Tag Archives: Congress

Big Sis in Hot Water?

Kaye Beach

Oct. 4, 2012

The scathing US Senate report released early this week is 141 pages of fascinating reading but it could cause a real confidence crisis for those who still think that trading liberty for security is a decent bargain.

Besides the fact that the Dept. of Homeland Security doesn’t know exactly how much it has given to states and cities for the Fusion Centers or how that money was spent, the Secretary of DHS, Janet Napolitano dubbed “Big Sis” by Matt Drudge, also has trouble getting her facts straight.

Fusion Centers have been at the center of many, many civil liberty scandals since they were created and a wide swath of concerned or active Americans from right to left have found themselves lumped in with or labeled as “extremists” at some point or another by the dubious ‘intelligence’ that the spy centers produce.  I hope they are all enjoying the fact that the Centers and Big Sis herself, are getting a little, long overdue scrutiny but also hope that they take this report to their state legislators and demand that the “pools of ineptitude and civil liberties intrusions” in their states be examined just as closely.

Report: Napolitano misled Congress on terrorism ‘fusion’ centers

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano repeatedly misled lawmakers about one of her department’s signature initiatives, the development of special centers where state and local police could share information about terrorism and other crimes with their federal counterparts, a bipartisan report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations states.

Ms. Napolitano failed to report to Congress serious problems with the so-called “fusion center” program, according to the report. She insisted publicly that the program was a success, but two reports from her own department found, what congressman called, “serious problems” with the fusion centers.

“The findings of both the 2010 and 2011 assessments contradict public statements by [Homeland Security] officials” including congressional testimony from Ms. Napolitano, the report states.

Investigators also found that Ms. Napolitano and other officials repeatedly claimed there were 72 fusion centers around the country, when internal documents revealed that there were only 68.

Dept. of Homeland Security Releases 2012 Privacy Report

Kaye Beach

September 28, 2012

Th report touts small improvements but bigger problems are revealed.

EPIC the Electronic Privacy Information Center reports;

The Department of Homeland Security has released its 2012 Privacy
Office Annual Report to Congress. The report details the expansion of
the National Counterterrorism Center’s five-year retention policy for
records on US Persons, the agency’s social media-monitoring initiatives,
and privacy training for fusion centers personnel; however, it does not
discuss several new DHS-funded initiatives, including the Future
Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, a “Minority-Report”-like
proposal for “pre-crime” detection. Also, according to the report the
Transportation Security Administration has still failed to adopt
privacy safeguards for airport body scanners.

Two DHS Privacy Office investigations led to the finding of agency non-
compliance. One of those investigations involved DHS’s use of social
media monitoring. EPIC filed a FOIA request on DHS’ social media
monitoring program in April 2011, then filed suit against DHS in
December 2011 in order to force the disclosure of documents related
to the monitoring program, which searched for both suspicious
“keywords” and dissent against government programs. Earlier in 2012,
Congress held an oversight hearing on the DHS social media monitoring
program, and cited the documents obtained by EPIC.

While the report acknowledges agency shortcomings, it also touts DHS
privacy and transparency training as well public engagement through
speaker series, a redesigned FOIA site, and quarterly privacy advocacy
meetings. Significantly, the report fails to address the lack of timely
notice-and-comment rulemakings, particularly the TSA’s lack of
rulemaking on body scanners, ordered by a court in 2011 in response to
a suit brought by EPIC.

The report discusses DHS’ increased use of Privacy Compliance Reviews
(PCRs), which cover programs including cybersecurity, information
sharing, and the use of social media. The DHS Privacy Office used these
reviews to fail eight of its own agency programs for their lack of
privacy compliance documentation. None of the eight programs are
identified in the report, nor are any details of their lack of privacy
compliance.

The DHS Chief Privacy Office must present annual reports to Congress
and is also required by law to ensure that new agency programs do not
diminish privacy in the US.

DHS Privacy Office:  2012  Annual Report to Congress (Sept. 2012)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-dhs-2012-privacy-report.html

EPIC:  DHS Privacy Office
http://epic.org/privacy/dhs-cpo.html

EPIC:  Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST)
http://epic.org/privacy/fastproject/

EPIC:  Fusion Centers
http://epic.org/privacy/fusion/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Social Media Monitoring)
http://epic.org/foia/epic-v-dhs-media-monitoring/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-epicvdhs-scannersuspend.html

 

Volume 19.18                                       September 28, 2012
———————————————————————–

Published by the
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Washington, D.C.

http://www.epic.org/alert/epic_alert_19.18.html

“Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.”
http://epic.org/donate

Drone Industry Bucks for Drone Caucus Members Including 3 Oklahoma Congressmen

Kaye Beach

July 11, 2012

(OK Rep. Frank Lucas is in OK D-3 not D-1 as originally shown.  Apologies for the error)

As you are probably aware, Oklahoma has been chosen as a site to test and fly drones for the Homeland Security Department’s program for Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS).  Of course there has been a lot of work done behind the scenes to get the drones moving in US airspace.  This has been an uphill battle waged for years by industry lobbyists and other drone aficionados. Last February Americans found out that it was ‘all systems go’ and we are now cringing at the thought of  some 30,000 drones being unleashed over our heads.

The information below reveals some of the money behind congressional drone industry advocacy but you should also know that the industry practically wrote the groundbreaking drone unleashing legislation as well.

– Page 6: The drone lobbyists take full credit for authoring the expansion of domestic drone use codified in the FAA authorization bill passed last week, noting “the only changes made to the UAS section of the House FAA bill were made at the request of AUVSI. Our suggestions were often taken word-for-word.”

Source-Drone trade group presentation document exclusively reported by Republic Report on Feb. 15, 2012

On a side note, one of the reasons I am fighting so hard against the collection of our biometric information is that no matter which type of surveillance tech really gets your dander up, whether it be CCTV, RFID, drones or simply the garden variety type of data mining and surveillance – biometrics enables these already too-close-for-comfort surveillance technologies to become unbearably personal and dangerously specific.  Biometrics is the glue by which all the other forms of technological scrutiny are married to our very selves.  My attorneys and I agree that our bodies are protected under our state Constitution and by state statute – the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.  The lawsuit filed on my behalf addresses among other things the mandated collection of citizen’s biometrics when obtaining a state driver’s license.

The argument being made for Oklahoma’s active courting of this industry, of course, is an economic one which sure makes it tough to argue against, but I will predict that in the end it will not be everyday Oklahomans who will reap the benefits of this projected economic boon and they certainly won’t end up any more free with the evil mites buzzing overhead.

Now, have you ever  heard of the ‘Drone Caucus”?

As reported by KPBS on July 5, 2013;

SAN DIEGO — You’ve probably heard of the Congressional Black Caucus, or perhaps the Progressive Caucus. But what about the drone caucus? Officially, it’s the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Primarily, the caucus advocates for drones — those pilot-less planes infamous for their role targeting insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’re used as a spy tool in Iran, a drug-fighting tool in Mexico and an anti-smuggling tool along the U.S.-Mexico border.

. . .It’s definitely a powerful caucus,” said Alex Bronstein-Moffly, an analyst with First Street Research Group, a D.C.-based company that analyzes lobbying data.

. . .Many of the drone caucus members are well supported by the industry they endorse. According to Bronstein-Moffly’s data, the 58 drone caucus members received a total of $2.3 million in contributions from political action committees affiliated with drone manufacturers since 2011.

Read more The Drone Makers And Their Friends In Washington

The report details donations from the top five drone industry donors to just the border state members of the drone caucus but didn’t elaborate on donations received by other members of the drone caucus so I took a look at our Oklahoma Congressional Representatives who are acting as drone advocates as members of the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Top five drone donors to the drone caucus

  1. Lockheed Martin
  2. Boeing
  3. Northrop Grumman Corp.
  4. General Atomics
  5. General Dynamics

Tom Cole  OK-4

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Boeing 8,500

Lockheed Martin 6,500

General Atomics 2,000

**Raytheon 4,500 (Raytheon is also a big player in the drone industry)

**BAE Systems 3,500 (BAE Systems is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Honeywell 3,000 (Honeywell is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Mantech 3,000 (Mantech is another drone industry player)

**Alliant TechSystems (ATK)   1,500  (ATK is another drone industry player)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00025726&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

Dan Boren OK-2

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Northrop Gumman 2,000

**Raytheon 3,500 (Raytheon is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Honeywell 3,000 (Honeywell is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Textron Inc. 2,000 (Textron Inc. is another drone industry player)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00026481&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

Frank Lucas OK-3

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Lockheed Martin 4,000

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00005559&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

This is just the merest scratching of the surface-there is probably much more money and perks being doled out.  Stay tuned.

PRESS RELEASE:: DeMint, Bachmann, Jordan Urge Governors to Reject Obamacare State Exchanges

Kaye Beach

July 2, 2012

 

PRESS RELEASE:: DeMint, Bachmann, Jordan Urge Governors to Reject Obamacare State Exchanges

(Washington, D.C.) Senator Jim DeMint (SC), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) and Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-04) sent a letter to all 50 governors urging them to oppose the implementation of the state health care exchanges mandated under President Obama’s health care law.  Twelve Senators and 61 Representatives joined them in writing in opposition to these exchanges, which could cost businesses up to $3,000 per employee.
“Now that we know the courts will not save us from this harmful and unsustainable law, we urge all governors to join our fight full repeal by stopping its implementation,” said DeMint. “Americans have loudly rejected this law because it raises costs, lowers quality of care, and hikes taxes. The President’s health care law will not reform anything, but will hurt state budgets, destroy jobs, and reduce patient choices. States should reject these complex and costly exchanges. We cannot build a free market health care system on this flawed structure of centralized government control, we must repeal all of it and start over with commonsense solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American.”
“While Republicans in Congress will continue to push for a full repeal of Obamacare, the states can take immediate action to reject these exchanges that will increase health care costs and add more layers of bureaucratic red tape. I encourage all 50 governors to do what’s best for the American people. They should refuse to implement an exchange and instead work towards common sense solutions that lower costs and return important health care decisions to patients and their doctors,” said Bachmann.
“The harmful impact on jobs is just one of many reasons we remain committed to fully repealing this law. If governors want to raise the cost of hiring people in their states, they should create an Obamacare exchange. If they want more jobs in their state, they should not. It’s that simple,” said Jordan.
The text of the letter is included below, and a list of signers is available here.
Dear Governors:
The Supreme Court has ruled significant parts of the Medicaid expansion of the President’s health care law unconstitutional as well as ruling that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause and will therefore be implemented as a punitive tax on the middle class. This presents us with a critical choice: Do we allow this reprehensible law to move forward or do we fully repeal it and start over with commonsense solutions? The American people have made it clear that they want us to throw this law out in its entirety. 
As members of the U.S. Congress, we are dedicated to the full repeal of this government takeover of healthcare and we ask you to join us to oppose its implementation. 
Most importantly, we encourage you to oppose any creation of a state health care exchange mandated under the President’s discredited health care law. 
These expensive, complex, and intrusive exchanges impose a threat to the financial stability of our already-fragile state economies with no certainty of a limit to total enrollment numbers. Resisting the implementation of exchanges is good for hiring and investment. The law’s employer mandate assesses penalties – up to $3,000 per employee – only to businesses who don’t satisfy federally-approved health insurance standards and whose employees receive “premium assistance” through the exchanges.  The clear language of the statute only permits federal premium assistance to citizens of states who create a state-based exchange. However, the IRS recently finalized a regulation that contradicts the law by allowing the federal government to provide premium assistance to citizens in those states that have not created exchanges. The IRS had no authority to finalize such a regulation. By refusing to create an exchange, you will assist us in Congress to repeal this violation which will help lower the costs of doing business in your state, relative to other states that keep these financially draining exchanges in place.  
State-run exchanges are subject to all of the same coverage mandates and rules as the federally-run exchange. Clearing the hurdles of crafting an exchange that complies with the 600 plus pages of federal exchange regulations will only result in wasted state resources and higher premiums for your constituents.
Implementation of this law is not inevitable and without the unconstitutional individual mandate it is improbable.  Join us in resisting a centralized government approach to health care reform and instead focus on solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American. Let’s work to create a health care system of, for, and by the people, not government or special interests.
Sincerely,
###

Protect Online Privacy – Stop CISPA!

Kaye Beach

April 26, 2012

Action on this terrible bill is drawing near.  Please read and follow the link below to take action!  In addition, a call to your congressional representative would be helpful.

If you do not know who your congressman is, click here

Tom Cole 202-225-6165

John Sullivan 202-225-2211

Frank Lukas 202-225-5565

Dan Boren 202-225-2701

James Lankford 202-225-2132

Protect Online Privacy – Stop CISPA!

By Dave Nalle – April 24, 2012

On Thursday the House of Representatives is expected to begin debate on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), leading to a vote next week. This is yet another bill similar to SOPA which is designed to limit privacy and individual liberty on the internet. Now is the time to take action to let them know you don’t want the government accessing and sharing your email and personal data.

CISPA would massively reduce the privacy and security of your online communications and personal data. It would give government agencies and many private companies access to your personal communications and financial information and would allow government security agencies like the National Security Agency unprecedented power to access your data including medical records, private emails and financial information – all without a warrant, oversight by any court or due process of law.

Read more and send a message to your Representative

“Pettigrew was pitching the deal’ says former InsureNet lobbyist

Kaye Beach

April 19, 2012

In a new article published this week by the Claremore Daily Progress, Chad ALexander, former InsureNet Lobbyist comes forward with more information about District 2 congressional candidate, Wayne Pettigrew’s activities with the infamous “spy cam” insurance verification company, Insurenet.

Pettigrew acted as a lobbyist from 2009 to the middle of the 2010 Oklahoma Legislative Session, according to Alexander.

Pettigrew somehow still maintains that he was not a lobbyist for InsureNet despite his activities which can only be described as lobbying.

It started with the Governor’s office. They were getting the green light to move forward,” Alexander said.

As the reporter explained in the  first article, Lobbyist or not? Wayne Pettigrew’s InsureNet connection under scrutiny,

According to Oklahoma laws pertaining to lobbying, one can serve as a lobbyist by representing the interests of a client before government officials or enable such work as a “lobbyist principle,” that is a person who “employs or retains another person for financial or other compensation to conduct lobbying activities on behalf of the lobbyist principle.”

Pettigrew did both and admits that he was to receive a percentage amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, upon securing a contract with a state to use the InsureNet insurance verification system.

Incidentally, this is a system that would have had ALPR license tag scanning camera to capture every driver’s license plate along with the date, location and time when it was captured, to verify insurance status.  Pattigrew also maintains that this system in no way, would have been an invasion of privacy.

Mr. Alexander correctly sums up Pettigrew’s activities in this way;

Part of the problem with Pettigrew’s activities according to Alexander is that in Oklahoma lobbyists are not allowed to operate on a pay for play basis.

“The fact is that in Oklahoma you can not have a contingency based contract,” Alexander said, “Just because he did not get paid does not mean he was not attempting to get the system passed.”

Just because Pettigrew did not make a contract does not mean he was not breaking the rules for attempting to do so, according to Alexander.

But according to the article;

Pettigrew continues to maintain that his role was “that of a business consultant promoting a service that he believed was beneficial to the state of Oklahoma and other states and that the program provided greater privacy protections than the system in place currently.”

“This service was competitively bid by the state of Oklahoma and the company that I promoted was not chosen,” Pettigrew said.

However, the fact that InsureNet, the company that Pettigrew was “promoting” never secured a contract for it’s ‘spy cam’ based service didn’t stop him from testifying before Pennsylvania House members on March 2, 2010 that Oklahoma (and two other states) were “currently in the implementation process” (see the Pennsylvania House of Representatives transcript pg 30)

What does “currently implementing” mean to you?

I referred to Mr. Pettigrew in a recent post as being “truthy”  I think that I was being much too generous.

What do you think?

 

Read the entire article by Salesha Wilken,  Pettigrew disputes lobbyist claims

 

Wayne Pettigrew: It depends on what you mean by ‘lobbyist’

Kaye Beach

April 15, 2012

Wayne Pettigrew, District 2 candidate for Congress,  has maintained that he did not lobby in Oklahoma for InsureNet, that he only helped the company owner as a good citizen and a friend never receiving any payment for his efforts on behalf of InsureNet.

Truth or Truthiness?

I guess in Mr. Pettigrew’s mind, it depends on what you mean by “lobbyist”

He was not registered in Oklahoma as one but by any commonly accepted definition for what constitutes lobbying or being a lobbyist, Wayne Pettigrew was one for InsureNet.  He was registered in Nevada as a lobbyist and by Oklahoma’s definition for lobbyist, his work seems to fit the bill.

This article (linked below) published today in the Claremore Daily Progress reveals that;

1. Wayne Pettigrew was, in fact, a lobbyist for InsureNet.

2. Wayne Pettigrew had an agreement with InsureNet that stipulated that he would be paid a percentage upon securing a contract with a state to use InsureNet’s insurance verification system. (He estimated he would have received payment of  300, 000 dollars from InsureNet had he been successful in getting a contract with a state)

3.  Pettigrew received no compensation because he did not secure any contracts with any states for the company.

4. According to Wayne Pettigrew himself,  it is illegal to lobby on a percentage basis in the state of Oklahoma.

5.  Wayne Pettigrew appears to be more “truthy” than truthful.

Here is the story by Salesha Wilken for the Claremore Daily Progress;

Lobbyist or not? Wayne Pettigrew’s InsureNet connection under scrutiny

A Closer Look at the Eyes in the Sky Unleashed by Congress-Drones

Kaye Beach

Feb 23, 2012

Great analysis by Privacy Revolt! Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Domestic Spy Drones Approved by Congress

 

. . .Congress has APPROVED two of these threats for widespread use: domestic spy drones, and what are called “super drones”. As we are now becoming aware, these drones do more than just kill innocent women and children around the world, but in fact, are perfect domestic spying devices too.

The “super drones” take it a step further, by actually knowing who you are, because, as reported by Wired magazine, the military has given out research grants to several companies to spruce up these drones with technology that lets them identify and track people on the move, or “tagging, tracking, and locating” (TTL).

But don’t take my word for it, there were three major stories on the topic last week, “Congress OKs FAA Bill allowing drones in US, GPS air traffic control“, “Bill authorizes Use of Unmanned Drones in US Airspace“, and “Drones over US get OK by Congress“.

Let’s go to the piece by the New American:

Big Brother is set to adopt a new form of surveillance after a bill passed by Congress will require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open U.S. airspace to drone flights under a new four-year plan. The bill, which passed the House last week and received bipartisan approval in the Senate on Monday, will convert radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology, shifting the country to an age where satellites are central to air traffic control and unmanned drones glide freely throughout U.S. airspace.

By using GPS technology, congressional leaders argued, planes will land and take off more efficiently, as pilots will be able to pinpoint the locations of ground obstacles and nearby aircraft. The modernization procedures play into the FAA’s ambitious plan to achieve 50-percent growth in air traffic over the next 10 years. This legislation is “the best news that the airline industry ever had,” applauded Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). “It will take us into a new era.”

Furthermore, privacy advocates worry that the bill will open the door to widespread use of drones for surveillance by law enforcement and, eventually, by the private sector. Some analysts predict that the commercial drone market in the U.S. could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars once the FAA authorizes their use, and that 30,000 drones could be flying domestically by 2020. “There are serious policy questions on the horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and commercial entities,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy and legal group, also is “concerned about the implications for surveillance by government agencies,” affirmed attorney Jennifer Lynch, and it is “a huge push by lawmakers and the defense sector to expand the use of drones” in U.S. airspace.

“Congress – and to the extent possible, the FAA – need to impose some rules to protect Americans’ privacy from the inevitable invasions that this technology will otherwise lead to,” wrote American Civil Liberties Union policy analyst Jay Stanley. “We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move.”

They also say that if they can get a close enough look, they can tell twins apart and reveal not only individuals’ identity but their social networks. But it gets even more spooky:

The Army also wants to identify potentially hostile behavior and intent, in order to uncover clandestine foes. Charles River Analytics is using its Army cash to build a so-called “Adversary Behavior Acquisition, Collection, Understanding, and Summarization (ABACUS)” tool. The system would integrate data from informants’ tips, drone footage, and captured phone calls. Then it would apply “a human behavior modeling and simulation engine” that would spit out “intent-based threat assessments of individuals and groups.” In other words: This software could potentially find out which people are most likely to harbor ill will toward the U.S. military or its objectives. Feeling nervous yet?

Read more

More drones coming to airspace near you? Yes!

Kaye Beach

Feb. 7, 2012

This just in-

Congress OKs FAA bill allowing drones in U.S., GPS air traffic control

7:25 a.m. CST, February 7, 2012

After five years of legislative struggling, 23 stopgap measures and a two-week shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, Congress finally has passed a bill aimed at prodding the nation’s aviation system into a new high-tech era in which satellites are central to air traffic control and piloted planes share the skies with unmanned drones.The bill, which passed the Senate 75-20 Monday, speeds the nation’s switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology. It also requires the FAA to open U.S. skies to drone flights within four years.
Gee.  You think Oklahoma is one of the six areas set up to test run the drones?
It [the bill] would set up six test areas around the country for demonstrating safety technology to minimize the risk of UAVs colliding with larger aircraft.

More drones coming to airspace near you?

From Government Computer News published Feb. 6, 2012

Keep your eyes on the skies. A bill working its way through Congress could dramatically increase the number of drones allowed in U.S. airspace, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The House of Representatives on Feb. 3 passed a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill that would ease restrictions on the places unmanned aerial vehicles are allowed to fly. The robotic aircraft have mostly been used by law enforcement agencies and by the military in combat zones, and the FAA has limited their widespread use in national airspace because of concerns that their lack of “detect, sense and avoid” technology could raise the risk of midair collisions, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bill would direct the FAA to find a way of bringing many smaller UAVs into general and commercial air traffic by September 2015. It would set up six test areas around the country for demonstrating safety technology to minimize the risk of UAVs colliding with larger aircraft.

Read More

And this timely report from the ACLU;

Protecting Privacy From Aerial Surveillance

Secretary Napolitano Meets with State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement on Countering Violent Extremism

Kaye Beach

Jan 18, 2011

Get ready for more top down imposition and pressure on our police forces in order to “prevent violent extremism”

As near as I can tell, an “extremist,” in the eyes of this government,  is anyone that takes issue with its policies, actions or aims which means that there is a whole lot of those extremists and more of them are being minted daily.

The best way to prevent “violent extremism” is to ensure that the ordinary, common garden variety  “extremists” are thoroughly monitored and intimidated. In this way they can be completely disabused of their unacceptable ideas, thoughts or philosophies.   This, my friends,  means nothing good for our rights.  Freedom of speech and association, the right to petition our government for redress of grievances, the right to freely travel and more will keep taking the hits under the guise of keeping us safe.

Congress has a 9% approval rating. 

Only Fidel Castro is more unpopular (at least by this chart) than Congress.  Don’t you think it is odd that in the face of this dismal fact they keep on plowing ahead with travesties like the NDAA?  Isn’t it weird that they keep forcing upon us laws that the majority of us are appalled at?  It’s not so weird really.  They can’t possibly hope to win us over with what they are doing.  I think they are banking on controlling us instead.  Mark my words.  Before long it will be a rare American that will be able to avoid the ugly side of Big Momma Gov. hell bent on rooting out thought criminals.

Happy Hunting Homeland Security and good luck in Oklahoma!  Even our cops will look like extremists to you.

 

Secretary Napolitano Meets with State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement on Countering Violent Extremism

Release Date: January 18, 2012

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan at the White House to meet with senior state, local and tribal law enforcement officials to discuss the Obama administration’s Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States—released in December—and engage them on the critical task of preventing violent extremism in their communities. Attendees included sheriffs and chiefs of police from across the country, including representatives from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Native American Law Enforcement Association, Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council, and Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council.

“Engaging local communities is critical to our nation’s effort to counter violent extremism and violent crime, and this meeting brings together many of our partners,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The Department of Homeland Security will continue to collaborate with our state and local law enforcement partners and engage the public in our efforts to combat violent extremism, while protecting civil rights and civil liberties.”

During the meeting, Secretary Napolitano underscored DHS’ efforts to support local communities by enhancing existing partnerships to focus on information-driven community-based solutions, building government and law enforcement expertise, supporting community oriented policing practices and expanding grant prioritization to counter violent extremism and violent crime regardless of ideology. In addition, DHS is continuing to implement recommendations from the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, such as developing a curriculum for state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement focused on a community-oriented policing approach to countering violent extremism and violent crime. DHS’ Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties also works to educate communities and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement on cultural awareness across the nation.

Secretary Napolitano also reiterated President Obama’s call for Congress to take action to prevent layoffs of law enforcement and first responders, and keep our communities safe by passing legislation such as the American Jobs Act. The legislation would provide $5 billion in assistance to states and local communities to create or save thousands of law enforcement and first responder jobs across the country.

Over the past year, DHS has worked with the Department of Justice on the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI)—an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism, crime and other threats; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and ensure the sharing of those reports with the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces for further investigation.

DHS has also collaborated with federal, state, local, and private sector partners, and the general public, to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign. Originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now licensed to DHS for a nationwide campaign, the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign is a simple and effective program to engage the public to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

DHS will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign nationally to ensure America’s businesses, communities, and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/cve.