November 17th, 2010
By: James Fallows
Please read the note below. A US Army staff sergeant, now serving in Afghanistan, writes about the new enhanced pat-down procedure from the TSA. Summary of his very powerful message: to avoid giving gross offense to the Afghan public, and to prevent the appearance of an uncontrolled security state, the US military forbids use on Afghan civilians of the very practices the TSA is now making routine for civilian travelers at US airports. Here is what he says:
>>In reading your post and the most recent one from Mr. Goldberg about the War on Terror and pedophilia, I am disturbed. What bothers me is that I am on the verge of re-deploying from Afghanistan after a 10-month combat tour that involved having to deal with, among other things, conducting searches of local nationals when involved with security tasks within my Infantry company. At no time were we permitted or even encouraged to search children or women. In fact, this would have been considered an extreme violation of acceptable cultural practice and given the way word travels here, been a propaganda victory for the Taliban.
Yet somehow the TSA is engaged in this at home while my unit and I spent our tour unable to safeguard ourselves equally in an environment where the Taliban have often disguised themselves in burkas and used children as both spies and fighters. While I have no conflict with the necessity to safeguard civilians against terrorism or with the risks we all voluntarily assumed as Soldiers, it seems as if the bureaucracy has become so obsessed with safety that we have forgotten that war entails risks beyond those of physical combat. If we are truly at war, then we need to decide what civil liberties we truly view as negotiable and which are inviolate- otherwise the greater risk than underwear bombers at home will be losing the values that make us unique as a nation.
These people terrify us as much as we allow them to. Apparently FDR’s idea about “the only thing to fear” is lost on TSA and the current administration.<<
Everything about security involves a balance. “Perfect” security would mean complete controls on freedom, elimination of privacy, etc. Someone who is now exposed to real, daily danger in Afghanistan because of decisions about the proper balance argues that we need to be braver society-wide. Yes, soldiers accept different risks from those that are tolerable for society at large. But this is profound and powerful testimony.
August 11, 2010
Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari said Iraq’s politicians had to find a way to “fill the void” after American troops withdraw from the country at the end of next year under a bilateral security pact.
“At this point, the withdrawal (of US forces) is going well, because they are still here,” Zebari said.
“But the problem will start after 2011; the politicians must find other ways to fill the void after 2011, because the army will be fully ready in 2020.
Zebari’s remarks came as US forces were in the process of withdrawing thousands of soldiers from Iraq to meet an August 31 declaration of an end to combat operations by US troops.
By that point, Washington has committed to having 50,000 troops stationed in Iraq, from about 64,000 now.
October 29, 2009
by J. Nicholas Hoover
The NSA is building the facility to provide intelligence and warnings related to cybersecurity threats, cybersecurity support to defense and civilian agency networks, and technical assistance to the Department of Homeland Security, according to a transcript of remarks by Glenn Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, who is responsible for oversight of cyber intelligence activities in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
“Our country must continue to advance its national security efforts and that includes improvements in cybersecurity,” Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, said in a statement. “As we rely more and more on our communications networks for business, government and everyday use, we must be vigilant and provide agencies with the necessary resources to protect our country from a cyber attack.”
The data center will be built at Camp Williams, a National Guard training center 26 miles south of Salt Lake City, which was chosen for its access to cheap power, communications infrastructure, and availability of space, Gaffney said. The complex will comprise up to 1.5 million square feet of building space on 120 to 200 acres, according to the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City.
According to a budget document for the project, the 30-megawatt data center will be cooled by chilled water and capable of Tier 3, or near carrier-grade, reliability. The design calls for the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard within available resources.
The U.S. Army Corps of engineers will host a conference in Salt Lake City to provide further detail the data center building and acquisition plans. The project will require between 5,000 and 10,000 workers during construction, and the data center will eventually employ between 100 and 200 workers.
As part of its mission, NSA monitors communications “signals” for intelligence related to national security and defense. Gaffney gave assurances that the work going on at the data center will protect civil liberties. “We will accomplish this in full compliance with the U.S. Constitution and federal law and while observing strict guidelines that protect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people,” Gaffney said.
On Nov. 30, the Department of Homeland Security will formally open a new cybersecurity operations center, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, in Arlington, Va. The facility will house the National Cyber Security Center, which coordinates cybersecurity operations across government, the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications, which operates the government’s telecommunications network, and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which works with industry and government to protect networks and alert them of malicious activity.
October 30, 2009
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products has been awarded a $13 million order by U.S. Army TACOM-ARDEC for the production of MK19 grenade machine guns. Deliveries are expected to begin in June 2010 and will be completed by late 2011. The order was made under a contract initially awarded in September 2008, and brings the total contract value to date to approximately $81 million. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).
According to General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products gun systems program manager, Jeffrey Gramse, “The MK19 has been in service for over 20 years, providing lethal fire against a variety of targets. The weapon’s accuracy and versatility provides the U.S. Armed Forces options for use in both offensive and defensive operations.”
Production work will be performed at General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products’ Saco, Maine, facility using its existing workforce. Program management will be performed in Saco with support from the company’s Burlington, Vt.-based Technology Center.
The General Dynamics facility in Saco is the company’s production site for single- and multi-barrel aircraft and crew-served weapon systems. The site provides complete production capabilities, from design and development to manufacturing, testing and integration.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,300 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies.
Today, Kevin explains why Americans are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore!
Federal Brown Shirt Thugs Threaten Citizens in the Middle of the Night.
The CIA Can Threaten You with Secret Information
The U.S. Army is Seeking Experts for Concentration Camps
Barack Obama vs Adolf Hitler
Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine.
Essential Vitamin E Supplements
Plus, Kevin speaks with political insider, Dick Morris, about the scam Barack Obama is calling healthcare reform.
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August 5, 2009
Scientists have expressed safety concerns about insect repellents that contain Deet after observing the chemical’s toxic effects in mammals.
Deet has been in use for decades and is found in most of the commonly used repellents to ward off mosquitoes.
Others dismissed the concerns saying deet posed no risk when used correctly.
The study in the open access journal BioMed Central Biology shows deet works in the same way as paralysing nerve gases used in warfare.
However, experts cautioned that the findings in animals could not be translated to humans.
Deet (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) was developed by the US Army in 1946 following its experience of jungle warfare during the second world war, then registered for use by the general public in 1957.
About 200 million people use deet-based repellents every year and over 8 billion doses have been applied over the past 50 years.
Products containing deet are available in a variety of liquids, lotions and sprays that are applied to the skin to repel insects rather than kill them.
As a precaution, experts advise people to only use enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing and caution that repellent should not be applied to cuts, wounds or irritated skin.