Archive for National Security

Mall Cops Wanted

Islamic terrorists—sorry, violent extremists—want to blow up malls around the nation and the world. What does the head of Homeland Security have to say about it?

Watch yourself around the Dunkin’ Donuts:

GLORIA BORGER, CNN: Are they safe in going to the Mall of America today, if you want to go take your kids to the Mall of America?

JEH JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I would say that if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful. And, as the statement you read indicates, there will be enhanced security there that will be apparent to people who are there.

BORGER: Federal security as well?

JOHNSON: There will be enhanced security. But public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important. And it’s the environment we’re in, frankly.

Extremely violent folks of no other particular description threaten American citizens in the course of their everyday lives on American soil, and the best he’s got is watch your ass? Does that mean the threat is genuine? In which case, why isn’t his advice to keep your head down? If you need a new bra from Victoria’s Secret, do so only under protection of covering fire.

How is this not front-page news?

DHS HEAD RECOMMENDS SHOPPING ONLY IN CAMO
Sidearm, Kevlar vest optional, says Security Czar

To paraphrase Smoky the Bear, only you can prevent random automatic weapons fire. Meanwhile, I’d give the Foot Locker and T. J. Maxx a wide berth if I were you. Use Amazon.

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Serious About Terror

The regime finally wakes up to the threats endangering the country:

They’re carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings and reject government authority.

A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security earlier this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists, and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.

Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.

The left-wing media had me scared about right-wing militias twenty years ago. Tim McVeigh, OKC—I was agog. But there was no there there. A few nuts, sure, but no unified movement.

Now I see things for what they are. When an administration swings wildly to the left, people naturally organize to swing it back. Hence the Tea Party and the 2010 midterm elections. Soccer moms and blue collar workers are hardly a reactionary movement to fear.

Leave it to CNN to serve as the regime’s propaganda voice box.

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Today’s the Day!

Have you been marking your calendar? Chinese New Year…Mardi Gras…Ash Wednesday…the Countering Violent Extremism summit!

On February 18, 2015, the White House will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris. This summit will build on the strategy the White House released in August of 2011, Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States, the first national strategy to prevent violent extremism domestically.

Mock if you like, but I have my own copy, autographed by Janet Napolitano. Cost a pretty penny on eBay.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts rely heavily on well-informed and resilient local communities. Boston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St. Paul have taken the lead in building pilot frameworks integrating a range of social service providers, including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders, with law enforcement agencies to address violent extremism as part of the broader mandate of community safety and crime prevention. The summit will highlight best practices and emerging efforts from these communities.

While it’s true Boston hasn’t had a violent extremist incident since the marathon (and 9/11 before that), I don’t think it’s due to “social service providers, including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders”. Law enforcement agencies, yes; but the rest? Social service providers didn’t nab the Tsarnaev brothers; good detective work did.

But Obama’s on a roll:

The summit will include representatives from a number of partner nations, focusing on the themes of community engagement, religious leader engagement, and the role of the private sector and tech community.

He was just golfing two days ago on the private golf course of Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle. Did he ask for some advice on counterterrorism?

Through presentations, panel discussions, and small group interactions, participants will build on local, state, and federal government; community; and international efforts to better understand, identify, and prevent the cycle of radicalization to violence at home in the United States and abroad.

Doing for national security what he did for jobs, if that doesn’t scare you. Where did this idiot get his obsession with “presentations, panel discussions, and small group interactions”? It sounds like kindergarten (in all ways).

And then there’s this:

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

“Legitimate grievances”? WTF?

Have you heard ISIS—sorry, ISIL—talk about “economic, educational and entrepreneurial development” as they saw off Christian heads or set captives afire?

We live in a dangerous world in which ayatollahs, czars, and dynasts flex their muscles with impunity. And this guy talks about legitimate grievances and panel discussions. We are so screwed.

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Circular Firing Squad

“You can’t fire me, I quit!”

Ousted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had become “very, very frustrated” in the post before President Obama sought his resignation, according to a key lawmaker, who blasted the White House for a whispering campaign that accompanied the Pentagon boss’ abrupt ouster Monday morning.

“I thank Chuck Hagel for his service, and I know that he was very, very frustrated,” Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is expected to take control of the Senate Armed Services Committee in January, said in a radio interview with KFYI.

McCain spoke following a Rose Garden press conference at which Hagel stood stiffly while Obama announced he would be stepping down. Although McCain, who served in the Senate with Hagel from 1996-2008, opposed his fellow Vietnam veteran’s appointment to defense secretary, he said administration sources were wrong to assail Hagel on his way out the door.

“Already White House people are leaking, ‘Well, he wasn’t up to the job,’” McCain said. “Well, believe me, he was up to the job. It was the job he was given, where he really was never really brought into that real tight circle inside the White House that makes all the decisions which has put us into the incredible debacle that we’re in today throughout the world.”

Leaking? Check out the news and Hagel’s reputation has been washed away in a tsunami of character assassination.

“Make no mistake, Secretary Hagel was fired,” a senior U.S. official with close knowledge of the situation told Fox News.

I have no doubt. And he’s a very lucky man. That’s what a Republican gets for serving a Marxist: two in the hat.

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Mission Accomplished

Mission:

The resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson and the launch of a top-to-bottom review of the agency Wednesday are an acknowledgment by President Obama of what he has long denied: that the force charged with protecting him is in deep turmoil and struggling to fulfill its sacred mission. [Sacred?! Vital, yes, paramount even. But sacred? ed.]

In the spring, Pierson was irate at what she considered the excessive security measures her team had planned for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which Obama hosted this summer, demanding that it dismantle extra layers of fencing and reopen closed streets, according to two agency supervisors. Supervisors who had mapped out the security plan said they were taken aback when Pierson, who worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, said: “We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting.”

Accomplished:

An unidentified man posing as a member of Congress made it into a secure area backstage at President Barack Obama’s appearance at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner in Washington Sept. 27, according to a White House official.

The man entered the backstage area during or just after Obama’s speech at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as members of Congress gathered there to have their pictures taken with the president, said the official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the incident, which has not previously been made public.

The unidentified man said he was Representative Donald Payne Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, the official said. One member of the White House staff determined that the man wasn’t Payne, and another asked him to leave, the official said. He did so without incident and wasn’t detained.

The Secret Service did its job by screening everyone who attended the dinner, including the man, said Brian Leary, an agency spokesman.

“This guy went through security, fully screened,” he said.

Neither the White House official, nor another administration official aware of the incident, could say how close the man got to the president or First Lady Michelle Obama, who was also in the vicinity. Payne’s chief of staff, LaVerne Alexander, said yesterday that she had not been informed of the incident.

Could White House security be any more Mickey Mouse? Or Goofy? Why did they just let him go?

While this doesn’t reflect well on Obama, is it really his fault? Why would he put his own and his family’s safety at risk?

Political correctness, what else?

“I respect Pierson’s service, but she hasn’t been on a protective mission in two decades,” said one supervisor who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “She doesn’t know anything about security planning in a post-9/11 world.”

Yet it is a post-9/11 world. Nice lady, I’m sure, but what else but PC explains her ascension to the top spot of the most “sacred” Secret Service? Whether Obama made the choice or not, it fits in with an outlook that instructed NASA to reach out to Muslims.

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Who Was President in 1993?

Because whoever he or she was, they got some ‘splainin’ to do:

In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.

The information the FBI gleaned back then was so specific that it helped thwart a terrorist plot against a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles, the court records reviewed by The Washington Times show.

“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem Youssef.

Mr. Curran gave the testimony in 2010 to an essentially empty courtroom, and thus it escaped notice from the media or terrorism specialists. The Times was recently alerted to the existence of the testimony while working on a broader report about al Qaeda’s origins.

Members of the Sept. 11 commission, congressional intelligence committees and terrorism analysts told The Times they are floored that the information is just now emerging publicly and that it raises questions about what else Americans might not have been told about the origins of al Qaeda and its early interest in attacking the United States.

“I think it raises a lot of questions about why that information didn’t become public and why the 9/11 Commission or the congressional intelligence committees weren’t told about it,” said former Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican, who chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2004 through 2007 when lawmakers dealt with the fallout from the 9/11 Commission’s official report.

“I do not recall the FBI advising us of a direct contact with Osama bin Laden,” Mr. [Lee] Hamilton told The Times in a recent interview.

Like Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Zelikow said he does not recall ever being told by the FBI about the 1993 source and that Mr. Curran’s disclosure appeared to involve “valuable intelligence gathered in 1993 and 1994.”

Okay, we get that the FBI kept mum on bin Laden’s US terrorist aspirations.

But why?

The 9/11 Commission report broadly outlines how, during the early 1990s, bin Laden was seeking to expand al Qaeda globally — an effort that included “building alliances extended into the United States,” and that “the Blind Sheikh, whom Bin Laden admired, was also in the network.”

But the report downplays the notion that bin Laden was actively plotting or seeking to finance any specific attacks inside the United States as far back as 1993 — two pieces of information that, according to Mr. Curran’s testimony and contemporaneous documents, the FBI’s Los Angeles field office corroborated at the time.

It’s one thing to keep the information to yourself at the time: you don’t want to blab to everybody that you have a confidential source placed next to Public Enemy No. 1. But the 9/11 Commission didn’t start its work until ten years later. Wouldn’t bin Laden’s interest in terrorism on US soil (or air) have been relevant to the story?

Whom were they trying to protect? If we could just get to the bottom of who was President of the United States in 1993—who it was who had the future murderer of nearly three thousand Americans in the palm of one hand, and his schlong in the palm of the other—I think we’d be on to something. Any help?

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The Guardian Has Only Published 1% Of Snowden’s Files

Snowden will entertain us for the rest of our lives.

The editor of the Guardian said Tuesday that his newspaper has published just 1 percent of the material it received from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and denied that the paper had placed lives or national security at risk.

Alan Rusbridger was questioned by Parliament’s home affairs committee as part of a session on counterterrorism.

I wonder if Russia will publish the other 99%?

– Aggie

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Manning Acquitted Of Aiding Enemy

Convicted of lesser charges

I bet he spends at least a decade in military prison.

A military judge Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy — the most serious charge the Army intelligence analyst faced for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables.
Manning was convicted on nearly all of the lesser charges considered by the judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, in connection with the largest breach of classified material in U.S. history.

The suspense at the court martial session was limited because Manning previously pled guilty to 10 of the 22 counts he faced. Those charges carry a potential sentence of 20 years. The aiding-the-enemy charge can lead result in a sentence of up to life in prison or event to the death penalty, but the military did not seek capital punishment in Manning’s case.

If convicted on all charges apart from aiding the enemy, Manning faced a potential sentence of up to 154 years.
Manning did not dispute the fact that he sent WikiLeaks most of the material that led to the charges against him. However, his defense argued that some of the counts were legally flawed.

The Army intelligence analyst was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq at a forward operating base where he studied threats in a section of Baghdad. He’s been in custody since.

As soon as Wednesday, the court martial is expected to move into a sentencing phase. Prosecutors are expected to call witnesses demonstrating the harm caused by Manning’s disclosures, while the defense will seek to undercut that evidence and argue for leniency.

Lind ruled in January that Manning is entitled to a sentencing credit of nearly four months as a result of what she determined was unnecessarily harsh treatment the intelligence analysts received during his almost nine-month stay at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va.

Anyone have an opinion on all of this? Given the Snowden leaks, I’m inclined to go lightly on Manning, because I’m so appalled at some of the monkey business our government engages in – but my husband disagrees with me. What do you think?

– Aggie

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Microsoft Collaborated With NSA

Helped them to read your emails

Microsoft Corp worked closely with US intelligence services to help them intercept users’ communications, including letting the National Security Agency circumvent email encryption, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

Citing top-secret documents provided by former US spy contractor Edward Snowden, the UK newspaper said Microsoft worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the NSA to ease access via Prism – an intelligence-gathering program uncovered by the Guardian last month – to cloud storage service SkyDrive.

Microsoft also helped the Prism program collect video and audio of conversations conducted via Skype, Microsoft’s online chat service, the newspaper added.

Microsoft had previously said it did not provide the NSA direct access to users’ information. On Thursday, it repeated that it provides customer data only in response to lawful government requests.

“To be clear, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product,” the company said in a statement on its website.

What say you, techies? Where is the outrage?

– Aggie

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What Part of “Shhhh!” Don’t You Get, Punk?

One of my brother’s favorite expressions was “To Err Is Human; To Forgive Is Not Library Policy”.

Remember when librarians were butch?

A librarian who fended off an FBI demand for computer records on patrons said Wednesday that secret anti-terrorism investigations strip away personal freedoms.

“Terrorists win when the fear of them induces us to destroy the rights that make us free,” said George Christian, executive director of Library Connection, a consortium of 27 libraries in the Hartford, Conn., area.

In prepared testimony for a Senate panel, Christian said his experience “should raise a big patriotic American flag of caution” about the strain that the government’s pursuit of would-be terrorists puts on civil liberties.

He said the government uses the USA Patriot Act and other laws to learn, without proper judicial oversight or any after-the-fact review, what citizens are researching in libraries.

A recent report by the Justice Department’s inspector general found 48 violations of law or rules in the FBI’s use of national security letters from 2003 through 2005. Some congressional critics want to tighten legal safeguards on the letters.

” ‘Trust us’ doesn’t cut it when it comes to the government’s power to obtain Americans’ sensitive business records without a court order and without any suspicion that they are tied to terrorism or espionage,” said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on civil rights.

Isn’t “trust us” the Obama administration’s defense against NSA snoopery?

Yeah, well, that was then. Any of you fetishists out there who fantasize about trysts with repressed librarians deep in the stacks should be warned: now they give it up without being asked.

The nation’s librarians will be recruited to help people get signed up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Up to 17,000 U.S. libraries will be part of the effort to get information and crucial computer time to the millions of uninsured Americans who need to get coverage under the law…

Libraries equipped with public computers and Internet access already serve as a bridge across the digital divide, so it made sense to get them involved, said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services…

So, Congress passes the Patriot Act—it becomes the law of the land—and the nation’s librarians practice civil disobedience. Congress passes ObamaCare—and it’s Constitutional, bitches—and the nation’s librarians go past obedience to subservience to servility to supinity (supineness, if you prefer).

May I suggest to the friendly librarian down at my local branch that you are full of [bleep]? That you are motivated by politics not principles? That the ALA is as much an organ of the state as Stasi was for East Germany?

You may love ObamaCare and hate the Patriot Act—you would not be alone—but one was enacted to save Americans from a very real threat to their lives and security, while the other rewrote the doctor-patient relationship to stick a government accountant in between. You can’t cite your purported freedom and independence only when it suits your political fancies. Or you can, but you’re full of [bleep], as noted above.

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Snowden Has Applied For Asylum In Russia

It’s getting desperate

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied for political asylum in Russia, a Russian immigration source close to the matter said on Monday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a Wikileaks activist who is traveling with Snowden handed his application to a Russian consulate in the transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport late on Sunday.

– Aggie

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Ecuador Has A Spine

Won’t be blackmailed by US

Ecuador said Thursday it is renouncing tariff benefits on hundreds of millions of dollars in trade that are up for renewal by the U.S. Congress.

The announcement by Communications Minister Fernando Alvarez comes at a moment when Ecuador faces U.S. pressure to avoid granting asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Alvarez told a news conference that the trade deal had become “a new instrument of blackmail.

“In consequence, Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably renounces said preferences.”

Alvarez said his country “does not accept threats from anybody, and does not trade in principles, or submit to mercantile interests, as important as they may be.”

Feisty. Even if you believe that Snowden is a traitor, Ecuador is very bold.

– Aggie

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