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Tag: Security

Scahill

Scahill on the Blackwater Backlash

“Blackwater” author Jeremy Scahill sounds off on the security firm’s recent rampage and the impunity of America’s private militias.

Posted on Sep 17, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN


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Blackwater
change-links.org

Iraq Bans Blackwater, Launches Investigation

The Iraqi government has ordered employees of the North Carolina-based security firm Blackwater USA to leave the country and is opening a criminal investigation following Sunday’s deadly shootout in Baghdad, during which a group of Blackwater contractors escorting a convoy of U.S. officials opened fire on nearby civilians.

Posted on Sep 17, 2007 READ MORE


Security Crew in Deadly Baghdad Shootout

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials have condemned the actions of security contractors who were guarding a State Department convoy that came under fire in downtown Baghdad on Sunday. The unnamed contractors are accused of firing indiscriminately and escalating the violence, which killed nine civilians. Update: The security firm in question was Blackwater USA.

Posted on Sep 16, 2007 READ MORE


Intelligence Chief Gets His Facts Mixed Up

After German authorities foiled a terror plot earlier this month, U.S. National Intelligence Director J. Michael McConnell was all to eager to give credit to recently revised FISA rules, arguing, in effect, that potential civil liberty violations helped save American lives. Woops. It turns out that much of the information used by the Germans was obtained under the old FISA law, which McConnell continues to claim wasn’t effective enough.

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


Ignoring the Other Victims of 9/11

When the National Guard helicoptered her husband, Mark, to Staten Island to work as a wireless technician setting up a communications network for thousands of emergency workers who were descending upon Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, Jeanmarie DeBiase did not know this would begin the unraveling.

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 READ MORE


Forget About the ‘Surge’

The question of whether or not the “surge” is working is a distraction from the fact that fighting “them” over there makes us less safe at home. If the Democrats want to bring the troops home, they should repeat that mantra over and over.

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon
DoD / Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway, USAF

China Denies Hacking Pentagon

China has denied responsibility for a large raid on the Department of Defense’s computer network, attributing the accusation to a “Cold War mentality.” A senior U.S. official was quoted in the Financial Times as implicating the People’s Liberation Army in the attack, which forced the Pentagon to shut down its network for more than a week.

Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE


Cheney
AP Photo / Mark Humphrey

Why Cheney Really Is That Bad

Although Karl Rove is stepping down, the real menace in the White House is staying on. Dick Cheney, Ritter argues, more than Kim Jung Il or Osama bin Laden, is the greatest threat to American and international security in the world today.

Posted on Aug 21, 2007 READ MORE


Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Iraq

According to data from the State and Defense departments, there are more than 180,000 civilian contractors on America’s payroll in Iraq.  That’s about a surge’s worth more than the current troop count, and it doesn’t fully include private security contractors.  The L.A. Times takes an exhaustive look at the “coalition of the billing.”

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater Opens Fire in Baghdad

Security contractor Blackwater USA was involved in two shootings in Baghdad last week. After firing on and killing an Iraqi driver, Blackwater guards found themselves in a standoff with heavily armed Iraqi Interior Ministry forces. A senior U.S. adviser said Iraq-American relations at the ministry have suffered greatly since the incident.

Posted on May 28, 2007 READ MORE


U.S. and Iran Agree to Iraq Meeting

Washington and Tehran have agreed to temporarily set aside their differences and meet in Baghdad for limited talks on the security of Iraq. The surprise move comes amid rising tensions between the two nations, which have been publicly taunting each other in recent days.

Posted on May 13, 2007 READ MORE


Saudis Arrest 172 in Anti-Terror Sweep

Saudi Arabian authorities say they have captured 172 militants who were planning a series of attacks around the country. The royal family began a more aggressive approach toward extremists, which it calls a “deviant group,” four years ago after attacks targeted the nation’s oil industry.

Posted on Apr 27, 2007 READ MORE


Ausama

Losing Hearts and Minds

In the latest installment of “Hometown Baghdad,” Ausama shows the damage that callous American forces inflicted on his safe haven—his grandmother’s house. You can almost see the gears turning in his head as he ponders what kind of security the occupation provides.

Posted on Apr 26, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN


Bush sad
sptimes.com

U.S. Invitation to Iraq Summit Lost in the Mail

The Iraqi government has invited Bush administration antagonists Iran and Syria to Baghdad for security talks, which might also include the Arab League and the United Nations. The United States has not received an invitation.

Posted on Feb 2, 2007 READ MORE


Diebold keys
bradblog.com

Diebold’s Latest Security Debacle

It turns out Diebold uses a universal key to access its voting machines, meaning that anyone who has one, a minute of free time and a little know-how can steal an election without a trace. What’s worse, the company made an image of the key available on its website, allowing at least one viewer to produce multiple working copies.

Posted on Jan 24, 2007 READ MORE


Bush T-shirt
news.com.au

Anti-Bush T-Shirt Deemed ‘Security Threat’

A traveler in Australia was stopped at an airport boarding gate when the attendant saw his T-shirt, which had an image of George W. Bush and the words “World’s #1 Terrorist.” Allen Jasson was told the shirt was offensive and a security threat and was asked to remove it. He didn’t, saying he would rather defend free speech than his airline fare.

Posted on Jan 22, 2007 READ MORE


100-Hour Agenda Steams Along

House Democrats are on a legislative roll, but the security bill they just passed by a wide margin is expected to meet with tougher opposition in the Senate. The legislation would implement recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, including beefing up port security.

Posted on Jan 10, 2007 READ MORE


Plane Grounded by Flatulence

An airliner was forced to make an emergency landing on Monday after a passenger struck matches in attempting to cover the odor of her gas.  After bomb-sniffing dogs searched the plane, the woman admitted to lighting the matches and said she had a medical condition.  She was not allowed to reboard. (h/t: Boing Boing)

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


Human Rights Watch: Hussein Trial ‘Flawed and Unsound’

Still wondering whether the trial of Saddam Hussein might have been a miscarriage of justice? Take a look at the HRW report (pdf) and make up your mind. Hussein’s chief defense lawyer, Khalil al-Dulami, recently complained to the BBC that he has been prevented from filing appeal papers.

Posted on Nov 20, 2006 READ MORE


U.S. Seen as Threat by Allies

A recent set of polls conducted in Britain, Canada, Mexico and Israel found a majority of people there believe the U.S. has made the world less safe.  In the British survey, George W. Bush was seen as a greater threat to world peace than either Kim Jong-il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Posted on Nov 3, 2006 READ MORE


Boarding pass
nwa.com

Website Exposes Airline Security Flaw

Christopher Soghoian created a boarding pass generator, allowing visitors to his website to sneak through airport security with fake documents.  Though the FBI has shut down Soghoian’s site, the flaw that enabled it remains a security threat.

Posted on Nov 2, 2006 READ MORE


U.N. Security Council
un.int

It’s Official: North Korea Sanctions

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions against North Korea in light of its recent nuclear test.  Though financial and military aid is restricted, the sanctions do not allow for military action, and skeptics question how effectively the rules will be enforced.

Posted on Oct 15, 2006 READ MORE


US-Mexico border
aljazeera.net

Border Fence Not Expected to Curb Illegal Immigration

Experts have challenged the effectiveness of the 700-mile fence planned for the U.S.-Mexico border, citing a robust smuggling industry and statistics that show around half of all illegal immigrants simply overstayed their visas.

Posted on Oct 7, 2006 READ MORE


Princeton Report
From princeton.edu

Elite Bipartisan Group Pushes for Foreign Policy Overhaul

Nearly 400 of the world’s leading foreign policy intellectuals contributed to a Princeton University-organized initiative that calls for a new grand strategy to address America’s national security concerns. (More after the jump…)

Posted on Sep 28, 2006 READ MORE


Bush Keeping Second Iraq Report Secret, Says Harman

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) is but which has been stamped “Draft” by the Bush administration to keep it from becoming public.

Posted on Sep 27, 2006 READ MORE


‘Kip Hawley Is an Idiot’

An air traveler wrote the above phrase—a reference to the head of the Transportation Security Administration—on his carry-on bag, and the traveler ended up being detained by TSA personnel who told him that his free speech ends at the security gate.

Posted on Sep 27, 2006 READ MORE


Robert Scheer: A War on Intelligence

All 16 U.S. intelligence services have concluded that Bush’s war in Iraq “has become the ‘cause celebre’ for jihadists” worldwide, but that won’t deter a president who puts no stock in intelligence.

Posted on Sep 26, 2006 READ MORE


Iraq War Responsible for Increased Terror Threat

The latest National Intelligence Estimate blames the Iraq War for the expansion of terrorist threats.  According to the consensus gathered from 16 intelligence agencies, “jihadism” has increased since Sept. 11, 2001, due especially to the war in Iraq.

Posted on Sep 24, 2006 READ MORE


Marie Cocco: ‘Scare Tactics’ on Social Security

“One could reasonably ask why talking about Social Security is a scarier tactic than the White House campaign slogan, which amounts to ‘elect Democrats and die at the terrorists’ hands.’ But never mind.”

Posted on Sep 18, 2006 READ MORE


Cheney and Condi
Illustration: Peter Scheer/Photos: Wikipedia.org/artlex.com

Cheney and Condi Defend Their Debacles

Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice each went on TV Sunday to perform CPR on the administration?s legacy.  Though both admitted to more dogged resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan than expected, the pair defended the administration?s decision-making and claimed we are safer now thanks to Bush?s policies.

Posted on Sep 10, 2006 READ MORE


Airport police
scotsman.com

The Cash Cost of London?s Airline Scare

BAA, which operates London?s Heathrow Airport, is set to announce losses of 20 million pounds due to the recent terror alert.  British Airways has already announced 40 million pounds in losses, following the cancellation of flights?thousands at Heathrow alone?and restrictive security measures.

Posted on Sep 10, 2006 READ MORE


Puffer
securityinfowatch.com

Airport Security Beset by Technology Failures

The Transportation Security Administration has suspended the installation of trace-detection portals, the machines that detect explosives on passengers.  The move comes amid criticism that the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security have been unable to develop and implement effective airport security tools.

Posted on Sep 2, 2006 READ MORE


UN Plane in Sudan
flickr/spangleddrongo

U.N. OK’s Peacekeeping in Darfur

The U.N. Security Council has approved plans to create a peacekeeping force in Darfur, but will not deploy the troops until Sudan agrees.  The force of up to 22,500 would “replace or absorb” the 7,000 African Union soldiers whose mandate expires Sept. 30.  (h/t: Think Progress)

Posted on Aug 31, 2006 READ MORE


Italy Bails Out France

Italy’s prime minister has tentatively offered to take the leadership role in Lebanon’s peacekeeping mission with a deployment of 3,000 troops.  France, which was to lead the mission, has offered only 200 troops after expressing concern over the force’s mandate.

Posted on Aug 22, 2006 READ MORE


Judge Orders End to Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping

A federal judge in Detroit ruled that the government’s eavesdropping program is illegal and unconstitutional, and ordered an immediate halt to it.

  • Check out constitutional scholar and bestselling author Glenn Greenwald’s stellar analysis and opinion roundup.

  • Posted on Aug 17, 2006 READ MORE


    Michael Gallagher
    From ThinkProgress

    Crazy Conservative Watch

    Speaking on Fox News on Tuesday, conservative radio host Mike Gallagher proposed installing a Muslims-only line at U.S. airports. (Watch it) Even scarier, the studio audience broke into applause.
    This is happening in real-life America, folks.

    Posted on Aug 16, 2006 READ MORE


    As U.S. Shifts Policing Power, Baghdad Strife Rises

    As U.S. forces have given Iraqi security officers responsibility for policing Baghdad, violence has notably increased, undercutting America’s premise that Iraqis are capable of securing their own country.

    Posted on Aug 6, 2006 READ MORE


    Airbus

    Europe’s Hijack-Proof Plane

    Airbus, Siemens and dozens of other European companies are working on a system that would reroute control of hijacked aircraft to the ground.  The system would then safely land the plane at the nearest airport.

    Posted on Jul 26, 2006 READ MORE


    Alberto Gonzales
    From ThinkProgress

    Gonzales: Bush Personally Blocked DOJ Probe of Spy Program

    Testifying before Congress this morning, Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales said that Bush halted the investigation into the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program by personally denying security clearances to Department of Justice lawyers investigating the case. (article or video)

  • Pardon us for being reflexively cynical about Bush’s motives in this one, but the president doesn’t have a shred of credibility on this issue.

  • Posted on Jul 18, 2006 READ MORE


    U.S. Terror Targets: Petting Zoo and Flea Market?

    The official anti-terrorism database is so flawed that it lists 8,591 potential terrorism targets in Indiana—50% more than in New York and twice as many as in California. Examples: “Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory and the Mule Day Parade.”

    Posted on Jul 11, 2006 READ MORE


    Iraq to America: We Need Security—Against Your Soldiers

    Iraq will ask the United Nations to end immunity from local law for U.S. troops, reports Reuters. Iraq’s human rights minister says the lack of enforcement of U.S. military law has led to crimes like the rape-murder allegedly committed by five U.S. soldiers.

    Posted on Jul 11, 2006 READ MORE


    The face of the occupation

    The Occupation of Iraqi Hearts and Minds

    Truthdig contributor Nir Rosen, an American reporter who has lived for the last three years in Iraq and who can pass as Middle Eastern, describes what it’s like to live under the boot of a culturally callous—and sometimes criminal—occupying force in Iraq.

    Posted on Jun 27, 2006 READ MORE


    NSA mining social networking sites
    Faces: from smartmobs.com / NSA seal: from isoc.org

    NSA Wants to Mine Data From Social Networking Sites

    The National Security Agency is funding research into ways to collect personal information from social networking websites like MySpace and Friendster, according to New Scientist magazine. The agency reportedly aims to combine the information with details from banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.

    Posted on Jun 9, 2006 READ MORE


    Joe Conason: Fire Chertoff, for Starters

    Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff may have again revealed his incompetence by slashing New York’s anti-terror funding, but the problems plaguing that agency reach far deeper than one man. 

    Posted on Jun 8, 2006 READ MORE


    Feds Cut Anti-Terror Funding in NYC, D.C.

    The Department of Homeland Security slashed anti-terrorism money for Washington and New York in favor of cities like Jacksonville and Sacramento. Stunner: “A DHS risk scorecard for the city asserted that the home of the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge has ‘zero’ national monuments or icons.”

    Posted on Jun 1, 2006 READ MORE


    Bush Increases Use of ‘State Secrets’ Privilege to Quash Lawsuits

    The administration is using this tactic at a rate of three lawsuits per year—purportedly to keep national security information safe. But one expert says that in cases like these, “the principal concern of the classifiers is not with national security, but with governmental embarrassment of one sort or another.”

    Posted on May 25, 2006 READ MORE


    N.Y. Times: Hold the Applause in Iraq

    The national unity cabinet that Iraq presented this weekend will remain impotent unless Iraq can reform its “corrupt, brutal and highly partisan security forces”—the death squads that now range the country with impunity—argues the Times’ editorial board.

    Posted on May 22, 2006 READ MORE


    Gonzales: We May Prosecute Journalists

    Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales says that the Bush White House may go after journalists who report on national security-related matters. “There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility.”
    Funny: There are lots of FISA statutes that you don’t have to read particularly carefully to learn that spying on Americans without warrants is illegal.

    Posted on May 22, 2006 READ MORE


    Hayden Denounces Media Coverage of CIA Activities

    Gen. Michael Hayden bemoaned the “endless picking apart” of CIA operations in the news media during today’s confirmation hearing on his nomination to head the intelligence agency.
    If the architect of the NSA domestic wiretapping program gets this promotion, it will be like a Jon Stewart joke gone horribly wrong.

    Posted on May 18, 2006 READ MORE


    BellSouth: We Didn’t Give Data to NSA

    The phone company says that, despite the claims made in the USA Today story, it never provided phone records to the NSA.

    Posted on May 15, 2006 READ MORE


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