Both Congress and the Department of Homeland Security have never justified the biometric scanners at airports that could cost Americans $1 billion in 2018. As TSA agents continue to prove their incompetence in the ‘War on Terror,’ the Department of Homeland Security is now allocating $1 billion in taxpayer funding to create a facial recognition program that will illegally scan Americans’ faces. A study conducted by Georgetown Law’s Center for Privacy and Technology looked at the biometric scanners that are creating an inventory of the faces of individuals leaving the country at airports across the United States. While they are only at certain major airports right now, the full implementation of these scanners could cost Americans up to $1 billion. The study noted that while the ‘9/11 Response and Biometric Exit Account’ created by Congress has the funds for the program, ‘neither Congress nor DHS has ever justified the need for the program.’ In addition to the fact that Congress has never provided a reason why the system is needed in the U. S., the study claimed that DHS has ‘repeatedly questioned ‘the additional value biometric air exit would provide’ compared with the status quo and the ‘overall value and cost of a biometric air exit capability,’ even as it has worked to build it.’ Not only is a government agency pouring $1 billion into a program to increase the country’s security measures even though it lacks full confidence, and has no evidence that the program it is implementing will do so, there is also the fact that the program requires Americans to give up their civil liberties, and it has never been explicitly authorized by the government. As the researchers from Georgetown Law noted:
This post was published at shtfplan on December 28th, 2017.
The latest so-called ‘Privacy Impact Assessment ‘ (PIA) made public by the US Department of Homeland Security, ‘CBP License Plate Reader Technology’, provides unsurprising but disturbing details about how the US government’s phobias about foreigners and drugs are driving (pun intended) the convergence of bordersurveillance and dragnet surveillance of the movements of private vehicles within the USA. The main reason for the publication of the CBP License Plate Reader Technology PIA is to provide the public with ‘notice that CBP is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to leverage each other’s .. LPR [License Plate Reader] systems.’ Since at least 2007, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has had a network of license plate readers continuously monitoring and recording the license plate numbers and locations of vehicles near US borders. ‘Near’ and ‘border’ in this context are euphemisms: Federal regulations define the ‘border’ zone for purposes of CBP authority as including anywhere within 100 miles of any US border or seacoast, which puts roughly two-thirds of the US population within ‘border’ regions.
What do we make of Trump’s national security speech? First of all, it is the military/security complex’s speech, and it is inconsistent with Trump’s intention of normalizing relations with Russia. The military/security complex, using Trump’s position as President, has defined Russia and China as ‘revisionist powers,’ Washington’s rivals who seek to put their own national interests ahead of Washington’s unilateralism. Russia and China are ‘revisionist powers’ because their assertion of their national interests limits Washington’s hegemony. In other words, Washington does not accept the validity of other countries’ interests if those interests are contrary to Washington’s interests. So, how does Trump expect to work with Russia and China when he reads a speech that Russia and China seek to ‘shape a world antithetical to our interests and values.’ ‘Our values’ means, of course, Washington’s dominance. Trump begins by honoring the military, police, Homeland Security, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In other words, ‘America first’ means domination by Washington over the citizenry as well as over foreign countries.
The town of Newkirk, Oklahoma is about to receive a series of ‘gifts’ from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)…in the form of exposing the town to chemical agents. The purpose is to see how much protection is offered by houses and apartments against a bioweapon. It is also to see how first responders will be able to evacuate people and treat those in affected areas. An article written on 12/16/17 by Jay Syrmopoulos for Activist Post entitled Residents Outraged as DHS Spraying Town With Chemicals – Using Them as Human Guinea Pigs, covers all of the details. Let’s be clear: these are not weapons of biowarfare being tested, but substances that will mimic the spread and ‘adhesion’ to buildings and materials; however, they are used specifically to assess biowarfare capabilities of an actual agent released or delivered. One of the chemicals is a pesticide named Dipel, among other ‘niceties’ such as titanium dioxide, fluorescent brightener, and urea. Here’s an excerpt to illustrate the government mindset on this testing, scheduled to commence in January: ‘I’m really sorry that everyone is so afraid in Newkirk because these are very benign products,’ Kitty Cardwell, a professor at Oklahoma State University and director of the National Institute of Microbial Forensics for Food and Agricultural Biosecurity, who has been involved in other Homeland Security projects, told Newsweek. Cardwell believes the chemicals are non-toxic at that minuscule amount and likely wouldn’t reach populated areas. Interestingly, while Cardwell and the U. S. government claim the chemicals used in the testing won’t adversely impact human health or the environment, the EU has proposed to classify titanium dioxide as a carcinogen – meaning that it is suspected of causing cancer – specifically when inhaled.’
This post was published at shtfplan on December 18th, 2017.
Is a Bipartisan Bill About to Create a Social Media Department of Homeland Security? Senator James Lankford, R-Oklahoma will be introducing a bill in the US Senate sometime during the Christmas week coming up, ostensibly to help identify and react to cyber security threats, as well as help coordinate the identification and reaction among state and federal agencies. But wait, there’s more, far more… The bill is being co-sponsored by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, and Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris. The author of the bill, Lankford, is considered a ‘rising star’ in the Republican Party. The Democrat co-signers, Klobuchar and Harris, are both considered rising stars in their party. I think these facts are worth noting when considering the prospects of this bill being taken seriously, and the prospects of this bill’s eventual passage. You don’t stick your rising stars on a showpiece bit of legislation that is intended to go nowhere. The bill is ostensibly designed to create more effective lines of communication between the Department of Homeland Security, the Intelligence Community at the Federal level, as well as State Election officials. The bill’s goal is to prevent further foreign interference in US Elections, and to help states better defend against cyber attacks.
The FBI is supposed to have great people that work there, but are they being given the proper background checks? As a matter of fact, how many other agencies such as but not limited to the CIA, Justice Department, National Security, Homeland Security and the list goes on, have employees that were not properly cleared? Is there any evidence that some who are to uphold our laws and ensure our safety do not qualify to do so? Are those taking the oath to uphold our Constitution not properly being vetted? These are very serious questions and according to one man, former FBI agent Michael F. McMahon, they are not! Our lives, our cities, and our safety depends on the proper vetting of those who wish to work for our government that is supposed to do just that, vet. According to McMahon, they are not and it began back in 2008 and may still be going on. This is very troublesome at best and has to make one wonder if proper background checks were not made, how many of the terrorists we wish to stop may now be within these agencies due to improper background checks, all for the simple feat of clearing them within a specific amount of time. Mr. Michael F. McMahon stated:
Residents of a small Oklahoma town fear they are being used by Homeland Security as test subjects for the chemical/biological warfare testing. Newkirk, OK – A planned chemical/biological test by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has residents of a small Oklahoma town in fear that they are being used as human guinea pigs, as the federal government prepares to carry out plans for biological testing in the area next month. DHS announced plans to conduct chemical and biological testing near the border between Kansas and Oklahoma in January and February, and again in June and July, to determine how much protection people would receive from being inside a house or an apartment in the event of a biological terrorist attack, according to a statement on the Homeland Security website. The DHS press release notes: The study is part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to preparedness and the shared responsibility of protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure. The purpose of this study is to gather data that enhances our predictive capabilities in the event of a biological agent attack.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has discovered that edits made to former FBI Director James Comey’s statement exonerating Hillary Clinton for transmitting classified info over an unsecured, private email server went far beyond what was previously known, as detailed in a Thursday letter from committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to FBI Director Christopher Wray. The letter reveals specific edits made by senior FBI agents when Deputy Director Andrew McCabe exchanged drafts of Comey’s statement with senior FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, Strzok’s direct supervisor, E. W. “Bill” Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an unnamed employee from the Office of General Counsel (identified by Newsweek as DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson) – in what was a coordinated conspiracy among top FBI brass to decriminalize Clinton’s conduct by changing legal terms and phrases, omitting key information, and minimizing the role of the Intelligence Community in the email investigation. Doing so virtually assured that then-candidate Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.
Eat the bomb (or if you prefer, “embrace the suck”) and enjoy it, Governor and Mayor. An attempted suicide bomber who set off a rush-hour explosion at the nation’s busiest bus terminal is a Bangladeshi national living in Brooklyn who was inspired by ISIS, law enforcement officials said. … Ullah lived in Brooklyn after he entered the U. S. in 2011 from Bangladesh on a chain migration visa, Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement. Good thing this particular terrorist was not very bright (as demonstrated by his inability to make a bomb that was actually effective and went off when he wanted it to, instead of exploding both poorly and early.) That was a matter of luck, by the way — luck that will eventually run out.
After decades of waste, overpayments, trillions of missing or improperly accounted for dollars, and most recently losing track of 44,000 US soldiers, the Pentagon is about to undergo its first audit in history conducted by 2,400 auditors from independent public accounting firms to conduct reviews across the Army, Navy, Air Force and more – followed by annual audits going forward. *** The announcement follows a May commitment by Pentagon comptroller David Norquist, who previously served as the CFO at the Department of Homeland Security when the agency performed its audit. “Starting an audit is a matter of driving change inside a bureaucracy that may resist it,” Norquist told members of the Armed Services Committee at the time when pressed over whether or not he could get the job done at the DHS.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.
Today The Identity Project joined 55 other civil rights, civil liberties, government accountability, human rights, immigrant rights, and privacy organizations in calling on the US Department of Homeland Security to abandon its Extreme Vetting Initiative. The essential goal of the DHS Extreme Vetting Initiative is to extend the bogus ‘pre-crime’ prediction algorithms and methodsbased on ‘big data’ from suspicionless mass surveillance, already being used by the DHS and its partner agencies in the US and abroad to decide who is allowed to board airplanes, to a broader range of decisions about who is allowed to travel to, or reside or remain in, the US. But the DHS doesn’t have any ‘pre-cogs’, human or robotic, to make these predictions. And prior restraint of our movements or other activities based on predictions of future criminality is not only impossible (and inherently subject to abuse by those who create the predictive and decision-making algorithms) but an affront to fundamental notions of justice, due process, and human rights. According to a joint letter we sent today to the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to simulate ‘biological attacks’ on critical infrastructure near the border between Kansas and Oklahoma. The first round of drills will occur on January through February of next year, along with the second round in the summer. For some time, we have been documenting the increased drills, the United States Government is actively preparing for or underway in a field training exercise. More recently, the Department of Defense just conducted a drill simulating a total grid collapse across the United States. Days ago, Wisconsin released plans on an upcoming drill to stimulate a grid collapse for mid-November. We find it strange the United States Government is drilling for apocalyptic scenarios, but provides very limited details to the American populace. It’s not strange and we’ll tell you why, if the public ever found out about the true nature of these drills it would lead to chaos. So frankly, most Americans will be left out of the dark of what’s coming… The first drill starts in January and continues into February of next year at two buildings within the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School (Chilocco campus) in Newkirk, Kay County, Oklahoma. The location is about 6-miles south of Arkansas City, Kansas. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) plans to release low-levels of inert chemicals and biological stimulant materials simulating a biological attack on critical infrastructure. S&T is studying the penetration capabilities of a biological stimulant against resident buildings.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2017.
Gizmodo released an article entitled ‘US Homeland Security Wants Facial Recognition to Identify People in Moving Cars,’ on 11/2/17 by Matt Novak. The Surveillance State has slowed down its rate of growth since the President took office, however, it has not halted that growth. Instead, it lies festering below the veneer of daily events, inexorably growing its tentacles and extending their reach. Akin to an infestation of weeds, the roots are deep within the fabric of our communications networks: telephones, CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras, the Internet…all are thoroughly permeated. Here is an excerpt from that article: The proposed program would allow Homeland Security to maintain a database of everyone who leaves and enters the US that would now include photos taken by spying robot-cameras at every border crossing. Not only does DHS want this new facial recognition program to work without anyone having to exit their vehicle, the agency wants it to work even if the travelers are wearing things like sunglasses and hats. DHS also wants it to work without cars having to stop.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 10th, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… The US is up to its neck in the quagmire of war and since 9/11 its oxymoronic ‘war on terror’ has cost almost $ 6 trillion to maintain. This shocking budgetary analysis has been released by the Watson Institute as part of their ‘Costs of War’ project. The following article from the Military Times has summarised the main points of the report: ‘Overseas combat operations since 2001 have cost the United States an estimated $4.3 trillion so far, and trillions more in veterans benefits spending in years to come, according to the latest analysis from the Costs of War project.’ Author of the report Neta Crawford states: ‘But the research includes another $880 billion in new base defense spending related to combat efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan since 2001, as well as about $780 billion in boosted Department of Homeland Security costs in that time frame.
Years before allegedly carrying out a truck rampage on Halloween, the man named in New York’s most recent ‘act of terror’ was already well-known to the United States Department of Homeland Security. This latest supposedly homegrown ‘ISIS-inspired’ attack produces yet another ‘known wolf’ with ties to suspected terrorists as well as authorities. According to officials, 29 year-old Sayfullo Saipov, the man charged in a deadly Manhattan vehicular assault on October 31st, was previously questioned over suspected ties to terrorism in 2015 by the US Department of Homeland Security. Saipov reportedly became a permanent legal resident upon arriving in the US on a diversity lottery visa in 2010. Since that time, the suspected terrorist moved from Ohio, Florida, and most recently New Jersey, where he was interviewed by DHS in 2015. Sayfullo (Habibullaevic) Saipov who bounced across America, committed only minor traffic violations before his alleged involvement in the New York truck attack.
Are we about to see chaos in the streets in major cities all over America? Antifa and other radical leftist groups are promising that a series of protests will begin on November 4th that will never end until ‘the Trump/Pence regime’ is ‘removed from power’. And as you will see below, Antifa has openly and publicly embraced violence and the Department of Homeland Security says that they have engaged in domestic terrorism. Hopefully these ‘protests’ will fizzle out after a few weeks, because political organizations that believe in ‘the necessary use of violence’ have no place in our society. Amazingly, there are still some out there that are claiming that the radical left is not planning anything for November 4th. The following comes directly from refusefascism.org, which is one of the key websites for Antifa and other radical leftist groups… ON NOVEMBER 4, 2017: We will gather in the streets and public squares of cities and towns across this country, at first many thousands declaring that this whole regime is illegitimate and that we will not stop until our single demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Our protest must grow day after day and night after night – thousands becoming hundreds of thousands, and then millions – determined to act to put a stop to the grave danger that the Trump/Pence Regime poses to the world by demanding that this whole regime be removed from power. Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want – in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. Our determination to persist and not back down will compel the whole world to take note. Every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today will sharpen and widen. As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power. That sounds pretty serious to me. Hopefully they are not able to back up their words with actions. I have seen various lists of cities were Antifa protests are planned floating around the Internet, but I felt that it was important to go right to the source. According to refusefascism.org, this is the official list of cities where activists will be gathering on November 4th…
Today The Identity Project and eight other civil liberties and human rights organizations filed comments with the US Department of Homeland Security objecting to both the creation and the exemption from the Privacy Act of the latest DHS system of social media and travelsurveillance records, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Intelligence Records System (CIRS). Our comments were co-signed and submitted jointly on behalf of: The Identity Project (IDP) Restore The Fourth, Inc. Woodhull Freedom Foundation Defending Rights & Dissent Government Information Watch National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) FirstAmendment. Com Cyber Privacy Project (CPP) Government Accountability Project Members of the public (regardless of whether they are U. S. citizens or residents) can submit their own comments on these DHS proposals, including anonymous comments, until midnight tonight, Washington DC time, by using the official Web forms here and here at Regulations.gov.
Nothing distracts like fear. And today, former DHS chief Elaine Duke invoked one of the most traumatic episodes in US history to remind complacent Americans that Al Qaeda and ISIS are still out there, plotting deadly terror attacks meant to kill as many American civilians as possible. With the Islamic State in retreat following the surrender of its de facto capital to US-backed Arab and Kurdish fighters, Duke told reporters that remnants of the group have partnered with a resurgent Al Qaeda to plot a devastating terror attack on the scale of a 9/11 – thus generating a headline seemingly tailor made to make pulses quicken. ‘The terrorist organizations, be it ISIS or Al-Qaeda or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11. They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that,’ the acting US secretary of homeland security said during a visit to the UK, as cited by British media. ‘The threat is still severe,’ she stated on Wednesday in London following her meeting with UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, according to Russia Today.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.
ISIS is currently plotting a ‘new 9/11’ style attack that would once again see American planes brought down in order to cause ‘maximum devastation’ warned acting Homeland Security Chief Elaine Duke. Speaking during a stop at the US embassy in London, Duke claimed that recent intelligence has shown that the terror group wants a ‘big explosion’ like that of 9/11 rather than the horrific but geopolitically minor attacks seen in recent years. ‘The terrorist organizations, be it ISIS or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11 . They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that,’ Duke said before going on to also warn that ISIS has in no means abandoned smaller scale attacks. ‘However, in the interim they need to keep their finances flowing and they need to keep their visibility high and they need to keep their members engaged, so they are using small plots and they are happy to have small plots.’
This post was published at shtfplan on October 19th, 2017.
The Identity Project and ten other civil liberties and human rights organizations filed comments today with the US Department of Homeland Security objecting to the DHS keeping records of what we say and publish and who we associate with on social media. (See our FAQ: U. S. government monitoring of social media. The DHS isn’t the only Federal agency spying on us on social media. We submitted comments earlier this month on parallel proposals by the Department of State to expand social media monitoring that it began last year over our objections and those of many other organizations and individuals.) The comments from civil liberties and human rights groups were submitted in response to a notice from the DHS last month that ‘Social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results’ would be added to DHS ‘Alien Files’. Our comments were co-signed and submitted jointly on behalf of: The Identity Project (IDP) Government Information Watch National Workrights Institute Woodhull Freedom Foundation