Tag Archives: DHS

The NSA (National Snooping Agency)

10 Jun

First, a little background.

The National Security Agency (NSA), preceded by the Armed Forces Security Agency, was formed in 1952 and is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the US Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting US government communications and information systems, which involves information security and cryptanalysis/cryptography.

The NSA is directed by at least a lieutenant general or vice admiral. The NSA is a key component of the US Intelligence Community, which is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The Central Security Service is a co-located agency created to coordinate intelligence activities and cooperation between the NSA and other US military cryptanalysis agencies. The Director of the NSA serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and Chief of the Central Security Service.

By law, the NSA’s intelligence gathering is limited to foreign communications, although domestic incidents such as the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy have occurred. (Source: Wikipedia. Emphases added.)

The NSA domestic warrantless surveillance controversy referred to above (AKA “Warrantless Wiretapping”) concerns surveillance of persons within the US during the collection of foreign intelligence by the NSA as part of President Bush’s war on terror.

Under this program, referred to by the Bush Administration as the “terrorist surveillance program,” part of the broader President’s Surveillance Program, the NSA was authorized by executive order to monitor, without search warrants, the phone calls, Internet activity (Web, e-mail, etc.), text messaging, and other communications involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the US, even if the other end of the communication was inside the US.

Liberal critics, however, claimed that it was an effort to attempt to silence critics of the Bush Administration. Under public pressure, the Bush Administration ceased the warrantless wiretapping program in January 2007 and returned review of surveillance to the FISA court. Subsequently, in 2008 Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which relaxed some of the original FISA court requirements.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is a US federal court, was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 and is commonly referred to as the FISA court. The FISA court oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the US by federal law enforcement agencies, primarily the FBI.

During the Obama Administration, the NSA has officially continued operating under the new FISA guidelines. However, in April 2009 officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) acknowledged that the NSA had engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications in excess of the FISA court’s authority but claimed that the acts were unintentional and had since been rectified.

Well, seemingly not, because we now have the latest Obama Administration scandal (so many to keep up with) that the NSA is data mining what’s called the “meta” data (or data of the data) of millions of Americans’ phone calls.

That means, if you are to believe your government any more at all, that they are merely collecting and storing all of our phone calls, from what number to what number and for what duration. This is supposed to give the NSA supercomputers data to crunch in looking for patterns and does not include them listening in on our phone calls. To do that, for example, they would supposedly have to identify a pattern and use it as a basis to go back to a federal judge to obtain a warrant for a wire tap to actually start monitoring the content of someone’s phone conversations.

But we have President Obama recently reassuring us that our phone calls, that is, at least their content, are not being monitored and that 100% security cannot be attained while maintaining 100% of liberties. Well, first of all, I worked in the Army as a security specialist of all sorts for over 20 years and there is no such thing as 100% security — ever. Any security system you can devise, someone with enough time, resources and determination can overcome. Maybe Obama should also have remembered Ben Franklin’s “Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.”

But, then, this is the same guy (1) who assured us Benghazi was caused by an Internet video, (2) who called the Fort Hood massacre “workplace violence,” (3) who recently addressed college students and told them to ignore anyone who said tyranny was just around the corner, (4) who didn’t know anything about anything about his DOJ targeting journalists, about his DOJ seizing hundreds of AP reporters’ phone records, or about his IRS targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status (both in the run-up to his reelection and still continuing), and (5) who seems to have to read a newspaper on a Friday afternoon to find out what’s going on in his own administration. So, do you really feel reassured by anything Obama says at this point? I know I don’t.

And, of course, there are various “congressionals” (I sometimes just lump them all together under the one heading) — from both chambers of Congress and both sides of the aisle — who are posturing and pontificating, saying there are checks and balances, that this is all necessary to protect us, that there is “congressional oversight” to ensure everything is all right, and blah, blah, blah. Well, Congress supposedly has congressional oversight of every agency of the federal government, for example, the DOJ, the IRS, the DHS, etc., etc. So, how’s that “congressional oversight” been working out for ya lately, there, John or Jane Q. Public?

In other words, we didn’t know anything about Obama’s DOJ seizing AP reporters’ records until there was a leak and then we did. We didn’t know anything about Obama’s IRS targeting conservative groups until there was a leak and then we did. We didn’t know anything about Obama’s DOJ targeting Fox News reporters until there was a leak and then we did.

And we likewise didn’t know anything about the NSA switching from pin-point fly fishing to huge dragnet fishing until there was a leak either. So much for congressional oversight discovering anything ahead of time.

In fact, Obama’s very own DNI James Clapper, the head of the whole US intel community, may also be in hot water for lying to Congress, because when testifying before Congress and asked if the NSA was collecting any info by any means on American citizens, Clapper said “no” and that if it happened at all, it would be inadvertent and unintentional. Square that as best you can with what we’ve learned recently about the NSA’s broad dragnetting of the phone records of millions of Americans. Which all begs the question: What else is there that we don’t know about — yet, from this supposedly but laughably most transparent administration in our history?

By the way, and I say this merely by way of extra reassurance, the Attorney General, you know, Eric “Withholding” Holder, can unilaterally grant such warrantless wire taps himself on an emergency basis but must have it approved by a federal court judge within 72 hours. Uhhh-huh.

So, we’re supposed to rely on the same AG who (1) either committed perjury and/or at least misled Congress in testimony (both felonies) when he said he knew nothing and would not take part in targeting or prosecuting journalists for receiving classified information , or (2) he committed fraud upon a federal court (also a felony) in falsifying an affidavit for a warrant which claimed that Fox News reporter James Rosen had violated the Espionage Act, was at least an aider and abettor, and a flight risk, to obtain access to Rosen’s (and his parents’) phone, email and other communications, then Holder subsequently claimed he had no intention to ever prosecute Rosen for such offenses in the first place.

Well, you can’t have it both ways this time, Mr. Attorney General. Either you falsely claimed before Congress not to know anything about the Rosen case, when it was subsequently shown that you had personally signed the affidavit and held at least one staff meeting on how to proceed, or you provided false information to a federal court to obtain the warrant in the first place, never intending to really investigate or prosecute, thus committing a fraud upon the court — all felonies.

Oh, and don’t forget, this is the same AG who (1) refused to prosecute a slam dunk case of voter intimidation against the Philadelphia Black Panthers but who sued Arizona for basically passing a state law which contained the same immigration policies as already contained in federal law, who (2) has sued more states over state civil and voter rights legislation than any other AG in history, who (3) ensured the underwear bomber was quickly Mirandized although he was not a citizen, who (4) at one point wanted our troops to Mirandize terrorist combatants on the battlefield, who (5) wanted to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) to NY to be tried in a federal court, with all the Constitutional protections of a citizen, until liberal members of Congress yelled NIMBY, who (6) stonewalled and stonewalled on Fast & Furious, who (7) tried to sue Boeing for wanting to build a nonunion plant in NC, who…

Well, I could go on, but I think I’ve digressed over Holder enough for you see the point that this is the same AG we’re supposed to trust will inform a federal court within 72 hours after using his unilateral power to apply an emergency wire tap on someone. Yeah, uh-huh, THAT Attorney General.

The New York Times reported in 2009 that the NSA was intercepting communications of American citizens, although the DOJ believed that the NSA had corrected its errors. Attorney General Eric “The Arrogant” Holder subsequently resumed the wiretapping according to his understanding of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, but without explaining to any federal court judge what had occurred to make any difference in once again continuing to do what DOJ and NSA had previously said they shouldn’t be doing. Huh? (And if you have to read that twice for the absurdity of it to sink in, I’ll wait.)

The NSA also reportedly uses its computing capability to analyze “transactional” data that it regularly acquires from other government agencies, which gather it under their own jurisdictional authorities. As part of this effort, the NSA now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails and Internet searches, as well as bank transfers, credit card transactions and travel and telephone records, according to current and former intelligence officials interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

And just this month, the NSA’s PRISM electronic surveillance and data mining program was revealed by the Washington Post. The extent of information to which they had access includes email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP chats such as Skype, file transfers, etc., which they can gain from direct access to servers on Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, AOL and others. Of course, Google, Facebook, etc., have since claimed they know nothing of any NSA data mining using their platforms.

But, and I know this sounds a little conspiracy theorist-y, isn’t that what an organization which has a secret, classified agreement with the government to provide access to its customers’ info would almost have to say?

The Guardian (UK) revealed the identity of the whistleblower responsible for unveiling the NSA’s massive data mining programs. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old defense consultant who has worked at the NSA for four years, says, “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.” Well, I’ll reserve judgment for now on whether Snowden did anything “wrong” or not, as he certainly has at least violated whatever classification disclosure document he signed as a pre-condition to his access to classified information and could, and perhaps should, be prosecuted for that. Most of us who have had classified security clearances, especially top secret or above, are familiar with, “I can’t tell you about it and, if I do tell you about it, I’ll have to kill you.” On the other hand, he has also rendered a public service by letting us know the nefariousness of Obama’s NSA. So, I’ll let others debate if he’s hero or traitor. Right now, all sorts of allegations are flying around of “what if” undercover operatives and techniques were compromised by Snowden’s actions, but it will take time to see if that’s really truth versus conjecture.

The Guardian also released an interview with Snowden. Here are some of the highlights:

On his decision to become a whistleblower: “When you’re in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee and because of that you see things that may be disturbing … Over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about [it]. And the more you talk about [it], the more you’re ignored. The more you’re told it’s not a problem, until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.”

On the targeting of American citizens: “NSA and [the] intelligence community in general is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible … Originally we saw that focus very narrowly tailored as foreign intelligence gathered overseas. Now, increasingly, we see that it’s happening domestically and to do that [the NSA] targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system … simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone they suspect of terrorism, they’re collecting your communications to do so.”

On why you should care about NSA’s programs: “Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.”

So, let’s recap: We have the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, modified by the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, both authorizing and governing the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), otherwise commonly known as the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, court, which oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected FOREIGN intelligence agents inside the US by federal law enforcement agencies, primarily the FBI — which , by the way, reports to none other than that AG in whom we’re all supposed to have so much “trust.”

Plus, the NSA’s originating charter declares that by law the NSA’s intelligence gathering is limited to FOREIGN communications. And all this, despite some alleged “51 percent connectivity to terrorist” formula which the intel community sometimes uses to justify domestic spying.

Maybe I’m just not too smart but with all this FOREIGN this and that, where does the NSA have any authority to massively collect DOMESTIC communications on millions and millions of Americans who haven’t done anything wrong, with no warrant, no permission, no howdy-do, no nothing, except it’s just easier for them to do it that way? To me, if you want to spy domestically, present probable cause to a judge and get a frickin’ warrant to spy on a particular person or group! You know, go through that “bothersome” Fourth Amendment stuff in our stuffy old Constitution.

What the government does, especially when it infringes on our individual rights, should not be EASY. It should be HARD. The convenience of the government should never be an excuse to abridge individual freedoms.

And you thought that CBS show Person of Interest about “the machine” was all just fiction. Welcome to Obama’s Orwellian America. Feeling Big Bothered, er, Big Brothered, enough yet?

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The World-Wide War on Terror Is Over — Cuz Obama Said So

26 May

[Editorial advisory: compound, complex sentences in use. Just pay attention to the punctuation and try not to get a headache. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.]

While Slick Willy Clinton, the super word parser, engaged us in what the meaning of “is” is, what Obama, The One, says is, surely IS — er, right? Well, maybe not.

Obama made a speech the other day about the use of drones (one might say he droned on and on about drones) and our (really, his — because if it’s successful, it’s always his — me, me, my, my, I, I) success in diminishing the Muslim terrorist threat.

Gone, he, our most “brilliant” president ever, said, is the world-wide threat, hence no need for that nasty and offensive old global war on terror that the definitely “un-brilliant” Bush, avid reader, holder of degrees from both Yale AND Haah-vahd and often “teleprompter-less” and even note-less when interacting with the media, talked about so long ago now.

But, now, some terror analysts — you know the guys and gals who get PAID to KNOW what they’re talking about, have come out and basically said, “Not so fast, Mr. Prez-Boy.” Here’s a link to that info: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/24/experts-contradict-obama-islamic-terror-threat.

Well, here’s my simple take on Obama’s take on things terroristic: Oopsie daisy!

While we have Big Sis Incompetano over at DHS saying, “If you see something, say something,” but really meaning if you see some vet, conservative, former law enforcement, or, Heaven forfend, TEA Partier, then say something, we have Obumbles trying to lull us into letting our guard down about the Muslim terrorist (yes, I used both words together) threat.

It’s what results in the liberal brain when plain language is contorted like a Chinese acrobat into “overseas contingencies” (except when they are here at home) being committed by “man-made disasterers,” instead of simply saying acts of terror being committed by Muslim terrorists.

And it’s what results when you have an ideologically, instead of a practically, driven president who wants part of his “legacy” to be that he not only killed bin Laden (SEAL Team 6, but me, me, my, my, I, I) but that he also defeated al-Qaeda with his drones. And forget the fact that we may be killing some with drones, along with civilians as collateral damage, but we’re not capturing any from whom to get intel, the reason for which is also more ideological than practical, because the captured would have to be sent to — where? — Guantanamo, which Obama so wants to close but can’t.

One fact alone belies Obama’s lies: When he took office, al-Qaeda and its affiliates were active in NINE countries, but now it’s THIRTY and still growing. The Muslim extremists may be barbarians, but they ain’t stupid, and they know when there’s a wuss instead of a real warrior in the White House.

And, regarding the Muslim hacking murder of a British soldier recently, on the streets of London, in the daytime, and the British PM seeming to be confused about what call it, much less what to do about it, and actually saying there’s nothing in Islam which would have caused the horrific act (he and Obama must talk often), here’s my two cents’ worth on that, too.

First, read the freakin’ Koran! It clearly says anyone who is not Muslim is an Infidel and it is the holy duty of Muslims to trick and/or subjugate by force all Infidels and to KILL those who will not convert to Islam. That seems pretty clear to me. So much for the “religion of peace.”

So, let me give you dolt-headed, too-PC politicians, both here in the US and abroad, a good, simple, no-fail litmus test for whether some horrific act is a Muslim terrorist attack or not. If the perp(s) shout Allahu Akbar while they’re committing their crime, it’s a frickin’ MUSLIM TERRORIST ATTACK! (President Obama — Fort Hood — crazed Muslim major — take note.)

And, if you can’t understand that, you’re too stupid to hold public office, much less get paid for it, and as comedian Bill Engvall says, “H-e-e-e-r-e’s your sign.”

Editorial Addendum: And then, there are these headlines from The World Tribune — “Window on the Real World,” reflecting recent dates for each story:

Al Qaida resurfaces in Yemen, captures coastal areas despite U.S. drone attacks
By WorldTribune.com on May 26, 2013 01:42 pm

Hizbullah-trained Syrian militias expanding reach with incentives, Iran funding
By WorldTribune.com on May 26, 2013 01:38 pm

The threat of sectarian war in Iraq looms larger
By WorldTribune.com on May 26, 2013 01:32 pm

Sure doesn’t sound like the world-wide war on terror is over to me. But then, I’m not someone with an agenda to run, a “narrative” to maintain and a legacy to save — like Obama.

Media Coalition Complaint Letter to DOJ

15 May

Within virtually hours of the Obama/Holder DOJ’s overreaching and probably illegal confiscation of communications of about one hundred AP staffers (some of which may include privileged attorney-client information), when only about five AP-ers were working on any story the Obama Administration wanted to either monitor or quash, the Media Coalition sent a lengthy letter to AG Eric “Stonewalling” Holder and his Deputy AG, on whom Holder laid the blame right out of the gate, indicating that neither he, Holder, nor Obama, of course, knew anything at all about, well, almost anything to do with the Associated Press.

(There seems to be a larger and larger boatload of things Holder and Obama don’t know anything about, refuting the meme about how smart each of them allegedly is and furthering instead the Hogan’s Heroes Sargent Shultz characterization — “I see n-o-t-h-i-n-g, I know n-o-t-h-i-n-g.”)

Anyway, see how fast the media can react when they really want to?

Here’s a quote from the Media Coalition letter: “The scope of this action calls into question the very integrity of Department of Justice policies toward the press and its ability to balance, on its own, its police powers against the First Amendment rights of the newsmedia and the public’s interest in reporting on all manner of government conduct, including matters touching on national security…” (emphasis added)

To which I say: This begs the question, where the hell have you all been on other matters of national security, like all the leaks of classified information to the press by the Obama Amateur Hour Administration, the Fast & Furious fiasco, the Benghazi debacle, the Extortion 17 chopper shoot down and killing of SEAL Team 6 members, the Obama Administration and especially the DHS being intentionally infiltrated with Muslims, the DHS buying almost a trillion rounds of ammunition and 2,700 MRAP armored vehicles, with gun ports, no less?

I guess it takes your own ox being gored before you awaken from your liberal lapdog, sycophantic stupor and start calling out the Obama Administration on all of its abuses of power and authority. Well, welcome, all of you Johnny-come-latelys. Better late than never, but it has taken most of you almost six years (since 2008) to wake up.

So, now that you’ve finally been roused, start once again being the media watchdogs of the government for the People, instead of the mere propagandist lapdogs that you’ve been for Obama since 2008.

For any of you who want to read all of the Media Coalition’s DOJ letter and see all of the signatories thereto (many of whom are hypocrites for not doing their jobs up to now), here is the link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/141488656/Media-coalition-letter-to-Attorney-General-Eric-Holder.

What’s Our (Maybe Not So) “Friendly” Department of Homeland Security Up To?

12 Mar

Prefatory self-disclosure: First, I think an armed citizenry is the best homeland security, not some large and now overgrown and overly bureaucratic government entity. Second, I don’t much trust the Obama Administration. After all, what president has lied, or changed his “story,” more times on camera and in more videos than Barack Obama? Entire carefully researched and heavily footnoted and annotated books have been written about our Liar-in-Chief’s liberal liberties with the truth. And then, there’s Fast & Furious, as well as Benghazi-gate, and all the Administration liars involved in those, just not to be too picky.

But, I especially don’t trust Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under the mismanagement of Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano, or as I like to call her because of her ineptitude, Incompetano. Anyone who, for liberal, demagogic and idealistic reasons, contorts the English language into calling terrorist acts “man-made disasters,” just to avoid calling them what they are, is someone not to be trusted. It’s almost like she, AG Holder and Obama have a gag reflex about using the term “terrorist.” But, there are other reasons.

It was Big Sis Incompetano who, I think back in April 2010, published to all law enforcement (LE) agencies across the country a memo highlighting that military veterans (like me), previous LE personnel (like me) and conservatives who disagreed with Obama’s policies (like me) should be considered potential domestic terrorists. Rather than make me feel paranoid (because it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you, you know), that made me feel “special,” as if I had somehow been included on Oblame-o’s “list.” (And I thought I might make Obama’s list just with all my right-wing blogging. Sigh.) Perhaps not as special as Dana Carvey’s Church Lady’s, “Well, isn’t that speee-SHUL?,” but I felt special to be a triple category “suspect” nonetheless.

Then, there were all those rumors, conspiracy theories, or possibly factual comments about FEMA building “camps” in remote locations and what such camps might be for (internment, re-education, national work programs, gulags?), and then about FEMA buying thousands of stackable coffins, one theory being that would be so much neater than mass grave pits in the ground, which is what the Nazis sometimes used in Germany and Pol Pot used in Cambodia.

But, back specifically to the DHS. It was Incompetano who said, before the sequester even took effect, that thousands of already arrested illegal aliens had to be released back onto American community streets because the sequester meant she wouldn’t have enough money for beds for them, yet she had time, and there were evidently enough funds available, for her to sneak a $50M contract under the wire just before the sequester for 5,000 TSA employees to get new uniforms, which strangely, given TSA’s job to provide security services in our nation’s airports, included helmets and protective gear. Hmmm, helmets and protective gear to do pat downs and check carry-ons of air travelers? As my granddad used to say, with a twinkle in his eye, “That’s a puzzlement.”

It was also Big Sis who, since the sequester began, said that major airports were seeing lines “…150 to 200 percent as long as we would normally expect” as a result of the federal spending “cuts” (read: slow down in federal spending) that went into force with the sequester. However, when contacted by The Daily Telegraph, spokespeople for both O’Hare and LAX, as well as representatives from the travel industry in general, denied that airports had been hit by delays. “We haven’t had any slowdowns at all,” said Marshall Lowe, a spokesman for LAX. Mr. Lowe said that he had been on duty over the weekend and received no reports of unusual security delays at all. So, Big Sis is either lying or is, as I’ve nicknamed her, Incompetano, or both.

In more nefarious DHS news, a TEA Party report recently described how the DHS has redacted portions of government documents dealing with its massive purchases of ammo and firearms from Remington Arms Company, Inc., in sole-source, no-bid contracts (so much for liberal complaints about no-bid contracts for Big Oil). Normally, government agencies are only allowed to redact documents which are classified, which these contracts weren’t, and/or those dealing with national security, so what is DHS trying to hide from the American people?

According to one estimate, just since last year, the DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion (that’s with a B) bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm, including many hollow point rounds, which are not, as alleged by the DHS, used for “target practice” but which are highly lethal kill rounds which expand inside the body, for those of you who don’t know.

Why does the DHS need millions of rounds of hollow point ammo and about 7,000 also recently purchased and fully automatic rifles, which they describe as “personal defense weapons”? Hey, I would also like a full auto, “personal defense weapon,” please — but liberals are trying to restrict the guns I already have and severely hamper my ability to buy any more of my choice. [But more about the liberal assault on the Second Amendment elsewhere, in another article I’m working on, called “Tyranny’s Creeping Incrementalism,” to be published soon.]

Thus, the DHS has amassed enough firepower to shoot every, single American at least five times and/or wage a 30-year war. Sarah Palin theorized it was in preparation for civil unrest over Obama’s policies and she was, as usual, excoriated by the curiously incurious mainstream media (AKA liberal, lapdog media), who seem to prefer simply accepting whatever lame excuses or explanations the DHS or other Obama Administration officials feed them, instead of really trying to find out if the DHS has something to hide.

And why is the DHS ordering and sponsoring that other LE agencies also buy so-called “no hesitation” targets of everyday, armed Americans for practice in not hesitating to shoot such people? It’s been confirmed that Law Enforcement in the DHS requested these “no hesitation” targets, which depict images of a pregnant woman, children and an elderly man holding guns, and that they are meant to train law enforcement to shoot at civilians holding firearms, when normally they would hesitate to shoot to kill pregnant women, children and elderly people.

It’s been confirmed and documented the DHS has ordered $2 million worth of these targets. Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. (letargets.com), got the $2M contract and manufactures targets for the DHS, Justice Department, and apparently thousands of other law enforcement agencies.

The product description on LET’s website about these targets reads: “[H]elp the transition for officers who are faced with these highly unusual targets for the first time…[includes] pregnant woman threat… older man with shotgun… older man in home with shotgun…older woman with gun… young school aged girl…young mother on playground… [and finally]…little boy with real gun.”

Not really being all that much of a conspiracy theorist, I just provide you with this information and let you draw your own conclusions, but it does seem strange to me, to say the least. In all my years in military law enforcement, although we had live-fire training in mockups of buildings with both friendly and unfriendly pop-up targets, to train us to quickly ID “friendlies” from the bad guys, we never trained on any targets like these.

And there’s also this, from Liberty News:

“Recently uncovered government documents reveal that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) unmanned Predator B drone fleet has been customize designed to identify civilians carrying guns and track cell phone signals.

“The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) obtained a partially redacted copy of Homeland Security’s drone requirements through a Freedom of Information Act request; CNET uncovered an unredacted copy.

“Homeland Security design requirements specify that its Predator B drones ‘…shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not’ and must be equipped with ‘interception’ systems capable of reading cell phone signals (emphasis added).

“The first known domestic use of a drone to arrest a U.S. citizen occurred last year in the small town of Lakota, North Dakota when rancher Rodney Brossart was arrested for refusing to return six of his neighbor’s cows that had wandered on to his property. Critics say the fact that domestic drones are being used in such minor matters raises serious concerns about civil liberties and government overreach.

“If that’s not bad enough, add a little execution from the sky without due process: Attorney General Eric Holder can imagine a scenario in which it would be constitutional to carry out a drone strike against an American on American soil. He wrote in a letter to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY): ‘It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.’ Holder was replying in a letter to Senator Paul’s question in an earlier letter about whether Obama ‘…has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a US citizen on US soil, and without trial.’

“Just to summarize: the DHS is basically performing stop and frisk searches from the sky, denying citizens their Fourth Amendment rights, and the main legal advisor to the President of the United States is telling him he can, in “extraordinary circumstances,” rain down fiery death on citizens, violating their Fifth Amendment rights.

“Meanwhile, the same people are waging a full scale war on the Second Amendment, because only the government can be trusted with ‘weapons of war.’ And the people (liberals in and out of the media) cheering them on are the same people who called Bush a dictator.”

That’s the end of the information from Liberty News but, by the way and just for a little comfort, Obama’s AG, Eric “Stonewaller” Holder, even more recently further “clarified” his position in an additional statement in which he told Congress that the federal government has “no intention” of using drones to strike at targets within the US, saying it’s easier to capture people here so that tool is not as important.

Well, Mr. Attorney General, at least you seem to have practical, even if not constitutional, reasons for not killing Americans with drone strikes, without due process, here at home, and at least have “no intention,” at least for now, of doing so. So, that’s, uh, supposed to be reassuring?

It was a little more encouraging when, just last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), after one-and-a-half months of asking and an almost 13-hour filibuster, which no doubt embarrassed the White House, finally got Holdout Holder to send him a letter saying Obama as president didn’t have the right to drone strike unarmed Americans on American soil. Holder’s terse letter said: “”It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”

Remember, folks, arrogant attitude and Columbia law degree notwithstanding (if not questionable), Holder is the same guy who at one point wanted our soldiers to Mirandize captured, enemy terrorist combatants on the battlefield (showing he knows nothing about battlefield conditions), who had the Underwear Bomber Mirandized and told all his “rights” under our Constitution (even though the bomber was a terrorist and not an American citizen), and who also wanted to bring Guantanamo terrorist detainees to the US to be tried like regular criminals in federal court, instead of being tried by military tribunals at Gitmo (until too many liberal Democrats yelled NIMBY).

Oh, but also last week, we learned that Team Obama-Holder sneaked a captured key terrorist, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, into the US, not to Guantanamo to be questioned and tried by a military tribunal but to New York City to be tried as a common criminal in federal court, with Miranda rights and all the protections of an American citizen. I’m now waiting for those same liberal New York Democrats in Congress to cry foul at this being done, this time behind their backs and without their chance to even yell NIMBY once again. I sometimes wonder if Holder’s clock even goes all the way around the dial.

Meanwhile, back at the ole DHS ranch: The DHS has also purchased 2,700 Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles (MRAP). These are massive, armored trucks. What do you think the DHS needs these for? Most views of them I’ve seen don’t show them very well, but these armored monsters have gun ports as well. Hmmm, armored vehicles, with gun ports, just for crowd control? My 25-plus years in the military, in law enforcement and specializing in security, tells me — no, they’re for intimidation, for suppression, just like Hungary’s or China’s tanks in the streets were during their own popular uprisings against tyrannical government — and I think that may be what the DHS is gearing up for.

What do you think? Feeling safer now?

Obama’s Sequester, Obama’s Economy, and Then Some Seriously Scary Stuff

5 Mar

The New York Times just ran an article talking about the “painful and stupid” sequestration. If the NYT is going to talk about the “painful and stupid” sequestration, maybe they should also talk more about whose “painful and stupid” sequestration it is, i.e., President Obama’s.

It was his idea in the first place and he’s the one who signed it into law to give him leverage over Republicans in the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, which worked.

After campaigning for reelection on wanting $800B in taxes (which, unlike Team Obama, is what I call them, instead of using the euphemism “revenues”), the Republicans gave Obama that increase in taxes right after he won reelection. But then, in typical Obama fashion, he moved the goal posts again and wanted almost double that, or about $1.3T in taxes, and offered no substantive cuts in federal spending in return.

Obama tried to use the threat of the sequester a second time to extract even more taxes from Republicans, while still offering no cuts in return, and went on another campaign tour (because campaigning is his strong suit, not governing), acting like Chicken Little and predicting gloom and doom, in addition to having his minions (Lying Ray LaHood from Transportation, Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano from Homeland Security and Arne Duncan-the-Dunce from Education) all come out with dire predictions of the Armageddon that sequester would bring, all of whom since have had to either recant or severely modify their initial comments after some fact checkers did their work and revealed teachers and first responders weren’t going to be laid off, school children would not be running naked in the streets with nothing to eat, our borders would be no more porous than they already are, Y2K never happened, the Mayans were wrong, and the sky was not really falling.

And, of course, the most egregious thing which happened, allegedly in response to or in anticipation of the sequester, was the release of hundreds, if not thousands (hard to get straight info from the DHS), of already locked up illegal aliens back onto the streets of America — and this was even before the sequester went into effect.

It’s alleged by Team Obama that some career, unknown and faceless, mid-level manager at ICE ordered this and then almost immediately either resigned or retired. As Dana Carvey’s Church Lady would say, “How con-veeeen-ient.” Besides, if that’s the case, instead of the White House ordering it as another scare tactic about sequester, then take your pick between (a) the Obama Administration really being behind it to scare people over the sequester and lying to the American people about how it happened (a la Fast & Furious and Benghazi), or (b) the Obama Admin not knowing what one of its major agencies was doing, and possibly illegally, until after it happened. So, lying to us or just incompetent? Choose one…..or, in the case of the Obama Amateur Hour Administration, possibly both.

But it’s also odd, don’t you think, that DHS’s Janet Incompetano (I just changed her last name to reflect her incompetence) claimed she had insufficient funds, or would have had insufficient funds if ICE hadn’t jumped the gun, for enough beds for illegal aliens at the same time she ensured a $50M contract for 50,000 new TSA uniforms made it under the wire before the sequester took effect? That’s $1,000 per person for uniforms for our airport shakedown artists, while when I served in our military, I had to buy my own uniforms. Just sayin’.

Obama, recently doing what’s called “walking it back” (read: politi-speak for telling something closer to the truth only when you must), has since admitted that the sequester was not the fearsome fiscal cliff and scary scenario he and his handmaidens and henchmen had tried to frighten the American people with but was more like a “tumble.” I would suggest, Mr. President, that sequestration is not a “tumble” but instead your “stumble.” You used it first as a cudgel to get your way on the 2011 debt ceiling, you never thought it would really happen, yet you tried to use it again to get your way on more taxes — and the first time it worked but the second time it didn’t.

And, for once, and to their credit, Republicans didn’t blink and so here we are. I guess, dealing with a president who would rather play political poker and bluff to get his way on taxing the 1% while millions of Americans are out of work and our economy is still suffering, instead of leading and meeting with congressional leaders to mange the sequester of his own making, the Republicans realized Obama was overplaying his hand and called his bluff, deciding to at least take what they could get, which is merely an $85B (a near rounding error compared to overall federal spending) slow down in government spending and not even a real cut at all — and it’s spread out over months and years, to boot.

Oh, but, again unlike Team Obama, in all fairness, I misspoke. Obama did meet with congressional leaders over the sequester — but it was not until after he finished his latest campaign tour and on the day on which it was to go into effect. Much too little, much too late, Mr. President. Leading from behind obviously makes one trip over one’s own feet sometimes.

Anyone who doesn’t see what’s really going on is simply not paying sufficient attention, or they’re just drinking too much liberal Kool-Aid. Now, five years into a presidency for which he campaigned in 20o8 that he knew how to fix the economy and, after being elected, said he would do so by the middle of his first term or be a one-termer, and after blaming Bush for everything under the sun, especially the economy, time and time again, it is now not only Obama’s sequester but also Obama’s economy. There is a point of diminishing returns, when it cannot plausibly still be all Bush’s fault any more. Obama has to finally, and for once, take some responsibility for his own bad choices — and there have been many, from the stimulus which didn’t stimulate, to Solyndra, et al., to the sequester.

And, make no mistake, some of the really scary stuff is that what you have going on now is a president more willing to continue to play politics rather than join in the hard work of fixing a broken immigration system, reforming a burdensome and loop hole-ridden tax code, helping create jobs for a flagging economy, or cutting federal spending or its ever-epanding size and who, seeing some splits among the House Republicans, is more hellbent on being a demagogue and destroying the Republicans’ chances in the 2014 mid-term elections than he is on fixing the economy, or anything else, for the benefit of the American people.

Obama is a lousy president, has never been a president for all the people and is as worse about cronyism as any in modern times, but he is sometimes a masterful politician. And if he can split the Republicans enough to retain the Senate majority and regain the House majority, he will have what he had during his first two years in office — him in the White House and Democrats in charge of both chambers of Congress. Liberals will once again “own” the federal government and the most liberal (and unaccountable) president in our history will be even more unleashed and unfettered than ever, not having to worry about reelection again, having that “flexibility” he whispered to Medvedev to tell Putin about, and if ObamaCare is the hallmark of him and Democrats being totally in charge for his first two years, one can only wonder — and worry — what else might be forthcoming after 2014 in his last two years.

And THAT, my friends, not the sequester, is the seriously scary stuff you should really be worried about.

Well, that and whatever Janet “Big Sis” Incompetano’s DHS is up to — but that’s for another article. Stay tuned.

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