PATH: BS | National Security

The Department of Homeland Stupidity

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The Department of Homeland Security, the new government meta-agency tasked with keeping our entire country safe from terrorist attacks both foreign and domestic, has come up with one humdinger of an idea. Having apparently run out of ideas on how to predict the next terrorist attack, they are turning to a group of people who are experts at making stuff up. When you're the government agency looking for some ideas about the future of terror, who do you turn to? Science fiction writers, of course.

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2013-01-22 07:58:44 | Comment on this Article

George W. Bush Becomes Dictator During Next "Catastrophe"

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In what the mainstream media has largely ignored, President Bush signed an executive order on May 9th effectively making Congress and the rest of government obsolete in the event of another attack or national catastrophe. Bush basically becomes a dictator, in complete charge of the U.S. government.

Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.” The definition of a "catastrophe" is quite vague as well, and certainly another Katrina or perhaps even some minor attack at a location that disrupts some utility service would trigger Bush's super governmental powers and render Congress useless (assuming anyone thought they were useful in the first place).

He laid this all out in a document entitled "National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51" and "Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20."

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2009-09-10 07:07:53 | Comment on this Article

Does America Deserve Levees That Work?

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John Goodman has gone public in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina debacle to call attention to a common misconception about the destruction of New Orleans: It was caused by defective levees built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps knew about the problems and ignored them. The city was flooded and destroyed.

Similar Corps projects are in virtually every state in the U.S. Goodman asks, "Don't we deserve levees that work?"

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Katrina: The Screw-Up That Keeps Getting More Screwed Up

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Hurricane Katrina, the overplayed pop song of natural disasters, was the most devastating bitch-slap ever delivered to America. From personal experience (I live here) the region is not even close to recovering. Why is that? Racists think it's black people. Other racists think it's white people. Municipal politicians blame state politicians. State politicians blame federal politicians. Federal politicians blame black people (just kidding--they blame the state and municipal politicians, of course). It's not any of that--that is a distraction. I'll boil it down for you in one word--money. Here's some more: moolah, greenbacks, cheddar, dough, cash, a wad, bread, and that sign you make when you rub your index finger and thumb together. The Gulf Coast is broke. We need cash from any and all sources. Seeing the great need for recovery in this culturally rich region, the federal government has taken the important step of turning down, wasting, or just ignoring over $800 million in aid. Say what?

READ MORE | 5 comments since 2007-05-15 00:42:00 | Comment on this Article

Veterans Turn On Commander-In-Chief

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If you're the President and your generals are so upset with you that they're quitting service so they can go public with how badly you've screwed up the military, Mr. George W. Bush, you might be having a bad day...

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Don't Screw With The Phone Companies, Says Bush

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Picture this: you are a law-abiding citizen of the United States of America (well, the important laws, anyway). You make a phone call to anywhere--could be a cousin in Turkey, a friend in New Jersey, your congressman in D.C. You later find out that the phone company you used to place that call has been feeding all or some of this information to the government without any form of oversight and in violation of communications privacy laws. You're pissed and you're thinking about suing, right? Not so fast.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-05-09 01:39:48 | Comment on this Article

Homeland Security Department Loses Employee Data

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The Transportation Security Administration has lost a computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees.

On the bright side, the TSA has promised they'll enroll their employees in a free credit-monitoring service. Woot!

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Pelosi Responds To Presidential Veto Of Troop Funding Bill

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After Congress had the audacity to suggest to the President that he didn't have a blank check in Iraq and must "support the troops" by something other than making them targets, Bush vetoes the spending/withdrawal bill. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks before Congress and gives quite a poignant outline of what's going on.. check out the video.

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Princeton Law Professor Added To Terrorist Watch List

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A top Constitutional scholar from Princeton (and a retired Marine Colonel) who gave a speech that slammed Bush's executive overreach has been added to the TSA's terrorist watch list. "I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list," he said. When he asked why, the clerk asked if he had been at any peace marches. "We ban a lot of those people."

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Computers Tracking Stolen Nukes Are Stolen

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The office in charge of protecting American technical secrets about nuclear weapons from foreign spies is missing 20 desktop computers, at least 14 of which have been used for classified information, the Energy Department inspector general reported on Friday.

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U.S. Plans To Bomb Cyber-Terrorists

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If the United States found itself under a major cyberattack aimed at undermining the nation’s critical information infrastructure, the Department of Defense is prepared, based on the authority of the president, to launch a cyber counterattack or an actual bombing of an attack source.

The question remains, which of the Internets would Bush bomb?

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Has Dick Cheney Lost His Marbles?

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In the face of seemingly crazy characterizations of the "enormous successes" in Iraq, Washington Post reporter, Dan Froomkin is wondering, is Dick Cheney unravelling, or as we here at BSA wonder, has he completely lost his mind?

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-01-30 16:47:03 | Comment on this Article

Hey Iran- The Only Country That's Going To Screw Up Iraq is US!

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[Military]
In a statement devoid of irony, President Bush warned Iran that the U.S. would respond firmly if Iran brought a military presence into Iraq and threatened Iraqi citizens. Following a day in which over a hundred Iraqi citizens were killed, including 5 schoolgirls hit by mortar fire, one wonders how much more threatened they can get.

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Pot Calling Kettle: Stop Shooting Missiles

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[Military]
The Bush administration has condemned a recent missile test conducted by China in which one of that country's older weather satellites was blown into as many as 300,000 pieces (technically known as "smithereens"). The reason for the criticism should be obvious to anyone- it might impede our ability to spy with impunity!

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What Do You Buy For The Totalitarian Regime That Has Everything?

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Evidently Iran has been getting those e-mails telling you how cheap it is to buy surplus goods from the government and they didn't get caught in their spam filters. Unfortunately the goods it's been buying are jet parts and missile components.

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Coming To An Airport Security Checkpoint Near You: Advertising!

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It's a good thing the TSA has its priorities in order, otherwise we'd think that air safety might have more importance than promoting the new Dodge Neon.

Under the one-year pilot program, TSA will allow commercial advertising at passenger screening checkpoints in select airports throughout the U.S. and its territories. "Interested parties will have to partner with airport operators to develop a proposal for TSA review. Only airport operators can submit proposals for use of the checkpoints for advertising," according to a Dec. 21, 2006, posting on the Federal Business Opportunities web site.

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Holy Equal Protection, Batman!

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A Moroccan man, Mounir el Motassadeq, has been sentenced following a conviction for his role in the September 11th attacks and for belonging to a terrorist organization. Once he has served his fifteen-year sentence, he will be deported back to Morocco. Where do you think this fair and equitable application of justice took place? America?

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Water Sprinkler Sends News Media Into Widespread Panic!

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[News Media]
The Port of Miami was hit by its second terrorism scare in two days Monday when a package that was to be loaded onto a cruise ship tested positive for plastic explosives. Authorities later determined it was just a box of sprinkler parts.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-01-10 01:02:17 | Comment on this Article

If We Know Who Visits The White House...The Terrorists Win!

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The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House complex are not subject to public disclosure….

The five-page document dated May 17 declares that all entry and exit data on White House visitors belongs to the White House as presidential records rather than to the Secret Service as agency records. Therefore, the agreement states, the material is not subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Rumsfeld's Innovative Interrogation Techniques Revealed

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FBI agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment at the Guantanamo Bay military base, including one detainee whose head was wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran and another who pulled out his hair after hours in a sweltering room.

Documents released Tuesday by the FBI offered new details about the harsh interrogation practices used by military officials and contractors when questioning so-called enemy combatants.

The reports describe a female guard who detainees said handled their genitals and wiped menstrual blood on their face. Another interrogator reportedly bragged to an FBI agent about dressing as a Catholic priest and "baptizing" a prisoner.

Some military officials and contractors told FBI agents that the interrogation techniques had been approved by the Defense Department, including directly by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

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