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By William F. Gavin

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Tag: Security

Cow Most Sacred: Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable

In defense circles, “cutting” the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality.

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Chuck Coker

No More Orange Alerts

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is expected to announce the retirement of George W. Bush’s color-coded terror alert system that always seemed like an easy way to terrify the public. In its day, the color-coded threat indicator only hit red (severe) once, and never dropped below yellow (elevated).

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Condemns Tyranny While Torturing Bradley Manning

Juan Cole examines the psychological torture of accused whistle-blower Bradley Manning in light of the collapse of Tunisia’s brutal regime. The “monarchical national security state” created by George W. Bush and his cohort can abuse, torment and punish the unconvicted with the best of them.

Posted on Jan 24, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Without Obama, We Lose So Much More Than an Election

The selfish negativity expressed by Republicans in the House health care debate last week showed why we should fight hard for President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.

Posted on Jan 24, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Ramon Espinosa

A Tale of Two Dictators

There’s a certain irony in the fact that as one bloody, corrupt dictator headed off to ignominious exile, thousands of miles away another returned.

Posted on Jan 21, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Thibault Camus

Tunisian Revolution Shakes, Inspires Middle East

Every state and movement in the Middle East is reading into the events in Tunisia its own anxieties and aspirations.

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Healer in Chief

Listening to Obama’s speech brought back memories of Obama the candidate, a mesmerizing orator with the power to summon visions of a better America.

Posted on Jan 14, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Fareed Khan

WikiLeaks Exposes the Danger of Pakistan’s Nukes

There are few scenarios more frightening for America than a domestic nuclear terrorist attack. We now know that U.S. policy is actually increasing the danger of a nuclear incident.

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 READ MORE


China’s Growing Military Might and American Rashness

The U.S. can pursue one of two courses in East Asia: Either negotiate an understanding with regional powers and redeploy American troops, or continue the dangerous drift that provokes China’s insecurities.

Posted on Jan 11, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Max Braun (CC-BY-SA)

Where Did All the Spam Go?

The people who keep track of these things report that global spam traffic dropped from 200 billion messages in August to just 50 billion in December. Unfortunately it appears that the spammers may have decided to pause their activity before a relaunch. Which is just as well because we’re running low on Canadian Viagra.

Posted on Jan 6, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller

We Really Do Spend More Than $1 Trillion on War

The Pentagon’s budget is only about half of what the U.S. spends on war and defense. If you add costs like nuclear weapons and the medical care of wounded soldiers, the figure tops $1 trillion. Robert Higgs has the math to prove it.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Nick Bygon (CC-BY)

‘The Left Has Nowhere to Go’

“The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday.

Posted on Jan 3, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Guillermo Arias

New Year’s Call for a Border Reboot

In light of a recent murder, and considering that we are about to ring in a new year, I think the time has come to reframe the border discussion.

Posted on Dec 31, 2010 READ MORE



USMC / Cpl. Brandon Rodriguez

A Far From Happy New Year

The paradox that is seldom discussed in politics or the press is that the United States, with total military resources equal to those of all the rest of the world combined, wages wars that consistently turn out badly, leaving American enemies in power.

Posted on Dec 28, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Ludovic Bertron (CC-BY)

2011: A Brave New Dystopia

The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” It turns out they were both right.

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / nolifebeforecoffee (CC-BY)

Are You in the FBI’s Suspicious Activities Database?

The Washington Post’s Dana Priest has another phone book’s worth of terrifying revelations about our national security/police/prison state. One that really chills given the FBI’s track record is the “vast repository” the Bureau is building that ... (more)

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 READ MORE


intelligence agents
cia.gov

CIA Launches W.T.F.

What will those clever minds at the CIA think of next? The agency has assembled a task force to gauge the effects of WikiLeaks’ recent intelligence exposés on its operations, dubbed the WikiLeaks Task Force—or W.T.F. for short.

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 READ MORE


Foreign Policy Review Suggests a Losing Effort

The great campaign to create a new Middle East and Central Asia, slay Islam’s violent extremists and build a radiant new world of democracy and capitalism is moving backward.

Posted on Dec 21, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail

One hundred and thirty-one men and women, many of them military veterans wearing old fatigues, formed a single, silent line. Under a heavy snowfall and to the slow beat of a drum, they walked to the White House fence. They stood there until they were arrested.

Posted on Dec 20, 2010 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Afghan Suicide Attacks Kill 13

Attacks on two Afghan military bases killed at least 13 members of the country’s security forces. One of the attacks, blamed on the Taliban, was against a training center on the outskirts of the capital, Kabul.

Posted on Dec 19, 2010 READ MORE


‘Assangination’: From Character Assassination to the Real Thing

Despite being granted bail, WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange remains imprisoned in London. Politicians and commentators, meanwhile, have been repeatedly calling for Assange to be killed.

Posted on Dec 15, 2010 READ MORE


A Wiki Hornet’s Nest

Do we want the people who run Amazon, PayPal, Facebook, Twitter or perhaps even—shudder—Microsoft, Apple or Google making political decisions on our behalf?

Posted on Dec 14, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / dkwonsh (CC-BY-ND)

Indian Diplomat’s Turban + Airport Security = International Incident

As India’s top U.N. diplomat, Hardeep Puri is not supposed to have a hard time getting through the airport, but a trip through Houston found the Sikh in a polite showdown with security officials who wanted to search his turban. Puri is the third ... (more)

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Michael Bracken

Afghan Police Force on Shaky Ground

New statistics show that the Afghan police force, upon whose shoulders eventual U.S. and British military withdrawal is based, is experiencing an unsustainable rate of attrition that sees one in five recruits bailing every year.

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 READ MORE


Leaks Disclose Complicated U.S. Strategy

The WikiLeaks documents reveal the irrelevance in much of what was being reported by American diplomats. There was no recognizable pattern or purpose.

Posted on Dec 8, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Vahid Salemi

Leaks Suggest Iran Is Now Winning in the Middle East

Iran is winning and Israel is losing. That is the startling conclusion we reach if we consider how things have changed in the Middle East in the two years since most of the WikiLeaks State Department cables about Iran’s regional difficulties were written.

Posted on Dec 7, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jacob Silberberg

Happy as a Hangman

What is frightening in collapsing societies is not only the killers, sadists, murderers and psychopaths who rise up out of the moral swamp to take power, but the huge numbers of ordinary people who become complicit in state crimes.

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 READ MORE


U.S. Orders Diplomats to Stop Telling Truth

In the first major policy fallout from the WikiLeaks disclosures, the State Department has ordered all U.S. diplomats to “cease and desist telling the truth until further notice.”

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 READ MORE


wikileaks icon
wikileaks.org

WikiLeaks: Not for Government Eyes

Acting as if we live in some sort of fantasy world, the Obama administration and the Pentagon have both forbid their hundreds of thousands of federal workers to view the WikiLeaks secret cables—unless those employees have the requisite security clearance.

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 READ MORE


Where Is Obama Going?

Is President Obama’s strategy of offering pre-emptive concessions destined to make enemies of his potential friends in the electorate without winning over any of his adversaries?

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / David Shankbone (CC-BY)

Just the Fibs, Ma’am

It’s a sad day when working journalists condemn those who would pry loose a few secrets from the national security state. Glenn Greenwald has done an excellent job tracking the hypocrites, hacks and access addicts. His latest target is Joe Klein (above), who describes WikiLeaks’ work as a “human disaster.” ... (more)

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Evan Vucci

Wiki-Damage Control Time for Clinton

Being the U.S. secretary of state must have its perks, what with the power and guaranteed attention of various world leaders and all, but Monday, Hillary Clinton’s was not a job to envy.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Andy M. Kin

The Pentagon Gets What It Wants

“If the Pentagon wants something, the logic goes, then it must be necessary,” writes Gregg Easterbrook in a recent examination of military waste. As a result, military spending has jumped 119 percent since 2001, 68 percent if you exclude the two wars fought in that time.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Real Hope Is About Doing Something

Many of us will, after our rally in Lafayette Park, attempt to chain ourselves to the fence outside the White House. It is a pretty good bet we will all spend a night in jail. Hope, from now on, will look like this.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE


Blaming Obama’s America First

We are about to enter a two-year period in which the Beltway Republicans will always blame Obama’s America first—you know, the America that happens to disagree with much of the conservative agenda, the America from which they want to “take back” the country, as if the rest of us represent an alien force.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE


Iran’s Best Friends on Capitol Hill

By stalling or killing President Obama’s new START treaty, Republicans would provide moral support to Iran, North Korea and any other rogue regime seeking to arm itself with nukes.

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Chris Davis (CC-BY-SA)

Much Ado About Touching

It’s D-Day for pat-down protests and so far it looks like most people just want to get where they’re going. AP reports that waits at major airports Wednesday morning were surprisingly short—the TSA estimates 20 minutes or less. ...

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE


A Childish Tantrum Over TSA Rules

Some of the loudest howls of outrage over the new airport security rules emanate from those who would be quickest to blame the Obama administration for not doing enough to protect us if a bomber did slip through.

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE


Why Granny Gets Searched

It’s hard to love the Transportation Security Administration, especially now that airport personnel seem so intent on touching people’s junk. But the TSA’s job isn’t to be adorable, it’s to be infallible—and also, apparently, to suffer being unfairly maligned.

Posted on Nov 23, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Michael Eyal Sharon (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Dear Abusive Travelers, TSA Workers Are People, Too

Seriously, people, it’s not like John Q. TSA Worker woke up this morning jonesing to goose you. The union that represents the unfortunate patters-down says its members have been subjected to verbal abuse and even acts of physical violence since the new travel rules took effect.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jeff Widener

Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion

There is no hope left for achieving significant reform or restoring our democracy through established mechanisms of power. We must take to the streets, armed with the tiny acts of truth and kindness that throughout history have exposed the oppressor’s cruelty.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE


TSA Grandparents

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Posted on Nov 19, 2010 READ MORE


Full-Body Scanners

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Posted on Nov 19, 2010 READ MORE



TSA

New York Doesn’t Heart Body Scanners

The backlash against the new mandatory screening regime at airports continues. At least one New York City Council member is trying to have body scanners banned from local airports. But does the city have the authority? Says Councilman David Greenfield, “... If the TSA disagrees with us, they can sue us.”

Posted on Nov 19, 2010 READ MORE


NATO Summit Unlikely to Answer the Most Important Questions

To adapt to secular use a phrase from medieval mysticism, “the cloud of unknowing” deepens as the war-waging countries of North America and Western Europe approach their NATO “summit.”

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Rodrigo Abd

Kandahar: The Latest Casualty of an Invisible War

The military’s major campaign in Kandahar has been largely ignored. The American public cannot have a debate on the war if it is not even mentioned in public.

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II

The Cowardice of America at War

I had to pull over to the side of La Cienega Boulevard last Tuesday evening as I drove home from work. I was crying.

Posted on Nov 15, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / webtreats (CC-BY)

Big Brother Is Watching, Friending, Following You Online

Everyone from employers to the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, raising questions about how standards enforcing privacy online can withstand the rush of data about you and everyone else that courses through the Internet.

Posted on Nov 11, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Royal Passage to Asia

Like his royal British forerunners, the president, through his advisers and their policies, brings imperial ambitions to the largest and most populous continent.

Posted on Nov 10, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Matt York

A Recipe for Fascism

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational.

Posted on Nov 8, 2010 READ MORE


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