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Tag Archive: United States Department of Defense


Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis.

The Washington Navy Yard gunman who killed 12 people last year conned Veterans Affairs doctors into believing he had no mental health issues before the shootings.

WASHINGTON — The gunman who killed 12 people in last year’s rampage at Washington’s Navy Yard lied so convincingly to Veterans Affairs doctors before the shootings that they concluded he had no mental health issues despite serious problems and encounters with police during the same period, according to a review by The Associated Press of his confidential medical files.

Gunman’s doc. before rampage: ‘No problem there’

Gunman's doc. before rampage: 'No problem there'
7 hr ago 1:38 Views: 1k AP Online Video

Just weeks before the shootings, a doctor treating him for insomnia noted that the patient worked for the Defense Department but wrote hauntingly “no problem there.”

The AP obtained more than 100 pages of treatment and disability claims evaluation records for Aaron Alexis, spanning more than two years. They show Alexis complaining of minor physical ailments, including foot and knee injuries, slight hearing loss and later insomnia, but resolutely denying any mental health issues. He directly denied having suicidal or homicidal thoughts when government doctors asked him about it just three weeks before the shootings.

In a bizarre incident in Newport, R.I., Alexis told police on Aug. 7 that disembodied voices were harassing him at his hotel using a microwave machine to prevent him from sleeping. After police reported the incident to the Navy, his employer, a defense contracting company, pulled his access to classified material for two days after his mental health problems became evident but restored it quickly and never told Navy officials it had done so.

Just 16 days later, after Alexis told a VA emergency room doctor in Providence that he couldn’t sleep, the doctor wrote that his speech and thoughts seemed “clear and focused” and noted that he “denies flashbacks, denies recent stress.”

Related: 12 killed by lone gunman in Navy Yard rampage

The medical records said Alexis, 34, was found sleeping in the VA waiting room in Providence on Aug. 23 while waiting to see a doctor. During that visit he was prescribed 50 milligrams of trazodone, an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication that in such low doses can be used to treat insomnia.

“Denies any pain except discomfort rt (right) temple,” a nurse wrote on Aug. 23. “Pt (patient) taking no medications including any otc (over-the-counter) medications.”

An attending doctor provided additional details, saying Alexis suffered from fatigue after sleeping only two or three hours every night over the past three weeks.

“Speech and thoughts clear and focused. Denies flashbacks. Denies recent stress. Denies drugs, cocaine, heroin, caffeine product, depression, anxiety, chest pain, sob (shortness of breath), nightmares. He denies taking nap during the day. Denies SI (suicidal ideation) or HI (homicidal ideation),” the doctor wrote.

“He works in the Defense Department, no problem there,” the doctor added.

The medical records showed that Alexis answered “no” when asked, “Do you have anything that could be considered a weapon?” The VA told the AP that was a standard question it asks veterans whom it treats in a triage setting.

Five days later, on Aug. 28, Alexis visited a VA medical facility in Washington, again complaining of sleeplessness: “Patient presents to ER with c/o (case of) awakening each morning about 4 a.m. like clockwork and he cannot figure out why this is happening.”

He answered “no” when asked whether he was having feelings of hopelessness for the present and the future. Another doctor that night described the examination as “unremarkable.” The VA gave him 10 more tablets of trazodone and sent him home just before 9 p.m.

Read More Here

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Doctors found ‘no problem’ with Navy Yard shooter weeks before rampage

Published time: January 31, 2014 21:31
Aaron Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying a Remington 870 shotgun in this undated handout photo released by the FBI (Reuters)

Aaron Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying a Remington 870 shotgun in this undated handout photo released by the FBI (Reuters)

Veteran Affairs doctors were so sure the Washington, DC, Navy Yard gunman was clear of mental issues they declared there was “no problem” with him just weeks before his shooting spree killed 12 people.

According to a new report by the Associated Press, medical records for the 34-year-old gunman Aaron Alexis showed him complaining of insomnia multiple times, as well as physical problems such as hearing loss and foot injuries. Three weeks before his violent outburst, Alexis adamantly denied harboring any suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

In early August, Alexis told police that disembodied voices were using a microwave in his hotel room to keep him awake. The defense contractor employing Alexis revoked his ability to access classified material after this came to their attention, but reinstated his access soon afterwards and declined to inform the Navy of its actions.

Just over two weeks later, Alexis was treated by a VA doctor for insomnia and given an antidepressant to help him sleep. The medical staff did not find anything of significant concern.

Speech and thoughts clear and focused. Denies flashbacks. Denies recent stress. Denies drugs, cocaine, heroin, caffeine product, depression, anxiety, chest pain, [shortness of breath], nightmares. He denies taking nap during the day. Denies [suicidal ideation] or [homicidal ideation],” the doctor wrote, according to the AP.

Read More Here

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Hmmm, gee I  wonder why no one is calling for budget cuts in  Political or Presidential pay  ?

All the money being  squandered on  keeping former Presidents comfortable and politicians receiving Gold plan  medical  care.

But  it’s the money  used for Veterans  and  Military  pay  that are  breaking the bank , RIGHT?

Sure it is ……..

 

~Desert Rose~

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Obama Urges Congress to Support Tricare Fees

Nov 19, 2013

Retiree Health Fair 600x400

On Monday the White House pressed the Pentagon to rein in Tricare costs and begin a new round of base closings as the Senate took up the National Defense Authorization Act on the military’s 2014 budget.

There are a number of areas of agreement with the initial markup of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the NDAA, but the administration “has serious concerns with certain provisions,” Office of Management and Budget officials said in a lengthy response to the markup.

OMB called on SASC to control Tricare costs at the Department of Defense “while keeping retired beneficiaries’ share of these costs well below the levels experienced when the Tricare program was implemented in the mid-1990s.”

Slowing the growth of Tricare costs would result in savings of $902 million in fiscal year 2014 and $9.3 billion through fiscal year 2018. Those savings were needed to offset projected increases in personnel costs, OMB said.

President Obama has proposed slowing this growth by introducing a new set of enrollment fees and higher co-pays to retirees under the age of 65.

The Pentagon proposed an annual enrollment fee based on a percentage of retired pay for Medicare-eligible retirees in the Tricare For Life Program. Working age retirees in the Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra programs also would face new annual enrollment fees phased in over five years.

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New budget cut options include military pay, veterans

Military members, retirees and veterans have a few more reasons to be wary of politicians who say their top priority is to cut federal spending.

The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday released a report of more than 100 options for reducing budget deficits.  It’s a timely product as House and Senate conferees strive to negotiate by mid-December a new debt-cutting deal to replace automatic budget cuts of sequestration.

More than a few of the CBO options are fresh ideas to roll back compensation for categories of veterans or to raise TRICARE fees for military retirees, on suggestions that the government is being too generous.

To be fair, CBO is not singling out veterans here.  There are options in the report to make nervous many segments of society dependent on federal payments, from social security recipients to drug manufacturers.

But for select veterans’ programs, CBO makes some hard-edged points that lawmakers bent on cutting spending might find compelling, if not persuasive, to help address the nation’s debt crisis.

Here are some of those ideas:

Cap Military Pay Raises – From 2000 through 2010, Congress approved basic pay raises that averaged a half percentage point above private sector wage growth.  The military could save $25 billion from 2015 to 2023 by reversing course, capping raises yearly at .5 percent below civilian wage growth.  CBO predicts only a “minor” effect on force retention.

Evidence in favor of this move are data showing cash compensation for enlisted members now exceeds wages of 90 percent of civilian counterparts, well above the Defense Department’s goal of keeping service pay ahead of 70 percent of civilians of similar age and educational background.  CBO says officer compensation exceeds 86 percent of private sector peers.

The case against capping raises is that recruiting and retention goals could be compromised, CBO says, and smaller raises also dampen other elements of military compensation including retirement annuities.

Raise TRICARE Fees – CBO floats two options to have military retirees pay more for health care.  One is to have TRICARE-for-Life users — retirees, spouses and survivors age 65 and older — pay the first $550 of costs not covered by Medicare and then 50 percent of the next $4950.  CBO says this would slow TRICARE costs by $31 billion from 2015 to 2023 but also save Medicare dollars as older beneficiaries seek fewer health services.

The drawback is some TLF users might not seek needed preventive care or manage their chronic conditions as closely as they do now.

The second option targets “working age” retirees and families enrolled in TRICARE Prime by raising fees, deductibles and co-pays in a complex combination too detailed to describe here.  The Prime changes for retirees could save from $2 billion to $11 billion by 2023, depending on final details.

 

Read More Here

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Eric Blair
Activist Post

After the initial surge of web traffic to alternative news websites following The Guardian breaking the NSA spying story, traffic has slowed considerably despite the continued interest in the NSA story as well as other alternative headlines.

This dramatic drop in traffic may be due to broad censorship by the Department of Defense on “millions of computers”.

What began as a rumor that the military brass was ordering soldiers not to view news about the whistleblower revelations that the NSA is spying on all Americans has swelled into a confirmed military-wide censorship campaign using a high-tech computer filtering system.

The US News and World Report is reporting that the DoD is blocking access to all articles related to the NSA scandal from all DoD computers. The filter reportedly effects millions of computers and potentially thousands of alternative news and civil liberties websites.

According to U.S. News:

The Department of Defense is blocking online access to news reports about classified National Security Agency documents made public by Edward Snowden. The blackout affects all of the department’s computers and is part of a department-wide directive.

“Any website that runs information that the Department of Defense still considers classified” is affected, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart told U.S. News in a phone interview.

According to Pickart, news websites that re-report information first published by The Guardian or other primary sources are also affected.

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Report Finds Afghan Military Shrinking Not Growing

May 02, 2013

  
afghan army march 600x400

A U.S. government watchdog overseeing the Afghanistan reconstruction found the U.S. led effort to recruit, train and field the Afghan National Security Forces is about 20,000 troops below its stated goal of 352,000.

The U.S. led coalition force failed to meet the goal of 352,000 ANSF personnel by October 2012, although the Defense Department reported that it reached the goal of recruiting 352,000 ANSF personnel. These personnel are spread across the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and the Afghan Air Force.

In fact, the ANSF end strength is shrinking, not growing. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the number of personnel shrunk by about 4,000 troops and policemen between March 2012 and February 2013.

Inspectors noted how the U.S. led coalition has continually moved the date in which it hopes to reach the stated end strength. Defense Department officials have recently told SIGAR officials the goal is now to train, equip and field the personnel in the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police by December 2013, and the Afghan National Air Force by 2017.

Read Full Article Here

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Afghanistan Is Not Ready to Take Over

A special inspector general discloses that as U.S. forces head for the exit, the Pentagon has not met its goal for enlarging the Afghan force left behind.
More

afghan army banner 2930423023498.jpg

An Afghan National Army soldier practices drills at an outpost in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, on January 29, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)

Since the United States first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, a signature goal of the war has been to increase the size of Afghan national security forces and give their members the skills to vanquish domestic terrorist groups and other security threats on their own.

But as the Obama administration prepares to pull 34,000 U.S. troops out of the country by February and most of the remaining troops by the end of 2014, estimates of the size of the Afghan force trained to take over this lead security role have suddenly grown fuzzy and possibly unreliable.

The Afghan National Army “did not yet have the ability to plan and conduct sustained operations without U.S. and Coalition support.”

A new report this week by the government’s top watchdog over U.S. spending in Afghanistan casts doubt on whether the U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan government has met a goal set in 2011 of enlisting and training a total of 352,000 Afghan security personnel by October 2012. Pentagon officials have said that target was meant to strike a balance between what is needed and what America and its allies can deliver in concert with the Afghan government.

The White House declared two months ago, in conjunction with the President’s State of the Union address, that the goal had been attained. Afghan “forces are currently at a surge strength of 352,000, where they will remain for at least three more years, to allow continued progress toward a secure environment in Afghanistan,” it said.

But on Tuesday, Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko challenged this rosy assessment, which White House officials said was based on data supplied by the Pentagon.

“The goal to ‘train and field’ 352,000 Afghan National Security Forces by last October was not met.” Sopko said in his latest quarterly report. Instead, as of Feb. 18, the number of personnel in the Afghan National Army, National Police and Air Force totaled 332,753, or about 20,000 fewer, according to data he said he collected from the Coalition-led transition command in Kabul.

Sopko said Afghan troop and police strength is actually declining, not rising – belying a longstanding goal of the U.S. intervention. There are now 4,700 fewer personnel than a year ago, he noted, drawing on the same data that the Pentagon routinely uses.

The discrepancy between the force size the White House has claimed and what the Afghans have actually been able to field is not a trivial one, Sopko’s report suggested. “Accurate and reliable accounting for ANSF personnel is necessary to ensure that U.S. funds that support the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] are used for legitimate and eligible costs,” it said.

As a result, the discrepancy has triggered a wider audit by his organization into “the extent to which DOD [the Department of Defense] reviews and validates the information collected” from Afghan officials, Sopko said in the report. It will broadly assess “the reliability and usefulness” of what the Afghans – and the U.S. government – say about the force’s size.

In a statement to the Center for Public Integrity, Sopko explained that “we are not implying that anyone is manipulating data. We are raising a concern that we don’t have the right numbers. We appreciate how difficult it is to get the correct numbers — but we need accurate numbers because we’re using those numbers to pay ANSF salaries, supply equipment and so forth.”

The financial stakes behind the numbers are huge. Sopko’s report says Congress has appropriated more than $51 billion so far “to build, equip, train and sustain the Afghan National Security Forces.”

But U.S. officials and watchdog groups have previously raised alarms about the existence of “ghost” personnel in the Afghan forces, whose salaries are still funded by Western aid but who quit the units to which they are assigned. The annual attrition rate for the Afghan army is nearly 30 percent, according to U.S. military commanders, provoking an enormous churn in the ranks that complicates accurate record-keeping.

Part of the problem, according to Sopko’s report, is that Western officials have allowed “the Afghan forces to report their own personnel strength numbers,” which are based on hand-written ledgers in “decentralized, unlinked and inconsistent systems.” The Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which oversees the training effort, reported last year “there was no viable method of validating personnel numbers,” the report added.

But U.S. officials have added to the confusion by adopting a new definition of what it means to be a member of the Afghan security force, loosening its terminology in a way that enlarges the ranks to include all those “recruited” rather than those actually trained and field-ready.

For example, the Defense Department’s so-called Section 1230 reports, which track the progress of the war, including efforts to build an effective Afghan security force, said in April 2012 that “the ANSF are ahead of schedule to achieve the October 2012 end-strength of 352,000, including subordinate goals of 195,000 soldiers and 157,000 police.”

Read Full Article Here

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Government auditor challenges White House account of Afghanistan security

A special inspector general discloses that as US forces head for the exit, the Pentagon has not met its goal for enlarging the Afghan force left behind

By Richard H.P. Sia

20 hours, 20 minutes ago Updated: 14 hours, 28 minutes ago

Afghan National Army recruits practice a house clearing during training exercise in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Dar Yasin/AP

Since the United States first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, a signature goal of the war has been to increase the size of Afghan national security forces and give their members the skills to vanquish domestic terrorist groups and other security threats on their own.

But as the Obama administration prepares to pull 34,000 U.S. troops out of the country by February and most of the remaining troops by the end of 2014, estimates of the size of the Afghan force trained to take over this lead security role have suddenly grown fuzzy and possibly unreliable.

A new report this week by the government’s top watchdog over U.S. spending in Afghanistan casts doubt on whether the U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan government has met a goal set in 2011 of enlisting and training a total of 352,000 Afghan security personnel by October 2012. Pentagon officials have said that target was meant to strike a balance between what is needed and what America and its allies can deliver in concert with the Afghan government.

The White House declared two months ago, in conjunction with the President’s State of the Union address, that the goal had been attained. Afghan “forces are currently at a surge strength of 352,000, where they will remain for at least three more years, to allow continued progress toward a secure environment in Afghanistan,” it said.

But on Tuesday, Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko challenged this rosy assessment, which White House officials said was based on data supplied by the Pentagon.

“The goal to ‘train and field’ 352,000 Afghan National Security Forces by last October was not met.” Sopko said in his latest quarterly report. Instead, as of Feb. 18, the number of personnel in the Afghan National Army, National Police and Air Force totaled 332,753, or about 20,000 fewer, according to data he said he collected from the Coalition-led transition command in Kabul.

Sopko said Afghan troop and police strength is actually declining, not rising – belying a longstanding goal of the U.S. intervention. There are now 4,700 fewer personnel than a year ago, he noted, drawing on the same data that the Pentagon routinely uses.

The discrepancy between the force size the White House has claimed and what the Afghans have actually been able to field is not a trivial one, Sopko’s report suggested. ”Accurate and reliable accounting for ANSF personnel is necessary to ensure that U.S. funds that support the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] are used for legitimate and eligible costs,” it said.

As a result, the discrepancy has triggered a wider audit by his organization into “the extent to which DOD [the Department of Defense] reviews and validates the information collected” from Afghan officials, Sopko said in the report. It will broadly assess “the reliability and usefulness” of what the Afghans – and the U.S. government – say about the force’s size.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Americans who received swine flu vaccines are at risk for paralysis disorders

 

flu

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The federal government has once again been exposed for lying about the safety of the infamous swine flu vaccine, also known as H1N1. According to a new study published in the journal The Lancet, people who received the swine flu vaccine during the 2009-2010 pandemic hoax were at an elevated risk of developing a potentially-deadly paralysis disorder known as Guillain-Barre syndrome, or GBS.

Based on data collected from six different adverse event reporting systems, including the core vaccine safety datalink and several new surveillance systems created by Medicare and the U.S. Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, researchers found that among the 23 million people who were vaccinated during the scare, an additional 1.6 cases of GBS were observed per one million people vaccinated.

According to statistics presented by TIME.com, one in 100,000 people is said to develop GBS, which is a relatively small amount overall. But the widespread issuance of the H1N1 vaccine was responsible for triggering an additional 77 reported cases of the autoimmune disorder, some of which manifested up to 91 days after individuals received the vaccine.

The findings contrast sharply with false reassurances made back in 2009 by many so-called medical experts. Dr. Paul A. Offit, the infamous “vaccine expert” who outspokenly believes children can safely receive 10,000 vaccinations at once without issue, is quoted in a 2009 article in The New York Times (NYT) as doubting any link between the swine flu vaccine and GBS.
(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/09/health/09vaccine.html)

But the numbers speak for themselves, and they more than likely represent just a small fraction of the total number of vaccine injuries caused by the swine flu vaccine. After all, adverse event reporting systems are believed to represent as few as one percent of the total number of vaccine injuries that actually occur, the vast majority of which never get reported.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Increased Risk Of Sleep Disorder In Children Who Received Swine Flu Vaccine

Article Date: 26 Feb 2013 – 16:00 PST

Medical News Today

Current ratings for:
Increased Risk Of Sleep Disorder In Children Who Received Swine Flu Vaccine

Results consistent with findings from Finland and Sweden, but may still be overestimated

A study published on bmj.com today finds an increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents who received the A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine (Pandemrix) during the pandemic in England.

The results are consistent with previous studies from Finland and Sweden and indicate that the association is not confined to Scandinavian populations. However, the authors stress that the risk may still be overestimated, and they call for longer term monitoring of the cohort of children and adolescents exposed to Pandemrix to evaluate the exact level of risk.

In 2009, pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus spread rapidly, resulting in millions of cases and over 18,000 deaths in over 200 countries. In England the vaccine Pandemrix was introduced in October 2009. By March 2010, around one in four (24%) of healthy children aged under 5 and just over a third (37%) aged 2-15 in a risk group had been vaccinated.

In August 2010 concerns were raised in Finland and Sweden about a possible association between narcolepsy and Pandemrix. And in 2012 a study from Finland reported a 13-fold increased risk in children and young people aged 4-19.

But a lack of reported cases in other countries led to speculation that any possible association might be restricted to these Scandinavian populations.

 

Read Full Report Here

 

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Swine Flu Vaccine Linked To Rare Paralyzing Disease

Editor’s Choice
Academic Journal

Article Date: 14 Mar 2013 – 0:00 PDT
Medical News Today

Current ratings for:
Swine Flu Vaccine Linked To Rare Paralyzing Disease

A new study finds that the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine in the U.S., which was given out in 2009, was associated with a small increased risk of developing the rare paralyzing disease Guillain-Barré syndrome. However, the authors note that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.

Guillain Barré syndrome is a disorder which affects the peripheral nervous system, it is characterized as symmetrical weakness, usually affecting the lower limbs first and then progressing to other parts of the body.

The syndrome occurs when the body attacks nerves which are essential for movement and respiration. Although the condition is serious and can take months to recover from, almost 80% of patients end up making a full recovery.

The study, which was published in The Lancet, aimed to identify whether there was any link between the mass 2009 H1N1 vaccination programe in the USA and increased risk of developing Guillain Barré syndrome.

They gathered data from six different adverse event monitoring systems to evaluate the safety of the H1N1 vaccine. The researchers, led by Dr Daniel Salmon, of the National Vaccine Program Office, US Department of Health and Human Services, looked at the prevalence of Guillain-Bare syndrome among the 23 million people who were vaccinated.

 

Read Full Report  Here

 

 

Obama’s Lobbyist Ban Meets a Loophole: William Lynn

By Mark Thompson / Washington Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009
APWilliam Lynn

Last year the Pentagon paid the Raytheon Corp., its fifth largest contractor, a cool $10 billion for its missiles, missile shields and a constellation of electronics. This year President Barack Obama is putting Raytheon’s recently departed top lobbyist in charge of the Pentagon’s day-to-day management.

In Washington that almost qualifies as business as usual, except for a small detail: on the campaign trail, Obama vowed to stop the revolving door that lets onetime lobbyists go to work for the Federal Government and oversee contracts that could harm — or help — their former employer. And one of the first things the new President did in office was seemingly make good on that promise, signing an Executive Order barring former lobbyists from joining his Administration to work at agencies they recently lobbied. (See pictures of Obama’s Inauguration.)

Not surprisingly, Obama’s good-government backers were less than pleased to see the President, only a few days after signing the blanket ban, issue a waiver permitting William Lynn to serve as Deputy Secretary of Defense. The lobbying loophole was allowed, Administration officials explain, because Lynn is “uniquely qualified” for the job. Realists at the Pentagon and elsewhere put it slightly differently, saying the President was simply acknowledging that people who know how to run the Pentagon generally have been involved in the process.

Read  Full Article Here

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800,000 DoD civilians face furloughs in April

By Stephen Losey – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Feb 20, 2013 10:38:01 EST

The Defense Department Wednesday will furlough almost 800,000 employees — essentially its entire civilian workforce — beginning in late April.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today told Congress and Defense employees that the department will be forced to furlough almost all of its civilian employees if the budget cuts known as sequestration take effect March 1 and are not quickly averted.

In a Pentagon briefing with reporters, undersecretary of Defense and comptroller Robert Hale said the department will not issue layoffs, known as reductions in force (RIFs), this year. Hale said that, this late in the fiscal year, paying RIFed employees for their unused leave and severance pay would actually cost the Pentagon money. But Hale did not rule out the possibility of RIFs next year.

Hale said the Pentagon will notify employees in mid-March that they are likely to be furloughed. Because employees must have 30 days advance notice before they are furloughed, the Pentagon will officially tell employees they are furloughed in mid-April. Employees will then have one week to appeal their furlough to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and if their appeal is unsuccessful, they will then be furloughed.

“The bottom line is furloughs would not actually start for DoD employees until late April,” Hale said. “And we certainly hope that in the interim, Congress will act to detrigger sequestration or … to take some short-term action while they’re dealing with the broader issue. Meanwhile, unfortunately, we’ll have to continue our planning for furloughs. Frankly, this is one of the most distasteful tasks I have faced in my four years in this job.”

Hale and the acting undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, Jessica Wright, said very few civilian employees will be exempted from furloughs, though they could not say how many. Civilian employees deployed in combat zones will not be furloughed, Hale said.

Employees who are needed to maintain the safety of life or property also will be exempted, Hale said, but only as much as needed to maintain that safety. Political appointees also will not be furloughed because they are paid through non-appropriated funds, he said. And foreign nationals employed by the military abroad will not be furloughed.

Read Full Article Here

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New Deputy Defense Secretary Lynn Lost 3.4 Trillion as Pentagon Comptroller

Validated Independent News Oct 23, 2009

Researcher: Chris McManus

Evaluator: Diana Grant, Phd.

William Lynn was appointed Deputy Defense Secretary under Robert Gates. Prior to being a Raytheon lobbyist, William Lynn was the Pentagon Comptroller between 1997 and 2001 during the Clinton Administration. In Fiscal Year 1999 the Defense Department reported 2.3 trillion dollars missing. In Fiscal Year 2000 the Defense Department reported 1.1 trillion dollars missing. This is a total of 3.4 trillion dollars for two years in “missing” taxpayer money. Lynn was the Department of Defense’s Chief Financial Officer responsible for all budgetary administration and reporting. He was also responsible for the publication of audited financial statements which he failed to do and have never been published since.

Read Full Article Here

By Desert Rose

This began as the response to a comment left on one of my posts  about swine flu in China. However,in  researching the response to be able to provide adequate materials for the individual to be able to research their own not simply take my word for it. It  grew into this.

I decided that  I should post it on it’s own so that others may become acquainted with the history of the US government as well as other governments.  I think  people need to wake up to the reality and stop the adulation that is blinding them to the truth of the crimes being perpetrated against humanity in the name of War , research and the continuity of the power structure in place within them..

If you thought animal experimentation was the only kind of experimentation that has been done then you  need to wake up and smell the coffee.  Your governments are not the entities you believe them to be and they are not looking out for your best interest.  Quite  the contrary, we  are inconsequential in the  scheme of things and it is high time people started opening their eyes and facing these truths.

youthvoicestt
youthvoicestt.com x
youthvoicesmagazine@yahoo.com
186.44.147.44

I saw this movie last night called “Contagion” where there was a pandemic, of some unknown virus that had an incubation period of less and a few days, if I am correct, I fell asleep so many times during the movie. After reading your post, I can relate to why things are , and why one would say that the government is under a cloak of invisibility or at the very least try to be. Can I say art imitating life …..however, it does make you wonder if half the movies we see aren’t made on the basis of some real-life event. If there were the slightest possibility of a World-wide out-break ,that had the tiniest chance of survival as 1 in 4, would we be prepared for such a disaster? I shiver at my own morbid thought.

Yes , I have seen the movie.  Actually Hollywood movies have always been ahead  of the curve when it  comes to things like that as well as  politics and government.  Of course, being Hollywood there is always  the sensationalistic bent that is given to draw in viewer.  Which is logical,they make movies to make money.  Too many  movies however have come eerily close to situations that have taken place in  real life.  At  least  for me.

There  are  those who believe these movies are based on truths that are spun into the  fantastical. Just as  there  are those who say that it is purely coincidence and anyone who claims otherwise is a conspiracy nut. All I have to say about that  is the fact that  there  have  been many conspiracy theories that have been proven to have merit. Now is that to say that  all conspiracy theories are real?  Of course not.  However, based on the facts that some have indeed been proven to have merit how can one say with certainty which arising theory is fact or lunacy?

Now for those who say that  claiming that  the government would  be willing and able to execute any  number of these scenarios. May I remind you of the Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment,  the Guatemala human experiments, the  radiation experiments that  were  carried out in low income minority neighborhoods and VA Hospitals.  Below I will place  several links to corroborate  what I am writing here in this response.  Do your research, read for yourself, don’t  take my word for it.

So you see your concerns are not unfounded and we must always remember to be critical and vigilant of governments.  For their intentions are never to safeguard  the lives of individual human beings but  rather their war games and ensuring the continuity of their perverse greedy and power hungry governments.

Experiments performed in the United States
Main article: Unethical human experimentation in the United States#Human radiation experiments

Numerous human radiation experiments have been performed in the United States, many of which were funded by various U.S. government agencies [1] such as the United States Department of Defense and the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Experiments included, but were not limited to:

Injecting radioactive iodine into pregnant women seeking abortion, in order to track the mass transfer between placenta and carriers bloodstream. Another experiment administered radioactive iodine to newborns.
irradiating the heads of children[2]
feeding radioactive material to mentally disabled children[3]
exposing U.S. soldiers and prisoners to high levels of radiation[3]
irradiating the testicles of prisoners, which caused severe birth defects[3]
exhuming bodies from graveyards to test them for radiation (without the consent of the families of the deceased)[4]

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=389649

http://www.naturalnews.com/029924_medical_experiments_Guatemala.html

http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/2982-large-area-coverage-dangers.html

http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/outlaw-nonconsensual-human-experiments-now

http://www.regularguy.com/news/news_crime_media/american-citizens-as-guinea-pigs-part-3-by-kelleigh-nelson/

http://www.hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre/roadmap/whitehouse/appa.html

http://www.newswithviews.com/Nelson/kelleigh112.htm

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/enter/books/book456.htm

http://articles.latimes.com/1993-12-29/news/mn-6363_1_radiation-testing

http://www.amazon.com/The-Treatment-Story-Cincinnati-Radiation/dp/product-description/0822328119

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=human+experimentation+in+the++US&page=3

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=human+experimentation+by+the++US&page=1

http://www.bing.com/search?q=radiation+experiments++carried+out+on++american+citizens&qs=n&pq=radiation+experiments+carried+out+on+american+citizens&sc=0-0&sp=-1&sk=&first=1&FORM=PERE

For a listing of Human Experimentation’s carried out by the  U.S government and links to experimentation by other governments as well.  You can go to this link

http://medlibrary.org/medwiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States#Human_radiation_experiments

http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/health_risks/HISTORY.htm

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/115049534/THE-HISTORY-OF-SECRET-EXPERIMENTATION-ON-UNITED-STATES-CITIZENS

Disaster Preparation and Survival

Liberal media, White House owes preppers and survivalists a massive apology in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy

 

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

preppers

(NaturalNews) In the wake of superstorm Sandy, preppers are the new prophets. Those who failed to prepare are the new homeless.

For as long as we can all remember, preppers and survivalists have been derided by the mainstream media, labeled “kooks” and “wing nuts” for stockpiling food, water, ammunition, medical supplies and emergency gear. Only paranoid conspiracy theorists engage in evil preparedness activities, we were told by the sellout mainstream media, and they’ve convinced many that preppers may even be terrorists.

The very word “stockpiling” has been used in a derogatory manner, as if it’s somehow bad for private citizens to stockpile food, medicine and emergency supplies that might save lives in a crisis. Never mind that the government stockpiles all these things for its own survival; citizens are routinely taught that stockpiling is bad!

Suddenly all that has changed. In the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, preppers are the ones who aren’t starving, freezing or begging the government to come save them with emergency supplies. Those who failed to prepare are now subjected to the chaotic, incompetent actions of the federal government which is, predictably, operating in a never-ending state of logistical failure.

An one example, in response to the ongoing scarcity of gasoline, New York announced that the Defense Department would be opening up free gas stations near areas hardest-hit, but that residents should stay away and let first responders fuel up ahead of them.

This, of course, set off a wave of confusion. It was then announced that those “civilians” (a derogatory term against citizens, used only in a police state) who were already in line could stay in line, but no “civilians” could join the line. Many people waited up to six hours for gasoline. Tempers flared, fist fights were commonplace, and state troopers had to be sent to gas stations to keep the peace.

Preppers, of course, already stored away spare fuel at home and therefore didn’t need to wait in line and subject themselves to the chaos and desperation.

FEMA runs out of water

This one was easy to see coming: FEMA has run out of water to distribute to Sandy victims and is now desperately trying to find a private contractor that will deliver millions of bottles of water to the region.

That this could happen in the aftermath of a storm that everybody saw coming at least a week ahead of time is nothing short of bewildering. How could FEMA, whose only job is to plan for crisis, not have stockpiled some supplies in advance of the storm?

The answer is that FEMA is just flat-out incompetent. As described in an article by Michael Patrick Leahy:

…the agency appears to have been completely unprepared to distribute bottled water to Hurricane Sandy victims when the storm hit this Monday. In contrast to its stated policy, FEMA failed to have any meaningful supplies of bottled water — or any other supplies, for that matter — stored in nearby facilities as it had proclaimed it would on its website. This was the case despite several days advance warning of the impending storm.

Once again, preppers who had stockpiled water in advance of all this were sitting pretty, living on stored water supplies. Those who invested in water filters were even able to use water that would not have been drinkable otherwise.

No electricity = no heat for cooking

Even today, the power grid is down in many areas, and for all those residents using electric stoves and toasters, that means no ability cook anything… not even to boil water!

Most people simply have no backup plan for when the power grid goes down. So they become yet another victim who needs to be rescued by a government that has a terrible track record on rescues.

Preppers, on the other hand, own non-electric cookstoves such as this Zoom Dura cookstove which can burn paper, wood, small branches and almost anything flammable. It boils water, cooks meals, and kills bacteria. No batteries required.

In the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, people who own emergency campstoves or cookstoves have been able to cook meals if they also stored some food. Something as simple as a few cans of chili can be priceless in the middle of a grid down scenario. Or some quinoa, oatmeal, rice or whatever.

I know for a fact that we shipped a large number of 40-day organic survival food pails to the Northeast in the days before the storm hit. Those people have no doubt been sitting pretty with plenty of food to eat, compared to their neighbors who didn’t prepare and are therefore starving or dumpster diving for food scraps.

Arming up with bows, machetes, firearms and baseball bats

Looting has been widespread in some areas, thanks mostly to the fact that police are spread too thin and can’t cover all the territory. At first, the looting targeted commercial buildings, where looters made off with TV projectors, flat panel displays and valuable electronics, but it soon shifted to the looting of private homes by criminals dressed as Con Edison workers.

Citizens quickly realized they would need to fend for themselves. As the NY Daily News reports:

Ever since Sandy strafed the Queens peninsula and tore up the boardwalk, it’s become an often lawless place where cops are even scarcer than electrical power and food. Locals say they are arming themselves with guns, baseball bats, booby traps — even a bow and arrow — to defend against looters.

“We booby-trapped our door and keep a baseball bat beside our bed,” said Danielle Harris, 34, rummaging through donated supplies as children rode scooters along half-block chunk of the boardwalk that had marooned into the middle of Beach 91st St.

“We heard gunshots for three nights in a row,” said Harris, who believed they came from the nearby housing projects.

Preppers, of course, already have firearms and ammo. In fact, many preppers today are investing in firearms proficiency training in order to gain combat skills. I know several firearms instructors, and they tell me their classes are jam packed, with waiting lists increasingly common.

A typical prepper owns not only a handgun, but also a combat rifle (typically an AR or AK) and a shotgun for close quarters defense. In addition, preppers stockpile at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each. It’s not uncommon to talk to preppers who have stored 10,000 rounds of ammo for each firearm they own.

These firearms, far from causing violence, are used in the defense of life and property in communities struck by disaster. People who legally own firearms are law-abiding citizens who typically work with local law enforcement to restore peace and security to local communities and help stop criminals and looters.

That states like New York restrict private citizens from owning firearms is, in a very real sense, denying them the ability to protect themselves during a crisis when the police can’t protect them, either. Using machetes and bows is no match for a Glock 17 or an AR-15. While anti-gun people like Bloomberg or Obama like to say that guns “have no place on the streets of America,” they are wrong. Firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens are an essential part of restoring peace and order following any crisis. In a disaster scenario, more guns in the hands of responsible citizens really does equal less crime.

It’s just common sense: When the cops are nowhere to be found, and the National Guard isn’t helping out, and FEMA’s lack of preparedness has made the local population desperate for supplies, a privately-owned firearm is the only remaining defense against criminal-minded looters and violent opportunities who try to prey on the weak. That’s why I even published a tactical home defense guide designed to stop looters and criminals from targeting innocent victims of superstorm Sandy.

The media owes preppers a massive apology

One of the realizations emerging from all this is that the media’s portrayal of preppers has been not just malicious and highly inaccurate. Preppers are not the “kooks” you see on TV shows (which the media admits are laced with pay-for-placement messages provided by the White House); they are intelligent, forward-thinking members of society who are truly a national treasure capable of saving lives in any disaster.

Preppers pick up where the police and the government drop the ball. Preppers provide food, water, emergency medicine and even local neighborhood security. They do it without being paid and without even being thanked for their contributions to society.

In the wake of superstorm Sandy, the national media — and especially the liberal media which expresses intense hatred for preppers — owes preppers a massive apology. Preppers create stability, safety and security in any crisis, and they deserve to be portrayed as the upstanding members of society they truly are.

The White House owes preppers a huge apology as well. Preppers and survivalists have, in the last few years, been characterized as “terrorists” by the Obama administration. The message is that anyone with a gun, some ammo and a stockpile of food is somehow “dangerous” or a threat to society. In reality, that person is the guy sharing food with neighbors and helping protect the neighborhood from violent criminal looters.

Famously, a prepper was recently put on a “no-fly list” and stranded in Hawaii because he was classified by the government as a “prepper.” So hold on: Stockpiling emergency supplies makes you synonymous with a terrorist now?

Preppers are actually on the target list of the U.S. government. As an active duty National Guard member named “Soldier X” has recently revealed, the Guard is being trained to “treat preppers as terrorists.”

According to Soldier X, the government is compiling lists of preppers and intends to confiscate their guns and treat them as enemy combatants in any crisis situation. So the very group the government should be thanking for providing local community stability and order is the group being targeted for arrest, detainment and possibly being sent to Obama’s secret military prisons under the provisions of the NDAA.

The federal government WANTS chaos and panic, get it?

The reality of all this is that the federal government is trying to eliminate preppers and survivalists precisely as a way to create more panic, fear and chaos. Why? Because it is from that scenario that the government can justify yet more funding for itself, more police state crackdowns and more dependency among the citizen slaves.

Remember: Every government wants to become like North Korea, where it dominates everything in society, controls all the resources and commands citizens as if they were slaves. The U.S. government is no different: Like every government, it thirsts for unlimited power.

Preppers and survivalists interfere with the growth of government power because they demonstrate the far greater power of individual preparedness. When preppers take care of themselves and don’t need to be rescued by the government, they send a “dangerous” message to the rest of society: Emergency preparedness is YOUR responsibility, not the government’s.

The White House doesn’t like people sending that message. Neither does the liberal media which persistently pushes citizen victimization and government dependence. The very idea of thinking for yourself, taking care of yourself and being self-reliant is alien to the liberal media. And that’s one reason why the liberal media is ultimately so dangerous: Many people who followed the advice of, say, the New York Times, are now DEAD in Jersey.

The bottom line: Preppers are the future of human civilization; deniers are dead

Hurricane Sandy was a walk in the park compared to what we’ll see in a national grid-down scenario. As I’ve explained many times here on Natural News, a single solar flare (or a high-altitude EMP burst weapon) could knock out most of the national power grid.

That would thrust virtually the entire nation into the scenario we’ve recently watched unfold on Staten Island and certain parts of NY. Imagine fuel scarcity, starvation, water scarcity and looting unleashed on a national scale. That’s what we will sooner or later face in America (and everywhere else, too).

When that scenario unfolds, it’s a simple matter of fact that we’re going to see the mass death of liberal media worshippers and Big Government worshippers who refused to prepare. The survivors will, by and large, be the preppers who planned ahead.

It’s Darwinism at work, backfiring on people who call themselves “Darwinists” (who almost universally do not believe in preparedness). It’s natural selection doing its thing. People who cannot adapt to survive do not tend to reproduce, while those who can adapt and survive are the ones left remaining to repopulate the planet.

In fact, the domination of the planet by the “prepping gene” is one of the most scientific ideas of our time. That’s because crisis strikes our planet on a regular basis: Solar flares, asteroids, the spread of infectious disease and even the threat of widespread nuclear war or nuclear facility failures.

Each “wave” of crisis weeds out the ignorant unprepared masses through mass death. While those people may be in a majority right now, they and their lineage have no real future.

Interestingly, modern humanity hasn’t faced a real crisis yet. By “modern,” I mean the version of civilization that has bet everything on complex electronics, food supply logistics and the continued restocking of the artificial living zones known as “cities.” This modern civilization has only existed for about seventy-five years — a blink of an eye in terms of the big picture. So it hasn’t been tested yet with a true global survival scenario. We are one solar flare away from being thrust back to the early 1900’s.

Another mass extinction event is inevitable

Sixty-five million years ago, a single rock from space wiped out the dinosaurs. It was the most violent mass-extinction event planet Earth had ever experienced. So far, there have been five mass extinction events in the known history of our planet.

Human beings are likely going to be the sixth, through the careless proliferation of nuclear power plants, the toying with GMOs and the genetic pollution of the planet, or even through the accidental release of a military bioweapon with a 98% fatality rate.

The next mass extinction event will quickly eliminate from the planet all organisms poorly adapted to survive, which includes most New York Times subscribers. It will leave behind only those humans, plants and animals with remarkable survival adaptation skills.

The most likely survivors, it turns out, are going to be well-stocked preppers who have practiced the skills of self-reliance and sustainable living.

Survival resources

If you’re serious about survival, here are some resources I recommend:

James Wesley Rawles’ Survival Blog:
www.SurvivalBlog.com

I also recommend books by Rawles on Amazon.com.

Joe Nobody:
www.HoldingYourGround.com
Author page on Amazon.com

Lehman’s Non-Electric Store:
www.Lehmans.com

Article: How to “Bug In” for survival.

Health Ranger course on self defense and preparedness.

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

  Government Overreach :  IT  /  Security /  Invasion Of Privacy I

 

 

Is Privacy Dead? 4 Government and Private Entities Conspiring to Track Everything You Do Online and Off

The police-corporate surveillance “complex” is being consolidated, drawing ever-closer corporate tracking and government surveillance.
 
Terrorist Screening Center

Americans’ personal privacy is being crushed by the rise of a four-headed corporate-state surveillance system.  The four “heads” are: federal government agencies; state and local law enforcement entities; telecoms, web sites & Internet “apps” companies; and private data aggregators (sometimes referred to as commercial data warehouses).

Conventional analysis treats these four domains of data gathering as separate and distinct; government agencies focus on security issues and corporate entities are concerned with commerce. Some overlap can be expected as, for example, in case of a terrorist attack or an online banking fraud.  In both cases, an actual crime occurred.

But what happens when the boundary separating or restricting corporate-state collaboration, e.g., an exceptional crime-fighting incident, erodes and becomes the taken-for-granted operating environment, the new normal?  Perhaps most troubling, what happens when the traditional safeguards offered by “watchdog” courts or regulatory organizations no longer seem to matter?  What does it say that the entities designed to protect personal privacy rights seem to have either been effectively “captured” or become toothless tigers?

In President Eisenhower’s legendary 1960 farewell address, he warned of the potential power of the military-industrial complex.  Ike’s 20th century formulation represented the intertwining of the U.S. military and private contractors to achieve two complementary goals.  First, it sought to help corporations make guaranteed, cost-plus profits and to provide glide-path retirement programs for the military brass.  Second, it sought to influence Congress and thus shape foreign policy, helping fulfill the then just-emerging global imperialist strategy.

Today’s corporate-state surveillance complex demonstrates a comparable intertwining of U.S. policing forces and private companies in the monitoring of domestic life.  It is being implemented thanks to the technology fruits of a half-century of the military-industrial complex.  The Defense Department created the Internet and what it can do in Yemen it can do in Oakland. The global war on terrorism is coming home!

In the wake of the Great Recession, we are living through a great economic and social restructuring.  The global world order is shifting and, accordingly, America’s class and social relations are being reordered.  Occupy Wall Street’s formulation of the social crisis, the 1% vs. the 99%, has become the shorthand descriptor of this restructuring of American economic relations.  No time is better to impose high-tech social disciple then one marked by economic and social crisis.  The unanswered question is obvious:  Are we witnessing the formation of the high-tech police state?

* * *

To reiterate, the four-headed corporate-state surveillance hydra consists of (i) federal agencies; (ii) state and local law enforcement entities; (iii) telecoms, web sites & Internet “apps” companies; and (iv) private data aggregators.  The following overview sketches out the parameters of the ever-growing domestic spy state, how it’s being implemented and some of the more egregious examples of abuse of public trust if not the law.

#1 — Federal Surveillance

The attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent (and endless) “war on terror” continue to provide the rationale for an ever-expanding domestic security state.  The leading agencies gathering data on Americans (and others) include the National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) as well as the FBI and IRS.  In the wake of 9/11, the NSA took the lead in federal domestic cyber surveillance, but in 2010 the NSA ceded this authority to the DHS.

Personal information is gathered from a host of both public and private sources.  One source is “public records” that can range from birth, marriage and death records; court filings, arrest records, driver’s license information, property ownership registrations (e.g., car or house), tax records, professional licenses and even Securities and Exchange Commission filings.  Another source is “private” records from ChoicePoint and LexisNexis as well as credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian Information Solutions and Trans Union LLC.

 

Is Privacy Dead? 4 Government and Private Entities Conspiring to Track Everything You Do Online and Off (page2)

 

 

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web (Photo credit: kevindean)

The police-corporate surveillance “complex” is being consolidated, drawing ever-closer corporate tracking and government surveillance.

The most Kafkaesque example of federal tracking efforts has been the DHS Transportation and Safety Administration’s (TSA) No-Fly List.  As of 2011, it was estimated to contain about 10,000 names.  The list’s inherent absurdity was illustrated when, some years before his death, Ted Kennedy discovered he (as “T. Kennedy”) was on the list.

The No-Fly List is administered by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) which cannot reveal whether a particular person is on the list, nor does it have the authority to remove someone from the list — that’s up to the FBI. The TSC also manages what is known as the Terrorist Watch List. Administered by the FBI, the list, according to an ACLU estimate, consists of 1 million names and is  continually expanding.

DHS also maintains the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) that has the fingerprints, photographs and biographical information on 126 million people.

During the July 4, 2012, holiday weekend, Pres. Obama quietly released a new Executive Order, “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.” While ostensibly seeking to ensure the continuity of government communications during a national emergency, it grants new powers to the DHS over telecom.  It permits the agency to collect public communications information and the authority to seize private facilities when necessary.  The Executive Order is legislation through the back door, the Obama Administration’s effort to implement a law that Congress rejected in 2011.

Parallel to the DHS efforts, the FBI maintains a number of operations tracking Americans.  The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) keeps fingerprint records of some 62 million people; it makes this resource available to 43 states and 5 other federal agencies. Soon, the agency will switch over to the NGI (Next Generation Initiative), which will contain face recognition searchable photos, iris scans, fingerprints, palm prints, and a record of scars and tatoos.  The FBI coordinates the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that has DNA evidence from blood and saliva sample on more than 10 million people.  In addition, the FBI maintains the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (SAR) that includes some 160,000 reports on people who allegedly acted suspiciously.

(These activities are separate from the recent revelation from AntiSec that found on a FBI agent laptop  a database of 12 million Apple device owners’ users unique identify, including owner’s personal information.)

In 2004, Congress established the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to serve as the “center for joint operational planning and joint intelligence, staffed by personnel from the various agencies.”   It maintains the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) that includes records on an estimated 740,000 people.  Federal authorities claim that less than 2 percent of the people on file are US citizens or legal permanent residents. Earlier this year, Att. Gen. Eric Holder extended the agency’s ability to maintain private information about U.S. citizens when there is no suspicion that they are involved in terrorism from 180 days to five years.

The NSA’s authority overrides 4th Amendment guarantees safeguarding a citizen’s right from unreasonable search and seizure through what is known as a National Security Letter (NSL). In 2008, Congress revised the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act freeing the NSA from the bothersome requirement of having to prove probable cause before intercepting a person’s phone calls, text messages or emails from someone in the U.S. suspected of involvement with terrorism.  Between 2000 and 2010 (excluding 2001 and 2002 for which no records are available), the FBI was issued 273,122 NSLs; in 2010, 24,287 letters were issued pertaining to 14,000 U.S. residents.

In June 2011, the DoD originally launched a pilot program, the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cyber Pilot, with 20 private companies.  It would allow intelligence agencies to share threat information with private military contractors.  Among the companies who participated were Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon as well as telcos AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink.  The telcos filter incoming email for malicious software.  In May 2012, DoD and DHS announced plans to expand the program to 200 participants and the DoD estimates that approximately 8,000 firms could potentially participate.

 

Read Full Article Here

Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air 

Force Base
by Staff Writers
Ann Arbor MI

Terra Daily

 


Core microanalytical components of the recently field-tested U-M analyzer. Image courtesy: Edward T. Zellers.

A lab-on-a-chip technology that measures trace amounts of air contaminants in homes was successfully field-tested by researchers at the University of Michigan. Even in the presence of 50 other indoor air contaminants, the U-M-built microsystem found levels of the targeted contaminant so low that it would be analogous to finding a particular silver dollar in a roll stretching from Detroit to Salt Lake City.

“This is the first (known) study of its kind,” said Ted Zellers, professor in the U-M School of Public Health and the Department of Chemistry, and project director.

“Most lab-on-a-chip technologies are used for biomedical analysis of liquids,” Zellers said. “Our technology is designed for monitoring contaminants in the air, and this groundbreaking study is the first to prove that it can work outside the laboratory in real-life applications.”

The applications are potentially limitless because the device, called a microfabricated gas chromatograph, can be tailored to detect any contaminants, Zellers said. For instance, the team is adapting the same technology to detect certain industrial chemicals in the breath and saliva of exposed workers, biomarkers of cancer and other chronic disease, and markers of explosives for airport screening applications.

The Department of Defense contracted the U-M team to adapt and test two prototypes devices in homes near Utah’s Hill Air Force Base to measure indoor concentrations of trichloroethylene, or TCE. TCE was used on military bases until the 1970s, and improper disposal caused TCE to become a pervasive groundwater contaminant that can seep into homes above plumes.

“The core microfabricated silicon chips, when stacked, are roughly the size of a wristwatch,” Zellers said. They require less power and can be made smaller and less expensively than traditionally manufactured counterparts.

The microsystem was designed and built by faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSensing and Systems in the College of Engineering.

Zellers said the group is currently negotiating with several companies interested in commercializing the technology.

A series of articles describing the results appeared this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Co-authors include Sun Kyu Kim, Hungwei Chang, and Jonathan Bryant-Genevier, of U-M; David Burris of IST, Inc., and Kyle Gorder and Erik Dettenmeier of Hill Air Force Base.

 

Related Links
University of Michigan
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up