The White House wasn’t going to let minor details like the fact that Congress hasn’t appropriated any money to fund construction of President Trump’s promised border wall stop it from building eight prototypes in Otay Mesa, near San Diego. And with few expecting the Democrats to accept the White House’s demands relating to a tentative deal that Trump struck with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ last month to avert a shutdown and secure some border wall funding in exchange for enshrining DACA, it’s possible that the Trump administration will never secure the funds, given rumors that a handful of Republican lawmakers privately oppose it. Nevertheless, construction on the prototypes, which were selected by the Department of Homeland Security back in August, began two weeks ago. And now, DHS has released the first images of the partly finished designs. Beginning preps are underway at #OtayMesa for the Wall prototypes. pic.twitter.com/77YVMUFAk9 — CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) September 27, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 12, 2017.
Two Federal lawsuits have been filed against the Federal government and officers and agents of the Department of Homeland Security and its component agencies for violating air travelers rights by demanding that they identity themselves and/or provide evidence of their identities. The complaint in Amadei v. Duke was filed today by the ACLU in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (the district in which New York’s Kennedy Airport is located) on behalf of nine of the passengers on Delta Airlines Flight 1583 from SFO to JFK on February 22, 2017. As was reported at the time of the incident, visibly-armed U. S. Customs and Border Protection Officers blocked the door of the plane when it arrived at JFK. Passengers were told they wouldn’t be allowed to leave unless and until they showed the officers their ‘documents’, which they were told meant ‘government-issued ID’. CBP officials and spokespeople helped make the legal case against themselves and the agency by telling reporters that this was a ‘routine’ practice consistent with agency policy, not an isolated incident or one that could be blamed on mistake, individual ‘bad apples’, or front-line officers.
Two and a half months after President Donald Trump picked John Kelly to replace Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff, Trump has reportedly settled on Kelly’s replacement at DHS. And unsurprisingly, it’s the candidate that Kelly has been pulling for, Kirstjen Nielsen, who served as his deputy when he ran the department. A handful of media outlets reported Wednesday afternoon that Trump would soon announce that he’s selected Nielsen, who will then need to be confirmed by the Senate. Politico reports that Nielsen served as White House chief of staff John Kelly’s top aide during his time as DHS secretary, and moved with him to the West Wing as his principal deputy chief of staff when he decamped for the White House in July.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 11, 2017.
There’s something deeply wrong at Creech Air Force Base, the notorious home of America’s drone program, where pilots remotely order US Reaper and Predator drones to unleash destructive missile strikes on unsuspecting villagers in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other war zones. Less than a week after the Department of Homeland Security advised all federal agencies using anti-virus software created by Kaspersky Labs to remove the programs from their systems immediately, Ars Technica reports that two weeks ago the Defense Information Systems Agency detected mysterious spyware embedded in the drone ‘cockpits’ – the control stations that pilots use to control the deadly machines.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.
A major international police operation to bust child predators involved police sharing child pornography with over a million unsuspecting online subscribers for a year after investigators took control of the dark web’s largest child abuse forum. Though hundreds of pedophiles were arrested after the site was shut down, the police sting involved undercover officers sharing extremely disturbing content and encouraging followers to engage in sexual acts with children. But police say it was worth it. A new report reveals that Australian police were running the largest pedophile and child pornography forum on the internet for a year as part of a joint initiative between Australian, European, and Canadian police as well as the US Department of Homeland Security to track down the site’s administrators and child porn producers. Over the weekend the Norwegian newspaper VG published its bombshell investigation which confirmed that between October 2016 and September 2017 a special police task force based in Queensland, Australia was able to quietly hack the site “Childs Play” which had reached over a million registered accounts and had thousands of active users.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 8, 2017.
Trump’s border wall moved one step closer to becoming reality, but will Americans be forced to give up privacy in the name of security? The House Homeland Security Committee has approved a border security bill which includes $10 billion for Trump’s proposed border wall. Supporters of The Border Security for America Act say it is necessary to stop illegal immigration and violence along the U. S.-Mexico border. However, opponents of the bill are concerned about provisions for drones, DNA collection, social media monitoring, and license plate scanning along the border. On Wednesday the committee debated the impact the border wall would have on border communities and the local environment, but ultimately the bill was passed with a vote of 18-12. Originally introduced by committee Chairman Michael McCaul, the bill now heads to the House floor for a full debate. The bill currently has 62 co-sponsors. McCaul said the bill was necessary to ‘achieve full operational control and situational awareness’ of the border and to help put ‘more boots on the ground.’ ‘Now that we have a partner in the White House who has made this a top priority, it’s time to send a bill to President Trump’s desk so we can deliver the American people the security they have long demanded and deserve,’ McCaul said.
Is John Kelly the latest victim of the now infamous, pesky, yet extremely elusive, ‘Russian hackers’ that cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election and are slowly taking over the world? According to Politico, he just might be… White House officials believe that chief of staff John Kelly’s personal cellphone was compromised, potentially as long ago as December, according to three U. S. government officials. The discovery raises concerns that hackers or foreign governments may have had access to data on Kelly’s phone while he was secretary of Homeland Security and after he joined the West Wing. Tech support staff discovered the suspected breach after Kelly turned his phone in to White House tech support this summer complaining that it wasn’t working or updating software properly. Kelly told the staffers the phone hadn’t been working properly for months, according to the officials.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.
Marylou Danley, a former high-limit hostess and longtime girlfriend of Mandalay Bay shooter Stephen Paddock, landed in Los Angeles late last night and is meeting with local and federal authorities today to try and provide some insight into what motivated Paddock to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, an attack that it appears was meticulously planned by Paddock. Video footage published by NBC News shows Danley, 62, traveling through Los Angeles International Airport in a wheelchair, accompanied by three law enforcement officers. Danley traveled to Manila from Tokyo on Sept. 15, more than two weeks before the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Reuters reported. She then flew to Hong Kong on Sept. 22 and returned in Manila on Sept. 25. She was there until she flew to LAX on Tuesday night. Mangrobang added Danley had arrived in the Philippines from Tokyo on September 15. There has been communication between authorities in the Philippines, the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security, the spokeswoman said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.
Yes. Since December 2016, all visitors to the U. S. under the ‘Visa Waiver Program’ (VWP) have been asked to identify the social media IDs they use to the Department of State on the online ESTA form. In several recent notices in the Federal Register, and in official statements in response to questions about those notices, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that it already searches for and reviews information about individuals from social media.
Why is the U. S. singling out immigrants and visitors for this surveillance? The U. S. government is targeting foreigners first because they are legally more vulnerable. Under U. S. law, foreign visitors and immigrants have often been held to have fewer rights than U. S. citizens. We don’t think this is the way it ought to be, and we don’t think this is even a correct reading of the U. S. Constitution and the human rights treaties that the U. S. has ratified. But this is often the way that courts have ruled. Most acts of terrorism in the U. S., like most crimes of any sort, are committed by U. S. citizens. Most of those criminals are white, and most of them are Christian, not that this should matter either. In practice, the government knows that it is more likely to be able to get away with surveillance of foreigners – on social media or in any other realm – than with surveillance that targets U. S. citizens equally or that focuses on, say, white Christian nationalist sources of terrorism.
Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept exposes the fake news put out by the US Department of Homeland Security (an euphemistic name for a Big Brother operation that spies on US citizens) that Russia hacked 21 US state elections, news that was instantly spread around the world by the presstitute media. The propagandists running Homeland Security were contradicted by the state governments, forcing Homeland Security to retract its fake news claims. The unasked/unanswered question is why did Homeland Security put out a FAKE NEWS story? Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is ‘now religious dogma’ – a requirement – to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that ‘an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards.’ In other words, the United States no longer has a media. It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know.
A former Memphis police officer was recently arrested near the White House after police found a variety of weapons during a search in which the man openly claimed to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. The man, Timothy J. Bates, was arrested last Sunday with an arsenal of firearms, including an assault rifle and a loaded AK-47. The weapons were found after Bates oddly allowed officers to search his car while ranting about a CIA microchip implanted in his head and the need for his paycheck which would presumably be for work he carried out for the agency. (If true) ‘According to court documents, Bates was approached by uniformed members of the Secret Service on Sunday at the corner of 17th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue as he appeared to be publicly urinating. He told the officers he was trying to reach Defense Secretary James Mattis or NSA Director Mike Rogers for advice on missing paychecks and how to get the dog chip out of my head,’ The New York Post reported. ‘Bates told the Secret Service officers that he had been offered $28.7 million by the Department of Homeland Security and the state of Tennessee to participate in the CIA’s ‘MK Ultra’ program and that he had a chip planted in his head that was causing him ‘severe headaches, shaking and convulsions,’ the report continued. That’s right, a former police officer who had loaded weapons extremely close to the White House openly claimed to officers on scene that he was a member of the MK Ultra program and was looking for payment for his work.
Last Friday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dropped a “bombshell” statement that sent a “thrill up the leg” (to quote Chris Matthews) of every CNN reporter across the country. The news from DHS implied that the election systems of 21 states around the country had been hacked, or at least were close to being hacked, which set off a new wave “Russian collusion” speculation in the U. S. news media (see: DHS Notifies 21 States Of Hacker Targeting; Election Officials Blame “Russian Government Cyber Actors”). That said, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla who released a statement this morning in response to the DHS, the whole thing was just a bunch of “fake news.” Padilla noted that after requesting additional information from DHS on the “hacks” it quickly became clear that their “conclusions were wrong” and that “California’s elections infrastructure and websites were not hacked or breached by Russian cyber actors.’ ‘Last Friday, my office was notified by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that Russian cyber actors ‘scanned’ California’s Internet-facing systems in 2016, including Secretary of State websites. Following our request for further information, it became clear that DHS’ conclusions were wrong.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 28, 2017.
Invoking memes that we’ve seen and warned about before under both Democratic and Republican administrations, President Trump has attributed the latest version 3.0 of his ‘Muslim ban’announced today (proclamation, FAQ, explainer) with the need to comply with ICAO and INTERPOL standards for passport issuance, ‘identity management’, and data sharing about travelers – as though US immigration and asylum policy should be determined by an international technical body for aviation operations, as though such a body has the authority to override US treaty obligations to freedom of movement and ‘open skies’, and as though predictive pre-crime profiling based on ‘biographic and biometric data’ can be substituted for judicial fact-finding as a basis for denial of the right to travel. Today’s Presidential proclamation extends the blacklisting-by-citizenship of the Muslim Ban 1.0 and Muslim Ban 2.0 to include a few token non-Muslim North Koreans and Venezuelan government officials, in an unsuccessful attempt to render its underlying Islamophobia less blatant. In practice, the Muslim Ban 3.0 is similar in effect and intent to its predecessors. But in response to court decisions that have voided many of the provisions of the previous ‘Muslim Ban’ Executive Orders, the White House is making a new set of excuses for travel restrictions on citizens of certain countries that begins by ascribing them to other countries’ failure to implement ‘recommendations’ of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and INTERPOL for passports, ID management, and globalized traveler surveillance (‘data sharing’): Q: What was the basis for the requirements? A. The… report submitted by the Secretary of Homeland Security… established baseline requirements for 1) identity management practices and 2) information sharing….. The requirements reflect a combination of long-standing U. S. Government goals, as well as standards established by international bodies such as… the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and INTERPOL They incorporate best practices derived from… identity management practices, law enforcement practices, and national security initiatives, such as the adoption of ePassports…..
It’s Friday night and with stocks at record highs, Trump’s approval ratings jumping to 4-month highs, and Mueller scraping the bottom of the barrel for anything to pin on anyone, the media has their red meat for the weekend now as DHS has notified 21 states Friday that their election systems were targeted before the 2016 election. The government told The Associated Press last year that more than 20 states were targeted by hackers believed to be Russian agents before the 2016 elections. But for many states, the calls Friday from the Department of Homeland Security were the first official confirmation of whether their states were on the list. DHS Spokesman Scott McConnell said in a written statement to The Hill… “[R]ecognizing that state and local officials should be kept informed about cybersecurity risks to election infrastructure, we are working with them to refine our processes for sharing this information while protecting the integrity of investigations and the confidentiality of system owners.” “As part of our ongoing information sharing efforts, today DHS notified the Secretary of State or another chief election officer in each state of any potential targeting we were aware of in their state leading up to the 2016 election. We will continue to keep this information confidential and defer to each state whether it wishes to make it public or not.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.
On September 18, the US Senate voted to ban the use of products from the Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab by the federal government, citing national security risk. The vote was included as an amendment to an annual defense policy spending bill approved by the Senate on the same day. The measure pushed forward by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen has strong support in the House of Representatives, which also must vote on a defense spending bill. The legislation bars the use of Kaspersky Lab software in government civilian and military agencies. *** On September 13, a binding directive issued by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from government computers over concerns the Russia-based cybersecurity software company might be vulnerable to Russian government influence. All federal departments and agencies were given 30 days to identify any Kaspersky products in use on their networks. The departments have another 60 days to begin removal of the software. The statement says, The department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks. The Russian law does not mention American networks, nevertheless it is used as a pretext to explain the concern. Similar bans against US government use of Kaspersky products have been suggested before. In 2015, Bloomberg News reported that the company has close ties to Russian spies.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.
Update: The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Maria has just strengthened to a “potentially catastrophic” Category-5 Storm with winds expected over 160mph. *** Maria’s track places her right over the top of Puerto Rico on Tueaday… *** President Trump authorizs Homeland Security Dept., FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, supplementing local response efforts resulting from Hurricane Maria.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.
Government employees and their apologists like to lecture Americans about how “freedom isn’t free.” And indeed it isn’t. In recent years, the US military establishment has cost the American taxpayer around $700 billion per year. Thanks to the hard work of the American taxpayer, the US military – and other “defense” agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security – the US government is the most well-funded in the world. in spite of numerous ongoing interventions worldwide, casualties in the US military are low thanks to highly-advanced technology funded by – you guessed it – the American taxpayer. Now, for the sake of argument in this article, we’ll just assume that the full $700 billion per year has something to do with actual defense. This is a highly debatable notion, of course. As more astute observers have noted in the past decade, it is not at all clear that the trillions of dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan have done anything at all to augment security in the United States. We’ll also conveniently ignore the catastrophic failures of our extremely-well-heeled American security states, such as those on September 11, 2001.
By Stock Board Asset High school students, illegals, and immigration supporters poured into streets today, after the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Over the past 5-years, the program has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing new application as soon as today. Per Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ‘I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,’ Trump is continuing his promise of ‘America First’ agenda. This is what he had to say, ‘As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion – but through the lawful Democratic process – while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve. We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling and forgotten Americans.’ To start the chaos, high school students in Denver walked out of class this afternoon in protest of Trump’s decision to end Obama’s executive action.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2017.
Private airlines are the last line of defense against the growing use of biometric facial recognition software at American airports. The U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced plans to scan the faces of all flyers exiting the United States. The American Civil Liberties Union reported: U. S. Customs and Border Protection has launched a ‘Traveler Verification Service’ (TVS) that envisions applying face recognition to all airline passengers, including U. S. citizens, boarding flights exiting the United States. This system raises very serious privacy issues. The only publicly available information comes from a privacy impact statement the Department of Homeland Security issued on the program, and a briefing CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner gave to privacy advocates in Washington this week. The CBP envisions a system where airports install cameras at boarding gates to take pictures of all passengers leaving and entering the country. The pictures will have facial recognition software applied to them.
President Trump was crucified by the mainstream media a few weeks back after hosting an improvised press conference and saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counterprotester. The comments resulted in most of Trump’s advisory councils being disbanded, as CEO’s around the country pounced on the opportunity to distance themselves from the administration, and heightened calls from CNN for impeachment proceedings. The problem is that while Trump’s delivery probably could have been a bit more artful, the underlying message seems to be proving more accurate with each passing day and each new outbreak of Antifa violence. As Politico points out today, previously unreported FBI and Department of Homeland Security studies found that “anarchist extremist” group like Antifa have been the “primary instigators of violence at public rallies” going back to at least April 2016 when the reports were first published. Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as ‘antifa’ had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as ‘domestic terrorist violence,’ according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO. Since well before the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly, DHS has been issuing warnings about the growing likelihood of lethal violence between the left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacist and nationalist groups.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 1, 2017.