Posts Tagged ‘Homeland Defense’

DANGER: WILL THE DHS ATTEMPT TO HAVE THE FBI PLACED UNDER THEIR CONTROL?

by Stephen Levine on Sunday, April 21st, 2013

This is article 295 of 461 in the topic Government Corruption

There is little doubt in my mind that the Department of Homeland Defense is attempting to become the super-agency controlling both intelligence and law enforcement. Much in the same manner that the newly-formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has assumed enforcement duties from all of the major financial regulatory agencies; and even the privately-owned Federal Reserve. The CFPB has insulated themselves from a great deal of Congressional oversight by having the major source of their funding come from the Federal Reserve rather than the congressional budget allocation process.

So, I ask you, will the Department of Homeland Defense make a move on the FBI and wrest control from the Department of Justice based on its apparent error of not monitoring a radical jihadist even though the warning was provided by a foreign government.

Say what you will about the treason that led to the WikiLeaks disclosures involving the military and the State Department, there are some things that are percolating within the halls of government that may not bode well for the American people. Among them, the usurpation of the law-making role of Congress by the Executive and Judicial branches of the government – thus violating the separation of powers intent of the Founding Fathers.

Be vigilant – lest you find our government becoming less and less American as time goes on, at the hands of corrupt politicians driven by their special interests.

Steve

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Obama blurs line between law enforcement and military: Security experts

by Jim Kouri on Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

This is article 241 of 303 in the topic US Military

While some law enforcement commanders and officers welcome federal assistance during emergencies, others are less enthusiastic about having military personnel involved in operations within their jurisdictions. They believe President Barack Obama and others in government wish to blur the line between policing and warfighting, several experts said following a congressional hearing on Wednesday, March 20.

U.S. Northern Command claims it is working with its partners to improve its ability to support civil authorities during disaster responses, and is now better postured to do so through a new construct that improves coordination among the forces involved, the Northcom commander told Congress during Wednesday’s hearing.

Pointing to the command’s role when Hurricane Sandy dealt a devastating blow to the Atlantic coast in October, Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby told the House Armed Services Committee that NORTHCOM gained valuable insights and experience that will pay off in the future, according to Donna Mills of the American Forces Press Service.

In a report released to the US Congress recently, analysts assessed what they termed “preparedness tests” between the US military and government agencies at the federal, state and local levels.

U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) exercises to test preparedness to perform its homeland defense and civil support missions. The Government Accountability Office was asked to assess the extent to which NORTHCOM is consistent with Department of Defense guidelines for training and exercise requirement involving interagency partners and states in its exercises.

NORTHCOM’s exercise program is generally consistent with the requirements of DOD’s Joint Training System, but its exercise reporting is inconsistent. Since the command was established in 2002, NORTHCOM has conducted 13 large-scale exercises and generally completed exercise summary reports within the required time frame.

However, those reports did not consistently include certain information, such as areas needing improvement, because NORTHCOM lacks guidance that specifies exercise reports’ content and format, potentially impacting its ability to meet internal standards for planning and execution of joint exercises, and to compare and share exercise results over time with interagency partners and states.

“While the rationale for using the US military domestically had been debated for years, President Barack Obama appears intent on using our military at least until he can create his promised ‘Civilian Security Force’ which he said would be as big and powerful as the military,” said political strategist Mike Baker.

“The fact that the military — in this instance NORTHCOM — is being trained to operate with our borders should be setting off alarms throughout this nation. But it’s being ignored even by those who profess to be conservatives,” he said.

Nineteen federal agencies and organizations and 17 states and the District of Columbia have participated in one or more of the seven large-scale exercises that NORTHCOM has conducted since September 2005. However, NORTHCOM faces challenges in involving states in the planning, conduct, and assessment of its exercises, such as adapting its exercise system and practices to involve other federal, state, local, and tribal agencies that do not have the same practices or level of planning resources.

Pointing to the command’s role when Hurricane Sandy dealt a devastating blow to the Atlantic coast in October, Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby told the House Armed Services Committee that Northcom gained valuable insights and experience that will pay off in the future.

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Over 25,000 airport security breaches reported to Congress

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

This is article 62 of 128 in the topic National Security

The security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport reported on Tuesday, although troubling to many, was not the first serious lapse in aviation security and it probably won’t be the last to occur in a multi-billion dollar government enterprise, according to security experts. They point to a government report that documents upwards of 25,000 breaches of airport security checkpoints since November 2001.

A GAO report revealed about 25,000 incidents of security breaches at U.S. airports. Photo credit: TSA/DHS

The Homeland Security Department had completed an initial study to validate the scientific basis of the Transportation Security Administration’s Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program; however, additional work remains to fully validate the program, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office in July.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations called a subsequent hearing to investigate airport security after reports showed there had been 25,000 breaches of security checkpoints since November 2001.
Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a frequent critic of the TSA, complained about the security breaches and called them “unacceptable.”

“We appreciate TSA in tracking and providing that data, but obviously, those are the ones we know about,” Rep. Chaffetz said at the start of Wednesday’s hearings. “The deep concern is, what about the ones we don’t know about?”

Chaffetz added that he was concerned that the TSA had not conducted threat-vulnerability assessments of most U.S. airports. Only about 20 of the more than 450 airports for which the TSA is responsible for security have been reviewed by the Homeland Security Department.

Originally, GAO reported that the TSA deployed a program that uses behavior observation and analysis techniques to identify potentially high-risk passengers, before determining whether there was a scientifically valid basis for using behavior and appearance indicators as a means for reliably identifying passengers who may pose a risk to the U.S. aviation system.

Specifically, TSA had not conducted vulnerability assessments for 87 percent of the approximately 450 U.S. airports regulated by TSA at that time. GAO recommended that TSA develop a comprehensive risk assessment and evaluate the need to assess airport vulnerabilities nationwide and a national strategy to guide efforts to strengthen airport security.

DHS concurred and said TSA is developing the assessment and strategy, but has not yet evaluated the need to assess airport vulnerabilities nationwide. GAO reported in July 2011 that TSA revised explosives detection requirements for its explosives detection systems (EDS) used to screen checked baggage in January 2010, but faces challenges in deploying EDS that meet these requirements.

Deploying systems that meet the 2010 EDS requirements could be difficult given that TSA did not begin deployment of systems meeting the previous 2005 requirements until 2009. As of January 2011 some of the EDS in TSA’s fleet detect explosives at the level established in 2005 while the remaining EDS detect explosives at levels established in 1998.

Also, TSA does not have a plan to deploy and operate systems to meet the current requirements and has faced challenges in procuring the first 260 systems to meet these requirements. GAO recommended that TSA, among other things, develop a plan to ensure that EDS are operated at the levels in established requirements.

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Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness | The White House

by Stephen Levine on Monday, March 19th, 2012

This is article 71 of 104 in the topic Preserving America

Considering the massive corruption and incompetence associated with the political and bureaucratic control of the United States government, under what circumstances would the citizens of the United States and the individual states allow the Executive Branch of the Federal Government to set aside the Constitution and assume control over the people and resources of the United States?

Given the demonstration of non-existent leadership and the bureaucratic ineptitude in handling regional disasters, I can think of only two circumstances that would provoke this extreme reaction.

An all-out nuclear war and an attempt at a procedural coup d’état by the ruling elite.

Or is there another purpose?

Shutting down the Internet and mass communication ability of the mainstream and alternative media in case of a compromised national election – where massive fraud and interference with the electoral process is probable and that the authority of the newly elected leadership is suspect.

I would suggest to the people of the United States, that should the federal government seek to illegally assume power over the nation, the States themselves, acting individually or in concert, would assume all responsibility for regional command and control – and might seek to re-constitute the United States along the lines of the original Constitution.

But this is all speculation, as it appears that the President’s Executive Order may have simply been issued to update an older executive order to include infrastructure items that did not exist in previous Executive Orders.

However, there is another worrisome detail to be considered. That of a toxic and ideologically corrupt administration seeking to ferret out all of the weak spots in our nation in order to convey an advantage to our ideological enemies. That such an index of vulnerabilities, would, in and of itself, constitute a strategic weapon of incalculable strength as to convey a military advantage to an aggressor nation.

As far as I can see, there are a number of potential Constitutional Crises looming …

One, the unequal and disproportionate power of the Supreme Court in that they are usurping the sole power of Congress to make the laws which govern our land.

Two, the Constitutional right of each branch of Congress to set its own rules – which has led to the subversion of fair and equitable procedural policies in favor of ideological and corrupt actions.

Three, the usurpation of power by the Executive Branch in which certain appointed officials usurp the powers of Senate-confirmed cabinet-level officers and act as a shadow government – with little restraint or control. It has been clearly demonstrated that Agencies of the Executive Branch have attempted to exert increasing control over our natural resources and by extension our entire economy. Likewise it has been clearly demonstrated that Agencies of the Executive Branch have attempted to exert increasing control over the citizens of the United States by co-opting the payment and delivery modalities of healthcare – giving the government unprecedented control over who lives, dies and under what conditions their lives may be compromised by the denial of care for purported economic reasons.

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Breaking: Obama, DOD unveil new border strategy

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

This is article 23 of 65 in the topic Border Issues

Once again, the Obama White House is "tweaking" a failed border security strategy. Credit: Police Times Magazine

U.S. Department of Defense and National Guard support to southwest U.S. border security will undergo a major change in both personnel and strategy in the next few months. The military presence on the U.S.-Mexican border will undergo a shift under President Barack Obama from a “boots on the ground” operation to primarily an aerial operation, according to officials at the Pentagon on Tuesday.

The Homeland Security Department’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection directorate is the lead federal agency charged with defending the southwest U.S border with Mexico, but the Defense Department, specifically the National Guard, works closely in support of the effort, and has done so since 2010, according to Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service.

“CBP has changed the kind of support that it is asking the Department of Defense to provide,”  said Paul Stockton, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and Americas’ security affairs. “And DOD is transitioning to much more effective support … that not only matches up to what CBP needs, but provides more flexibility against an adaptive adversary.”

The border is better protected because of the cooperative relationship between defense and homeland security, said David Aguilar, the Customs and Border Protection agency’s deputy commissioner.

“Over the last year, we had over 1,200 National Guard representatives on the line with us,” Aguilar said. Under the new system, he said, fewer than 300 Guardsmen are needed.

While Aguilar has the confidence of his superiors in Washington, DC, he has been slammed repeatedly by members of the U.S. Border Patrol through their union, the National Border Patrol Council. They have claimed he and other bureaucrats have been deceptive over the true nature of the border security situation.

Until now, National Guardsmen worked with Border Patrol agents in running entry identification teams. These are fixed positions and were what was required at the time, according to Garamone. But times have changed, and now the Border Patrol requires aerial platforms to provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and mobility ability.

This mission will begin around the first of the year and completely transition by March, Aguilar said.

Originally, the National Guard was scheduled to end their border deployment, but there have been a number of complaints by lawmakers and citizens groups who demand tighter border security against criminal aliens, drug cartels and possible members of radical Islamic terrorist groups.

“There will be a ramp down of the static [entry identification teams] and the boots on the ground related to those [teams], but a ramp-up on the aerial support and platforms,” Aguilar told the news media.

The new Obama Administration strategy as written conspicuously leaves out any mention of a border fence, an issue that has been “tweaked to death by politicians,” according to political strategist Mike Baker.

“We’ve gone from building a giant border fence to a virtual fence to a loss of more than a billion dollars on a giant snafu. The bottomline is that the border security issue is a political football that is repeatedly fumbled by both political parties,” said Baker.

Meanwhile, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said the aviation assets will focus at first on detection and monitoring capabilities. Air National Guardsmen will fly specially equipped OH-58 and UH-72 helicopters with a detection radius of 6 and 12 nautical miles, respectively.

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Congress gears up to fight arms sales to Bahrain

by Josh Rogin on Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Congress and the NGO community are gearing up to fight the Obama administration’s plan to sell $53 million worth of weapons to Bahrain, which is proceeding on schedule despite that country’s crackdown on protesters.

The State Department argued in its Sept. 14 notification to Congress that the proposed sale will contribute to U.S. national security “by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”

The administration is planning to sell Bahrain 44 armored, high-mobility Humvees and over 300 advanced missiles, 50 of which are bunker-buster missiles similar to those sold secretly to Israel in 2009.

“Bahrain will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the notification reads.

But the government of Bahrain, led by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, has been engaged in a months-long struggle with a predominantly Shiite protest movement. Opposition groups claim that 30 protesters have been killed by the government and more than 1,000 have been arrested. The government also  called in a Saudi-led force in March that included dozens of tanks to bolster their position, effectively putting the country on lockdown.

Independent organizations such as Human Rights Watch have reported that the Bahrain government has used brutal tactics, including using masked thugs to sweep up lawyers and other activists in nighttime raids. Today, the government announced new trials for 20 medics whose long jail sentences provoked outrage in the international community.

“In Bahrain, steps have been taken toward reform and accountability, but more are required,”
President Obama said in his Sept. 21 speech at the U.N. “America is a close friend of Bahrain, and we will continue to call on the government and the main opposition bloc – the Wifaq – to pursue a meaningful dialogue that brings peaceful change that is responsive to the people.”

The Obama administration has several interests in Bahrain, the fact that the U.S. Fifth Fleet is stationed there being chief among them. Bahrain is also a client state of Saudi Arabia and policymakers have voiced fears that a victory by the protest movement would strengthen Iranian influence in the country.

Regardless, a growing group of lawmakers and non-governmental organizations are gearing up to oppose the State Department’s plan to sell weapons to Bahrain. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) are circulating a resolution that would stop the sale from going through.

“Providing arms to a government that is actively committing human rights violations against peaceful protestors is at odds with United States foreign policy goals,” Wyden told The Cable. “We should be promoting democracy and human rights in the region and not rewarding a regime that is jailing and in some cases killing those who choose to peacefully protest their government and anyone who supports them. This resolution will prevent the U.S. from providing the Kingdom of Bahrain with weaponry until they show a real commitment to respecting human rights.”

“The Humvees are particularly worrisome for a regime that is quashing protests,” said one Senate aide who works on the issue.

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UNIONS: PROSECUTE THE WASHINGTON ILWU FOR DOMESTIC TERRORISM!

by Stephen Levine on Friday, September 9th, 2011

This is article 115 of 179 in the topic Unions

There is little doubt in my mind that recent union-directed labor action in Longview, Washington meets the definition of terrorism …

ter·ror·ism/ˈterəˌrizəm/

Noun: The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Decide for yourself …

As reported by the Associated Press …

“Longshoremen storm Wash. state port, damage RR”

Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.”

Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said.”

“No one was hurt, and nobody has been arrested. Most of the protesters returned to their union hall after cutting brake lines and spilling grain from car at the EGT terminal, Duscha said.”

This fits the definition perfectly. It does not matter that nobody was hurt. An angry mob violated the rule of law and engaged in violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

The United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Secretary of Homeland Defense, Janet Napolitano, have a sworn duty to investigate and prosecute these evildoers for domestic terrorism involving foodstuffs and an assault against the critical infrastructure of the United States.

Where is the port protection that Homeland Defense is always talking about?

It should be noted that people have been taken into custody and interrogated just for taking pictures of a port complex.

Unions: Organized Crime?

Unions, operating in our nation’s ports, have always had a long-term association with organized crime and thuggery. When will these unions themselves be charged with being associated or complicit with organized crime – if not designated as organized crime vectors?

“The International Longshore and Warehouse Union believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that’s staffing a workforce of other union laborers.”

This doesn’t even appear to be a legitimate labor grievance against an employer using non-union labor – but a dispute between union power bosses; which makes it even worse.

“Police from several agencies in southwest Washington, the Washington State Patrol and Burlington Northern Santa Fe responded to the violence to secure the scene that followed a demonstration Wednesday.”

This was not a legitimate “demonstration,” it was an act of domestic terrorism and should be punished as such.

Threats?

“We’re not surprised,” Duscha said. “A lot of the protesters were telling us this in only the start.”

These are not protesters, they are domestic terrorists. And while they may be hard-working individuals, at this particular point in time they were criminals engaged in an act of domestic terrorism.

“One sergeant was threatened with baseball bats and retreated, Duscha said. ‘One officer with hundreds of Longshoremen? He used the better part of discretion.’”

If the authorities cannot protect our critical transportation infrastructure and food supply – the sworn duty of the Department of Homeland Defense – then Janet Napolitano should resign her office and the Department placed in more capable hands.

At the very least, arrest and charge the union leadership with domestic terrorism …

“The train was the first grain shipment to arrive at Longview.

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Airport Security: Lawmakers concerned with 25,000 security breaches

by Jim Kouri on Saturday, July 16th, 2011

This is article 11 of 70 in the topic Travel/Transportation

DHS had completed an initial study to validate the scientific basis of the Transportation Security Administration’s Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program; however, additional work remains to fully validate the program, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday. 

Airline passengers going through security at JFK International Airport in New York. Credit: NYPD Press Office

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations called a hearing on Wednesday to investigate airport security after reports showed there had been 25,000 breaches of security checkpoints since November 2001.

Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a frequent critic of the TSA, complained about the security breaches and called them “unacceptable.”

“We appreciate TSA in tracking and providing that data, but obviously, those are the ones we know about,” Rep. Chaffetz said at the start of Wednesday’s hearings. “The deep concern is, what about the ones we don’t know about?”

Chaffetz added that he was concerned that the TSA had not conducted threat-vulnerability assessments of most U.S. airports. Only about 20 of the more than 450 airports for which the TSA is responsible for security have been reviewed by the Homeland Security Department.

Originally, GAO reported in May 2010 that the TSA deployed a program that uses behavior observation and analysis techniques to identify potentially high-risk passengers, before determining whether there was a scientifically valid basis for using behavior and appearance indicators as a means for reliably identifying passengers who may pose a risk to the U.S. aviation system.

Specifically, TSA had not conducted vulnerability assessments for 87 percent of the approximately 450 U.S. airports regulated by TSA at that time. GAO recommended that TSA develop a comprehensive risk assessment and evaluate the need to assess airport vulnerabilities nationwide and a national strategy to guide efforts to strengthen airport security.

DHS concurred and said TSA is developing the assessment and strategy, but has not yet evaluated the need to assess airport vulnerabilities nationwide. GAO reported in July 2011 that TSA revised explosives detection requirements for its explosives detection systems (EDS) used to screen checked baggage in January 2010, but faces challenges in deploying EDS that meet these requirements.

Deploying systems that meet the 2010 EDS requirements could be difficult given that TSA did not begin deployment of systems meeting the previous 2005 requirements until 2009. As of January 2011 some of the EDS in TSA’s fleet detect explosives at the level established in 2005 while the remaining EDS detect explosives at levels established in 1998.

Also, TSA does not have a plan to deploy and operate systems to meet the current requirements and has faced challenges in procuring the first 260 systems to meet these requirements. GAO recommended that TSA, among other things, develop a plan to ensure that EDS are operated at the levels in established requirements.

DHS agreed and has outlined actions to do so. GAO has made recommendations in prior work to strengthen TSA’s SPOT program, airport security efforts, checked baggage screening efforts. DHS and TSA generally concurred with the recommendations and have actions under way to address them.

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3,700 TSA workers in the nation’s capital are making “on average $100,000 per year

by Greg Hedgepath on Monday, June 6th, 2011

This is article 78 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

“I’m not a happy camper!”

By Jamie Dupree

While the Republican-led House balked at the idea of deeper cuts last week in a spending bill for homeland defense, lawmakers did take a shot the budget for aviation security.

“I would like to see much more dramatic cuts in TSA,” said Rep. John Mica (R-FL), the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, who argues the Transportation Security Administration has become a classic bloated bureaucracy since being invented after the Nine Eleven attacks.

“It’s just spun out of control with 3,700 bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.,” said Mica, who pushed through a plan last week to chop out $270 million from the TSA budget.

The 219-204 vote was one of the few wins for budget hawks in the House; but it’s probably more of a commentary on the TSA and airport screening in general.

…………..  Mica says the TSA should start cutting in Washington, D.C. instead, arguing the 3,700 TSA workers in the nation’s capital are making “on average $100,000 per year.” Keep Reading

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