Blog Archives

A Salute to Juan Cole…

In Cole’s blog, Informed Comment, he put out a revealing list this morning on our responses to “terrorists” based on race and ethnicity. I reprint it here:

Juan Cole

Top Ten differences between White Terrorists and Others

1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”

2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.

3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.

4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.

5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.

6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.

7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.

8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.

9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.

10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.

There. Doesn’t that make everything clearer?

800,000 Kids Caught In Immigration Limbo rescued by Obama – and he shuts down a right wing heckler:

We can be proud of the Prez!

While the DREAM Act is currently stalled because of a contentious and uncooperative Republican majority in Congress, Obama has announced a new decision from the Department of Homeland Security that will provide relief to an estimated 800,000 kids living in risk of deportation. Watch:

Any idea who is reading your cyber posts?

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees work on the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) operational watch floor where they monitor, track, and investigate cyber incidents.

The Department of Homeland Security is watching YOU (and me, too).

If you are a blogger, or play on the Social Network, the DHS is monitoring the appearance of key words to trigger investigations of terrorist or other anti government postings.

How does it work? To start with there are hundreds of words which draw DHS attention… words which I guarantee you have used at some time or another.

RT.com gives this description of how it could happen to you:

So, you’ve just come back from a beach holiday in Mexico and posted about it on your blog. Or maybe you’ve tweeted about skiing lessons? Updated your status, saying you’re stuck home with food poisoning?

All those things will tweak the DHS antennae, according to a manual published by the agency. The Analyst’s Desktop Binder, used by agency employees at their National Operations Center to identify “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities,” includes hundreds of words that set off Big Brother’s silent alarms.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. It revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organizations for comments that “reflect adversely” on the government.

And what are the words, pray tell. Here they are in a graphic format so they don’t call attention to themselves as text:

List of words used by the National Operations Center to monitor social media (taken from the DHS Analyst’s Desktop Binder)

Any words you use in there? That’s what I thought.

Big Brother is Reading You!

Color-Coded Terror Alerts To Be Dropped By Department Of Homeland Security

Oh well… I guess we are eventually going to get back to where we used to be… something to give Thanks for…
There’s more to this AP article at HuffPo:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Goodbye danger defined as yellow, orange and red. The Homeland Security Department is looking to scrap the five-tiered color-coded terror warning system in favor of a streamlined one with as few as two alerts. The post-9/11, Bush-era system has been criticized as too vague to be useful in communicating the terror threat to the public, either ignored or the butt of jokes.
One option under consideration is to go to two threat levels instead of five: elevated and imminent. When the threat level would change to imminent under the new model, government officials would be expected to be as specific as possible in describing the threat without jeopardizing national security. And an imminent threat would not last longer than a week, meaning the public wouldn’t see a consistently high and ambiguous threat level.
 

The current system was one of the Bush administration’s most visible anti-terrorism programs.

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Looks like Al Qaida is at it again…

This is not news we needed… however, it is good that we are on top of it now. If Congress has to push more changes for our protection, will Mitch McConnell and John Boehner keep things political and use their “NO!” routines?
clipped from www.herald-mail.com

Explosive found in Dubai, part of U.S. terror probe
Authorities in Dubai intercepted an explosive device bound for a Chicago-area Jewish institution aboard a cargo jet, officials disclosed Friday, triggering a worldwide alert and fears that al-Qaida was attempting to carry out fresh terror attacks.

A second package — like the first, shipped from Yemen — was discovered aboard a plane in England. It, too, was addressed to a Jewish organization in the Chicago area, although there was no immediate confirmation about its contents.

Several other cargo planes at airports along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States also were searched, and officials said no explosives were found.

“The president directed U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies and the Department of Homeland Security to take steps to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and to determine whether these threats are a part of any additional terrorist plotting,” the White House said in a statement.
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