Reliable Security Information


Should the United States End Assistance to Syria's Rebels?

The United States announced recently that it was suspending aid to the rebels fighting to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This comes amidst reports that other Western countries are now gradually withdrawing their military support to the rebel forces. Should the suspension...

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Surviving ricin

Contrary to American war on terror mythology, castor seeds don't make a good weapon. They contain ricin and it's easy to grind them to powder but, In fact, it is harder than one might think to achieve simple poisoning....

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The Best & the Brightest: Hacking to save corporate America

Young hackers are to rescue corporate America from cybersabotage!...

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The Next Hurricane Katrina: Energy Executives and Cyber Security

Richard B. Andres Matthew Thomas  At a time when electric companies are witnessing an unprecedented rise in cyber-attacks against their industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and acquisition systems (SCADA) that monitor and regulate power grids, the response of industry executives has ranged from paralysis...

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Smart Grid and the Threat of Malicious Cyber Actors

Richard B. Andres Karl S. Pabst As the energy industry rushes to become "smart," it has paid scant attention to the security implications of this move, particularly in the cyber realm. Touted as the next big thing by policymakers and industry executives alike, smart grid technology is...

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We got the war on terror pensioner! Go team!

The mighty US war on terror machine grinds on. Big news, big news, an allegedly important al Qaeda man, nabbed by US special forces in the failed state formerly known as Libya. Hate to rain on the parade....

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Exploding clothes: The latest whoopie cushion from our anonymous security experts

Our anonymous perps in the national security megaplex just won't go away. They keep trying to convince everyone al Qaeda withstood the hiding it took from the US over the last decade. So this weekend we got the old and tired buzzword, "chatter," again. Plus,...

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Poverty and the Annual National Security Ogres & Wealth Festival

You're not one of those disingenuous types who still think threats to the security of Americans are external, right?...

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Ricin, the super-duper defense lab and out-sourcing

The trial of accused ricin mailer Matthew Buquet has been pushed off until next year. The reason? Because there is only one lab in the country, a super-duper one, that does the forensic ricin determinations needed in the case, according to the judge. But is...

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North Korea and McAfee: Threat or Menace?

Last week GlobalSecurity.Org was consulted by a reporter from the Associated Press over the Dark Seoul/Operation Troy report on recent cyberattacks in South Korea, issued by McAfee. I looked it over and talked with the journalist awhile on the subject....

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Did the NSA foil the Zazi peroxide bomb plot?

THe NSA's Keith Alexander has pointed to the case of Najibullah Zazi, a foiled improvised bomber (peroxide explosives, specifically) who was seized by the FBI in 2009, as evidence its PRISM surveillance program is critical for the safety of Americans. In the case, Zazi quickly...

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The Edward Snowden affair demolishes US cyberwar hype

The Edward Snowden affair has done many things. One of the most signal is its complete destruction of the US government/national security megaplex's campaign of cyberwar hype, disinformation and outright lying....

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Ricin Pinup Girl Arrested

The national micro-fad of summer ricin mailing has produced a lot of firsts, not the least of which is the debut involvement and arrest of a beauty queen/actress/serial wife, Shannon Rogers Richardson, apparently intent on framing her husband. And showing a disagreeable side to the...

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Ricin Bean Pounding: Welcome to the new weird

Welcome to the new weird. The fresh batch of ricin letters has uncovered a bean-pounder, or bean-pounders, even stranger than Tupelo, Mississippi's accused ricin guru, guitarist and karate instructor J. Everett Dutschke. If you thought ricin mail was already bizarre, it just got a whole...

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Bean Pounding: Unknown violent gun nut implicated in ricin mail

Three incidents with ricin-tainted mail between April and May constitute new and uncharted territory in the US. And in two of the instances ricin mail targeting the President has been intercepted. The first, from alleged castor bean pounder J. Everett Dutschke in Tupelo, Mississippi. And...

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Cyberwar, cyberespionage and media manipulation

If you've been following along it's no secret the US government and the national security industry have been waging an increasingly concerted campaign to boost cyber-defense spending. The lynchpin of the strategy is the relentless argument that Chinese hackers, under the guidance of its government...

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Bean Pounding: J. Everett Dutschke & the strange saga of outsider music and bioterrorism

It takes a very strange person to undertake bioterrorism in America. Logic says there can't be many such people. But the recent case of accused ricin mailer, J. Everett Dutschke, Tupelo's now most famous other son adds another entry in an obscure catalog of dimly-lit...

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Pentagon declares Chinese cyberespionage the cause of all woe

Well, not exactly. But if you were reading the news Monday, specifically the New York Times, you might have thought this was the case....

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Ricin case FUBAR

In case you needed any more proof the war on terror has screwed up beyond all recognition, this just in from the AP: "Marshals Service: Suspect in ricin letters case has been released from jail in Miss."...

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Calling Paula Broadwell

From All In: "One of Petraeus' favorite quotes comes from Seneca, a first century Roman philosopher: 'Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.' This has been true for Petraeus at many turns ..." And when the day to day of the war on terror...

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Cyber-Leaden

Today Yahoo started "Cybergeddon," a very poor woman's "24," underwritten by the giant computer security software and services peddler, Symantec. You know what it's all about: Push software button remote terrorism, with all the scenarios and myths the salesmen and fear-mongers have delivered over the...

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Syrian Scenarios

The fighting in Damascus is so far not the Battle of Berlin or the Fall of Saigon, marking the clear beginning of the end. The endgame, indeed, may be a long way off. So what happens next? It is difficult to sort out the military...

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What it would take to intervene in Syria

The pressure for military action in Syria continues to mount: the death of Syrian Deputy Defense Minister and other members of Assad's inner circle last week, diplomatic and military defections from the regime since, an intensifying refugee crisis, and a rising death toll. The crisis...

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Syria's chemical weapons, and beyond

By James T. Quinlivan and Bruce W. Bennett A few days after the new Department of Defense strategic guidance was unveiled early this year, news reports said CENTCOM estimated that securing Syrian chemical weapons in the event of regime collapse could require some 75,000 troops....

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The President delivers his cyberscare story

The President delivered his digital Pearl Harbor story, not using the phrase because presumably has been told of its exposure to ridicule, in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. It's worth a dissection....

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White, right wing and paranoid is a terrible way to go through life

Not a week goes by that my news tab doesn't have a few stories on the American survivalist movement, courtesy of the presence of doomsday electromagnetic pulse references in all such pieces. The homespun country paranoids are now firmly in the US entertainment mainstream, notably...

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Republic totters on news of innovative underwear bomb

Al Qaeda's barrel-scrapers continue to be portrayed as capable of posing a huge threat to this country. Now virtually destroyed by US operations, a handful of al Qaeda pismires in a couple of dirt poor countries continue to putter with things that don't work. For...

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Wanted: Missile Defense Program to Meet Threats the U.S. Faces

Several weeks ago, North Korea launched a missile that, if successful, would have been capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the continental U.S. In spite of such dangers and despite promises to maintain a vigorous missile defense program, when one looks at budget proposals...

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The bin Laden No-Prize

The US military, through a West Point terrorism training school, released documents seized during the Osama bin Laden raid, a year ago this week. Readers know that despite the formidable achievement, for which the President deserves great credit, there has been no bin Laden dividend....

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Dirty tricks unleashed on Occupy Wall Street?

US history is filled with powerful companies and agencies breaking the law to discredit and destroy popular movements that threaten their interests. And so today comes news of powder hoax mail sent throughout NYC, timed to coincide with legitimate May 1 protest....

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One Year Later: Lessons from Recovery After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake

It is said that a wise man learns from the mistakes of others while a foolish man only learns from his own mistakes. The same applies to disaster preparedness and recovery. The U.S. would be wise to learn from the experiences of Japan in handling...

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50 Terror Plots Foiled Since 9/11

A year ago this week, the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed was heard throughout the world and headlines read that "justice had been served." To be sure, the death of bin Laden marked a major victory in the war on terrorism. It...

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Yellow Fever

This week's news cycle has been especially full of natsec experts and government men speaking of the threat of Chinese attacks in cyberspace. Such intelligence wars are unsurprising. It is equally unsurprising that foreign powers have always engaged in extensive operations to obtain military and...

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The Bogometer is blinking red

History means a lot on the cybersecurity/cyberwar beat. Particularly not knowing it. If you're reporter on the cyber-disaster line you probably don't remember what went on five years ago. And, under no circumstances, do you recall or even care what transpired before that. Short attention/retention...

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Homeland Security Budget Needs Improvement

About a month ago, a want-to-be suicide bomber was arrested just blocks away from Capitol Hill and my office at The Heritage Foundation. Thankfully, a sting by law enforcement agencies kept the public from harm, but the story should be a stark reminder that the...

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WikiLeaks reveals Stratfor nose gold

When trivial e-mails show your analysts are looking at PETA for Coca-Cola, you look bad. When you look bad, your schedule clears out. When your schedule clears out, you grow a scraggly beard. When you grow a scraggly beard, people think you're a beggar. Don't...

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US officials try to fit up Anonymous

Creating bogeymen is a specialty of the US national security complex. It's business, pure and simple. And what better place to gin up fear-based economy business than in the newspaper of America's business, the Wall Street Journal....

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Bombing Paupers Inc comes home: It's all about the money

Bombing Paupers Incorporated, drone business, is already deployed in the US. But there's a new vigorous push on, and it's all about the money. With the taxpayer already shelling out about the same for unmanned bombing and spying as it does for the FDA, defense...

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Okie loons fight the lowly castor plant

Oklahoma is a place of idiotic whims. This week a Republican legislator moved to outlaw castor seed production. In talking to the local newspaper a bunch of rationalizations bearing no relationship to truth were employed to explain legislation that would ban lowly castor plant agriculture....

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So many Doomsdays

Inundated with weekly national security news on a variety of approaching Doomsdays I've occasionally asked, "Which is it to be?" All of them? One? Some? None? How can you tell from reading the usual public testimony of our experts? The answers: (1) You can't tell;...

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Uncle Sam versus castor oil

Ever since 9/11 the United States has been in a war with castor plants. It has done this by making people believe castor seeds are a deadly horror and putting in jail everyone stupid enough to pound them. The rest of the world has shrugged....

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Blinding lasers, pepper spray and electric rays

The recently released Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Reference Book shows the current listing of mostly useless gadgets, some of which can kill or maim people, currently fielded for the US military. Some have bled into US police forces as a result of the weapons...

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The rotten cost of non-lethal weaponry comes home

Yesterday, the Rachel Maddow Show devoted a short segment to non-lethal weapons and the Occupy Wall Street protests. It started with a showing of graphics and citations on the more exotic and menacing non-lethal gadgets developed for the US military, justified by and during the...

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The Poison Chats of the Ricin Beans Gang

Contained within one FBI affidavit, the Georgia Ricin Beans Gang -- Frederick Thomas, Samuel Jerry Crump, Dan Roberts and Ray Adams -- are a number of chats conducted between themselves and an FBI informant. Here is a transcript, with some notes, of the more interesting...

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Old Weird America, ricin kooks and extremism

The geriatric Georgia ricin beans gang affords us a look at Old Weird America. It's that dark place that has always been obsessed with self-protection and armaments and driven by paranoia and animosities toward government agency of any kind....

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Ricin kooks hit the big time

One of America's weirdest subcultures, the white male ricin kook, is big news today, folks! It's the geriatric Atlanta ricin beans gang, caught by the FBI with one making the absurd claim that he'd just get up on the highway and throw it out of...

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Scary Story: Book teaser reveals leaders as lousy as their press

Today's top news item, a whoopie cushion expose -- a memoir book teaser from Condoleeza Rich -- in which the lousiest national leadership in national history, the GWB administration, believed it was exposed to botulinum toxin. In its own words they looked an unselfconscious and...

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Corporate welfare/entitlement spending in homeland security

A steady stream of press releases from the private sector homeland security industry demonstrates corporate welfare on a daily basis. As example, take one recent announcement on a Department of Homeland Security contract for ricin detection. Like many it shows a company that pretty much...

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Drone virus story craps out

Computer viruses/malware on US military networks are not remarkable. Ever since I wrote a book on computer viruses in 1994, so it has been. Some of them rise to newsworthiness. Most don't. But because Wired pushed the news of a virus on a computer network...

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Fun Cult of Anthrax Deniers Deploys Word Processors for Ivins

The New York Times again did no one any favors earlier this week in pushing another story on the regular campaign, by a few from the fringe, to revise the anthrax case. It was high button publicity for the anthrax Ivins-denial-and-conspiracy crew, keeping up the...

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Secure Grid '11 - Electrical Grid Crisis Tabletop Exercise

Secure Grid '11 Overview Secure Grid '11 is the third in an ongoing series of exercises that National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) has conducted in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command on the vulnerability of the...

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The transatlantic impact of 9/11

Counterterrorism has been a central component of policing in the United Kingdom since Irish republicans carried out their first bomb attacks on British soil in 1881. But the attacks that unfolded an ocean away on September 11, 2001, prompted profound changes in British counterterrorism strategy...

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The bad guys won

Here's my conclusion from ten years of war on terror, one drawn from expert perspective. It's simple: The bad guys won. I don't mean bin Laden or al Qaeda. My view deals with the US mechanism, the security and threat assessment machine that was part...

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New Approaches to Homeland Security and Combating Terrorism

In the run up to the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington, the administration has been making the case that has addressed the flaws in homeland security. Furthermore, it has proposed a new counterterrorism strategy that moves the administration from...

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Ricin bomb rubbish

The weekend's most odious news came from the New York Times and concerned an alleged plot by al Qaeda in Yemen. And the plot (or ongoing plan) involved -- ricin bombs....

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Balancing Security and Values

Within the body of President Obama's June 2011 National Strategy for Counterterrorism there exists a tension between traditional values and the need for security. The Strategy states that one of our core values is respect for privacy rights, civil liberties, and civil rights, while later...

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The Joker Bomb

From the Dept. of It Had to Happen, comes a homeland security warning on terrorists boarding airplanes with surgically implanted bombs. Mount the photo taken from a Batman movie, the one where the Joker has implanted an explosive cell phone in one of his henchmen....

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Documents to get you jailed, courtesy of the US survivalist fringe

Downloading the wrong papers from the Internet is a cheap ticket to the big house or Her Majesty's hospitality, thanks to the decade-long war on terror. In the Eighties the US survivalist fringe minted the mayhem papers of high stupid that traveled 'round the world....

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Glimpse of bin Laden Techniques in Captured Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq

By Benjamin Bahney, Renny McPherson, and Howard J. Shatz Osama bin Laden's death will not end the operations of terrorist cells linked to him or his affiliates. But every bit of evidence pieced together sheds more light on how terrorist groups operate and helps counter...

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How Might Bin Laden's Demise Affect Business?

Given how markets are responding thus far, Osama Bin Laden's death is likely to have a modestly positive and buoyant effect on equity markets. Business abhors uncertainty. With Bin Laden gone, one major source of uncertainty is removed, along, one hopes, with his hallmark of...

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How Osama bin Laden screwed up my driver's license

Months before his death, Osama bin Laden -- with the help of corporate America's national security infrastructure, screwed up my driver's license. If you live outside California you probably haven't heard this tale of fail. It's unfolded in slow motion over months, resulting in massive...

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Could Bin Laden's Death Prompt a Cyber Attack?

The death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of U.S. forces raises the possibility that his followers will try to strike back at the United States. Since attacks such as 9/11 take years to plan, some speculate that they may attempt to launch a...

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Cult of EMP Crazy in the Koreas plus a few notes on weapons and China

The western press always inflates stories of electromagnetic pulse rays and bombs. They are the fabulous weapons that are always coming -- almost twenty years now -- but never quite arriving. This is in accordance with the rule of law....

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Friday's Mixed Nuts: Stuxnet and an amusing WikiLeaks web review

The mythology of Stuxnet is indefatigable. Too many businesses are directly interested in the lasting perception that cyberwar can accomplish anything....

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Eat Feces & Die: US uses jihad docs on poisons as vector for malware

The e-mail dump from HBGary Federal, carried out by the Anonymous hacking group, has most famously exposed corporate plots to attack and discredit WikiLeaks, Glenn Greenwald and ThinkProgress. Perhaps less publicized was Ars Technica's story on the corporate development of malware for the US government....

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Rigor and prudence shown in NRC report on Amerithrax science

The National Research Council's report today on the science of the FBI's Amerithrax investigation upheld the value of rigorous work. It stopped well short of condemning any of the FBI's work on the case and did not particularly lend itself to cries for the exoneration...

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Economic Treason: Abandonment of manufacturing except for weapons

The United States has spent a lot of time digging its own hole. Handy charts on the total abandonment of domestic manufacturing for non-military goods while arms manufacturing has surged are astonishing....

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Senile al Qaeda Men Threaten Wall St. - No One Cares

Again proving they're not really up on current things in the wastelands of Yemen, news that al Qaeda was threatening Wall Street recently gained no traction. It's next to impossible to frighten the native population when you're alleged targets are already despised throughout the land....

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Defending the Indefensible

It's impossible to defend a process in which a 61-year old man with a urostomy is poked and felt for PETN-underwear explosive until his urine bag comes loose and soaks him. No amount of explanation about how al Qaeda likes to use PETN, or apologies...

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Screwing Over the Public For Fun & Profit in the War on Terror

Loathing of the TSA couldn't be higher and this is a very good thing. But it didn't just happen. Total disgust with security screening has been here for awhile. It just took Tyner's "don't touch my junk" video to light the already short fuse attached...

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Big Win for Terrorists and US National Security Business

The "don't touch my junk" story furnishes a catalyst to focus public loathing for big parts of the national security apparatus. And, of course, its buzzing devices and technicians, people often afflicted with normal human bad judgment. Rude treatments and callousness embedded as professional good...

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Eggs Freshly Poisoned, Bombs Freshly Packed

Predatory behavior in US agribusiness now seems so commonplace one can but laugh when the latest notice of tainted egg recall comes through the pipe. And we can titter even more over body X-rays, pat downs and shoe inspections ad nauseam but failed states inhabited...

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When a UPS Pack Means a New Failed Attack, That's Logistics

Explosives the size of toner cartridges that don't go boom don't comprise an existential threat to the country. Another day, another tortured and failed al Qaeda plot. However, it gives us a moment to reflect on the actual social and humanitarian worth of UPS business...

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Documenting the Ranks of Neighborhood Heroes

The October 11, 2010 issue of Time "Locked and Loaded: The Secret World of Extreme Militias," took a controversial look at the world of private militias. What the article never mentioned is the not-so-secret world of militias out there called State Defense Forces (SDFs). These SDFs...

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Mission Creep: How not to reclassify civilian activities as potentials for terrorism

What to do if you're in the business of counter-terrorism in, say, a place like Pennsylvania? And there just aren't enough jihadists around to fill a decent report for the state government client. Answer: Reclassify democratic activity as trouble. Problem solved! While perhaps effective for...

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Ricin Kooks

Ricin is a poison found in castor seeds. Since 9/11, the now turned parasitic US bioterror defense industry, always sucking on taxpayer dollars, has worked hard to convince that it's a horrible threat in the hands of terrorists. It's not. And while nuts from the...

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The Dickensian Character from US Business: A Biosecurity Threat

The daily newspaper is now always loaded with Dickensian characters. You know, the class of people who hated the last two thirds of A Christmas Carol. Often they have truly negative security implications for the general welfare, a development many don't like to hear about....

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The Graham-Talent lobbying group wants its pie saved

Bob Graham and Jim Talent, a bioterror defense lobbying duo, are the very definition of nuisance astro-turfers. For the last two years, they have regularly bashed the Obama administration with the same story: Bioterror catastrophe of biblical proportion is coming. So heed our advice and...

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Homeland Security Looking North and South

Homeland security is a global mission. From securing the border to protecting global supply chains, virtually every aspect of preventing terrorist attacks has an international dimension that requires the United States to work effectively with friends and allies. Only through international cooperation can the United...

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The Rogue Company

Americans are used to helplessness when a corporation goes rogue. But what if you were actually helpless -- inert flesh tied to a table in a business plan run amok? Toay's post takes us to a small firm, one from the heart of the bioterror...

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The Russian Espionage Caper

I'm still trying to make sense of the SVR's "illegals" operation that the FBI disrupted with a series of arrests this week. My colleague here at the Naval War College, Tom Nichols, summed up my impressions as well: "Truthfully, I can't figure out what they...

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Denying homegrown terrorists the glory

How should the United States counter homegrown jihadist terrorism? With al Qaeda and its jihadist allies extolling the exploits of Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, and even failed attempts like that of would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shehzad, we...

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Shameless

If you believe that corporations would be willing to make a little less money in order not to put the nation -- their nation -- at risk, you should read Richard Clarke's excellent, just-issued book, Cyber War. As Clarke reports, prior to the 1990s, the...

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Deterring Chinese Cyber Militias with Freedom Militias

Richard B. Andres Paul McNiel On February 2nd, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair made cyber security the first item in his Annual Threat Assessment report to the US Senate. Coming on the heels of Chinese cyber attacks on Google, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's...

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Scorecard for the Nuclear Summit

In 2007 I joined with several others who spent many years studying nuclear arms to form a mini consensus of the opinion that the greatest threat to our security, that of our allies, and the world, was the combination of terrorists and nukes. To quote,...

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Immigration Undermines Security

The problem isn't the border fence, it's the job hole in the United States and corrupt leaders worldwide supported by Western money. Immigration complicates both these challenges and diminishes national well being. Of course, it was not always so. The Statue of Liberty proclaims, "Send...

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PROTECTING AMERICAN LIVES

The core objective of national strategy is to insure the survival of the nation and the lives of its citizens. For a number of years, Soviet missiles actually threatened our national survival, and this threat obviously had a natural priority - prosperity and the institutions...

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The Beauty Parlor Supply Store Bomb

Hits at my blog always spike when news of alleged hydrogen peroxide bombing al Qaeda men make the front page. "Terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi plotted for more than a year to detonate homemade bombs in the United States, had recently bought bomb-making supplies from beauty...

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US Strategic Objectives

US national strategy is http://sitrep.globalsecurity.org/articles/090202168-strategic-myopia.htm">myopic - short sighted and fragmented. It rests on overall US strategic objectives that are broad and dated. The most authoritative statement is in President George W. Bush's introductory letter to the last National Security Strategy, published in March 2006. He...

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Swine Flu: Nothing to Sneeze At

America may not be ready for a pandemic like the 1918 Spanish flu, but the US government should be good enough to get through a really bad seasonal flu. That is the conclusion of recent research study by The Heritage Foundation. In a paper called,...

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Addressing Global Warming: Water

Over the past decade it has become obvious that the world is warming - Arctic and Antarctic ice is shrinking steadily and glaciers are retreating worldwide. Climate models predict a significant increase in global temperature this century, raising concerns that global climate will reach "tipping...

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New Stodge Same as Old Stodge: Napolitano on Counter-Terror

"Only you can prevent terrorism!" -- Cinders the Bear, mascot of the new, improved Department of Homeland Security That's one way to interpret DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's message on national counter-terror strategy. "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called on Americans on Wednesday to join a...

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Electromagnetic Pulse Theatre: Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Time

"[An electromagnetic pulse attack is] a giant time machine that would move us back in technology a century," opined Congressman Roscoe Bartlett before the House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology yesterday. It was part of a long meeting convened to discuss...

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Theory of Stupidivity: Your Guarantee of Cybersecurity Failure

Today's cant on cybersecurity is news on 'Einstein,' the security system to be installed on all government computers in order to protect them from cyberspies. "It is supposed to detect known types of cyberattacks and immediately alert the cybersecurity center," reports the Wall Street Journal....

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How Out of Control Entitlement Spending Is Draining the Defense Budget

Unless dramatically reformed, entitlement programs will soon choke out funding for even the most basic and fundamental nation defense capabilities, according a recent report from The Heritage Foundation. The year 1973 saw mandatory government spending (Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare) outpace defense spending for the...

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Visa Waiver-Vulnerability or Valuable Anti-Terrorist Tool?

One of the hottest topics in Washington these days is the debate over where the next major terrorist strike will come from. One avenue of attack cited on several occasions by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has concerns regarding the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)....

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Immigration, Globalization and Sustainability

Immigration remains a significant problem. With some ten million illegal immigrants in the country, it has a major economic impact and troubling security implications. It is difficult to address because there are two basic principles in conflict, well encapsulated by Ruben Navarette's comment of two...

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Ricin Kooks Are Always Jailhouse Bound

It's part of the mythology of the war on terror that jihadists and al Qaeda men are always waiting to strike with ricin. The reality is more dull. The guys who are most interested in ricin have traditionally been American kooks, most frequently from the...

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FAS Removes Nuke List Doc After News Fit

This morning, Steven Aftergood's Secrecy blog at FAS.ORG removed its copy of a .pdf compiled by the US government, a declaration of nuclear sites to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The action appears to be due to increasing pressure caused by mainstream media coverage of...

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Same Old Story: Improve Cybersecurity

"President Obama announced a sweeping new initiative to beef up the nation's defenses against attacks on the nation's increasingly important computer networks, including a plan to put a cyber-security chief in the White House," reported USA Today, along with many others. "Cyber-space is real and...

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Time to Reconsider A Myth About al Qaeda

"The Al Qaeda videotape shows a small white dog tied up inside a glass cage," writes famous reporter Peter Bergen for the New Republic. The dog is being killed in a gruesome test. "This experiment almost certainly occurred at the Derunta training camp near the...

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The Long Road to Zero

Canada has no concerns about US nuclear weapons, even though we have a very large arsenal. Japan, against whom we actually used nuclear weapons, also has no concerns about US nuclear weapons, except for the fact that they help to protect Japan against Russia, China,...

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Homeland Security Grant Tail Wags State Spending Dog

What level of government really commits the most resources to protecting the American homeland? Heritage Foundation Visiting Fellow Matt Mayer looked at the numbers for 111 state and local jurisdictions in "An Analysis of Federal, State, and Local Homeland Security Budgets" and found that from...

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Military Implications of Pandemic Flu

The US Navy canceled the deployment of the USS Dubuque after a sailor was diagnosed with the swine flu. How will the military respond if the new A/H1N1 flu reaches pandemic proportions? Flu season is ending in the northern hemisphere. The new flu will...

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Defense Budget Bait and Switch

Is the White House planning on spending more or less on defense? Heritage Foundation analyst Mackenzie Eaglen unpacks all the numbers in "The $64,000 Question: Is President Obama Actually Increasing the Defense Budget?" Here is what she concludes, "President Obama has submitted a budget blueprint...

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Responding to Swine Flu; Updates and Implications for Healthcare and Homeland Security

There is no effective border strategy for dealing with this. If someone crossing the border were affected, they could well show up at the border "asymptomatic" or with symptoms virtually indistinguishable from other flus and colds. There is no way to stop this at the...

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Is America Smart Enough to Survive?

According to The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America one of the greatest challenges the United States faces today is creating the qualified work force we will need for tomorrow. As documented by a report by the National Academies that need is nowhere...

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Alternatives for Defense Spending

On April 6, 2009 Secretary Robert Gates announced a swath of cuts to defense procurement programs. According to an article in the Financial Times titled Gates takes axe to top weapons projects in US, "Robert Gates, US defence secretary, yesterday unveiled a sweeping overhaul of...

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Cybersecurity--Not So Sure

On March 10, a subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on cybersecurity. The report featured testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO identified 12 key areas of improvement identified by a panel of cybersecurity experts (listed in Appendix 1)...

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Homeland Security Grant Dollars Analyzed

Since 9-11, the federal government has distributed tens-of-billions of dollars in homeland security grants to state and local governments. According to the Congressional Research Service, in FY 2009 Congress appropriated $4.36 billions for these grants. According to the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Homeland...

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Catastrophic Threats

Catastrophic threats address events which could kill tens of millions of Americans and destroy the nation. Two hundred people a year are killed by asteroid impacts. Actually, that is only a gross average, and it has not happened yet. But the geological record suggests...

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A Russian Key

U.S. foreign policy is mired in controversies. Iraq is slowly resolving as chaos spreads to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iran and North Korea both pose nuclear challenges but the nation has little leverage and few options. Nuclear nonproliferation is also strained by the India-Pakistan rivalry; by...

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Immigration's Elephant

There is an elephant in the middle of the immigration discussions -- a huge presence that is ignored by all. An inconvenient truth that is carefully not addressed: America needs an underclass. Since its earliest days, the American economy has depended on cheap labor. Initially...

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