Jan 242014
 

ATBanner

I couldn’t think of a better excuse to start over for the new year.  We had a decent offer on the domain, “theintercept.com”, so this will be the opportunity to roll out another blog exploring the hypocrisy and origins of the war on terror.  Receive updates for the upcoming movie of the same name.  The new  domain will  be www.americanterrorist.com.  Join us or die!

Mar 032013
 

The Daily Bell

‘Smart borders’: enhancing mobility and security … The EU is moving towards a more modern and efficient border management by using state-of-the-art technology. Today, the Commission proposed a ‘smart border package’ to speed-up, facilitate and reinforce border check procedures for foreigners travelling to the EU. The package consists of a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) and an Entry/Exit System (EES) that will simplify life for frequent third country travellers at the Schengen external borders and enhance EU border security. – European Commission Press Release

Dominant Social Theme: “I’m from the EU and I’m here to help.”

Free-Market Analysis: As we have mentioned numerous times, the ultimate goal of the current security regime seems to be to create a two-tier travel system in which some people – with government approved credentials – will be able to travel with relative ease while others will not.

We have in various articles catalogued US programs that allow one to be “pre-approved” and thus avoid the long lines of those who are yet, apparently, to be considered potential terrorists. Eventually, such system will turn into something more difficult, of course – as the emphasis shifts from the approved to the non-approved.

In other words, eventually those who are not approved to travel may have trouble taking advantage of modern travel conveniences such as planes, trains, buses and eventually automobiles.

This is the logical outcome of the kind of regulatory state that is now being constructed using the war on terror as a pretext. It is apparently a prelude to global (centralized) governance and must be instituted since most people don’t want to live in a single world construct and therefore need to be herded – forcefully – in that direction. Travel restrictions are a useful tool.

If such a scenario is to be realized, it must be effective not just in the US but throughout the West and perhaps worldwide. Now in a press released, we are informed the EU is taking steps to harmonize its travel program with the US’s and other powers.

For now, of course, it’s pitched as a convenience. Here’s a further excerpt from the press release:

“The use of new technologies will enable smoother and speedier border crossing for third country citizens who want to come to the EU. Our aim is to facilitate the access of foreign travellers to the EU. This will not only be in the interest of the travellers but also the European economy. It has been estimated that in 2011 alone foreign travellers made a €271 billion contribution to our economy. Modernising our systems will also lead to a higher level of security by preventing irregular border crossings and detecting those who overstay’, said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Regulation on an EU Registered Traveller Programme (RTP)

1. A Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) will allow frequent travellers from third countries to enter the EU using simplified border checks, subject to pre-screening and vetting. It is estimated that 5 million legitimate non EU-travellers per year will make use of this new program. The RTP will make use of automated border control systems (i.e. automated gates) at major border crossing points such as airports that make use of this modern technology. As a result, border checks of Registered Travellers would be much faster than nowadays.

2. Business travellers, workers on short term contracts, researchers and students, third country nationals with close family ties to EU citizens or living in regions bordering the EU are all likely to cross the borders several times a year. Making it as easy as possible for them to come to the EU would ensure that Europe remains an attractive destination and help boosting economic activity and job creation.

Regulation on an EU Entry/Exit system

1. An Entry/Exit System (EES) will record the time and place of entry and exit of third country nationals travelling to the EU. The system will calculate the length of the authorised short stay in an electronic way, replacing the current manual system, and issue an alert to national authorities when there is no exit record by the expiry time. In this way, the system will also be of assistance in addressing the issue of people overstaying their short term visa.
Continue reading »

Jan 302013
 

PressTV

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents conducted random checks at the Austin train station, showing that they are expanding their operations.

“These facilities are not necessarily protected as well,” said George Robinson with TSA about bus stations and train stations that typically do not have the same security measures as airports.

“We do impromptu visits at locations throughout the country.”

The country has more than 140,000 miles of active railways and nearly 30 million trips a year are made using bus or train.

Random security checks are voluntary, but a way to keep criminal activity from taking place on-board.

“The security at airports has increased so the bad guys are now traveling on the trains and buses,” said Robinson.

About thirty minutes before the train departed, all passengers were asked to leave their bags on the boarding platform while two different detection dogs, one for narcotics and the other for explosives, sniff the luggage. Once the train arrives, the dogs also sniff the cargo areas.

The random check takes about 10-15 minutes and happens hundreds of times a day at bus, train, and subway stations across the country. Thursday’s in Austin search went without incident. kxan.com

Continue reading »

Oct 122012
 

Global Research

Dana Gabriel

The Beyond the Border deal announced in December 2011 represents the most significant step forward in U.S.-Canada cooperation since NAFTA. Dual action plans are further transforming trade, regulatory and security relations between both countries. Over the next few years, various cross-border initiatives will be rolled out, with some beginning as pilot programs. The U.S. and Canada have laid the framework for a new border regime which is taking their partnership to the next level and pushing the continent closer to a fully integrated North America security perimeter.

The Department of Homeland Security and Canada Border Services Agency recently announced the Phase I pilot of the Entry/Exit program which is part of the Beyond the Border action plan. It will include collecting and exchanging biographic information of third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada, and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. at four selected land border ports of entry. A fact sheet stressed how this, “is an important step as both countries move towards a coordinated entry/exit system that will strengthen border and immigration programs, support law enforcement, and accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods into Canada and the United States and across our common border.” The Canadian government is also advancing plans to usebiometrics for immigration and border security that would bring them in line with the U.S. and other countries.

The perimeter security agreement called for implementing, “systematic and automated biographic information-sharing capability by 2013 and biometric information-sharing capability by 2014.” A North American biometric identification system could be used to restrict, track and trace our movements.

On October 4, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Transport Canada officialsannounced the extension of the expedited screening initiative, TSA Pre✓™ which will now include lanes for Canadian NEXUS members at 27 participating U.S. airports. Canadian Minister of State For Transport Steven Fletcher explained that, “The Government of Canada and the United States are delivering on commitments to include Canadian NEXUS members in designated TSA Pre✓™ lanes as part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan.” He went on to say, “This will mean smarter and faster air travel for Canadian NEXUS members traveling within the U.S., while maintaining a high level of aviation security.” TSA Administrator John Pistole acknowledged that, “The inclusion of Canadian NEXUS members in TSA Pre✓™ is an important step in further harmonizing the security screening process between the U.S. and Canada.” Under NEXUS, pre-screened travelers are granted expedited access across the border, by air, land or sea. As part of the perimeter security deal, both countries are expanding and integrating trusted traveler programs.
The Next-Generation pilot project which would permit U.S. agents on Canadian soil is on hold while legal issues are being resolved. The security perimeter agreement stated that both countries would, “create integrated teams in areas such as intelligence and criminal investigations, and an intelligence-led uniformed presence between ports of entry.” The plan which is a land-based version of the Shiprider program was scheduled to be deployed this summer. Allowing U.S. agents to cross the border and pursue suspects into Canada poses a threat to sovereignty and could infringe on personal privacy laws. The pilot project is part of the process of acclimating U.S. policing activities in Canada and could later be expanded.
Last month, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency established a pre-clearance initiative pilot project on import re-inspection activities for fresh meat. This is tied to the Beyond the Border deal and is aimed at streamlining meat inspections at the U.S.-Canada border. Just as the joint program was being rolled out, XL Foods in Alberta, Canada announced a massive recall of meat products due to E. coli contamination. This came on the heels of a letter from the Safe Food Coalition to the USDA citing concerns that food safety could be compromised and requesting that the border inspection pilot be halted. Some of the potential tainted meat could have been shipped to at least eight U.S. states. In a press statement, the Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter pointed out that, “the Obama Administration and the Harper Government in Canada have been plotting to eliminate the very border inspection program that tipped off authorities that there was a major problem brewing with the products originating from the XL plant.” Plans to further deregulate food safety inspections could lead to more trouble in the future.
In September, Transport Canada and the United States Coast Guard launched a pilot project that will include joint Port State Control inspections of non-Canadian and non-U.S. flagged vessels in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway. Rear Adm. Mike Parks, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District described how, “This initiative is in keeping with President Obama’s and Prime Minister Harper’s Beyond the Border Perimeter Security Initiative protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region, which provides common access to the heart of North America. Our goal is to make vessel inspections more efficient and facilitate American and Canadian business on both sides of our shared border.” The program is outlined in the Regulatory Cooperation Council action plan and establishes a, “safety and security framework for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway that will align the two countries’ regulatory requirements. This pilot project will look for efficiencies in order to reduce duplicate inspections and impediments to trade.” When completed, recommendations will be made on whether to form a permanent binational foreign vessel inspection program.
NAFTA partners, in conjunction with multinational corporations and influential think tanks are pushing for deeper North American integration. As far as the upcoming U.S. election goes, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both committed globalists and have no intentions of upholding the constitution or protecting what is left of American sovereignty. The notion of real choice is now even more of an illusion. Minus the Democrat and Republican rhetoric, it’s essentially the same policies, same agenda, and the same team. It doesn’t matter who wins the presidency, the path towards a North American Union will continue.

beyourownleader@hotmail.com

. Visit his blog at Be Your Own Leader
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Aug 272012
 
Intelhub

J.G. Vibes

For hundreds of years the establishment has used agent provocateurs as a means of discrediting protest movements that spoke out against the injustice that was being perpetrated by the ruling class.

Provocateurs are basically undercover agents, who infiltrate activist groups and try to provoke or push various members of these groups into doing something illegal that they can then immediately be arrested for.

Even if the activists aren’t arrested, the incident can then be used as a propaganda piece against dissenters everywhere.  This is how things have played out throughout the course of American history, and im sure it goes back much further than that.

In the past you could expect one of these snakes to be at protests trying to get people to throw bricks through windows, or even just doing it themselves when all else failed.  This usually supplied the pretext for violent crackdowns on protestors, and a justification for the use of excessive force.

However, in recent years with the general population becoming more discontent, these provocateurs are taking more extreme measures and hatching plots that could get innocent protestors sent away for life, or worse.

I’m talking of course about the fabricated “terror” plots that the establishment has been walking people into since at least the signing of the patriot act.  First these plots were surrounding Muslims on airplanes with fake bombs.  This trend continued for years and resulted in the prosecution of several people.
These “underwear bomber” cases, as they later came to be known, served as the excuse for the expansion of the TSA and the rollout of the radioactive naked body scanners that have become so controversial.

Since occupy wall street became a household name, the government is now turning their attention away from the phoney Muslim threat and towards the dissenters at home who have now been branded “domestic terrorists”.

This past weekend in Chicago, a group of young occupy protesters were infiltrated by a federal agent, who supplied them with all sorts of contraband and then immediately had them arrested.  This set up was nearly identical to one that took place just weeks ago, prior to the mayday protests in Ohio.

The police are putting forward a narrative about violent terrorist masterminds, when in reality it was the undercover agents themselves who put the plot into motion and provided all of the materials.

These incidents should serve as a warning to activists everywhere to keep their guard up and to avoid people who start talking about this kind of sketchy activity.  Many of you reading this probably think that this should go without saying, but it’s become apparent that it is not very difficult for police to ensnare people in these false flag set ups.

This should be an issue that is discussed regularly at activist meetings and occupy general assembly’s worldwide.

While this may seem like a topic that should be unspoken and common sense, it is still one of the most damaging tactics that has been used against dissenters thus far, both in terms of public relations and the toll taken on the lives of those who get caught up in these traps.

As we have seen many times in the past, hurting people, blowing things up and destroying property accomplishes nothing for the cause of freedom.  This kind of behavior actually provides the mainstream media with propaganda opportunities that will be used to perpetuate the myth that anyone who disagrees with authority is dangerous and violent.

As long as this myth endures the public will continue to fund and allow their own enslavement, as well as yours and mine.

From now on we should all be especially careful about the kinds of things that new friends are bringing into our houses.  If someone approaches you acting shady, or offers to give you anything illegal especially related to weapons or explosive material, you need to get yourself out of that situation as smoothly as possible and don’t accept anything that person is going to offer you.
Try to disagree with them as politely as possible if they mention anything about violence, anything that is said to an undercover cop will definitely come back up in court and be used to demonize the accused.

With two cases like this popping up in two different cities so close to each other, it is quite possible that there are undercover units in activist movements in every city, especially the occupy movement due to all of the press that it got last season.
Be careful out there, and make sure your friends and local community members are aware that there has been widespread infiltration of protest movements and that they should be highly suspicious of people who start talking openly about violent or destructive behavior.

Recent sources:

This article originally appeared at Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance
Feel free to email me at jgvibes@aotmr.com with any tips, suggestions or disagreements.

J.G. Vibes is an author, and artist — with an established record label. In addition to featuring a wide variety of activist information, his company Good Vibes Promotions hosts politically charged electronic dance music events. You can keep up with him and his new book Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, at his website www.aotmr.com and facebook page.

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Jul 272012
 
Alt-Market
Brandon Smith

The subject of revolution is a touchy one. It’s not a word that should be thrown around lightly, and when it is uttered at all, it elicits a chaotic jumble of opinions and debates from know-it-alls the world over. The “R” word has been persona non grata for quite some time in America, and until recently, was met with jeers and knee-jerk belligerence. However, let’s face it; today, the idea is not so far fetched. We have a global banking system that is feeding like a tapeworm in the stagnant guts of our economy. We suffer an election system so fraudulent BOTH sides of the political spectrum now represent a hyper-rich minority while the rest of us are simply expected to play along and enjoy the illusion of choice. We have a judicial body that has gone out of its way to whittle down our civil liberties and to marginalize our Constitution as some kind of “outdated relic”. We have an executive branch that issues special orders like monarchical edicts every month, each new order even more invasive and oppressive than the last. And, we have an establishment system that now believes it has the right to surveil the citizenry en masse and on the slightest whim without any consideration for 4th Amendment protections.

There are plenty of pessimists out there who would assert that Americans are totally oblivious to these developments. I have not found that to be true at all. Millions of people are awake to such issues, and millions more are, at the very least, angry at the state of things, though they may not fully understand the source of their distress.

Only a fool would deny that a fight is in the air…

Though the atmosphere of conflict is present, we are indeed experiencing a pause, a breath, a quiet moment before the breach, and this is a confusing time for many.

We human beings have a very odd tendency to view our own species as inherently and irrevocably violent, or at the very least terribly flawed. However, for all the negative press mankind gets for being “warlike”, if we look back at history it is much more customary to find people desperately trying to avoid conflict, not provoke it, especially if there is an element of tangible risk. Wars are usually not fought by the general citizenry, or the men who promote the pursuit of hostilities. They pay other people to fight for them. If they were ever expected to actually participate in the same battles they lust after, they would probably change their minds about the whole idea rather quickly.

Most often the only instances in which common people take up arms and charge towards combat based on principle have been revolutions. Some revolutions are based on lies, and some are based on inspiration, but all of them require men to conquer their own apathy and fear of confrontation. This is no easy task, and it sometimes takes years or decades of social adaptation and organization.

The elements of a revolution are synchronous. They are like the ingredients of a boiling tropical storm. Each vital aspect of the event must be in place, or there can be no energy or direction. That said, if an environment is left sweltering and volatile, and this electric stew is maintained long enough, eventually, a tempest will rise.

The real question is; where is the tipping point? What causes a population to tolerate or ignore certain crimes by governments, but not others? Where is the line in the sand that if crossed, turns an apprehensively meek citizen into an “enemy of the state” ready to lay down his life against the very system he was born into? The answer is an intuitive and psychological one, rather than mathematical.

Colonial Americans suffered through numerous and mounting indignities over the course of many years before taking up arms. They attempted nearly every method imaginable to counter or reason with British oppression without turning to violent means. They exhausted every avenue, legal, political, and social. They held rousing protests. They decentralized economically and countered British trade controls. They constructed brilliant legal arguments appealing to the monarchy to embrace logic. They attempted diplomatic redress after redress. It was abundantly clear that they did not want a war. When average Americans consider the revolution that gave birth to our free republic, they tend to forget the long struggle that was necessary to rally support for a declaration of liberties. No society, no matter how right in their position, and no matter how heinous the tyranny, jumps directly behind the muzzle of a gun to solve the problem. Revolution takes time…

As difficult as it is to rationally gauge the exact moment or circumstance that triggers revolt, the intensity or build up to conflict can certainly be felt. That pressure is tactile in America today, and is becoming difficult to ignore. The reasons are obvious. In the past 10 years alone elements of our government have cemented into place the “legal” framework to:

1) Detain U.S. citizens indefinitely without trial under the guise of enemy combatant status.

2) Assassinate U.S. citizens without trial and without due process under the law, including the very clear requirements of the treason clause.

3) Confiscate resources, including your private property, in the name of national security and preparedness.

4) Take control of or eliminate all communications networks including phone, radio, television, cell, internet, etc. in the name of national security.

5) Unleash a swarm of unmanned Predator Drones over our homes and towns to make mass surveillance of the public easier. All without probable cause or the protections of the 4th Amendment.

6) Capture, collate, and monitor the communications of millions of citizens without probable cause or a warrant under the FISA domestic spy bill.

7) Declare martial law without congressional oversight and embed active serving military amongst the populace in a law enforcement capacity. This includes the institution of Northcom, which is a standing military presence in the U.S. whose primary mission is to quell domestic dissent.

Most of the laws and executive orders that qualify this behavior from our government have been tested, at least in a limited capacity. These abuses of power have already galvanized a groundswell of activists across the country, and I believe that if implemented in a broader manner, will instigate revolution. Where is the line? I believe the line will be drawn with these trespasses:

1) Any action that involves the standardization of indefinite detainment or rendition against American citizens will result in rebellion. The second due process is thrown out the window and the right to a trial by jury is revoked, there is not much left for a population to do but fight back. This includes pre-emptive assassination as well. The more often enemy combatant status is applied to get around Constitutional protections, the more exponential public anger and fury will be. Black bagging people will lead to war.

2) Economic mismanagement or deliberate derailment by banks has been accomplished with the aid and collusion of government. This has been made abundantly clear by numerous instances of exposed fraud, including the Libor Scandal, in which the private Federal Reserve and agencies within our own system have openly admitted to hiding the precarious nature of our financial situation. Any further implosion of the overall economy will be blamed on this fraud by a considerable portion of the public. When people’s wallets and bellies become empty, it’s amazing how quickly they will get off their couches to solve a crisis. If they can’t find justice within the system, history has shown that they will look for justice outside of it.

3) The institution of checkpoints, invasive technology like naked body scanners, and exaggerated law enforcement presence on a wide scale, will invariably lead to revolt. Dealing with TSA thugs in an airport is one thing; people fly voluntarily, and when they do it often involves a particular level of fear and anxiety, which can be used as rationalization for extreme security measures. Dealing with blue-shirts on the streets near your home, at the bus stop, or on the highway, on the other hand, is not going to go over too well. These tactics have already been experimented with on a small scale. I don’t care how sheepish the American people appear to be in this era; start invading their personal space on a regular basis and many will eventually respond with fists instead of shrugged shoulders.

4) Predator drone fleets hovering over every square mile of the U.S. is not only completely unacceptable, it is going to escalate dissent into the realm of revolution. Any society that harbors even the slightest morsel of individualism is going to think “expedient regime change” when flying surveillance cameras are buzzing over their shoulders 24 hours a day. Set aside the fact that many of these drones will be launched weapons capable. No government has the right to categorize the whole of a citizenry as potential criminals. “When innocent until proven guilty” becomes “guilty until proven innocent”, revolutions become inevitable.

5) Martial Law is an impractical solution to any national crisis. The Founding Fathers understood this well, which is why they specifically opposed the use of standing armies, especially in peace time. Under the Constitution, the private citizenry was supposed to be the disaster reaction force, not government paid centurions. There were multiple reasons behind this position. First, military troops are not trained for and do not have the capacity to police a domestic population (especially their own) in a practical manner. They are trained to do one thing; dominate an enemy. Second, the citizens within a particular state or county would have a much better understanding of that region’s needs and complexities. A military composed of mostly unfamiliar outsiders would not know or care about how a local system operates, and would instead try to impose its own one-size-fits-all methodology. Finally, as apathetic as many people seem, they still do not like to feel bullied or subjugated. Being surrounded by armed troops at every turn with the executive granted legal authority to detain or kill without verifiable cause would make any man a little perturbed. I do not believe many in the U.S. will quietly accept a martial law scenario, regardless of the excuse given by government (terrorism, economic disaster, foreign war, etc.). A move towards military administration of domestic affairs will lead to revolution.

The internal strife of a nation is not predicated on the transitory moods of its people but the attitude of its government. Revolutions are not waged by happy men in an honorable land. True revolutions are a product of generations of discontent stemming from dishonest and vicious bureaucracy. An establishment government facing a wave of discord from the masses has, in most cases, done something to deserve it. I, like many, do not relish the idea of a new American revolt, but if I am to be honest in the face of the facts, I have to acknowledge that the potential for one within my lifetime is significant. I also can’t say that it is not necessary. Unless tomorrow brings a miraculous shift in current totalitarian trends, revolution may be all we have left…

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Jun 072012
 
LoneStarWatchdog

When will the lawlessness end with the ruling class? If we wait until the government enforces the laws, do not hold your breath waiting for something to happen. It is up to us to uphold the laws of the land and correct these injustices. Mitt Romney meeting with foreign powers in secret violate the law of the land. The former Massachusetts governor meeting in secret with foreign governments in secret to talk about policy without the consent or knowledge of Congress is against the law.

This is not the first time Mitt Romney violated the Logan act. He did it before in July 2011. He violated this law before meeting with George Soros’s Bretton Woods two conferences along with the Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. He is running for US Senator in the Lone Star State. George Soros is another robber baron wanted in many countries for his fraud and deceit. Mr. Soros also attended this annual Bilderburger Conference. I wonder what laws he has broken or talked about breaking.

The truth is any candidate that attended the Bilderburger Meeting the violated the Logan Act should be disqualified. The two people Mitt Romney and David Dewhurst who attended a meeting with George Soros who is the same man who runs Media Matters that is not only the propaganda arm for the Obama White House, they are also going after people who are exposing the real power behind the puppet leaders and stooges. I wonder if Media Matters was behind Freedom Watch being yanked off the air because Judge Andrew Napolitano was getting real close to the truth of whom the real power brokers are.

This further shows establishment Republicans Mitt Romney and David Dewhurst are no different the Obama. The same special interest funds both sides. With Mitt Romney, attending the last Bilderburger group who also rubbed shoulders with George Soros at Bretton Woods two conferences last summer. This information needs to be taken to the republican convention so the delegates know we no longer can afford either Romney or Obama another four years. We cannot afford a stooge for the bankers occupying the White House.

 Romney and Obama are no different. The only difference is their skin color. They both are for the individual mandate to buy Health insurance by the force of government. Romney singed the Health insurance Mandate in Massachusetts that Obama modeled his health care bill after.  They both are for Gun control, Romney is 2004 signed the assault weapons ban Massachusetts. They both are for banker bailouts. Both are for the Patriot act, none is interested in abolishing the TSA or rolling back their intrusive power. Romney said he would sign the NDAA just as Obama did on New Years Eve. They both are for Carbon taxes. They both are not interested in cutting spending or shrinking the size of government. The both are for less personal freedom and bigger government being more intrusive in our lives.

What was whispered in the ears at the Bilderburger meeting must be shouted from the rooftops. Romney like Obama should be disqualified from running for office since they met in secret with foreign powers violating the Logan act. This knowledge must be taken to the convention in Tampa. Romney must be exposed for what he is. He is a sell out to foreign powers outside the US.

Mitt Romney is not a conservative, He certainly is not a libertarian or a Constitutionalists. He is a Benedict Arnold incarnate. He is no different then Obama. Let us call a spade a spade, now the jig is up, the rigged game is exposed, now we have the knowledge. Now it is time to steal these false victories away from the establishment, take action to make sure Romney does not get any more free rides to Tampa.


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May 102012
 
Business Insider
Michael Kelley

A new congressional report  highlights “serious inefficiencies” in the Transportation Security Administration’s “management and deployment of screening technology” at U.S. airports.

The report, published Wednesday and titled “Airport Insecurity: TSA’s Failure to Cost Effectively Procure, Deploy and Warehouse its Screening Technologies,” states that the TSA “is wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by inefficiently deploying screening equipment and technology to commercial airports.”

The report comes days after the Electronic Privacy Information Center unearthed a November 2011 report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that “identified vulnerabilities” in the scanners, which cost up to $200,000 each and are now being used as primary screening apparatus at 45 airports.
The federal government has invested $87 million so far into a fleet of 800 scanners, and the TSA plans to buy nearly 1,000 more in the next two years.


The disclosures seem to corroborate claims made in March by blogger Jonathan Corbett that the $1 billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners are worthless. Corbett posted a video showing him smuggling a metallic object through security at two airports, and subsequently interviewed a TSA whistleblower who admitted that the scanners routinely fail to pick up prohibited items.

The embarrassment for the TSA doesn’t end there as Congress may force the TSA to test the scanners for problematic levels of radiation and multiple recent encounters have shown TSA personnel being grossly negligent and mistreating passengers.

The incidents include accusing a four-year-old girl of carrying a gun, breaking the $10,000 insulin pump of a diabetic Colorado teenager, allowing a man to fly after finding gun parts inside stuffed animals, removing an 18-month-old girl (of Middle Eastern descent) from a flight because she was on the no-fly list, allowing drugs through an LAX checkpoint in exchange for up to $2,400 and several cases in which passengers have allegedly been sexually groped during patdowns.

The TSA was created after 9/11 to “secure travelers through improved passenger and baggage screening operations” and its aviation security program received more than $5 billion in 2009.

 In January 2010 — after the failed 2009 Christmas Day underwear bomb attack over Detroit — the TSA began implementing Advanced Imaging Technology (i.e. nude body scanners).

However, the Government Accountability Office has been skeptical since 2010 that the scanners could have even detected the 80 grams of explosive powder that alleged al-Qaeda terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had in his underwear.

And the most damning allegation came from a lawyer from Michigan who was on the Christmas Day 2009 flight when he told the court at Umar’s sentencing that he witnessed Umar “being escorted around security by a man in a tan suit who spoke perfect American English and who aided Umar in boarding without a passport.” 

He concluded his five-minute statement by saying that that he is “convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. Government agent … to stage a false terrorist attack to be used to implement various government policies.”

All of this comes in the context of another al-Qaeda underwear bomb plot in which a British man of Middle Eastern origin working for Saudi Intelligence infiltrated al-Qaeda in Yemen, subsequently providing an explosive device and intel to the CIA and Saudi Arabia. FBI director Robert Mueller told Congress Wednesday that the Yemen plot demonstrates the need for the renewal of international surveillance measures.

Nevertheless, the question remains: Do domestic airports need body scanners that are powerful enough to “identify a passenger’s surgery scars” and “discern whether a woman is on her menstrual cycle or not”?

Some of the key findings from the congressional report:

The TSA is storing at least $184 million worth of security equipment in warehouses at TSA’s
Transportation Logistics Center (TLC) in Dallas, Texas

TSA’s annual costs for leasing and managing the TLC are more than $3.5 million

Of the approximately 5,700 pieces of major equipment currently warehoused, 85 percent have been stored for longer than six months (35 percent for more than a year)

Delayed deployment of technologies has resulted in a massive depreciated loss of equipment utility at an estimated cost of $23 million

Deployment inefficiencies have cost between $50 and $100 million annually

TSA knowingly purchased more Explosive Trace Detectors (ETDs) than were necessary, saying that they “purchased more than we needed in order to get a discount”

The TSA has at least $44 million worth of ETDs in storage and no plan to deploy them

The TSA knowingly provided Congressional staff inaccurate and misleading information to “conceal the agency’s continued mismanagement of warehouse operations”

Now check out the National Security Agency’s $2 billion domestic spy center being built in Utah >


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Apr 182012
 
Gawker

Unlike this woman, he actually had a semi-legitimate reason.

John E. Brennan, 50, was arrested yesterday evening and charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after stripping all the way down at a security checkpoint inside Portland International Airport.
Asked to explain his actions, Brennan, who was on his way to San Jose, California, said he “had disrobed as a form of protest against TSA Screeners who he felt were harassing him.” Police noted that he was not under the influence of an intoxicating agent at the time.

According to a police report, “Mr. Brennan’s actions caused two screening lanes to be closed and while some passengers covered their eyes and their children’s eyes and moved away from the screening area, others stepped out of the screening lanes to look, laugh and take photos of Mr. Brennan.”

He was arrested after refusing to heed repeated requests to put his clothes back on, and is currently being held on $4,000 bond.

Reached for comment, Brennan’s father said he doesn’t know what could have caused his son’s odd behavior. “This is quite a shock,” he said. “He hasn’t been under any stress that I know of. He’s never really under any stress. He works for a computer company in California. He does something with the Internet, which is just kind of mystical to me. This is quite a surprise.”
Works on the Internet, you say? Case closed.

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