains the nation’s top target.”

Unsurprisingly, many of the department’s most ambitious counterterrorism undertakings aim to enhance security in lower Manhattan. In November 2008, Kelly quietly opened a high-tech command center in a nondescript downtown office building to monitor 150 closed-circuit cameras, 30 license-plate readers, and other sensors operating around Wall Street; within a year, there may be as many as 1,500 public- and private-sector cameras in operation downtown, Kelly says, all of which the NYPD can access. This is the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, modeled in part on the “Ring of Steel,” a surveillance system set up in London’s financial district after terrorists there killed 56 people and wounded more than 700 in 2005. But New York’s version exceeds London’s in sophistication and scope. The New York cameras, for instance, are programmed with an algorithm that instructs them to send an alert when a package or briefcase is left unattended for too long or when people make certain physical movements, which the NYPD declines to discuss.

Last September, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the NYPD and the Metropolitan Transit Authority were extending the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative into midtown Manhattan. Ultimately, some 1,500 more cameras, license-plate readers, and environmental monitors will be integrated into the system. The cameras are now installed in some of the city’s busiest transport hubs—Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, and the subway station at Times Square. Washington will pick up virtually all of the security initiative’s $200 million tab.

These projects have alarmed some civil libertarians. Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, has wrangled with Kelly’s NYPD over a myriad of issues, including its “stop and frisk” policies; spot checks of backpacks, handbags, and briefcases in subways; and surveillance tactics used to protect the Republican National Convention in 2004. She accuses the department of trying to turn New York into a “surveillance society” in which “every move you make is recorded by the police department and no one knows if there are rules in place to protect privacy or sufficient independent oversight of the system.” In September 2008, the NYCLU sued the police in the state’s supreme court for refusing to disclose information about how the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative would safeguard privacy. In June of the following year, it filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, seeking to learn, among other things, how the police and Washington planned to use the information and with whom they planned to share it. Both lawsuits are still pending.

Browne says that the surveillance system has strict privacy safeguards. The pictures and data collected won’t be stored for longer than 30 days unless they’re part of an ongoing investigation, he notes. Further, he says, several agencies and individuals have the authority to investigate potential wrongdoing in the camera project and in the NYPD’s other counterterrorism programs: five district attorneys, two U.S. attorneys, and an independent Civilian Complaint Review Board, not to mention the city council’s oversight committees on finance and public safety.

Cohen says that similar safeguards apply to the deployment of undercover cops who infiltrate suspected terrorist groups—the heart of the NYPD’s intelligence-collection effort. “At virtually every meeting, we have a legal counsel who oversees ongoing investigations,” he says. Both deputies deny the assertions of some Muslim activists, who have charged that the department discriminates against Muslims by performing undercover surveillance in mosques when not pursuing particular leads in an investigation. “We don’t target mosques,” says Browne. “We follow leads.”

However, two recently published reports have raised questions about whether the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim individuals and groups violates federal civil liberties and privacy laws. Last month, the Associated Press reported that the NYPD had targeted ethnic communities “in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government.” It also questioned the department’s relationship with the CIA, alleging that the NYPD’s intelligence division’s employment of CIA officials, as well as its undercover activities, had “blurred the line between foreign and domestic spying.” The NYPD strongly denied the reports, saying that no spying had occurred without a criminal lead.

But this week, NYPD Confidential, a well-read blog among law enforcement officials, published an internal NYPD intelligence-division report challenging the NYPD’s assertion that it only follows tips. The 2006 document, according to the blog, showed that the police had compiled information on 250 mosques; 12 Islamic schools; 31 Muslim student associations; 263 places called “ethnic hotspots,” such as businesses and restaurants; and 138 “persons of interest.” Together, the reports could prompt more calls for federal and independent oversight of the NYPD’s counterterrorism activities.

While much of the press coverage of the NYPD has focused on the department’s cutting-edge technology—Kelly is a self-confessed “gadget guy”—he and other senior officials insist that the department’s true strength in fighting terrorism is its people. “The continuity of leadership is key,” says Cohen. “I’m in my tenth year in this job,” he says; so are at least half of the counterterrorism division’s employees. “There is no supervisor who doesn’t understand the mission; they are expert at what they do.”

Another personnel advantage is the NYPD’s diverse makeup, which mirrors the city’s own. Kelly points out that the department’s recruits over the past five years were born in 88 different countries. The chopper pilots who flew me around the city are a case in point: Abbassi, head of the department’s aviation unit, is of Arab descent; Kilkenny’s family, despite his Irish surname, is from Guyana. This diversity gives the NYPD an enviable language capability and an edge in its undercover work, recruitment of informants, informal neighborhood surveys, and cyber-unit, which monitors radical websites in several languages. Not even the FBI’s linguistic depth and range are as great, Kelly asserts.

The terrorism threat has evolved sharply since early 2002, when Kelly first sketched out his plan for countering it on a piece of paper for Mayor Bloomberg. Al-Qaida’s “core,” as counterterrorism experts call the organization that bin Laden headed, does remain a threat. U.S. intelligence officials guess that more than two-thirds of its leadership cadre have been killed or jailed during the past decade, but underestimating the organization could still be disastrous. Last May, Steve Kappes, a former deputy CIA director, told an NYPD gathering of public and private security professionals that al-Qaida was the “most adaptive terrorist entity” he had encountered in his 30-year intelligence career. Even without bin Laden, he said, its threat might not be “significantly diminished” for years to come.

Another danger is the expansion of what Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism analyst at Georgetown University, calls the “al-Qaida universe.” In 2008, there were seven al-Qaida networks or theaters of operation; last year, there were 11. Such groups find political vacuums in failed and failing states very attractive. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has grown increasingly lethal and ambitious in Yemen; in Somalia, al-Shabaab has attracted several young Somali-Americans to its ranks from Minnesota, of all places.

Among the most ominous recent trends is the surge in “homegrown” terrorism, which was initially identified in 2007 by NYPD analysts Arvin Bhatt and Mitchell Silber. That threat came home dramatically to the NYPD in 2004, when it arrested two immigrants, Shahawar Matin Siraj and James Elshafay, for planning to bomb the Herald Square subway station during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Elshafay cooperated with prosecutors and got a plea deal; Siraj was convicted on four counts of conspiracy and received a 30-year prison sentence. The fact that Siraj had emigrated as a child from Pakistan, had grown up in the United States, but still wanted to kill Americans made a strong impression on the police department, Cohen recalls: “It was the first homegrown case against a U.S. target that resonated so deeply.” Homegrown terrorism captured headlines again in May 2010, when Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized Pakistani-American and middle-class Connecticut resident, tried to blow up his SUV in Times Square. Only luck and his insufficient training kept Shahzad from carrying out his martyrdom mission, the police concede.

The homegrown trend has severely complicated counterterrorism efforts. In 2009, at least 43 American citizens or residents were charged with terrorism crimes, according to Hoffman’s count; last year, the number was at least two dozen. At a counterterrorism meeting in New York last winter, Silber warned that more homegrown plots would be likely in the near future, not just in the United States but in Europe, Canada, and Australia as well. In fact, he said, the preponderance of major terrorist plots against Americans since 9/11 have been homegrown, and between 2004 and 2009, 90 percent of the “core conspirators” of jihadist plots against the West were radicalized in the West. While al-Qaida remains a serious problem, Silber argues, the threat today comes mainly from “younger Muslim men between the ages of 15 and 35” who are middle-class and have no direct al-Qaida connection but have been radicalized by an “extreme and minority interpretation” of Islam. Brian Jenkins, a veteran counterterrorism guru at the RAND Corporation, says that a related problem is the emergence of “do-it-yourself” terrorism, more diffuse and less predictable than centrally directed plots.

What keeps Kelly and his team awake at night? Not the historical rivalries and resentments between the FBI and the NYPD, they say. Kelly maintains that the two organizations now work together well. The police department once had only 12 detectives on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces; today, it has 120. “The major source of information for us is the JTTF,” Kelly says. Cohen agrees: “Cooperation today between the police and the JTTF is standard operating procedure.” Of course, the department still gets annoyed when the FBI decides not to pursue an investigation developed by the NYPD or asserts jurisdiction over one that the NYPD wants to lead.

The NYPD has also negotiated protocols with other city agencies that often figure in terror investigations—New York’s vast public-health service, for instance, the police department’s partner in efforts to hunt down pathogens and viruses that could be used in a terrorism attack. But Kelly does worry about what he and his counterterrorism division cannot control unilaterally—for instance, the policing and protection of bridges, tunnels, and the Hudson River, whose surveillance is shared with the Port Authority and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. A related concern is the inability or unwillingness of neighboring jurisdictions to implement counterterrorism measures similar to New York’s—one reason for the NYPD’s Sentry program, which trains cops in the tristate area in counterterrorism techniques in order to foster intelligence-sharing.

And, of course, Kelly worries about an attack using nuclear weapons or other WMDs. Daddario, the counterterrorism division chief, has thought long and hard about how New Yorkers would evacuate the city in the event of a widespread biological or nuclear attack. The NYPD has drawn up evacuation plans, but they’re of limited value, he says; in such an emergency, the police department would have to rely on “self-evacuation”—individual decisions by hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to leave the city, even on foot and across bridges. Daddario also admits that the state-of-the-art air sniffers that are supposed to detect anomalous airborne pathogens need improvement. “The technology is not there yet,” he says.

Another terrorism-related anxiety for Kelly, aides say, is that the government’s visa policies and the country’s easily penetrable borders mean that he doesn’t know who’s living in New York. In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID act, requiring states to issue driver’s licenses that could be readily authenticated through encryption and biometrics after a background check. But many states have rebelled against implementing it, citing cost, privacy, and other concerns. It’s hard to protect the nation, warned former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke in his 2008 book Your Government Failed You, if the government doesn’t know who is in it.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to the NYPD’s efforts, however, is the way we think about terrorism. “Americans like to see conflicts as finite, with a beginning and an end,” says Jenkins. “But that will not be the case in the struggle against terrorism. This challenge adapts and morphs and is constantly evolving. It won’t end. It’s hard for any individual or government agency to accept that.” Even in New York.

Judith Miller is a contributing editor of City Journal, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a FOX News contributor.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1185 on: November 21, 2012, 08:42:02 PM »

How TSA Kills People
from John Stossel by John Stossel
There are plenty of news stories this Thanksgiving about TSA incompetence. But having to deal with lines, groping, and rude agents may not be the worst thing about the TSA. The worst thing may be that, to avoid the TSA, some people drive instead of fly - and that is far more likely to get them killed.

As Bloomberg writer Charles Kenney points out:

"To make flying as dangerous as using a car, a four-plane disaster on the scale of 9/11 would have to occur every month, according to analysis published in the American Scientist. Researchers at Cornell University suggest that people switching from air to road transportation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks led to an increase of 242 driving fatalities per month-which means that a lot more people died on the roads as an indirect result of 9/11 than died from being on the planes that terrible day."

The trend towards driving instead of flying has grown since the TSA started. This Thanksgiving, AAA estimates that 4.5 million people will fly for the holiday and 31 million will drive. Before the TSA, on Thanksgiving AAA estimated there would be 6 million flyers and 28 million drivers.

Thanksgiving travelling

.............2000.........2012

Flying.....6 million....4.5 million

Driving...28 million...31 million

Slate blogger Matt Yglesias is right to question whether the TSA is so bad that even having NO airport security might be better.

The best solution would be to allow airports and private companies to set their own security measures, as I reported in this segment.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/blog/2012/11/21/how-tsa-kills-people-0
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G M
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« Reply #1186 on: November 21, 2012, 11:46:46 PM »

Do the people in the buildings struck by hijacked aircraft get a voice in the matter?
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bigdog
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« Reply #1187 on: November 26, 2012, 09:29:05 AM »

Me thinks you should watch this:

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1188 on: November 26, 2012, 02:13:08 PM »

Quote
Do the people in the buildings struck by hijacked aircraft get a voice in the matter?

No more voice than the 250 a month dying on the highways do as part of the TSA's ongoing production of Security Theater. Or are we in some sort of zone where benefits and costs aren't allowed to be weighed or even mentioned?
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G M
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« Reply #1189 on: November 26, 2012, 03:24:00 PM »

Quote
Do the people in the buildings struck by hijacked aircraft get a voice in the matter?

No more voice than the 250 a month dying on the highways do as part of the TSA's ongoing production of Security Theater. Or are we in some sort of zone where benefits and costs aren't allowed to be weighed or even mentioned?

Smoking rubble filled with body parts where towers once stood is part of the cost, which is ignored by the article you posted. How many 9/11 attacks a week can we absorb until we move back to trying to secure aviation ? Or did I miss out on the al qaeda surrender ceremony?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1190 on: November 27, 2012, 09:23:16 AM »

Quote
Smoking rubble filled with body parts where towers once stood is part of the cost, which is ignored by the article you posted. How many 9/11 attacks a week can we absorb until we move back to trying to secure aviation ? Or did I miss out on the al qaeda surrender ceremony?

An appeal to emotion. What a surprise. Remind me again how many terrorist plots the TSA has foiled. Some number less than one, yes?

And did you read the news about how the nudie scanners were prone to breakdown and generally gumming up the flow through security so they've been removed from large airports and sent to smaller ones . . . that are too small to accommodate them and so now that critical piece of infrastructure that formerly was all that stood between us and more postulated smoking holes sit in warehouses across the country. Couple billion burnt on the altar of security theater. Lovely planning abilities shown by the folks in charge of airport security. Confidence inspiring.

Then there's the fact the TSA regularly fails security audits, is currently unionizing, and regularly produces nasty employees that make it into the news. Hardly inspires confidence in the organization and its management abilities, either. Add to that the smoking holes were created by a couple smuggled box cutters; do you have any doubt that a couple more box cutters could be smuggled past these clowns? The TSA appears to be of the opinion American citizens are sheep that need to be herded on to aircraft, yet the only instances where Al Qaeda was foiled in their attempts occurred when non-sheep stepped up and shut the attacks the fornication down. But hey, let's keep trying to cow Americans into meekly submitting to "security" measures that in fact would do little to slow a committed terrorist down.

The reason there have not been more smoking holes is because our enemies have opted not to commit the resources to creating them. They have in fact succeeded in creating ongoing disruptions having enlisted the petty and short sighted bureaucrats of the TSA to impose ham-fisted security theater measures that regularly fail when audited and no doubt would do so again when dedicated terrorists get around to attacking the air travel infrastructure. But hey, in the interim let's kill 250 Americans a month on roads while wasting countless man hours standing in dubious security theater lines so the TSA can conjure and illusion of security while practicing DC CYA along the way. The bad guys need a good laugh every now and then too; I've little doubt the TSA provides them.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1191 on: November 27, 2012, 10:22:47 AM »

"Smoking rubble filled with body parts" ... "An appeal to emotion."

Yes, I think terror is the emotion, not the carnage or the body count.

I rarely fly anymore.  My extreme distaste for the TSA treatment and general aversion to being treated like cattle is a part of it.

"...how many terrorist plots the TSA has foiled. Some number less than one, yes?"  ...
"TSA regularly fails security audits, is currently unionizing, and regularly produces nasty employees..."

We might all agree (?) that the current methods of current TSA are badly flawed but transportation security done wisely and effectively is a legitimate function of government.
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G M
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« Reply #1192 on: November 27, 2012, 11:12:05 AM »

Quote
Smoking rubble filled with body parts where towers once stood is part of the cost, which is ignored by the article you posted. How many 9/11 attacks a week can we absorb until we move back to trying to secure aviation ? Or did I miss out on the al qaeda surrender ceremony?

An appeal to emotion. What a surprise. Remind me again how many terrorist plots the TSA has foiled. Some number less than one, yes?

You seem unfamiliar with the concept of deterrence. Using your logic, the razor wire and gun towers that guard the perimeters of medium/high security prisons are unneeded, as they rarely have prisoners try to escape that way.

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G M
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« Reply #1193 on: November 27, 2012, 11:16:48 AM »

And did you read the news about how the nudie scanners were prone to breakdown and generally gumming up the flow through security so they've been removed from large airports and sent to smaller ones . . . that are too small to accommodate them and so now that critical piece of infrastructure that formerly was all that stood between us and more postulated smoking holes sit in warehouses across the country. Couple billion burnt on the altar of security theater. Lovely planning abilities shown by the folks in charge of airport security. Confidence inspiring.

Because the American public demands security and also demands convenience and the USG lunges for every high tech "solution" drug before it in an attempt to placate the citizens.
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G M
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« Reply #1194 on: November 27, 2012, 11:22:49 AM »

Then there's the fact the TSA regularly fails security audits, is currently unionizing, and regularly produces nasty employees that make it into the news. Hardly inspires confidence in the organization and its management abilities, either. Add to that the smoking holes were created by a couple smuggled box cutters; do you have any doubt that a couple more box cutters could be smuggled past these clowns? The TSA appears to be of the opinion American citizens are sheep that need to be herded on to aircraft, yet the only instances where Al Qaeda was foiled in their attempts occurred when non-sheep stepped up and shut the attacks the fornication down. But hey, let's keep trying to cow Americans into meekly submitting to "security" measures that in fact would do little to slow a committed terrorist down.

You kind of gloss over how important it is to keep flammibles and explosives off of aircraft, as well as firearms. All of which TSA does do on a regular basis. Even with FFDOs in the cockpit and FAMs on board, do you think a team of armed and trained jihadists couldn't seize aircraft? What's the libertarian solution to this threat?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1195 on: November 27, 2012, 03:37:33 PM »

Good points on both sides!  I'm enjoying this-- thank you gentlemen  smiley
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1196 on: November 28, 2012, 08:41:18 AM »

Quote
You seem unfamiliar with the concept of deterrence. Using your logic, the razor wire and gun towers that guard the perimeters of medium/high security prisons are unneeded, as they rarely have prisoners try to escape that way.

Poor analogy. Razor wire demonstrably keeps felons in prison, security theater demonstrably does not keep box cutters out of secure airport areas.

Quote
Because the American public demands security and also demands convenience and the USG lunges for every high tech "solution" drug before it in an attempt to placate the citizens.

Correct, and thanks for making my security theater argument for me, though I wouldn't characterize the current autocratic regimen as "convenient."

Quote
You kind of gloss over how important it is to keep flammibles and explosives off of aircraft, as well as firearms.

While you gloss over how easy it's proven to get the same past the TSA. Is effectiveness not something we can demand, or is confusing gross and ineffective intrusions for security acceptable to you?

BTW, as I've already mentioned, a bomb placed up a person's rectum has been used in an assassination attempt, while rumors abound regarding explosive breast implants. By you logic shouldn't Americans be dropping trou, bending over, and coughing or getting mammograms before boarding an aircraft? Your security uber alles take on things would seem to necessitate those sorts of intrusions. Why are you not making arguments for those measures? You're not weighing the benefits and costs of doing so while taking me to task for suggesting the same, are you?

Quote
What's the libertarian solution to this threat?

Get the vast, ineffective, bumbling, autocratic TSA out of the picture and let private firms run security as they are all ready doing at other airports with measurably better results. I'd also start talking to the American people like adults, rather than treating them like sheep, telling them that we live in a violent world with violent people and that it is not possible to anticipate or address all possible threats, and indeed that attempts to do so in fact play in to the hands of our enemies as those measures create the exact kinds of disruptions our enemies intended. I would make the actuarial point that the amount of time currently spent in line awaiting security theater performances greatly exceeds the number of life hours lost in past attacks and so some sort of rational benefit/risk assessment has to come into play as it does in all other activities from driving to walking into a 7/11 at night.

I note, by the way, when we get into these exchanges you regularly disparage my Libertarian creed, and I confess that grates on me as it doesn't seem too far removed from denigrating someone's religion or heritage. You've made it abundantly clear that you feel the founding values of this nation are an inconvenience where security is concerned and that extra-constitutional end runs are therefor more than justified; as such I understand you view my embrace of liberty as a trifling thing to be dismissed with disdain, along with all those dead white guys who attempted to found a nation based on inexpedient principles of liberty. While doing so, however, it'd be nice if you could find a way to be dismissive based less on my creed and more on the issue at hand.

As that may be, is it safe to assume you have no issue with 250 Americans dying a month directly due to TSA's onerous and ineffective measures? If so, how many Americans are too many to kill to keep Americans safe?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1197 on: November 28, 2012, 08:50:30 AM »

These are difficult questions and both of you are making good points.
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G M
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« Reply #1198 on: November 28, 2012, 01:41:30 PM »

"Poor analogy. Razor wire demonstrably keeps felons in prison, security theater demonstrably does not keep box cutters out of secure airport areas."

It's not "security theater" when you catch real threats.
 
http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/ten-years-tsa-continues-evolve
TSA agents confiscate on-average four firearms per day in carry-on baggage, and in 2011 alone, agents seized over 1000 firearms.[/
b]
*Snip*
As evidence, the TSA chief showed a number of examples of items seized thanks to AIT scans, which have detected hundreds of prohibited and dangerous items since their deployment last year.

In one slide, an individual had wrapped over 700 grams of cocaine around his legs using ace bandages. Pistole noted that the drugs could have easily been explosives. In another slide, a passenger at Miami International Airport was found with a nine-inch ceramic knife. In neither example would the contraband have been discovered using a standard metal-detector.
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G M
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« Reply #1199 on: November 28, 2012, 01:53:22 PM »

Correct, and thanks for making my security theater argument for me, though I wouldn't characterize the current autocratic regimen as "convenient."

It would be "security theater" if it weren't actually seizing dangerous items and creating obstacles for those wishing to target aviation. Know what's not convenient? Having your charred body parts picked out of wreckage by government employees. That really impedes the travel process.
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