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Posts Tagged ‘Homeland Security’

WHY IS HOMELAND SECURITY TAKING CONTROL OF LOCAL POLICE

By Joe Wolverton,hand cuffs

A key plank of the Obama administration platform seems to be the conversion of the local police into a fifth branch of the U.S. armed forces.

The means of accomplishing this goal is the doling out of millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to police departments and sheriffs’ offices around the country.

Cash-strapped local law enforcement gobbles up the federal “grants,” purchasing military-grade vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and surveillance technology that would make the National Security Agency (NSA) proud.

For a list of the largesse and an inventory of the incredible equipment it finances, we rely on local media reports.

The Journal News from Albany, New York reports:

To help local emergency preparedness capability, local governments and police departments across the state have received $80 million in grants, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

The grants help support and expand local government and police departments’ ability to respond and react to emergencies. The majority of funding is distributed through the $75 million annual state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.

According to the story, the DHS money will go to fund “Technical Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue, Bomb Squad Initiative, the Explosive Detection Canine Team Grant Program, and the Critical Infrastructure Grant Program.”

In San Juan, Texas, DHS money is buying the police department an intelligence-gathering robot. Local newspaper, The Monitor, reports:

The San Juan Police Department has added a robot named Raven to its crime fighting arsenal.

Raven was purchased in early November at a cost of $27,000, paid for with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, said San Juan police Chief Juan Gonzalez.

“Raven is a great asset to our department,” Gonzalez said, referring to the black, shin-high, tank-like robot designed to enter hard-to-reach places. “He is equipped with a set of cameras, infrared cameras and audio equipment that gives us eyes and ears in difficult situations such as a hostage situation.”

While Raven has already been used to gather intelligence in a drug raid last month, San Juan police got a chance to fully interact with the robot in the days before Thanksgiving when the department ran a series of exercises to test the capabilities of Raven and of the Law Enforcement Emergency Regional Response Team, or LEERRT — the regional SWAT team based in San Juan.

The San Juan Police Department’s website looks more like an advertisement for an elite military unit rather than for the cops from a town of less than 36,000.

Apart from armored personnel vehicles and war-worthy weapons, perhaps the most popular item purchased with DHS grant money is facial recognition software.

San Diego State University’s Police Department is the proud new owner of this powerful surveillance technology. The school’s newspaper The Daily Aztec reports:

Facial recognition technology, previously limited to soldiers in Afghanistan and FBI agents, is now being used by civilian law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego County. According to documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit focused on digital and privacy rights, the San Diego State Police Department is one of the agencies using this new technology. SDSUPD currently only has one officer in the program. However, he is the most active officer in the county, with more than 200 photos analyzed from January to October of this year.

The program to bring facial recognition technology to San Diego law enforcement is called TACIDS—short for Tactical Identification System. It’s a pilot program from the San Diego Association of Governments developed and purchased using grants from the federal government’s National Institute of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, according to The Center for Investigative Reporting.

TACIDS works through Samsung tablets and Android smartphones that were distributed to specific officers (SDSUPD uses a tablet). Most of the 25 participating agencies were given one or two devices, although the sheriff’s department received the most with 64, while the San Diego and National City police departments received 27 and 26 respectively.

Notice that the story practically brags about the fact that a college police department is going to have gear more appropriate in the battlefield than on campus.

Maybe the author of the piece in The Daily Aztec is saying more than he meant to.

Is there a chance that the Department of Homeland Security is funneling all this money and materiel to local police to prepare them to quell popular uprisings? One expert thinks that may be the case.

Jim Fitzgerald worked for eight years as a vice and narcotics squad detective in Newark, New Jersey, before joining the staff of The John Birch Society. He is point man for the conservative organization’s “Support Your Local Police” initiative.

In an interview with The New American, Fitzgerald said there is “virtually no use” for the military-grade equipment being bought by local law enforcement with DHS grant money.

“The only reason to have this equipment is to use it,” Fitzgerald said, and it is likely it would be used against local citizens who have risen up and created some sort of civil disorder.

DHS, Fitzgerald believes, may be anticipating these riots and looks to them as a justification for the militarization of the police.

“They [DHS grants] are not good, not healthy, and not constitutional,” Fitzgerald adds.

The question that remains is how long citizens will accept the arming of their local police until they rise up in resistance and, as DHS probably has orchestrated, are targets of all the tactical weaponry, ammunition, and monitoring technology.

From license plate readers to facial recognition software, from surveillance cameras to cellphone signal trackers, the Department of Homeland Security is providing police with all the gadgets, hardware, and software necessary to keep everybody under surveillance, without the targeted public ever realizing that it’s the Capitol, not the cops, that are behind the monitoring.

Local police who participate in the program will have access to a shockingly broad array of personal information of citizens. Facial recognition technology, license plate readers, and stop light camera video feeds will all be funneled to a Regional Operations Intelligence Center where FBI, police, and DHS agents can watch the live feeds.

In fairness, most police chiefs and sheriffs are unaware of any larger, more sinister DHS program to foment riot as a pretext for quelling it.

But whether these lawmen realize it or not, when they accept federal gadgets and grants, they are surrendering their independence and their citizens’ civil liberties.

Perhaps the most important argument against the federalization of local police departments is that there is not a single syllable of the Constitution authorizing any such federal participation in law enforcement. If the power isn’t granted to the federal government in the Constitution, then authority over that area remains with the states and the people as described in the Tenth Amendment.

Self-serving bureaucrats inside the U.S. government are tirelessly trying to obliterate local police forces answerable to local citizens and promote the consolidation movement as a step toward federalization of law enforcement. These proponents of regional and national police forces desire nothing less than the eradication of all local police departments and sheriffs’ offices, the surrender of state and municipal sovereignty, and the conversion of police into federal security agents sworn not to protect and to serve their neighbors, but to protect the prerogatives of politicians.

Obama Nominee For Homeland Security Under Investigation

HOMELAND12

Alejandro Mayorkas, who is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director, is accused of misusing his position to help a company have access to a visa loophole.
Reuters reports that he is under investigation for misusing his position to benefit the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Anthony Rodham. Mayorkas was nominated by Barack Obama to act as the deputy secretary for Homeland Security.
With Janet Napolitano, the last DHS secretary, gone to work in the University of California system, Mayorkas will be running the show if nominated. But this investigation raises red flags.
Mayorkas, who was born in Cuba, has ties to the Clintons going back to their days in the White House. He had gotten in trouble in the past for petitioning the Clintons to pardon a drug dealer, whose father was a Democratic Party donor.
This time, Mayorkas supposedly secured an investor visa for Anthony Rodham’s company Gulf Coast Funds Management after being denied twice.

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SAYS IT IS ILLEGAL TO PLAY MUSIC IN THE UNITED STATES

HOMELAND12 by Michael Martin under Music Vs. Dept. Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (An agency enacted through the Patriot Act) is now demanding through enforcement from The State Fire Marshalls that ALL LIVE MUSIC PLAYED IN THE UNITED STATES MUST HAVE A PERMIT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

This is an outrage to freedom and the ideals of The American people and our quickly evaporating rights.

This is just the start to the reality of what The Department of Homeland Security is going to do to the American citizens. The DHS is actually saying it is illegal to play music or operate a business where music is played for any reason without paying The Department of Homeland Security, and giving them much personal and private information. If The DHS can regulate the performance of a song where do you think they will stop? The fact is they won’t!

The Department of Homeland Security does not have the jurisdiction to enforce laws in The United States. They have purposefully and misleadingly attached themselves to The Fire Marshall to circumvent American constitutional rights and automatically give themselves jurisdiction in every business in The United States. This is enforced through the Fire Marshall’s inspection of commercial public businesses.

Please stand with me, American Citizens everywhere, and business owners in demanding that we will not allow The Department of Homeland Security in our businesses and homes. We need all US Citizens and our elected officials to stand united against the unlawful abuses of The Department of Homeland Security and this increasingly fascist government. The Patriot Act is the only reason The Department of Homeland Security has any jurisdiction. This is intentional. This is the first bold and aggressive move by them. Please stand with us! Our children and grandchildren need us!

I and my business Folly Moon (a restaurant in downtown Muncie, IN) have a hearing with The Department of Homeland Security at The Indiana State House on Friday Aug. 2nd at 10a.m.

Homeland Security Releases List of Keywords That Cheese Them Off and Put You On Their List

Let me just get this out of the way right now.
China gangs burn pork on Amtrak while San Diego SWAT busts ice pirates at Target.
Everybody say hello to the nice agents at Homeland Security who are watching us now that I’ve used at least 11 of the keywords they look for on the Internet.
It took a Freedom of Information Act request and a lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center to get it, but Homeland Security has released its supposedly complete list of words that set off bells in the top secret caves of the DHS.
Among the obvious ones like Al Qaeda, terrorism and nuclear are some oddities like agriculture, incident, smart, Metro, snow and social media.
The keywords are included in the DHS’s Analyst’s Desktop Binder, which also instructs analysts to hunt down media reports that reflect poorly on the department.
It doesn’t include the keyword list used by Obama’s gang of plumbers who troll the Net for negative stories, or the NSA, which represents a whole different set of eyes that are watching you.
I suspect the list released by DHS may be incomplete, however, given Janet Napolitano’s known contempt of conservative groups and the lack of conservative buzz words on the list. It was shortly after Obama entered office that Napolitano’s DHS issued a report lumping the Tea Party and other conservative groups with the KKK, Nazis and al Qaeda.
The release of the list just proves what conservatives have said and liberals denied for years: Big Brother is here, and he is watching.


Why Is It Necessary For The Federal Government To Turn The United States Into A Prison Camp?

There has been no society in the history of the world that has ever been 100% safe. No matter how much money the federal government spends on “homeland security”, the truth is that bad things will still happen. Our world is a very dangerous place and it is becoming increasingly unstable. The federal government could turn the entire country into one giant prison camp, but that would still not keep us safe. It is inevitable that bad stuff will happen in life. But we have a choice. We can choose to live in fear or we can choose to live as free men and women. Our forefathers intended to establish a nation where liberty and freedom would be maximized. But today we are told that we have to give up our liberties and our freedoms and our privacy for increased security. But is such a trade really worth it? Just think of the various totalitarian societies that we have seen down throughout history. Have any of them ever really thrived? Have their people been happy? Unfortunately, the U.S. federal government has decided that the entire country needs to be put on lock down. Nearly everything that we do today is watched and tracked, and personal privacy is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Many of the things that George Orwell wrote about in 1984 are becoming a reality, and that is a very frightening thing. The United States is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Sadly, we are rapidly becoming the exact opposite of that.

WHAT A MESS OF INCOMPETENCE

HOMELAND SECURITY LOSES TRACK OF NEARLY 6 MILLION IMMIGRANTS

Following Sept. 11, one would assume that the U.S. government’s broken system for tracking illegals would be better than ever.  Unfortunately, reality paints the opposite picture.  Despite being attacked by Middle Eastern terrorists whose visas had expired, the U.S. is still failing to properly examine immigrants’ status.

Unfortunately, there are millions of foreigners who initially come here legally, but do not maintain the proper immigration status.  Judicial Watch has more:

…nearly half of the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants actually entered the U.S. legally but overstayed their visa, according to a new federal report. That’s because the agency responsible for keeping the nation safe—the Department of Homeland Security—can’t keep track of immigrants who remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.

This clearly creates a huge national security issue because terrorists can plot more attacks from within. In fact, dozens of foreigners convicted of terrorism since the 2001 attacks had overstayed their visas, according to the report, which was published by the investigative arm of Congress known as the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Surprisingly, Homeland Security has yet to come up with a viable program that can adequately protect the nation.  Aside from the basic fact that the government should ensure, to the best of its ability, that immigration laws are upheld, the fact that terrorists can (and already have) exploited these security loopholes should be cause for concern.

The report offers the following recommendations: draft a “civil overstay plan,” revisit systems used to prevent terrorists from exploiting the system and “develop outcome-based performance measures,” among other proposals.

With the nation’s security at stake, Homeland Security should take heed.

Big Sis Makes Global Warming a Homeland Security Priority

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

There she goes again. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano just can’t speak in public without destroying any remaining confidence Americans have left in her agency. CNS News reports that at a conference devoted to “environmental justice”, Secretary Napolitano announced that the Department of Homeland Security would be creating the “Climate Change and Adaptation Task Force” to mitigate the affects of global warming on security and response operations. No…really.

According to CNS, Napolitano said the task force would examine: 1) “How will FEMA work with state and local partners to plan for increased flooding or wildfire or hurricane activity that is more serious than we’ve seen before?” 2) “What assistance can the Coast Guard bring to bear to assist remote villages in, for example, Alaska which already have been negatively affected by changes up in the Arctic?” 3) “How can we focus on how climate change is going to affect our rural citizenry including those who live along our boarders both northern and southern?”, and 4) how will the Coast Guard or border services react to rising water levels.

We were first warned of these coming priorities in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, released in February, which was intended to be a strategic outline for the department but instead discussed global warming, while barely mentioning the U.S. Coast Guard. Of course, these new priorities don’t mean better resources for the Coast Guard or anyone at the department. The distracting initiative is merely a stunt aimed at President Obama’s leftist base.

If it worries you that the department created in 2002 has not only lost considerable focus on securing our nation, but become an outpost for misguided political musings, you are not alone. Secretary Napolitano has time and time again proven that she fails to understand the immediate threats facing Americans and will waste breath and resources on liberal dogma rather than warning our enemies of our continued vigilance, and demonstrating it to them.

In April 2009, Napolitano’s department issued a report that warned of “right wing extremism” praying on returning veterans joining and planning harm against the nation they just finished serving. At the time, American Legion National Commander David Rehbein didn’t demand an apology, but instead correctly assessed the problem: “Trying to monitor a group of several million veterans is frankly going to cost them a lot of time and resources, they don’t have, that they could better spend monitoring already identified groups.” Exactly.

The current leadership at DHS spends so much time placating politically-correct leftists, they are guaranteed to not be using every available minute and resource afforded to them to prevent terrorism, respond to disasters and protect us from obvious Islamist plots.

But let’s pretend that global warming does indeed pose an imminent national security threat, do the goals of this “task force” even make sense? No.

First, it’s built on the faulty premise that we are facing increased hurricane activity, flooding and wildfires due to global warming. Casual or not, the numbers simply don’t add up. In fact, we’ve had two consecutive hurricane seasons that were historically quiet. But again, pretending the premise is correct, wouldn’t the department be prepared for a greater-than-average number of response activities simply based on resource potential rather than adding some political cause to it all?

This alone proves that the intent of the “task force” is to make a silly political statement; otherwise Secretary Napolitano currently has her department vastly unprepared for no valid reason.

Secondly, the Coast Guard can already offer the specific assistance to Americans with which it is mandated. If our neighbors in the Arctic region are experiencing any of the issues that liberals attach to global warming — i.e. land loss, water-levels rising, extreme temperatures — what exactly would be the Coast Guard’s new mission? They perform rescue operations, but surely Napolitano doesn’t expect water levels to rise so fast that Alaskans can’t slowly back away?

An already stretched-too-thin Coast Guard should, again, always be planning for a greater-than-average number of events, but not adding to which events they respond to based on political whim. As for their infrastructure, Coast Guard headquarters are hopefully prepared for most coastal weather activity regardless of cause, and their vessels hopefully remain floating on water, despite its rise.

President Obama has also reallocated considerable resources at NASA, from its original mission of human exploration to global warming research. And other agencies like the Departments of Energy, Commerce and the EPA are also diverting considerable taxpayer dollars to fight global warming and increase economic burdens on our country while ignoring other urgent and pressing priorities. But the misplaced focus of DHS is particularly worrisome given its critical mandate.

Secretary Napolitano dismissed the Times Square bomber as a “one-off”, which of course turned out to be false as we learned of his connection to Islamist terror networks. Napolitano also said the “system worked” after the Christmas Day attack, when we later learned the system was lucky and again, we had an attacker tied to a large Islamist network.

While belittling the Islamist threat against America, Napolitano increased intrusive security measures across the nation and then acted with shock when the public noticed the illogical disconnection. Simply put, Napolitano has said nothing to make Americans feel safer, and far too often, does the exact opposite.

DHS is currently spending considerable time assigning politically convenient causes to potential events rather than operating on known threats. It’s time for Secretary Napolitano to start demonstrating she has some basic understanding of the mission of her department, and that she is carrying out in a competent way, before Americans aren’t the only ones who recognize her misplaced priorities.

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