r3volution! News

Archive for the tag “dhs”

For DHS, Cybersecurity Education Begins in Kindergarten

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delivers a speech at George Washington University on January 27, 2011 (Photo: DHS)

In a blog on the Department of Homeland Security website, Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department is working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity beginning in kindergarten.

In a blog titled, “Inspiring the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals,” Napolitano said, “In addition, we are extending the scope of cyber education beyond the federal workplace through the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, involving students from kindergarten through post-graduate school.”

“At DHS, we’re working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity while fostering an environment for talented staff to grow in this field. We are building strong cybersecurity career paths within the Department, and in partnership with other government agencies,” the secretary said.

DHS also sponsors the U.S. Cyber Challenge, she said, “a program that works with academia and the private sector to identify and develop the best and brightest cyber talent to meet our nation’s growing and changing security needs.”

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) noted on its website that the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation are leading the Formal Cybersecurity Education Component.

“Their mission is to bolster formal cybersecurity education programs encompassing kindergarten through 12th grade, higher education and vocational programs, with a focus on the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for the private sector and government,” the website said.

“A digitally literate workforce that uses technology in a secure manner is imperative to the Nation’s economy and the security of our critical infrastructure,” NICE said on its website.

“Just as we teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, reading, writing and other critical subjects to all students, we also need to educate all students to use technology securely in order to prepare them for the digital world in which we live,” the website added.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/dhs-cybersecurity-education-begins-kindergarten

The SAME Unaccountable Government Agency Which Spies on ALL Americans Also Decides Who Gets ASSASSINATED by Drones

“The [Government Agency] — Now Vested With The Power To Determine The Proper ‘Disposition’ Of Terrorist Suspects — Is The SAME AGENCY That Is At The Center Of The Ubiquitous, Unaccountable Surveillance State Aimed At American Citizens.”

The Washington Post reports that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who is assassinated by drone or otherwise.

Over the pas. two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprintfor pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition matrix.”

The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.

Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaeda continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight.

***

Obama has institutionalized the highly classified practice of targeted killing, transforming ad-hoc elements into a counterterrorism infrastructure capable of sustaining a seemingly permanent war.

***

White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan is seeking to codify the administration’s approach to generating capture/kill lists, part of a broader effort to guide future administrations through the counterterrorism processes that Obama has embraced.

***

The United States now operates multiple drone programs, including acknowledged U.S. military patrols over conflict zones in Afghanistan and Libya, and classified CIA surveillance flights over Iran.

Strikes against al-Qaeda, however, are carried out under secret lethal programs involving the CIA and JSOC. The matrix was developed by the NCTC [the National Counterterrorism Center], under former director Michael Leiter, to augment those organizations’ separate but overlapping kill lists, officials said.

***

The result is a single, continually evolving database in which biographies, locations, known associates and affiliated organizations are all catalogued. So are strategies for taking targets down, including extradition requests, capture operations and drone patrols.

***

The database is meant to map out contingencies, creating an operational menu that spells out each agency’s role in case a suspect surfaces in an unexpected spot. “If he’s in Saudi Arabia, pick up with the Saudis,” the former official said. “If traveling overseas to al-Shabaab [in Somalia] we can pick him up by ship. If in Yemen, kill or have the Yemenis pick him up.”

***

The administration has also elevated the role of the NCTC, which was conceived as a clearinghouse for threat data and has no operational capability. Under Brennan, who served as its founding director, the center has emerged as a targeting hub.

As Glenn Greenwald notes:

The central role played by the NCTC in determining who should be killed – “It is the keeper of the criteria,” says one official to the Post – is, by itself, rather odious. As Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts noted in response to this story, the ACLU has long warned that the real purpose of the NCTC – despite its nominal focus on terrorism – is the “massive, secretive data collection and mining of trillions of points of data about most people in the United States”.

In particular, the NCTC operates a gigantic data-mining operation, in which all sorts of information about innocent Americans is systematically monitored, stored, and analyzed. This includes “records from law enforcement investigations, health information, employment history, travel and student records” – “literally anything the government collects would be fair game”. In other words, the NCTC – now vested with the power to determine the proper “disposition” of terrorist suspects – is the same agency that is at the center of the ubiquitous, unaccountable surveillance state aimed at American citizens.

Worse still, as the ACLU’s legislative counsel Chris Calabrese documented back in July in a must-read analysis, Obama officials very recently abolished safeguards on how this information can be used. Whereas the agency, during the Bush years, was barred from storing non-terrorist-related information about innocent Americans for more than 180 days – a limit which “meant that NCTC was dissuaded from collecting large databases filled with information on innocent Americans” – it is now free to do so. Obama officials eliminated this constraint by authorizing the NCTC “to collect and ‘continually assess’ information on innocent Americans for up to five years”.

And, as usual, this agency engages in these incredibly powerful and invasive processes with virtually no democratic accountability:

“All of this is happening with very little oversight. Controls over the NCTC are mostly internal to the DNI’s office, and important oversight bodies such as Congress and the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board aren’t notified even of ‘significant’ failures to comply with the GuidelinesFundamental legal protections are being sidestepped. For example, under the new guidelines, Privacy Act notices (legal requirements to describe how databases are used) must be completed by the agency that collected the information. This is in spite of the fact that those agencies have no idea what NCTC is actually doing with the information once it collects it.

“All of this amounts to a reboot of the Total Information Awareness Program that Americans rejected so vigorously right after 9/11.

What has been created here – permanently institutionalized – is a highly secretive executive branch agency that simultaneously engages in two functions: (1) it collects and analyzes massive amounts of surveillance data about all Americans without any judicial review let alone search warrants, and (2) creates and implements a “matrix” that determines the “disposition” of suspects, up to and including execution, without a whiff of due process or oversight. It is simultaneously a surveillance state and a secretive, unaccountable judicial body that analyzes who you are and then decrees what should be done with you, how you should be “disposed” of, beyond the reach of any minimal accountability or transparency.

Americans on U.S. Soil May Be Targeted

This might be acceptable if the U.S. government was only targeting really bad guys, and if drones were not being used inside the borders of America itself.

But drones are becoming pervasive within the U.S.  Indeed, some of the numerous drones flying over American soil – projected by the FAA to reach 30,000 drones by 2020 – are starting to carry arms.

When torture memo writer John Yoo was asked last year whether drones could kill people within the United States, he replied yes – if we were in a time of war:

(Of course, since the U.S. has declared a perpetual war – and see this–  drones will always be in fashion.)

Indeed, the military now considers the U.S. homeland to be a battlefield.  The U.S. is already allowing military operations within the United States.    Indeed, the Army is already being deployed on U.S. soil, and the military is conducting numerous training exercises on American streets. And see this.

Government officials have said that Americans can be targets in the war on terror.   Obama has authorized “targeted assassinations” against U.S. citizens.

And it is not very comforting that the U.S. government labels just about every U.S. citizen as a potential terrorists.

The U.S. Activates Skynet

In the Terminator science fiction series, computers and machines – organized by “Skynet” – track people down who threaten the status quo of the machines and then selectively assassinate them.

The powers given to the NCTC remind me of Skynet. Especially given how fast the military is advancing its robotic capabilities:

They remind others of The Matrix.

Greenwald comments on the machine-like aspect the NCTC’s operations:

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Micah Zenko, writing today about the Post article, reports:

“Recently, I spoke to a military official with extensive and wide-ranging experience in the special operations world, and who has had direct exposure to the targeted killing program. To emphasize how easy targeted killings by special operations forces or drones has become, this official flicked his hand back over and over, stating: ‘It really is like swatting flies. We can do it forever easily and you feel nothing. But how often do you really think about killing a fly?’”

That is disturbingly consistent with prior reports that the military’s term for drone victims is “bug splat”. This – this warped power and the accompanying dehumanizing mindset – is what is being institutionalized as a permanent fixture in American political life by the current president.

***

At Wired, Spencer Ackerman reacts to the Post article with an analysis entitled “President Romney Can Thank Obama for His Permanent Robotic Death List”. Here is his concluding paragraph:

“Obama did not run for president to preside over the codification of a global war fought in secret. But that’s his legacy. . . . Micah Zenko at the Council on Foreign Relations writes that Obama’s predecessors in the Bush administration ‘were actually much more conscious and thoughtful about the long-term implications of targeted killings’, because they feared the political consequences that might come when the U.S. embraces something at least superficially similar to assassination. Whoever follows Obama in the Oval Office can thank him for proving those consequences don’t meaningfully exist — as he or she reviews the backlog of names on the Disposition Matrix.”

But one thing is clear.  Warmongering is always good for the super-elite, and bad for everyone else … And itdestroys freedom and prosperity.

Given that the national security apparatus has been hijacked to serve the needs of big business and to crush dissent, it’s not far-fetched to think that information gained from drones will be used for purposes that are not necessarily in the best interests of the American people.

As Greenwald notes:

The core guarantee of western justice since the Magna Carta was codified in the US by the fifth amendment to the constitution: “No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” You simply cannot have a free society, a worthwhile political system, without that guarantee, that constraint on the ultimate abusive state power, being honored.

And yet what the Post is describing, what we have had for years, is a system of government that – without hyperbole – is the very antithesis of that liberty. It is literally impossible to imagine a more violent repudiation of the basic blueprint of the republic than the development of a secretive, totally unaccountable executive branch agency that simultaneously collects information about all citizens and then applies a “disposition matrix” to determine what punishment should be meted out. This is classic political dystopia brought to reality (despite how compelled such a conclusion is by these indisputable facts, many Americans will view such a claim as an exaggeration, paranoia, or worse because of this psychological dynamic I described here which leads many good passive westerners to believe that true oppression, by definition, is something that happens only elsewhere).

***

As the Founders all recognized, nothing vests elites with power – and profit – more than a state of war. That is why there were supposed to be substantial barriers to having them start and continue – the need for a Congressional declaration, the constitutional bar on funding the military for more than two years at a time, the prohibition on standing armies, etc. Here is how John Jay put it in Federalist No 4:

“It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it; nay, absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans. These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”

In sum, there are factions in many governments that crave a state of endless war because that is when power is least constrained and profit most abundant. What the Post is reporting is yet another significant step toward that state, and it is undoubtedly driven, at least on the part of some, by a self-interested desire to ensure the continuation of endless war and the powers and benefits it vests. So to answer Hayes’ question: the endless expansion of a kill list and the unaccountable, always-expanding powers needed to implement it does indeed represent a great success for many. Read what John Jay wrote in the above passage to see why that is, and why few, if any, political developments should be regarded as more pernicious.

Note: While it may be tempting to say that spying and assassination are part of the new “post-9/11 reality”,  widespread spying on Americans, assassination, militarization of the police, the Patriot Act, indefinite detention,  and most of the other abuses were launched or contemplated long before 9/11.

http://fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/the-same-unaccountable-government-agency-which-spies-on-all-americans-also-decides-who-gets-assassinated-by-drones/24393/

Executive Order — Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council

EXECUTIVE ORDER
– – – – – – –
ESTABLISHING THE WHITE HOUSE
HOMELAND SECURITY PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government’s use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government’s ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined. Collaboration enables the Federal Government and its partners to use resources more efficiently, build on one another’s expertise, drive innovation, engage in collective action, broaden investments to achieve shared goals, and improve performance. Partnerships enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe “we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing.” This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.
Sec. 2. White House Homeland Security Partnership Council and Steering Committee.
(a) White House Homeland Security Partnership Council. There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships — between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement — to address homeland security challenges. The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (Chair), or a designee from the National Security Staff.
(b) Council Membership.
(i) Pursuant to the nomination process established in subsection (b)(ii) of this section, the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.
(ii) The nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council shall be established by the Steering Committee. Based on those criteria, agency heads may select and present to the Steering Committee their nominee or nominees to represent them on the Council. The Steering Committee shall consider all of the nominees and decide by consensus which of the nominees shall participate on the Council. Each member agency on the Steering Committee, with the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may have at least one representative on the Council.
(c) Steering Committee. There is also established a Steering Committee, chaired by the Chair of the Council, to provide guidance to the Council and perform other functions as set forth in this order. The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative’s designee, from the following agencies:
(i) Department of State;
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
(iii) Department of Defense;
(iv) Department of Justice;
(v) Department of the Interior;
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
(vii) Department of Commerce;
(viii) Department of Labor;
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(xi) Department of Transportation;
(xii) Department of Energy;
(xiii) Department of Education;
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.
At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.
(d) Administration. The Chair or a designee shall convene meetings of the Council and Steering Committee, determine their agendas, and coordinate their work. The Council may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Council members or their designees, as appropriate.
Sec. 3. Mission and Function of the Council and Steering Committee. (a) The Council shall, consistent with guidance from the Steering Committee:
(i) advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council’s efforts;
(ii) promote homeland security priorities and opportunities for collaboration between Federal Government field offices and State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders;
(iii) advise and confer with State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and agencies interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships;
(iv) raise awareness of local partnership best practices that can support homeland security priorities;
(v) as appropriate, conduct outreach to representatives of the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement entities with relevant expertise for local homeland security partnerships, and collaborate with other Federal Government bodies; and
(vi) convene an annual meeting to exchange key findings, progress, and best practices.
(b) The Steering Committee shall:
(i) determine the scope of issue areas the Council will address and its operating protocols, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget;
(ii) establish the nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council as set forth in section 2(b)(ii) of this order;
(iii) provide guidance to the Council on the activities set forth in subsection (a) of this section; and
(iv) within 1 year of the selection of the Council members, and annually thereafter, provide a report on the work of the Council to the President through the Chair.
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of agencies participating in the Steering Committee shall assist and provide information to the Council, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to implement this order. Each agency shall bear its own expense for participating in the Council.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof;
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or
(iii) the functions of the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties, and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 26, 2012.

FBI Director: I Have to Check to See If Obama Has the Right to Kill Americans On U.S. Soil

FBI Director: I Have to Check to See If Obama Has the Right to Kill Americans On U.S. Soil

FBI — WARNING — Federal law allows citizens to reproduce, distribute or exhibit portions of copyright motion pictures, video tapes, or video disks under certain circumstances without authorization of the copyright holder. This infringement of copyright is called fair use and is allowed for purposes of criticism, news reporting, teaching and parody.

DHS graduates first Corps of Obama’s Brown Shirts – Homeland Youth

The federal government calls them FEMA Corps. But they conjure up memories of the Hitler Youth of 1930’s Germany. Regardless of their name, the Dept of Homeland Security has just graduated its first class of 231 Homeland Youth. Kids, aged 18-24 and recruited from the President’s AmeriCorp volunteers, they represent the first wave of DHS’s youth corps, designed specifically to create a full time, paid, standing army of FEMA Youth across the country.
On September 13, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security graduated its first class of FEMA Corps first-responders. While the idea of having a volunteer force of tens of thousands of volunteers scattered across the country to aid in times of natural disasters sounds great, the details and timing of this new government army is somewhat curious, if not disturbing.

DHS raising an armed army

The first problem one finds with this ‘new army’ is the fact that they are mere children. Yes, 18 is generally the legal age a person can sign a contract, join the military or be tried as an adult. But ask any parent – an 18, 20 or even a 24 year-old is still a naïve, readily-influenced kid.

The second problem with this announcement and program is its timing. Over the past two years, President Obama has signed a number of Executive Orders suspending all civil and Constitutional rights and turning over management of an America under Martial Law to FEMA. Also in that time, domestic federal agencies under DHS, including FEMA, have ordered billions of rounds of ammunition as well as the corresponding firearms. Admittedly, these new weapons and ammunition aren’t to be used in some far-off war or to fight forest fires in California, but right here on the streets of America.

Strange Armored Fighting Vehicles

Individuals around the US have begun reporting the site of strange, new, heavily-armed FEMA fighting vehicles. What would a disaster relief agency like FEMA need with 2,500 brand new GLS armored fighting vehicles? According to the agency’s own mandate, as well as President Obama’s recent Executive Order, the answer is ‘population control’ during a time of Martial Law.

One set of images made available by Rense.com shows trailer after trailer carrying these new DHS and FEMA armored fighting vehicles, complete with machine gun slots. They’re labeled with the usual backward American flag and the title, ‘Homeland Security’. Below that and the DHS logo, it also reads, ‘Immigration & Customs Enforcement’. Joining those markings, the black vehicles with white lettering also display ‘POLICE/RESCUE’ on one side and ‘Special Response Team’ on the other.

FEMA Corps

FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino gave the keynote address at the ‘Induction Ceremony’ for the inaugural class of FEMA Corps members. According to the DHS website, ‘Corps members assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.’

Serino describes what the first FEMA Corps class has accomplished so far, as well as where they’ll be going next:

‘Yesterday, we welcomed 231 energetic members into the first ever FEMA Corps class. The members just finished off their first month of training with our partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and are one step closer to working in the field on disaster response and recovery. They will now head to FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness to spend the next two weeks training in their FEMA position-specific roles. Once they complete both the CNCS and FEMA training, these 231 dedicated FEMA Corps members will be qualified to work in one of a variety of disaster related roles, ranging from Community Relations to Disaster Recovery Center support.’

A standing army

Unlike most local disaster response teams who are volunteers, training periodically and only showing up when there’s a disaster, the FEMA Corps will be a paid, full time, standing army of government youth. FEMA Deputy Administrator Sarino goes on to explain, ‘The new members, who range in age from 18-24 years old, will contribute to a dedicated, trained, and reliable disaster workforce by working full-time for ten months on federal disaster response and recovery efforts.’

In closing his announcement of the first graduating class of FEMA Corps Youth, Sarino describes his and the agency’s vision of the future, one where ‘FEMA Corps sets the foundation for a new generation of emergency managers’.

DHS arms itself

As we detailed in the August 28 Whiteout Press article ‘History of DHS Ammunition Purchases’, federal emergency management agencies are looking more and more like a military army every day.

The federal government’s procurement website actually lists DHS’ requests for bids to supply it with ammunition and military weaponry. All of the orders listed in the above article, including the orders for hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition, are publicly available at http://www.fbo.gov.

One look at a chart of DHS ammunition purchases over the past decade reveals a drastic spike in orders of bullets recently, totaling in the billions of rounds. Other charts available online show a similar drastic spike in the purchases of accompanying weaponry by the Department of Homeland Security.

What is the US federal government preparing for? And why does it feel it needs an army of brainwashed youth, millions of guns, thousands of armored fighting vehicles and literally billions of rounds of ammunition, just to provide relief to the American people during a natural disaster? Any historian will tell you it sounds more like the arming of the Hitler Youth than an army of first responders fighting forest fires and hurricanes.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/DHS_graduates_first_Corps_of_Obama%E2%80%99s_Brown_Shirts_%E2%80%93_Homeland_Youth_/22076/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: