Tag Archives | Homeland Security
Billions of dollars have been poured into a surveillance and information-sharing network connecting the Department of Homeland Security with state and local law enforcement, nothing resembling a domestic threat has been uncovered. The New York Times reports:
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One of the nation’s biggest domestic counterterrorism programs has failed to provide virtually any useful intelligence, according to Congressional investigators.
Their scathing report, to be released Wednesday, looked at problems in regional intelligence-gathering offices known as “fusion centers” that are financed by the Department of Homeland Security and created jointly with state and local law enforcement agencies.
The report found that the centers “forwarded intelligence of uneven quality — oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.”
More broadly, the flaws uncovered by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations raise questions about the role of the Department of Homeland Security in the nation’s fight against terrorism, and whether the department can ever live up to its original purpose of “connecting the dots” to prevent another surprise like the Sept.
Large, heavily populated urban centers all over the world have long been the favored targets of terrorists. If you see suspicious behavior, Make the Call.
Wired has an update on what the Department of Homeland Security has been busy doing to shield us from terror the past 12 months:
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Border Patrol agents smuggling weed and coke. Immigration agents forging documents and robbing drug dealers. TSA employees caught with child porn. Those are just a few of the crimes perpetrated by Department of Homeland Security employees in just the past year.
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security nearly a decade ago, the agency’s inspector general has been tasked with uncovering corruption, waste and criminality within its own ranks. The IG has had his hands full. According to a newly released DHS inspector general’s summary of its significant investigations, 318 DHS employees and contractors were arrested in 2011.
The corruption investigations have also netted contractors. At least one contractor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency was convicted of defrauding the agency of more than one million dollars.
Via the 4th Media:
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Amid a number of reports of massive and bizarre radiation readouts coming from experts, eyewitnesses, radiation facilities, and a key choice news outlet, it has now come out that one of the largest nuclear bases is currently running a ‘nuclear containment exercise’. The Minot Airforce Base exercise, running in North Dakota, reportedly involves the use of B-52 aircrafts. The news comes after a developing story arose over the potential cover-up of a nuclear situation stemming from near the border of Indiana and Michigan.
Sources from near where the elevated levels of radiation were observed say that a Department of Homeland Security ‘hazmat’ fleet has been dispatched after ‘years’ of inactivity. The story first erupted after online geiger readings showed an unprecedented radiation spike in the area, with levels reaching as high as 7.139 counts per minute (CPM) over the average of between 5 and 6. While there has been no official reported cause of the spike, there has been quite a bit of foul play regarding the information being put forth by many media outlets, the EPA, and even radiation measurement centers.
If you are thinking about tweeting about clouds, pork, exercise or even Mexico, think again. Doing so may result in a closer look by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In a story appearing earlier today on the UK’s Daily Mail website, it was reported that the DHS has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites when looking for “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.” The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.
State police cars have radioactivity detectors … Reports Amanda Cuda in the Connecticut Post:
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Mike Apatow was minding his own business Wednesday, driving to an appointment for work in Washington Depot when a state police car appeared suddenly and signaled for the Milford resident to pull over. Apatow, 42, was entering Interstate 84 in Newtown when the cruiser appeared, and he had no idea what he’d done to merit police attention. It turns out he didn’t do anything.
But earlier that day, Apatow, who’d experienced a recent spike in his blood pressure, had a nuclear stress test at Cardiology Associates of Fairfield County in Trumbull. In the test, a small amount of a radioactive material is injected into the veins and used to help track blood flow to the heart. Though the amount of radioactive material used in the test is relatively low — equal to a few X-rays or a diagnostic CT scan — it was enough to set off a radioactivity detector in the state police car.
The tiny town of Lakota, N.D., is quickly becoming a key testing ground for the legality of the use of unmanned drones by law enforcement after one of its residents became the first American citizen to be arrested with the help of a Predator surveillance drone. The bizarre case started when six cows wandered onto Rodney Brossart's 3,000 acre farm. Brossart, an alleged anti-government "sovereignist," believed he should have been able to keep the cows, so he and two family members chased police off his land with high powered rifles. After a 16-hour standoff, the Grand Forks police department SWAT team, armed with a search warrant, used an agreement they've had with Homeland Security for about three years, and called in an unmanned aerial vehicle to pinpoint Brossart's location on the ranch. The SWAT team stormed in and arrested Brossart on charges of terrorizing a sheriff, theft, criminal mischief, and other charges, according to documents.
Frequent flying businessman John Brennan set off an explosives wand at Portland International Airport Tuesday and stripped naked to show TSA screeners he was not carrying a bomb. John Brennan stripped off his clothes at the TSA security station and stood there naked, as waiting passengers and their families looked on, took photos or looked away. Brennan said as he left jail Tuesday night that removing all his clothes was not premeditated. The frequent traveler who had heard of many TSA issues while on prior business travels was just fed up as he set off the detector at PDX. "And the machine went off, and I asked what it was and he said 'nitrates' which I know from Oklahoma City is one of the explosive ingredients," said Brennan, "and I was not interested in being hassled so I took off my clothes to show them I was not carrying any explosives."