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Author Topic: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom  (Read 273726 times)
G M
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« Reply #1300 on: June 18, 2013, 03:04:21 PM »

I think we have gone beyond the point where we are getting diminishing returns, in addition, the corrosion of professionalism within the USG and the naked politicization of some of the elements have done much to erode my faith in it.
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G M
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« Reply #1301 on: June 18, 2013, 03:32:44 PM »



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1302 on: June 18, 2013, 03:41:44 PM »

"I think we have gone beyond the point where we are getting diminishing returns, in addition, the corrosion of professionalism within the USG and the naked politicization of some of the elements have done much to erode my faith in it."

Knowing you GM, that says quite a lot. cry
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G M
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« Reply #1303 on: June 18, 2013, 03:45:36 PM »

"I think we have gone beyond the point where we are getting diminishing returns, in addition, the corrosion of professionalism within the USG and the naked politicization of some of the elements have done much to erode my faith in it."

Knowing you GM, that says quite a lot. cry

Yes.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1304 on: June 20, 2013, 04:00:43 AM »


http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/06/18/chilling-the-muslim-in-chief-has-ordered-massachusetts-police-not-to-charge-the-7-muslims-who-were-caught-snooping-around-a-critical-boston-infrastructure-a-water-reservoir/

Saudi access to US airspace
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/5/deal-gives-saudi-arabia-unrestricted-access-us-air/
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 04:57:11 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #1305 on: June 20, 2013, 10:40:49 PM »


Al Qaeda Terrorist Threat Is Growing

Official, private assessments contradict president’s claim that group is on ‘path to defeat’
 
BY:  Bill Gertz   
June 19, 2013 5:00 am

The threat posed by al Qaeda terrorism around the world continues to increase despite President Barack Obama’s recent claim that the central group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is on the path to defeat, according to U.S. and foreign counterterrorism officials and private experts.

Obama said in a speech to the National Defense University May 23 that because of the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and most of his top aides, “we are safer.”

While terrorist threats still exist, “the core of al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan is on the path to defeat,” the president said.

However, a U.S. counterterrorism official said the threat posed by al Qaeda is growing. “From Africa to Pakistan, it is spreading systematically,” the official said.

The official blamed the Obama administration policy of focusing its counterterrorism efforts almost exclusively on central al Qaeda.

The focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan resulted in a lack of targeted counterterrorism efforts in other locations, the official said. The official added that counterterrorism efforts have been weakened by the administration’s policy of dissociating Islam from al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorism. The policy was a key effort of John Brennan, White House counterterrorism chief during the first Obama administration. As CIA director, Brennan has expanded the policy of limiting links between Islam and terrorism at the agency.

The result is that Islamist terror groups are flourishing, posing direct threats to the United States and to U.S. interests outside the country, the official said.

That assessment is bolstered by a new report by the private Lignet intelligence group. The report made public Tuesday says the U.S. government’s overreliance on sanctions and surveillance has limited the war on terror.

The result is “a decentralized al Qaeda structure—and a much greater threat,” the report said.

“Al Qaeda has transitioned from a hierarchical cell structure to a franchise organization that is now responsible for four times as many terrorist attacks a year as it was before 9/11,” the report said.

“Al Qaeda training camps are now being established on the Arabian Peninsula, in Africa, countries of the former Soviet Union, and Southeast Asia.”

U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Southwest Asia, including a steady series of armed drone attacks against al Qaeda leaders, have resulted in central al Qaeda moving out of the region.

York Zirke, head of Germany’s federal criminal police agency, told a conference in Russia recently that al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are shifting operations from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Syria, northern Africa, Yemen, and other countries.

“Speaking about the situation in the world, it has to be reiterated that al Qaeda and organizations associated with it are not halting their activities, but the centers of its activities have moved from the area close to the Pakistani and Afghani borders to other regions such as Syria, Northern Africa, Mali, and Yemen,” Zirke said during a conference in Kazan, Russia, on June 6, according to Interfax.

The U.S. official outlined gains by al Qaeda both ideologically and operationally in expanding its reach as well as developing affiliates in key regions targeted by Islamists over the past several months.

Al Qaeda has moved rapidly to expand in parts of east, west, and north Africa, helped by the so-called Arab Spring.

A key affiliate, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM, and the Somalia-based al Shabaab group are the two main groups operating and expanding in Africa. The Nigerian al Qaeda group Boko Haram also emerged as a new affiliate and is posing a significant threat to the region.

About 4,000 French troops were dispatched to Mali in January to battle al Qaeda terrorists.

AQIM is expanding despite the French military intervention. A BBC report from May 29 stated that the expansion is not new. “Militants and armed radical groups have expanded and entrenched their positions throughout the Sahel and Sahara over the last decade under the umbrella of [AQIM].”

French troops announced a day later they had uncovered an AQIM bomb factory engaged in making suicide bomber vests in northern Mali.

U.S. intelligence agencies recently identified a new AQIM training base near Timbuktu in Mali. An al Qaeda training manual discovered in Mali revealed that terrorists are training with SA-7 surface-to-air missiles, the Associated Press reported.

Al Qaeda affiliates in Libya are moving into the power vacuum left by the ouster of the regime of Muammar Gadhafi. The main al Qaeda affiliate there is Ansar al Sharia, blamed for the Sept. 11, 2012, attack against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

France’s government recently said Paris has become increasingly alarmed about al Qaeda activities in Libya and is considering a deployment of troops near Libya for counterterrorism operations.

French President Francois Hollande said in a speech last month that Libya-based jihadists represent the main security threat to North Africa and also to Europe. He told a reporter May 23 that the terrorist threat in Mali “began in Libya and is returning to Libya.”

The concerns are based on recent intelligence reports that al Qaeda and other jihadists groups have new training camps in the southern Libyan desert.

Further east in Africa, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government is creating an environment that is allowing al Qaeda to develop in that country.

A U.S. intelligence official has said reports from Egypt identified al Qaeda groups operating Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The university is said to be a covert base for al Qaeda organizational and training activities that is developing a jihadist network made up of many different nationalities.

Al Shabaab in Somalia continues to conduct attacks, although there are signs the group is fragmented, with some armed fighting among various groups within al Shabaab. The group remains a key al Qaeda affiliate.

Attacks related to al Shabaab continue to increase, according to U.S. officials.

One particular concern for security officials are reports that al Qaeda is moving into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. A U.S. official said in May that al Qaeda elements were conducting small arms training in the mountainous areas of the Sinai Peninsula in preparation for fighting alongside jihadist rebels in Syria.

The al Qaeda affiliate in the Sinai was identified by U.S. officials as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM). The group’s logo is similar to that of al Qaeda—a black flag, an AK-47, and a globe.

Saudi Arabia has been battling the affiliate al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which tried several high-profile airline bombings against the United States. The group is led by several former inmates of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and is very active against the government of Yemen.

Earlier this year, a leaked memorandum from Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry revealed that Riyadh is exporting al Qaeda terrorists to Syria. The memo from April 2012 disclosed that 1,239 prisoners who were to be executed were trained and sent to “jihad in Syria” in exchange for a full pardon. The prisoners included 212 Saudis and the rest were foreigners from Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Somalia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq and included Palestinians.

Syria’s al Qaeda group is the al Nusra Front, which has emerged as the most powerful rebel group opposing the forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Obama said in his National Defense University speech that the “lethal yet less capable al Qaeda affiliates” and domestic jihadists remain a threat.

“But as we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”

The Lignet report said the use of sanctions and financial penalties against al Qaeda produced the unintended consequence of transforming al Qaeda into a coalition of loose, localized, autonomous terror cells.

“In terms of financing, al Qaeda’s shuria or high command council, no longer plays a central role in allocating expenditures or soliciting funds,” the report said. “Instead, terrorist financing has moved further into the ‘gray’ economy. Cells raise funds from a combination of charities, independent criminal ventures, and licit businesses.”

Crime is now the main source of al Qaeda funds and criminal activities by the group include extortion, hijacking, theft, blackmail, the drug trade, and kidnapping for ransom.

“Counterterrorism efforts that target the financing of terrorism are a work in process,” the report concludes. “The measures employed by the United States and others in the last 12 years have reshaped rather than resolved the terrorist threat. It remains to be seen if the United States will be able to in turn adapt to al Qaeda’s new and alarming franchise cell structure and finance methods.”

Joseph Myers, a retired Army officer and specialist on the ideology of Islamist terror, said U.S. efforts to target and kill al Qaeda leaders have been successful. But al Qaeda affiliates are spreading “from the Horn of Africa, across North Africa and post-Gaddafi Libya into central Africa to Dagestan and like-minded bombers in Boston,” he noted.

“Al Qaeda is an idea, not simply an organization and ideas are not easily ‘killed,’” Myers said in an email.

The U.S. government’s counterterrorism paradigm is misguided because the forefront of global Islamic jihad is not al Qaeda, but the Muslim Brotherhood “we are now partnering with as a matter of policy,” he said.

The doctrine of Islamic jihad remains the key ideological threat that must be recognized, he said. Until that is realized, “we will continue to have national security failures of analysis and prediction and not only al Qaeda, but other Islamic jihadist groups will continue to emerge and spread,” Myers said.

Fred Fleitz, a former intelligence analyst now with Lignet, said al Qaeda has shifted tactics toward “a multitude of smaller, low-probability attacks.”

“This includes recruiting members behind U.S. borders through Internet-based efforts to find and radicalize ‘home grown terrorists,’” Fleitz said in an email.

“I am especially concerned about the recent plot to bomb a Toronto to New York train which was backed by al Qaeda members in Iran,” Fleitz said. “This was a good example of what al Qaeda can still do.”

“We are also seeing al Qaeda franchises and other Islamist groups growing in strength in Mali, Somalia, and Nigeria.  Seven of nine Syrian rebel groups are Islamist and there is an al Qaeda presence in Syria.”

Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism expert and military affairs fellow with the Foundation for Defense for Democracies, said the administration has created a narrative that asserts the United States is solely at war with the remnants of al Qaeda Central and that the group is on the decline since bin Ladin was killed.

“The rest of the national security mission in counterterrorism has been reduced to the amorphous ‘counter violent extremism’ which is of course fallacious since as a nation we are not threatened by general violent extremism – Basque separatists or abortion clinic bombers – but a specific brand of religious extremism: global jihad,” Gorka said in an email.

“Anything that countermands the official narrative, such as the the Fort Hood shooter or the Boston bombers, has to be undermined with labels such ‘workplace violence’ or ‘loser jihadis’ since anything else would mean that al Qaeda is very much alive and well,” said Gorka, who teaches U.S. national security at Georgetown University. “This represents a politically driven distortion of objective threat assessments.”

This entry was posted in Middle East, National Security, Obama Administration and tagged Al Qaeda. Bookmark the permalink.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1306 on: June 29, 2013, 09:19:14 PM »



http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/06/27/the_nsa_cant_tell_the_difference_between_an_american_and_a_foreigner
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1307 on: July 02, 2013, 07:58:48 AM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=-LIpAxjPt9U
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1308 on: July 04, 2013, 08:38:52 AM »

Reliability unknown.  Can anyone confirm or deny?


http://www.inquisitr.com/828674/russian-troops-on-american-soil-confirmed/

http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2013/07/update-obama-requests-15000-russian-troops-for-upcoming-disaster-in-america-2531316.html
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 12:26:06 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1309 on: July 04, 2013, 09:20:52 AM »

second post

The Problems with Background Investigations
Security Weekly
Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 04:00 Print Text Size
Stratfor

By Scott Stewart

In the wake of the case of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, the company that conducted the background investigation for his security clearance is under heavy scrutiny. USIS has received significant media attention and is under investigation by the inspector general of the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management. While such investigations of government contractors happen frequently, this particular case is interesting in that it concerns background investigations, which are considered by many to be a critical component of protecting national security.

However, background investigations as currently designed and conducted are fundamentally flawed. They are more effective at providing bureaucratic cover than they are at catching spies or preventing moles from penetrating the system.

Background Investigations

As a bit of disclosure, I have had several U.S. government background investigations conducted on me. I was first subject to full-field background investigations as an Army Intelligence Officer and then later as a Diplomatic Security Service special agent. I have also conducted background investigations, first as a Diplomatic Security Service special agent domestically and while assigned to a U.S. embassy overseas, and then later as a contract investigator for the State Department. I have also been interviewed by scores of investigators conducting background investigations on my friends, colleagues and former interns and employees. All this to say that my experience as a subject and source in various investigations, and as an investigator who has conducted hundreds of background investigations myself, has given me some insight into the problems of the current process.

National security background investigations in the United States date back to efforts to prevent potential Nazi and communist spies from infiltrating the government. Today, every federal government employee is subjected to a basic criminal and credit history check as part of the hiring process. Those employees who require access to classified information as part of their duties will also be subjected to a national security background check. These can vary from a perfunctory national agency records check for confidential or secret clearances to full-field background checks for access to top-secret material and sensitive compartmented information. Some agencies, such as the CIA and FBI, also mandate full lifestyle polygraph examinations as part of the clearance process. People holding a security clearance are also subjected to a periodic reinvestigations.

One of the biggest problems with personnel security investigations is the sheer number of them that are conducted. The State Department, which has fewer than 19,000 U.S. employees, conducts some 20,000 of them each year. When one considers the 240,000 employees at the Department of Homeland Security and the 3.23 million employed by the Department of Defense, as well as myriad other agencies and contractors with government security clearances, the number of personal security investigations conducted each year is staggering.

Going back to the State Department example, with only about 2,000 Diplomatic Security Service special agents worldwide, and the vast majority of them assigned to duties other than background investigations, the bulk of the investigations are conducted by contractors. But beyond sheer manpower considerations, most special agents simply do not view background investigations as important. Speaking from personal experience, I was far more motivated to investigate a bombing attack against an embassy or arresting a drug smuggler, terrorist or pedophile for passport fraud than I was to interview a potential employee's neighbors or former bosses. Because background investigations are not exciting and sexy, conducting them is also not considered particularly career enhancing compared to other assignments. I know from talking with friends from other agencies that agents there had similar views. Even many investigators working for investigation companies view their jobs more as stepping stones to other occupations, such as being a federal agent.

This disdain for background investigations by the people conducting them is compounded by the people who manage personnel security investigations. Because of the massive volume of cases involved, program managers tend to be focused on speed, efficiency and cost far more than on thoroughness. They encourage investigators to do the absolute minimum to meet the requirements as outlined in Executive Order 12968, which sets the standards for access to classified information, rather than to focus on really investigating and understanding the background of the subject of the investigation. In the case of a for-profit company like USIS, the bottom line is also a factor. Streamlining the efficiency of the process means doing the very least amount of work required to complete the specific task, thus maximizing profit and satisfying the board of directors.

Agents and investigators who sense something is not right and want to dig deeper and interview additional developed sources are frequently criticized for missing deadlines or conducting unnecessary interviews. Contract investigators who do this are also often accused of milking the system. Many investigators therefore find it easier to just do the minimum required rather than have to go back to their supervisors to get permission to conduct additional interviews beyond what was initially assigned to them.

There is a very real tension between managers who want streamlined investigations done within deadlines and good investigators who want to conduct a thorough investigation. A good investigator is methodical and persistent in his craft, but methodical and persistent investigations often take longer and cost more than investigation program managers will allow. Good investigators also frequently want to follow hunches and instincts, and it is very hard to convince managers to permit that type of latitude, and so the investigations rarely go very deep.
Interviews

Even the interviews tend to be shallow. Most investigators merely read Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act warning statements followed by a list of obligatory, scripted questions rather than really probe during an interview.

While most agencies and companies do not permit investigators to conduct phone interviews except in exigent circumstances, some investigators have become masters of eliciting people to request telephonic interviews. By conducting interviews by phone, a contract investigator can cut down on travel time and complete more interviews more quickly -- thus making more money per hour. I live in a very remote area, and most investigators do not want to make the effort to drive out to interview me in person, so I often get this approach by investigators who are conducting investigation on friends and former employees. Since I know the game, when I am solicited for a telephonic interview, I refuse and make the investigator drive out to talk to me in person.

The problem with telephonic interviews is that the people being interviewed via telephone are far less likely to provide derogatory information than people interviewed in person. I experienced this several times while conducting split investigations, in which another investigator and I both identified and interviewed the same developed source. In one case, I interviewed a woman who provided some incredibly significant derogatory information about a subject indicating he had lied about his background. During our interview, she also told me that another investigator had interviewed her. When I asked her if she had also related this critical information to the other investigator, she said no, because he had only conducted a telephonic interview and had not asked her any specific questions that would have led to the information.

Dishonest investigators are also known to fabricate interviews they never conducted. While some investigators do this out of greed, others do it out of frustration when they have attempted to reach a source several times and a manager is pressuring them to close out a case. A good investigator will resist this pressure, because he or she has the mindset that the source may be able to provide a critical piece of information needed to break open the case. The poor investigator just sees the interview as a yet another meaningless task to complete, and therefore feels less guilt about the fabrication. Such conduct is criminal, and several investigators have been prosecuted in recent years for such activity. Agencies and companies are supposed to audit the work of investigators to protect against such things, but this auditing also takes time and money -- according to the Washington Post, one of the things USIS is being investigated for is failure to conduct sufficient audits.

I have found that the prevailing attitude among managers and investigators is that background investigations are perfunctory tasks that only require the minimum work necessary to check off the prerequisite boxes and get the investigation over as quickly -- and as superficially -- as possible. This means that the subject of the investigation can greatly influence its scope just by the information he or she provides -- or withholds -- in questionnaires and interviews.
Outdated practices

Moreover, the background investigations currently being conducted were developed decades ago when the world was a far different place. They are not really designed to deal with the complexity of the modern world. In the Internet age, people no longer must to go to Klan meetings, neo-Nazi rallies, anarchist bookstores or jihadist mosques to be exposed to such ideas or radicalized by them. In much the same way that people can become grassroots terrorists through such a self-radicalization process, they can also become a grassroots intelligence threat. The low-key methods of recruitment and radicalization mean that this potential threat may not be visible to others. This very real limitation is then compounded by the fact that personal security investigations have become meaningless bureaucratic processes that lack the ability to uncover the type of information required to catch an infiltrator who does not want to be caught.

The investigations are also only looking for very specific behaviors in the subject's past, such as criminal behavior, debt, mental health issues or drug use. These things are merely outward indicators, not real insights into the subject. Besides, a lack of these indicators does not necessarily mean that the subject will not compromise national security in the future, especially if the person is motivated toward espionage or a massive public disclosure of classified information by ideology or ego. Even many of the people motivated by money have done so more out of greed than by any demonstrable history of financial problems.

Furthermore, with the transient nature of today's society, where people frequently change jobs and addresses, neighbors and co-workers simply do not know people as well as they did in the 1950s. I have interviewed countless neighbors and co-workers who had absolutely no relevant knowledge of the subject I was investigating. Yet these interviews were deemed sufficient to check off a required box. The problem is that a person who does not know their neighbor is simply in no position to provide a reason that neighbor should not be considered suitable for a position of trust and confidence with the U.S. government.

Polygraphs are not much more effective. As we've discussed in relation to previous cases, polygraph examinations work well when administered to honest people, but they are not very helpful in cases where an individual has no compunction against lying or where the subject has received training in deceiving the polygraph. Even in cases where the polygraph is effective on a subject, it will only catch past nefarious behavior -- it cannot detect or prevent future espionage.

The U.S. government is spending billions of dollars on a national security background investigation system that is archaic and largely ineffective. The system works on honest people or stupid spies, but is quite simply not very effective in uncovering the lies of clever, duplicitous people. It is also clearly not designed to anticipate future behavior. The Office of Personnel Management's inspector general is attempting to hold USIS accountable for some allegations of sub-standard performance, but who is holding the entire system accountable? The only thing the current system does well is provide cover for bureaucrats who can point to a completed investigation as proof they are not culpable for a security breach.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1310 on: July 09, 2013, 10:06:19 AM »


 APPLE VALLEY, Minn. — WHEN President Obama nominated James B. Comey to lead the F.B.I., he lauded Mr. Comey as someone who understands the challenge of “striking a balance” between security and privacy, and had been “prepared to give up a job he loved rather than be part of something he felt was fundamentally wrong.”
Related

  

High praise, but was it deserved? We may find out today, when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on his confirmation.

Mr. Comey’s reputation for courage and probity rests largely on a dramatic episode in March 2004 when he and the current F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, tried to squelch the George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. But that was just one night in the 20 months that Mr. Comey served as deputy attorney general.

And while it was not the only time he expressed reservations, Mr. Comey apparently did eventually sign off on most of the worst of the Bush administration’s legal abuses and questionable interpretations of federal and international law. He ultimately approved the C.I.A.’s list of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, including waterboarding, which experts on international law consider a form of torture. He defended holding an American citizen, Jose Padilla, without charges for more than three years as an “enemy combatant,” and subjecting him to interrogation without counsel to obtain information from him. (Mr. Padilla was ultimately convicted of terrorism charges in civilian court.)

Mr. Mueller and Mr. Comey famously thwarted efforts by two Bush officials, Alberto R. Gonzales and Andrew H. Card Jr., to pressure a hospitalized Attorney General John Ashcroft to sign off on Mr. Bush’s warrantless monitoring order after the Justice Department found it illegal. But within days, Mr. Mueller and Mr. Comey, having threatened to resign, spoke with Mr. Bush. Whatever assurances the president may have given them are not (and may never be) known — but we know that the surveillance program continued, perhaps with modification, and certainly without further public dissent from Mr. Mueller and Mr. Comey.

I suggest that the senators ask Mr. Comey these questions:

1. Will you maintain the F.B.I. ban on torture and coercing of statements and confessions? Would you instruct F.B.I. agents to investigate all credible reports, including those involving other federal personnel, of violations of Sections 2340 and 2441 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which define torture and war crimes? (In 2002, according to a Justice Department report, F.B.I. agents at Guantánamo Bay created a “war crimes file” to document accusations of prisoner mistreatment by American military personnel, but an F.B.I. official ordered that the file be closed in 2003.)

2. In March 2004, you argued that the N.S.A. surveillance program was illegal. Do you still believe that the domestic communications of American citizens can be legally monitored by the government only with a judicially approved warrant? If so, what assurances about the warrantless surveillance scheme did Mr. Bush offer that persuaded you to stop opposing the program?

3. Do you stand by your statement, made at a Justice Department news conference in June 2004, that it was right to hold Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was arrested on American soil, in a military brig (for two years at that point) without charges?

4. Why, in April 2005, did you approve 13 harsh interrogation tactics, including waterboarding and up to 180 hours of sleep deprivation, for use on suspects by officers of the C.I.A.?

5. Do you stand by a speech in March 2009 in which you spoke of the need to “incapacitate” terrorists who could not be prosecuted, either because of a lack of sufficient evidence or because the information had been secretly provided by a foreign country? Do you believe that since procedures exist for “preventative detention” of people with dangerous mental illness, there should be a similar way to detain terrorism suspects without trial?

6. Do you believe there is a trade-off between civil liberties and national security, or do you think, as Mr. Obama stated when he ran for president, that this is a false choice? Where do you believe the balance between privacy and safety can be found, when the government has ready access to vast amounts of data collected by communications companies?

7. The N.S.A.’s data-mining operations seem to be sweeping up information involving foreigners and American citizens alike. How can we preserve the distinction between “non-U.S. persons” abroad, on whom officials have virtually unlimited authority to conduct surveillance, and “U.S. persons” inside our borders, on whom they lack authority to conduct warrantless surveillance?

8. Can you explain why the F.B.I. has submitted requests to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for phone call data, even though the data is to be directly furnished to the N.S.A.? How does the F.B.I. follow up on such requests to ensure that the N.S.A. is protecting the rights of American citizens?

9. Are the N.S.A.’s data-gathering efforts, disclosed in recent weeks, an outgrowth of Mr. Bush’s earlier warrantless surveillance program, to which you objected? Do they relate to the “Total Information Awareness” scheme proposed by John M. Poindexter, a retired admiral and former aide to Ronald Reagan, that was terminated after it was made public in 2002?

10. Do you believe that the F.B.I., in investigating a leak of classified information, was right in 2010 to call James Rosen, a Fox News reporter, a potential “co-conspirator”?

11. Officials say that great national harm will result from the disclosure of secret activities that are legally questionable. What do you think of this proposed remedy: The government should abide by international law and refrain from infringing on the rights of American citizens in the first place?

Coleen Rowley, a special agent for the F.B.I. from 1981 to 2004, testified before Congress about the F.B.I.’s failure to help prevent the 9/11 attacks.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1311 on: July 09, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »


The Laws You Can’t See
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Published: July 8, 2013 203 Comments


In the month since a national security contractor leaked classified documents revealing a vast sweep of Americans’ phone records by the federal government, people across the country have disagreed about the extent to which our expectation of personal privacy must yield to the demands of national security.
Related

    In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A. (July 7, 2013)



Under normal circumstances, this could be a healthy, informed debate on a matter of overwhelming importance — the debate President Obama said he welcomed in the days after the revelations of the surveillance programs.

But this is a debate in which almost none of us know what we’re talking about.

As Eric Lichtblau reported in The Times on Sunday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has for years been developing what is effectively a secret and unchallenged body of law on core Fourth Amendment issues, producing lengthy classified rulings based on the arguments of the federal government — the only party allowed in the courtroom. In recent years, the court, originally established by Congress to approve wiretap orders, has extended its reach to consider requests related to nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks. Its rulings, some of which approach 100 pages, have established the court as a final arbiter in these matters.

But the court is as opaque as it is powerful. Every attempt to understand the court’s rulings devolves into a fog of hypothesis and speculation.

The few public officials with knowledge of the surveillance court’s work either censor themselves as required by law, as Senator Ron Wyden has done in his valiant efforts to draw attention to the full scope of these programs, or they offer murky, even misleading statements, as the director of national intelligence, James Clapper Jr., did before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March.

As outrageous as the blanket secrecy of the surveillance court is, we are equally troubled by the complete absence of any adversarial process, the heart of our legal system. The government in 2012 made 1,789 requests to conduct electronic surveillance; the court approved 1,788 (the government withdrew the other). It is possible that not a single one of these 1,788 requests violated established law, but the public will never know because no one was allowed to make a counterargument.

When judicial secrecy is coupled with a one-sided presentation of the issues, the result is a court whose reach is expanding far beyond its original mandate and without any substantive check. This is a perversion of the American justice system, and it is not necessary.

Even before the latest revelations of government snooping, some members of Congress were trying to provide that check. In a letter to the court in February, Senator Dianne Feinstein and three others asked that any rulings with a “significant interpretation of the law” be declassified. In response, the court’s presiding judge, Reggie Walton, wrote that the court could provide only summaries of its rulings, because the full opinions contained classified information. But he balked at releasing summaries, which he feared would create “misunderstanding or confusion.” It is difficult to imagine how releasing information would make the confusion worse.

Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, recently reintroduced a bill that would require declassification. It was defeated in December. In light of the national uproar over the most recent revelations, the leadership in Congress should push to pass it and begin to shine some light on this dark corner of the judicial system.

We don’t know what we’ll find. The surveillance court may be strictly adhering to the limits of the Fourth Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Or not. And that’s the problem: This court has morphed into an odd hybrid that seems to exist outside the justice system, even as its power grows in ways that we can’t see.

Meet The New York Times’s Editorial Board »
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« Reply #1312 on: July 09, 2013, 07:04:06 PM »


Crafty, beforeitsnews.com makes infowars look like quality reporting.....   rolleyes


http://ace.mu.nu/
OMFG Obama To Deploy 15,000 Russian Troops in US Under DHS Orders!!!!!

An unsettling report prepared by the Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) circulating in the Kremlin today on the just completed talks between Russia and the United States in Washington D.C. says that the Obama regime has requested at least 15,000 Russian troops trained in disaster relief and "crowd functions" [i.e. riot control] be pre-positioned to respond to FEMA Region III during an unspecified "upcoming" disaster.



Well actually no.

In fact Stacy McCain actually did some digging and found that the story is bullshit:

That article is bullshit, so far as I can tell. It links to a seemingly legitimate Russian news site's report about the U.S.-Russian meeting, but that article says nothing at all about a report "circulating in the Kremlin" or Janet Napolitano requesting 15,000 Russian troops.  The EU Times (bullshit) article also says this:
FEMA Region III, the area Russian troops are being requested for, includes Washington D.C. and the surrounding States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, "strongly suggesting" that the Obama regime has lost confidence in its own military being able to secure its survival should it be called upon to do so.
 We have zero official sources for this, and good luck finding any mainstream news organization - Associated Press, Washington Post, Reuters, etc. - that has even taken notice of the June 25 U.S.-Russian meeting which (a) we know actually happened, based on a statement from the Russian agency, but which (b) apparently wasn't considered important enough to merit a press release from FEMA.
Apparently officials from FEMA and the Russian equivalent did meet in June but the result seems to have been the usual nicey-nice-let's-agree-to-share-experiences-and-training-tips bureaucratic argle-bargle. Not a mention of any troops or really anything claimed in the article.

By the way the EU Times isn't a newspaper,  isn't affiliated with the EU, and apparently will print anything that people send in as long as it gets hits. The fact that they have a Zionism section, lots of links to Infowars, and stories like this, this and this tells you pretty much where they're coming from and how much credibility they deserve.

In fact this whole story is a case study of how click-attracting bullshit gets peddled and passed into the conservative blogosphere. Here's what the actual June press release from the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense and Emergencies said:

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry and the USA Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are going to exchange experts during joint rescue operations in major disasters. This is provided by a protocol of the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Working Group on Emergency Situations and seventeenth meeting of Joint U.S.-Russia Cooperation Committee on Emergency Situations, which took place in Washington on 25 June.
The document provides for expert cooperation in disaster response operations and to study the latest practices.
 In addition, the parties approved of U.S.-Russian cooperation in this field in 2013-2014, which envisages exchange of experience including in monitoring and forecasting emergency situations, training of rescuers, development of mine-rescuing and provision of security at mass events.
And here's how the EU Times (and Infowars and many other cut-and-paste sites) reported it:

Russian Forces to Provide "Security" At US Events
As part of a deal signed last week in Washington DC between the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry and FEMA, Russian officials will provide "security at mass events" in the United States, a scenario that won't sit well with Americans wary of foreign assets operating on US soil.
According to a press release by the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense and Emergencies, US and Russian officials met on June 25 at the 17th Joint U.S.-Russia Cooperation Committee on Emergency Situations.
Are these even vaguely the same thing? Hell no. And this exaggeration and deliberate misinterpretation is no mistake or accident. You see it in article after article. And sadly quite a few well-known conservative blogs also engage in the same bullshit-bait-and-switch as well.

So why do they do it when it's so obvious? Because they think you're stupid and gullible. And because it works.
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« Reply #1313 on: July 09, 2013, 11:25:50 PM »

And so it is added to the Undesirables list with Infowars and Debka.

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« Reply #1314 on: July 12, 2013, 08:18:21 PM »

http://www.siotw.org/modules/news_english/item.php?itemid=1209
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« Reply #1315 on: July 13, 2013, 06:27:16 PM »

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/07/youth-looting-the-dead-at-french-rail-crash-.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook
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« Reply #1316 on: July 17, 2013, 10:37:34 AM »

James Jaeger Is Interviewed by Anthony Wile For The Daily Bell
 
James Jaeger of Matrix Entertainment
 
 
Oath Keepers is pleased to direct our readers to a very interesting interview with James Jaeger at The Daily Bell. I have included here some excerpts, but there is much more in this surprising interview - topics range from Hollywood to Edward Snowden, from the NSA to the Constitution. Oath Keepers salutes both James Jaeger and Anthony Wile. Read them here:
 
http://www.thedailybell.com/29359/Anthony-Wile-James-Jaeger-on-His-Documentaries-the-Danger-of-Hollywood-Blockbusters-and-the-Reality-of-Snowden
-
Just a few excerpts for teasers -
 
 
Daily Bell: What's going on? How have you been?
 
James Jaeger: I have been quite busy since last March working with Edwin Vieira and Oath Keepers on a new movie entitled "MOLON LABE - How the Second Amendment Guarantees America's Freedom." We have an incredible "cast" of experts in the can: Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Alex Jones, G. Edward Griffin, Chuck Baldwin, Stewart Rhodes, Larry Pratt, David R. Gillie, Jack Rooney and Edwin Vieira, who wrote the book, The Sword and Sovereignty, which inspired the movie. The first rough-cut is done and the movie will be released hopefully on Labor Day or Constitution Day. You can watch a trailer with clips of the experts at http://youtu.be/Ay7Thif3UOQ.
 
Daily Bell: You've been tracking the Snowden affair. Give us your take.
 
James Jaeger: This exercise gives everyone the opportunity to really see who is who on the world stage. Americans (and the rest of the world) seem to be abhorred with the Empire's surveillance - all neatly "justified" by the War of Terror, yet their elected representatives in Congress and the executive (and the government's lapdogs in the mainstream media) continue to work for the military-industrial complex and the globalists' agenda. It's as if the Fourth Amendment didn't even exist...
 
Daily Bell: You've been tracking the Snowden affair. Give us your take.
 
James Jaeger: This exercise gives everyone the opportunity to really see who is who on the world stage. Americans (and the rest of the world) seem to be abhorred with the Empire's surveillance - all neatly "justified" by the War of Terror, yet their elected representatives in Congress and the executive (and the government's lapdogs in the mainstream media) continue to work for the military-industrial complex and the globalists' agenda. It's as if the Fourth Amendment didn't even exist.
 
Daily Bell: It's like a Hollywood movie, almost too good to be true. Are we too cynical?
 
James Jaeger: You can be sure more than one screenplay is being written right this second. In fact, I would even be one of the writers if someone were to engage me for at least Writer's Guild minimum. So no, you are certainly NOT being too cynical. And you know what, as much as I bitch and moan about Hollywood, I think Hollywood has the right attitude about the Snowden affair: he's a hero exposing one of the main rungs of the police state the Globalists are attempting to build.
 
But at this time any screenplay on the Snowden affair can obviously only be a work-in-progress because things are still developing. Like Robert Redford in "THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR," Snowden has probably researched every plot and will hopefully end the show with a twist none of the movie-challenged apologists of the Empire will have foreseen.
My continuing observation of the MSM, however, indicates that they have pretty much covered over Snowden with Zimmerman....   
 
Daily Bell: The AP says its reporting has been chilled by surveillance. Any response?
James Jaeger: Well, figure it out. A 5 zettabyte site is 5.0 X 10 , 21st bytes of information and a 1 yottabyte site is 3 orders of magnitude (1,000 times) larger at 10 , 24th bytes. That's a 10 with 24 zeros after it. This "thing" - which is going operational in September - will be able to record all emails, phone conversations, TV, radio shows, YouTube videos, photographs, websites, Internet searches and even parking receipts, travel itineraries and bookstore purchases for every person on the planet Earth for the next 100 years.
 
Even still, an NSA spokesperson had the gall to state: "Many unfounded allegations have been made about the planned activities of the Utah Data Center and one of the biggest misconceptions about NSA is that we are unlawfully listening in on, or reading emails of, US citizens. This is simply not the case."
 
Well, that may 'not be the case' with the PRISM program, but come September 2013, all bets are off. The NSA will have the capacity of "listening in" so why wouldn't they? This places a chill over every citizen in not only America but the world. It should also chill all news reporters, pundits, filmmakers, writers, thinkers, philosophers, patent and copyright holders, strategists and communicators in every branch of the arts and sciences. Maybe TODAY you are like John Stossel - more concerned about the other "100 things government does" - but TOMORROW you may decide it's necessary to become the next Thomas Paine in order to arrest further destruction of the Declaration of Independence. BUT you're in the 5 zettabyte sys, so you chill and go back to eating your spaghetti and hot dogs. You're chilled because your rogue gov has mapped your social network and can send in a drone to wipe you and your kitchen table off the map any time it wants. Nice. And no one would even know about it because they could wipe you before the public was even aware you EXISTED! So when police state apologists like Cheney, Alexander, King, Woolsey, Hague and Clapper tell you that "we are only collecting metadata" - you should go into HIGH ALERT.
 
Metadata is what computers use to "talk" to each other - no humans even needed. It's part of what's called the "semantic web" and it's been in development for years. By connecting origination and termination points of all phone numbers, IP Addresses and MAC numbers, they can identify every device you own or use: your phone, your computer, your routers and other machines (as MAC means Machine Access Code).
A phone number takes very few bytes of storage because a phone number is only 10 digits long (xxx-xxx-xxxx). That's only 10 bytes of storage. Connect two citizens' phones and that's only 20 bytes. Connect all 100 family, friends and associates of a citizen and that's only about 1,000 bytes of storage (10 X 100 = 1,000). Now add in another 1,000 bytes for the addresses of their major nodes (the handful of people they call most) - and you need maybe 2,000 bytes to store, or "quarry" all this innocent METADATA. But let's be conservative; let's say we use 1 million bytes, one meg, of data for each and every citizen in the US, such being 230 million people. That's 230,000,000 X 1,000,000 = or 23 terabytes (2.3 X 10 , 14th bytes). Any film editor in Hollywood has 23 terabytes on his NLE computer system, whereas the Bluffdale data storage center will have between 10 , 21st and 10 , 24th bytes. That's 7 to 10 orders of magnitude more capacity, so they could easily allocate a meg per year to all 7 billion people on Earth for the next 100 years. A meg for all 7 billion people would only be 7 x 10 , 15 bytes per year and for 100 years it would only be 7 X 10 , 17th bytes. Recall, Bluffdale will store as much as 10 , 24th bytes, 7 orders of magnitude more than the mere 10 , 17th bytes needed for every human on Earth. Factor in the wash that less than half the human population doesn't have computers and the other half uses storage-intensive applications (one of the most intense at this time being 1080p video) and we can see that the Bluffdale site will also be able to easily handle that. So all porn will easily be storable for the next 100 years along with each and every user. AND, if the NSA really likes porn, it will even be able to store it in 1080p (for future "evaluations"). Once quantum computing comes online, as futurists expect, the Bluffdale site's storage capacity will be available on USB thumb drives.
 
But how does all this apply to the Bill of Rights, which states in the 4th Amendment:
 
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
 
The key words are SEARCHES and SEIZURES and with these words, the NSA's assurance that they are not "unlawfully listening in " is made invalid. When the government "quarries records from the telecom providers," as the former NSA chief stated on national TV, it is, in essence, seizing the "papers and effects" of WE THE PEOPLE. It may only be seizing a copy of our "papers and effects" but the fact that that copy embodies intellectual property that has an automatic COPYright on it the moment it is put into tangible form as an email, phone recording, photograph, website or motion picture makes the act of "quarrying" information with the PRISM program or in the Bluffdale servers illegal not only under copyright law but constitutional law. The act of quarrying data is that act of seizing data, and data is the same as the "papers and effects" referred to in the Fourth....
 
Daily Bell: Do these sorts of investigations make us safer?
 
James Jaeger: Well, to answer that, let me put those statistics into perspective. According to the National Counter Terrorism Center and the GAO (Government Accounting Office), about 1,900 people are killed by international terrorism every year and about 70 of them are Americans. Concomitant with this, about 140 people are killed by peanut allergies each year and about 450,000 die from coronary heart disease. Even given this, our Lindsey Graham-infested Congress - with its deserved, 20% approval rating - sees fit to spend over $160 billion a year on the "war on terror" but only spends about $3 billion each year on the "war on heart disease." So each year 6,429 times more Americans die from heart disease than terrorism yet Congress spends 53 times more money to save 70 lives than it does to save 450,000 lives. NOW the government wants to make the 70 people killed by terrorism even MORE "secure" by constructing a $4 billion surveillance complex in Bluffdale, Utah that will have the ability to snoop on every man, woman and child on Earth.
 
It's obvious that the surveillance machinery being built is NOT for any so-called "war on terror." It's to dominate and control the peoples of the Earth by the globalist power elite - less than .001% of the population. THIS is what Edward Snowden means by the term, "turnkey tyranny."
 
- End excerpts from interview at The Daily Bell. Read the whole interview here:
 
http://www.thedailybell.com/29359/Anthony-Wile-James-Jaeger-on-His-Documentaries-the-Danger-of-Hollywood-Blockbusters-and-the-Reality-of-Snowden
 
 
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« Reply #1317 on: July 17, 2013, 04:24:16 PM »

From Crafty's post above.

"places a chill over every citizen in not only America but the world. It should also chill all news reporters, pundits, filmmakers, writers, thinkers, philosophers, patent and copyright holders, strategists and communicators in every branch of the arts and sciences."

One can forget about intellectual property being protected except by the very rich and powerful.

Finally, at least a few people are recognizing this.   Way too late for me.   Probably too late for all of us.

I know I am a minority on this board.  But I still think Snowden is a hero.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 05:58:58 PM by ccp » Logged
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« Reply #1318 on: July 17, 2013, 05:16:53 PM »

Do note that I posted the piece I just posted.
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« Reply #1319 on: July 19, 2013, 11:10:51 AM »

Indictment: Jacksonville Man Tried to Join AQAP
by Abha Shankar  •  Jul 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4090/indictment-jacksonville-man-tried-to-join-aqap

 
A 19-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. man trained for violent jihad and traveled to the Middle East in hopes of joining a notorious al-Qaida branch. Shelton Thomas Bell was charged Thursday with two counts of conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group Ansar al Sharia, also known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

AQAP is the al-Qaida branch which successfully got would-be suicide bomber and Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab onboard a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day in 2009. Abdulmutallab hoped to bring the plane down over Detroit, but the bomb sewn into his underwear failed to detonate.
Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born AQAP cleric, inspired several homegrown American terrorists through his radical online teachings. Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.

According to the indictment, Bell and an unnamed juvenile engaged in physical fitness and firearms training to prepare for armed conflict. Bell also made video and audio recordings to solicit and recruit others to join him in jihad. In furtherance of their efforts to "promote the jihad," Bell and his accomplice undertook a night-time "mission" in which they "dressed in dark clothing, wore masks and gloves, wrapped their footwear in tape, and, caused significant damage to religious statues at the Chapel Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery."

Bell said he was 'partaking in the training of jihad," actively seeking participation in jihad," and "looking for an active objective." He identified his target as "[n]ot the American people, just the flag and the Government." A woman identifying herself as Bell's mother told the Jacksonville Times Union that he had converted to Islam.
Bell and the unnamed accomplice leased a laptop computer to communicate with people after he traveled to the Middle East and bought "gauze pads, batteries, athletic tape, razors, and a computer storage device" as part of their plan. Bell then bought a one-way ticket for both him and his friend to fly to Tel Aviv, Israel. They made the trip last September but were denied entry. After going to Jordan, they reached out to people named Nidal and Sheik Yussef seeking help finding a way into Yemen. It is not clear when he returned to Jacksonville or why he never made it to Yemen. He has been in the county jail since January on an unrelated grand theft charge, a Jacksonville television station reports.

Bell faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
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« Reply #1320 on: July 24, 2013, 09:59:07 AM »

My vacillation on this subject continues , , ,

Republicans for Snowden
A left-right House coalition rushes to stop metadata collection.


Few things are more dangerous than Congress in heat, and so it is this week as a libertarian-left wing coalition in the House of Representatives is rushing to neuter one of the National Security Agency's antiterror surveillance programs.

The chief instigator is Michigan Republican Justin Amash, the 33-year-old second-termer who has made opposition to the country's post-9/11 security programs a personal crusade. In previous years, he's attempted to ban the military interrogation and detention of any terrorist caught on U.S. soil. The effect would be to treat terrorists better if they blow up Times Square—where they'd receive U.S. civilian due-process protections if captured—than if they stayed overseas. Mr. Amash lost on the House floor, but you catch his drift.

Now he's back with an amendment to this year's defense spending bill that would bar the NSA from collecting metadata except when specific individuals are already being investigated and are subject to a court order. This would effectively end one of the two programs exposed by admitted NSA leaker and fugitive, Edward Snowden.

Metadata are the general phone records—numbers called, duration of the calls—not the content of the conversations. Searching through metadata amounts to searching the haystack to find a needle. But under Mr. Amash's amendment, the NSA could only gather metadata if it has already found the needle.

This would greatly complicate the job of preventing future terrorist attacks, because metadata can link a known suspect to a terrorist or terror cell that U.S. officials weren't aware of. The sifting of metadata helped the FBI locate and stop the New York subway bomber.

Mr. Amash has no experience on the Armed Services, Intelligence or Foreign Affairs committees, but he nonetheless claims to know that his amendment wouldn't hurt U.S. security. He's teaming up with Michigan Democrat John Conyers and other anti-antiterror liberals who want the U.S. to return to a pre-9/11 mindset of treating terrorists like street burglars.

A better guide to reality are those who have had experience defending the country. House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers and ranking Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger issued a statement Tuesday saying that "premature reactions" to the NSA leaks such as Mr. Amash's "would endanger our national security."

Several former Bush security officials on Tuesday also released an open letter to Congress supporting the NSA programs as lawful, carefully limited and essential to U.S. security. The signers include former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, former CIA directors Michael Hayden and Porter Goss, former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, and former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

By all means Congress should debate the NSA programs now that they are public, but any new limits ought to be carefully vetted for their potential consequences. The last thing Congress should do is kill a program in a rush to honor the reckless claims of Mr. Snowden and his apologists.
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« Reply #1321 on: July 24, 2013, 10:37:05 AM »

Snowden could have been a legitimate whistleblower. Instead he fled the country and fed very valuable secrets to beacons of freedom like the Chinese ministry for State Security and the KGB (Ok, officially they are the FSB now, but internally they still call themselves the KGB).

Then again, given Buraq's "freedom to manuver" after the last election and his known distribution of classified information to America's enemies, perhaps Snowden can plea down his charges to "Impersonating Obama".
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« Reply #1322 on: July 24, 2013, 01:52:09 PM »



http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57595202-38/feds-put-heat-on-web-firms-for-master-encryption-keys/
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« Reply #1323 on: July 24, 2013, 01:55:20 PM »


Good news for web firms based outside the US.
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« Reply #1324 on: July 25, 2013, 02:48:04 PM »

http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/muslim-brotherhood-groups-full-court-press-against-ray-kelly
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« Reply #1325 on: July 25, 2013, 07:28:39 PM »


I couldn't imagine a better endorsement.
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« Reply #1326 on: July 28, 2013, 11:45:15 AM »

Given the security implications, I post this one here:

http://www.ihatethemedia.com/weiner-mother-in-law-is-part-of-muslim-brotherhood
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« Reply #1327 on: July 29, 2013, 10:20:00 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/us/politics/momentum-builds-against-nsa-surveillance.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130729&_r=0
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« Reply #1328 on: July 31, 2013, 10:28:05 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/30/homeland-security-loses-track-of-1-million-foreign/?page=all#pagebreak

The Homeland Security Department has lost track of more than 1 million people who it knows arrived in the U.S. but who it cannot prove left the country, according to an audit Tuesday that also found the department probably won’t meet its own goals for deploying an entry-exit system.

The findings were revealed as Congress debates an immigration bill, and the Government Accountability Office’s report could throw up another hurdle because lawmakers in the House and Senate have said that any final deal must include a workable system to track entries and exits and cut down on so-called visa overstays.

The government does track arrivals, but is years overdue in setting up a system to track departures — a goal set in a 1996 immigration law and reaffirmed in 2004, but which has eluded Republican and Democratic administrations.

“DHS has not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability, but has planning efforts under way to report to Congress in time for the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle on the costs and benefits of such a capability at airports and seaports,” GAO investigators wrote.

Outside business groups and Republican donors are trying to breathe life into the push for getting an immigration bill through Congress this year.

Nearly 100 top donors and former party officials signed a letter Tuesday pleading with House Republicans to pass a bill legalizing illegal immigrants, saying it could open the door to earning immigrants’ political support.

“Doing nothing is de facto amnesty. We need to take control of whom we let in our country and we need to make sure everybody plays by the same rules,” the donors said in their letter.

They aimed their pitch at House Republicans, who are trying to figure out a way forward and find themselves trapped between rank-and-file Republican voters who say legalizing illegal immigrants is an amnesty, and the party’s elites and donors who say the party cannot survive nationally without embracing legalization as part of a strategy to win over Hispanic voters.

SEE ALSO: Immigration officers union says agency can’t handle legalization

The donor letter was sent the same day that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 400 other businesses and umbrella groups fired off a letter to House leaders of both parties, urging them to pass something — though the business leaders did not specifically call for legalizing illegal immigrants.

The business leaders and donors appeared to be sensing the momentum for immigration slipping away, little more than a month after the Senate passed its version on a bipartisan 68-32 vote.

How to handle visa overstays was a major part of the Senate bill debate when it came through the Judiciary Committee, though the issue received less attention on the Senate floor.

Under current law, the government is supposed to be developing a system to check every visitor’s entry and departure from the country, using biometric identifiers such as fingerprints. The system is supposed to apply to air, land and sea ports of entry.

But members of both parties have said that is a giant task. The Senate bill waters down those requirements, saying only that there must be a biographic-based system, which means using a photo, and that it be limited to air and sea ports.

The GAO said most of the overstays came by airplane, but 32 percent came through land ports of entry, and 4 percent came by sea. The average length of overstay was 2.7 years.

The Congressional Budget Office, which analyzed the Senate bill, said it will cut out about half of all illegal immigration. CBO said stiffer border security will limit those crossing the border illegally but that the system would boost the chances for illegal immigrants to come to the U.S. under new guest-worker programs and stay beyond their visas.

The executive branch is supposed to report annually to Congress on how many people have overstayed their visas but has failed to do so for the past two decades, saying the information isn’t reliable enough.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano told the Senate this year that her department would begin to report in December, but the GAO said Homeland Security officials aren’t sure what methodology they will use.

The department has repeatedly pushed back its deadlines for setting up an exit system at airports, telling GAO investigators this year that it will finalize plans in the near future. But GAO said the department is already behind its own schedule.

“For example, DHS had planned to begin scenario-based testing for biometric air exit options in August 2013; however, according to DHS officials, the department now plans to begin such testing in early 2014,” the auditors said.

The total of 1 million potential overstays in the country is an improvement from two years ago, when the GAO found Homeland Security had lost track of 1.6 million people.

Homeland Security went back and looked at those names and found that more than half had either actually left the country unbeknownst to the government, or had gained legal status that allowed them to remain in the U.S.

Of the others, the department decided most were deemed not to be security risks and so there was no need to track them down. But 1,901 of them were deemed significant national security or public safety threats, and 266 of those were still unaccounted for as of March.

In its official response to the GAO report, the Homeland Security Department said it is creating a working group to try to improve its data, and pointed to its success in reducing the backlog of overstay cases from 1.6 million to 1 million.

“DHS remains committed to strengthening and building upon existing capabilities to better identify and report on potential overstays,” said Jim H. Crumpacker, the department’s liaison to GAO.


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« Reply #1329 on: August 02, 2013, 04:22:03 PM »

Timothy Edgar: Big Transparency for the NSA
I've seen the safeguards in place. The public would be reassured if these measures were made generally known.
By TIMOTHY EDGAR

'Big data" is one name for the insight that collecting all the information in a massive database will uncover facts that collecting only some of the information cannot. This is not news to Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency. Gen. Alexander is a zealous advocate of getting it all whenever practically and legally possible. He sees increased agility in uncovering terrorist connections by acquiring vast databases of telephone records, including those of American citizens.

Now the intelligence community's big-data ambitions have prompted big privacy alarms. Edward Snowden's reckless dump of top-secret documents and bizarre flight to those new crusaders against electronic snooping—China and Russia—should have turned Americans against him. Instead, a national poll shows a solid majority believe that Mr. Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor. The House of Representatives recently fell just a few votes shy of cutting off funding for Gen. Alexander's bulk data collection.

The nation's intelligence chief, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, is struggling with how to restore trust. Mr. Clapper briefed Congress on the phone-records program but has since apologized for his public testimony in March denying that the NSA has the records of millions of Americans. The testimony, he has said, was "the least untruthful statement" he could have made in public about a bulk data-collection program that officials in the Obama and George W. Bush administrations unwisely chose to keep secret. Mr. Clapper and his successors should not be put in that position again.

I am a civil-liberties lawyer who has worked both for Mr. Clapper and for the American Civil Liberties Union. I have a unique perspective on the vast gulf between the way the public views spy agencies and the way the intelligence community views itself.

The intelligence community believes that it protects the public from dire threats, subject to strict oversight. Indeed, it was career national-security lawyers who were most disturbed by President George W. Bush's detour into executive unilateralism and warrantless wiretapping. They breathed a sigh of relief when that era came to an end. Following an intense and highly classified dialogue in which I participated during the latter half of the Bush administration, the intelligence community persuaded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to authorize bulk collection of phone records while putting these activities under a robust and highly detailed set of privacy and civil-liberties constraints.

Queries of telephone-call records require that the targeted number is connected to an international terrorist organization. The targeted numbers must meet a well-defined legal standard—that of reasonable, articulable suspicion—and may only then be used to uncover, through sophisticated data analysis, the network of numbers with which the target has been in contact over time. Privacy safeguards are administered by teams of national-security lawyers in multiple agencies, and the entire process is subject to both congressional oversight and review by the FISA court. When the court and Congress identified compliance issues, the NSA took them seriously, overhauling their systems and creating a new office of compliance to address them.

What, then, accounts for the public mistrust? Intelligence officials forget that the public sees none of this. Where the government sees three branches of government working together in harmony, the public sees a disturbing pattern of secret law and secret government accompanied by demands to "trust us, we are keeping you safe." Secret checks and balances appear to be nothing more than a pale shadow of our constitutional design.

The FISA court may have reviewed the programs, but the public never got its day in court. The ACLU has challenged the constitutionality of NSA surveillance programs for years, but that case never got to the issue of constitutional rights. The intelligence community argued, and the Supreme Court agreed, that the civil-liberties groups couldn't maintain their lawsuit. Civil-liberties advocates represented a variety of people with entirely reasonable fears of monitoring. Whether they were actually under surveillance was a secret (and properly so). The government argued vigorously that this secrecy meant the case could not go forward, and the court agreed.

Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall encountered a similar Catch-22 in 2011 when trying to raise questions about the NSA call-records program, when the Patriot Act was up for review. Although they were briefed on the program behind closed doors, they made no headway in arguing for greater transparency with the public. The resulting debate was highly skewed. Administration officials were free to make misleading arguments that the Patriot Act was just like an ordinary subpoena. Any member of Congress willing to spend a few hours in a small room in the Capitol knew that secret court opinions had approved collection that reached far wider than any subpoena. Those who did know about the opinions could not express any concerns in open debate. Secrecy prevented the Congress, like the Supreme Court, from having a real argument over surveillance powers.

Despite the Obama administration's best efforts, transparency is now on the rise. Mr. Clapper has chosen greater openness in reacting to the leak of the call-records program. Instead of providing the terse "no comment" that would have allowed the government to argue that legal challenges must be thrown out on secrecy grounds, in June Mr. Clapper confirmed the leaked program and provided details on its safeguards. The ACLU, seeing a stronger argument, promptly refiled its suit. Mr. Clapper made the right call—the government should welcome, not sidestep, debate on whether its programs are constitutional.

President Obama should go further, wresting control from the leakers and restoring trust with the public. He should ask Mr. Clapper to look across the intelligence community and disclose to the public the types of large databases it collects in bulk, under what legal powers or interpretations, and pursuant to what safeguards to protect Americans' privacy—while keeping necessary details secret.

Many aspects of surveillance must remain secret. For example, the government should never provide a list of companies from which it acquires big data sets. Despite what Americans see in the movies, the NSA doesn't actually collect everything. Knowing which companies are included and which are not would tip off terrorists about how to avoid detection—telling them which providers to use and which to avoid. Likewise, the government will never be able to confirm or deny whether particular people are under surveillance, but it should avoid the temptation to use this necessary secrecy to avoid meeting legal challenges to its activities. The government has good arguments for why its programs are both vital for national security and perfectly constitutional. It should make them.

The intelligence community has already taken significant steps in this direction. Mr. Clapper has declassified FISA court orders and congressional oversight reports. His lawyer, Bob Litt, has detailed the legal reasoning and privacy safeguards behind bulk collection. The intelligence community's civil-liberties officer, Alex Joel, has successfully pushed for transparency about the kinds of big financial and border databases that civilian agencies share with the intelligence community. Similarly, the FISA court is pushing back on excessive secrecy, hardly in keeping with the accusation that it is a rubber stamp.

Openness is a value in itself, but it is also a necessary precondition to the effective functioning of our three branches of government. President Obama has called for a "national conversation" about "the general problem of data, these big data sets" and their implications for privacy. A Privacy and Civil Liberties Board, recommended by the 9/11 Commission but moribund for years, is back in business, just in time to lead it. A national conversation will be meaningful only if a new policy of openness continues and deepens. It is long overdue.

Mr. Edgar is a visiting fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Affairs.
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« Reply #1330 on: August 02, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »

There was a time when we didn't have to wonder about excrement like this , , ,

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/08/government-knocking-doors-because-google-searches/67864/
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« Reply #1331 on: August 06, 2013, 10:42:13 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/us/tsa-expands-duties-beyond-airport-security.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130806
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« Reply #1332 on: August 26, 2013, 07:30:06 AM »

http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-lays-framework-for-purge-of-online-opponents
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« Reply #1333 on: September 01, 2013, 12:18:52 AM »



F.B.I. Sharpens Scrutiny of Syrians in U.S. for Signs of Retaliation

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/us/fbi-sharpens-scrutiny-of-syrians-in-us-for-signs-of-retaliation.html?_r=0

Michael Yon asks:

How is it that just days after the alleged chemical attack, we have sufficient "proof" that Assad did it to wage war, yet after all this time we have so little on Benghazi?
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« Reply #1334 on: September 13, 2013, 12:30:30 PM »

Kuwait Funding Muslim Brotherhood Growth in Western Mosques
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
September 13, 2013
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4160/kuwait-funding-muslim-brotherhood-growth-in

 
The completion of a new mosque in Amsterdam is doing more than opening the doors of worship to Dutch Muslims; it is opening new windows into unexpected avenues of terrorist financing and funding for the growth of radical Islam in the West.

For years, Western counterterrorism officials and pundits have expressed concern about the sponsorship of European and American mosques, Islamic schools, and other Muslim organizations by the Saudi government in efforts to its own extremist version of Islam, Wahhabism. Wahhabis adhere to strict, literal interpretations of the Quran and defend the use of violence against those who do not – Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Now, however, it seems we've been so focused on the Saudis, we may have missed a potentially even greater source of radicalization, and certainly a fast-growing one: the Muslim Brotherhood. And the government of Kuwait, with ties to al-Qaida groups and Hamas, appears to be among the largest financiers of Brotherhood infiltration into Europe.
This is where the Amsterdam mosque comes in. Located in the largely Muslim neighborhood of Sloterdijk, the Blue Mosque has been the subject of controversy in the Dutch press since its conception. A report that the government of Kuwait was paying salaries to its imam and other officers recently propelled the mosque – and its organization – into the headlines. Those reports have since been challenged, but the gist of them remains true: through a pan-European organization called the Europe Trust, Kuwait is tying Dutch and other European Muslims directly into the Muslim Brotherhood via complex financial, non-profit and religious networks that stretch from Spain to Ireland – and across the Atlantic to New York.

Based in the UK, the Europe Trust is funded largely by Kuwait (with help from the UAE-based Makhtoum Foundation, about which, more later), and, according to the Middle East Quarterly, "channels money from the Persian Gulf to groups sympathetic to the Brotherhood in Europe, primarily to build mosques." Indeed, the Blue Mosque was funded entirely by Kuwait, working through the offices of the Europe Trust Nederland (ETN). Others have tied the Europe Trust to the Brotherhood as well; but particularly notable is the fact that the Trust is led by Ahmed Al-Rawi, a UK-based Muslim Brotherhood leader, and Nooh al Kaddo, a Dublin-based Iraqi who runs the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland (ICCI), well known as a Brotherhood institution. The ICCI also houses the European Council of Fatwa and Research, whose director, the Egyptian cleric Yusuf al Qaradawi, has reportedly "defended suicide bombing and advocated the death sentence for homosexuals, according to the Irish Independent. (Kaddo, for his part, defends Qaradawi, describing his views in the Independent as "representative of Islamic teachings and not assumed to be a violation of same.")

But here's what else: al-Kaddo, who serves as a trustee of the Hamas-linked charity, Human Appeal International, also directs the largest mosque in Western Europe: the Al Salam mosque in Rotterdam, a controversial monument whose 50-meter high minarets form the highest point in the city. And like the ICCI, Al Salam (also known as Essalam) was financed entirely by Hamdan ben Rashid Al-Makhtoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and (conveniently) UAE Minister of Finance. Makhtoum, as it happens, also is a generous donor to Hamas-linked CAIR in the U.S. (The Sheik has also provided funds for other European mosques.)

Thirty-five miles away, Amsterdam's Blue Mosque also has al-Kaddo to thank for his efforts to secure the money that built it – an achievement made possible in part through his affiliation with Yahia Bouyafa, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Netherlands and director (among other things) of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in the Netherlands (FION). FION, in turn, is a member of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) – which the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report identifies as a Brotherhood umbrella group that also embraces al-Kaddo's Europe Trust – and thus the Al Salam mosque in Rotterdam.

All in the same web. But there's more.

According to a fact sheet published by the Blue Mosque itself, a partnership developed early in the planning stages placed the ETN and FION – or al-Kaddo and Bouyafa – in charge of raising funds for the building. Bouyafa approached Kuwait's Ministry of Religious Affairs. But when his proposal was rejected, another local imam, Yassin Elforkani – suspected of ties to the Brotherhood – was called in to take over. With a few clever alterations to the construction and financing plan, Elforkani convinced Kuwait to provide the needed €2 million.

But with Kuwait now owning the building, sponsoring the ETN, and with extensive ties to Kaddo and Bouyafa (who has regularly exchanged places with Elforkani as director of FION and of the mosque board), the next step was inevitable: the appointment of Kuwaiti Minister for Religious Affairs (Awaqf) Mutlaq al-Qarawi, as chairman of the European Trust Nederland.

This means that one of the most active Muslim organizations in the Netherlands is now led not by a Dutch citizen, not even by a Dutch-speaking foreign imam, but by the government of Kuwait. More specifically, the Trust now sits in the hands of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Religious Affairs, which takes as its mandate spread of Islam to nonbelievers (dawah).

The Europe Trust has also not limited itself to Northern Europe: the NEFA Foundation has tied the group to properties in France, Greece, Romania, and Germany, where, NEFA notes, "funds for real estate purchased […] on behalf of a German Islamic association also came from the Makhtoum Foundation as well as the Awaqf Ministry [Ministry of Religious Affairs] in Kuwait and the Bayt al-Zakat in Dubai."

If all this sounds remote for Americans, too far across the oceans to matter very much, think again. According to a 2003 statement from former National Security and Counter-terrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, "several Al Qida operatives have allegedly been associated with the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood," including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramsi Yousef, a key figure in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

What's more, Clarke testified, "The Kuwaiti government allegedly provides substantial funding to charities controlled by the Kuwait Muslim Brotherhood, such as Lajnat al-Dawa. The U.S. Department of Treasury and the United Nations Security Council designated Lajnat al-Dawa on January 9, 2003 as a supporter of Al Qida. Lajnat al-Dawa and its affiliates had offices in the U.S. in Michigan, Colorado, and Northern Virginia."

If that's not enough, cables published by Wikileaks regarding the problems of policing money flowing to terrorist groups are even more damning. The New York Times summed up a series of these cables, which described Kuwait, the only Gulf country where terrorist funding has not been criminalized, as "a key transit point."

Other ties have been suggested between U.S. mosques and the Brotherhood, most notably the renowned Islamic Cultural Center in New York, founded by Egyptian-born
Muhammad Abdul Rauf – father of former Ground Zero Mosque/Park51 imam Faisal Rauf – and funded in large measure by the Kuwaiti government.

Meanwhile, al-Kaddo, with continuing support from the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, is gathering funds for even more mosques throughout Europe. While the ETN, he insists, does not define the positions of those mosques, it does use its power to hire, appoint, and fire each mosque's officers and imams – all carefully selected from an inside Brotherhood group – and many of whom have ties to Hamas or al-Qaida.

With Europe now becoming one of the richest resources for Islamic jihad, and with the free ability of its citizens to travel visa-free to the United States, the threat a growing, radicalized European Brotherhood network poses is a lot closer than it seems.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.
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« Reply #1335 on: September 13, 2013, 04:21:56 PM »

second post

http://www.glennbeck.com/2013/09/12/think-the-border-is-secure-for-the-record-exposes-the-truth-of-violence-on-the-border/?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2013-09-13_256855&utm_content=5054942&utm_term=_256855_256869
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« Reply #1336 on: September 15, 2013, 05:36:15 PM »

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/09/13/muslim-brotherhood-supporter-gets-homeland-security-promotion-83259
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« Reply #1337 on: September 16, 2013, 12:10:08 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/us/imagining-a-cyberattack-on-the-power-grid.html?src=recg&_r=0
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« Reply #1338 on: September 27, 2013, 10:10:57 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/us/bodies-pile-up-in-texas-as-immigrants-adopt-new-routes-over-border.html?WT.mc_id=AD-D-E-OTB-WRLD-0913-&WT.mc_ev=click&WT.mc_c=__CAMP_UID__&_r=1&
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« Reply #1339 on: October 01, 2013, 07:44:36 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/30/Exclusive-Feds-Cooking-Books-on-Illegal-Immigration-says-Border-Patrol-Union
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« Reply #1340 on: October 02, 2013, 08:33:28 AM »

This from someone in a position to know:
=======================================================

Sen McCain and Rep. Cuellar pressed CBP/DHS about the numbers this year in congressional hearings. They used to keep apprehensions, turn backs, and got-aways.  As McCain protested, i believe now only apprehensions are tracked.  So he asked how can you state you have operational control of the border when you don't maintain metrics that can substantiate it?

Here's a good read about it. No understandable metrics and a lot of mealy mouth tap dancing from the agency to congress.
http://www.cis.org/asking-for-trust-evading-validation-chronology-of-border-patrol-and-dhs-positions
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« Reply #1341 on: October 11, 2013, 12:08:25 AM »

Uh oh , , ,

http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/339104/250/INVESTIGATORS-Memo-warns-of-terrorist-dry-runs-on-planes
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« Reply #1342 on: October 11, 2013, 08:03:56 AM »


I thought terrorism ended after Buraq became president.
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« Reply #1343 on: October 11, 2013, 02:09:49 PM »

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/brave-tourists-are-blatantly-defying-the-us-governments-dema
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« Reply #1344 on: October 18, 2013, 01:40:54 PM »

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/17/exclusive-jeh-johnson-tapped-to-lead-department-of-homeland-security.html

From the article:

Throughout his tenure at the Defense Department, Johnson deftly navigated Washington's ideological crosscurrents. He developed strong relationships with the military brass as well as with member of Congress on both sides of the aisle. He's even managed to become a favorite of Rachel Maddow, the progressive talk show host on MSNBC.

As the Pentagon's top lawyer, Johnson was deeply involved in hundreds of sensitive counterterrorism and military operations. His views evolved on targeted killings, leading him over time to believe that the administration needed clearer and more transparent procedures for the controversial strikes. He played a key role in developing the policy to start shifting the drone policy away from the CIA and over to the military.
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« Reply #1345 on: October 18, 2013, 01:50:30 PM »

"As the Pentagon's top lawyer, Johnson was deeply involved in hundreds of sensitive counterterrorism and military operations."

Among Jeh Johnson's 'achievements' is the advice to grant civilian trials in NYC to terrorists. 

"He's even managed to become a favorite of Rachel Maddow, the progressive talk show host on MSNBC."

Yes.



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« Reply #1346 on: October 18, 2013, 04:39:21 PM »

In addition to the forgoing there is the simple question presented:  How does being a lawyer prepare one for running DHS?   (compare Charlotte Lamb being head of security for Dept of State-- also completely lacking in security background-- look at how well that turned out  cry )

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« Reply #1347 on: October 18, 2013, 07:47:18 PM »

There have been many lawyers in leadership roles at DHS. I don't follow you here.

In addition to the forgoing there is the simple question presented:  How does being a lawyer prepare one for running DHS?   (compare Charlotte Lamb being head of security for Dept of State-- also completely lacking in security background-- look at how well that turned out  cry )


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« Reply #1348 on: October 18, 2013, 10:00:37 PM »

And how has that worked out?

I gather the NYC police chief was under consideration.  As far as the critierion under discussion goes, that would be a much more logical choice by my lights.
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« Reply #1349 on: October 19, 2013, 06:35:46 AM »

I still don't follow you. What about a police commissioner makes that a better choice than a former top Pentagon attorney who has extensive national security experience?

I think you may be ignoring issues like poor institutional design OF DHS with poor performance IN DHS. Your (seeming) derision of attorneys is something I still don't understand, and to be honest, something I find surprising.
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