April 20, 2013

Brainlessness As A Way Of Life

That pretty much sums up the vast majority of members of the “esteemed” Obama Administration. Well, maybe “esteemed” is a little much, so how about stupid? Yes, that sounds much better. Chuck here, tossed back into the salt mines by Mrs. Wolf.

What I’m referring to is this L.A. Times article.

With Al Qaeda shattered, U.S. counter-terrorism’s future unclear

Skilled in tracking foreign terrorists, Jarret Brachman once was a sought-after expert on Al Qaeda, advising several federal agencies and speaking regularly around the country.

Now the former research director of the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has turned his focus away from Islamic militants. He spends most of his time consulting with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies about threats from domestic extremists and antigovernment militias.

“I have totally re-branded my career,” Brachman said. “I still do the Al Qaeda stuff, but there’s no interest, no demand…. We’ve broken Al Qaeda’s back, strategically.”

Thanks to drone missile strikes and other counter-terrorism operations, the network founded by Osama bin Laden has been so eviscerated that U.S. intelligence agencies no longer fully understand the organizational structure below its nominal leader, Ayman Zawahiri, according to defense officials. The CIA has killed Zawahiri’s top lieutenants almost as quickly as they are identified.

Obama administration officials say the global network is in transition. They say it has decentralized from a top-down group based in Pakistan into smaller, far-flung and largely autonomous factions.

Affiliates in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Mali and Somalia remain dangerous, the officials say, so U.S. forces can’t relax their focus.

“The threat from Al Qaeda and the potential for a massive coordinated attack on the United States may be diminished, but the jihadist movement is more diffuse,” James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday. “Lone wolves, domestic extremists and jihad-inspired affiliated groups are still determined to attack Western interests.”

Okay, you may ask them, “so what’s yer pernt?”


A growing group of analysts and former government officials say the threat from Al Qaeda affiliates is overblown. Most terrorist groups are focused on local concerns, not on America, and have little or no ability to organize a broader plot.

“To the best of our information, there is nobody out there with both the desire and the capabilities to cause any serious damage to the U.S. in any way at this moment,” said Rosa Brooks, a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense.

As Al Qaeda recedes as a direct threat, the CIA and special military forces appear to have throttled back on targeted killings. They have launched 16 drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen this year, according to the Long War Journal, which tracks reports of the attacks. That pace is much slower than in 2012, which saw 88 strikes over the course of the year.

This is more government stupidity. Al Qaeda will remain a threat until we’ve done more than “broken their back”; They need to be smitten root and branch, even the upstarts and pretenders to the proverbial throne.

There is no simply dusting off our hands and saying, “Good, done deal” — The instant we do that, we give them a chance to start regrouping, seeking new methods of financing, training newbies, et-cetera, et-cetera… You see, these fanatics aren’t about to just give up and walk away. We need to stay on their asses 24/7/365.

Then, of course, there are quite a few other groups just like them who will eventually wanna take a crack at us.

Hmmm, let’s see, now…

Hezbollah, Ansar al-Dine, the Abdallah Azzam Brigades,
Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid, Hamas, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami, the Army of Islam, et-cetera, et-cetera, et-cetera.

There are a whole passel of tangos out there with bones and imaginary bones to pick with us, because
we support a government or country they hate, because our very liberty pisses them off, because, not being Islamic makes us “eeenfeedels” (keel theem!), our sheer economic power, communications technology and military might make us able to try and spread democracy to countries the Islamofascists would prefer we left enslaved peoples trapped in the dark ages and minded our own bees’ wax…

Whatever the reason, all those evil assholes are out there hiding behind their Religion of Peace, waiting patiently for their respective chances to get a crack at us, shoot their shot, leave their mark, claim their 72 virgins and what have you.

What we see in the linked article is the excuse Barack Hussein Obama needs to further weaken our defense capabilities, no doubt so they can find some social program to throw the defunded monetary amounts into.

This Obama character should be given a medal by “The Head Leftie” or the “Enemy-of the State-in-Chief” for his excellent work in undermining so much of what America used to stand for and in helping to undermine or destroy what we still have.



by @ 12:15 pm. Filed under Government Stupidity, Homeland Security

March 20, 2013

“Prevailing” Wisdom No Longer Prevails

When I read this one, I was just a tad flabbergasted. Just a tad, mind you, but still…

From the Investigative Project On Terrorism

Special Travel Benefit for Saudis a “Slap in the Face”

Saudi Arabia, the nation which produced 15 of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks, is about to become one of a handful of countries whose travelers can bypass normal passport controls at major U.S. airports. Sources tell the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) that this will mark the first time that the Saudi government will have a direct role in vetting who is eligible for getting fast-tracked for entry into the United States.

An agreement to accept Saudi Arabian applicants into the Global Entry trusted traveler program drew little notice when it was announced in January. Now, some officials question why the country merits such a benefit – which is similar to a theme park “fast pass” to avoid long lines – when other allies like Germany and France are not yet included. A program for Israeli travelers was reached last May but has not been implemented.

An agreement to accept Saudi Arabian applicants into the Global Entry trusted traveler program drew little notice when it was announced in January. Now, some officials question why the country merits such a benefit – which is similar to a theme park “fast pass” to avoid long lines – when other allies like Germany and France are not yet included. A program for Israeli travelers was reached last May but has not been implemented.

Travelers approved for the program can skip the normal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) lines starting next year and enter the country after providing their passports and fingerprints at a kiosk. Only Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands currently enjoy the benefit, although pilot programs could expand it to a handful of others.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the agreement in January after meeting with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. It “marks another major step forward in our partnership,” Napolitano said at the time. “By enhancing collaboration with the Government of Saudi Arabia, we reaffirm our commitment to more effectively secure our two countries against evolving threats while facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”

Maybe we should also give our “partners” from Saudi Arabia an exemption to carry small arms and, say, a rationed quantity of personal use explosives aboard U.S. based commercial aircraft. That would mark still another step forward in our partnership.

by @ 11:35 am. Filed under Government Stupidity, Homeland Security, Unbelievable!

January 26, 2013

A “Slippery Slope”

We have all heard/read reports about foreign hackers attacking the firewalls of our national infrastructure, some actually inflicting minor, short term problems that were thankfullycontrolled and eliminated by our eminent IT security pros.

This article was actually linked to from one of the security publications Seth receives, the link to C-net dot com.

‘Cyber 9/11′ may be on horizon, Homeland Security chief warns

With the possibility of a massive cyberattack hitting the U.S. in the near future, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urges the government to pass cybersecurity legislation.

The head of Homeland Security announced today that she believes a “cyber 9/11″ could happen “imminently,” according to Reuters. If such an event were to occur it could cripple the country — taking down the power grid, water infrastructure, transportation networks, and financial networks.

“We shouldn’t wait until there is a 9/11 in the cyber world,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a talk at the Wilson Center think tank today, according to Reuters. “There are things we can and should be doing right now that, if not prevent, would mitigate the extent of damage.”

Napolitano was referring to the possibility of Congress passing cybersecurity legislation. Several elected officials have been working to get a cybersecurity law passed for years, but have repeatedly run into road blocks.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman spent years fighting unsuccessfully for a so-called Internet kill switch that would grant the president vast power over private networks during a “national cyberemergency.” Currently, he is working to get Senate to pass a more modest version of his proposal. By the same token, President Obama also signed an executive order last July that could give the government control over the Internet in an emergency.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has also strongly advocated for increased governmental cybersecurity. During his first major policy speech on cybersecurity last October, he echoed previous statements that the United States is facing the possibility of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” perpetrated by foreign hackers.

“A cyber attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11,” he said during a speech. “Such a destructive cyber terrorist attack could paralyze the nation.”

According to Reuters, Napolitano said today that a massive cyber attack could cause the same amount of damage as last year’s Superstorm Sandy, which downed electricity and information networks throughout the Northeastern U.S.

“The clarion call is here and we need to be dealing with this very urgently,” Napolitano said. “Attacks are coming all the time. They are coming from different sources, they take different forms. But they are increasing in seriousness and sophistication.”

I call this a “slippery slope” because our politicians of late seem to take liberties (ours, unfortunately) when it comes to enacting regulations or legislation that is supposed to protect and defend us.

If legislation does make its way into the House and Senate regarding Internet security measures, we need to keep a really close watch on what, exactly, is being proposed and how much of it effects our own day to day web access and use. I don’t mean reading up on the New York Times’ account of proceedings, I mean following them from less partison information sources. I mean contacting our senators and representatives and making sure to obtain their real intentions on the cyber security issue, what they plan to propose, how they plan to vote, etc.

Our (supposedly “our“, though these last few years, they seem to have forgotten what Reagan said about “a country that has a government vs a government that has a country”) government has evidently developed a pension for using practically every piece of protective legislation to slip in numerous stealth measures that somehow manage to degrade our liberty by granting them more power than they either require for the task at hand or are eligible to possess under the Constitution.

So let’s follow Jefferson’s advice that it is the duty of every American to look over the shoulders of those we elect to represent us in government and keep tabs on what they are doing on our behalf, especially on the matter of cyber security vs cyber freedom…

by @ 2:37 pm. Filed under Homeland Security, Slippery Slopes, The Internet

December 21, 2012

Solid Reasoning

There is no way that anyone without either a blind political objective or who is an Islamic terrorism supporting propagandist (such as those comprising CAIR, the “Council for American-Islamic Relations”, terrorism’s leading PR firm in the United States) could realistically refute what Ann Coulter said in this video.

It’s a testament to how far down the tubes our country’s gone that so many of our elected politicians, purely in the interests of their own careers, readily set policies that ignore the facts, thereby endangering countless American citizens whose lives depend upon our political leaders doing what is necessary to protect Americans.

by @ 2:03 pm. Filed under Ann Coulter, Homeland Security, Video

November 19, 2012

Something guaranteed to get Seth steamed up…

From Freedom Outpost:

On November 9, 2012 the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) issued a press release indicating that “Workers at the Transportation Security Administration made history today when they voted to ratify the first-ever collective bargaining agreement at the agency. The agreement between the American Federation of Government Employees and TSA was ratified with a vote of 17,326-1,774.”

The AFGE represents over 650,000 employees of the federal government. It is the largest union for non-postal federal employees and the largest union for D.C. workers who report directly to the mayor.

Brian Koenig writes that the AFGE “coerces members to fork over between $14 and $16 out of each paycheck, providing the organization with up to $16 million more in revenue per year. Portions of this influx of money will go to subsidizing Democratic election campaigns and funding a number of liberal agendas.”

Koenig went on to claim that the “union doled out $2 million on lobbying to the government largely to guarantee that federal employees get paid more to work less.”

A unionized TSA, gee whiz!

How does THIS grab you?

The Washington Times reported on the contract:

Under the new TSA contract, employees will win annual leave based not on their performance, but how long they’ve held on to the job. They’ll also be able to wear shorts when it’s hot, with the tab for the new wardrobe picked up by the taxpayers. House Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica, Florida Republican, blasted the deal for focusing on “tie tacks and tattoos” instead of issues that actually matter. Those tie tacks can’t exceed 1/2-inch in diameter and must be gold or silver in color. Tattoos must be covered by a sports sleeve or band that does not detract from the uniform. TSA must also provide office space for designated TSA union officials to work on union business at taxpayer expense.

Tie Tacks & Terrorists…

by @ 9:42 am. Filed under Government Stupidity, Homeland Security, TSA Concerns, Weasels

September 25, 2012

Neville Obama, Bumps in the Road and Islamofascism

It’s difficult to know where to begin here, perhaps the following should comprise more than one post, but we’ll put it all together since it basically sums out to the relationship between “our” president, the Muslim Brotherhood and their associates and the threat so-called “radical” Islam poses to both the United States and the rest of the civilized world.

From the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a brief interview with Steven Emerson:

From the lips of Barack Obama to YouTube video:

From Freedom Outpost:

As world leaders gather at the United Nations building in New York, one can expect the… expected. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a turn at the podium on Monday and wasted no time blasting Israel and saying the country would be “eliminated.” Israeli representatives walked out of the speech, but what about the Americans?

As reported by Reuters, “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be ‘eliminated,’ ignoring a U.N. warning to avoid incendiary rhetoric ahead of the annual General Assembly session.”

Ahmadinejad also said he did not take seriously the threat that Israel could launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, denied sending arms to Syria, and alluded to Iran’s threats to the life of British author Salman Rushdie.

The United States quickly dismissed the Iranian president’s comments as “disgusting, offensive and outrageous.”

Isn’t that what Barack Obama and his administration said about the Internet video that they blamed for initially causing the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens while doing little else to protect him?

Just how outraged were U.S. representatives? Not enough to walk out of the speech in protest. As reported by Breitbart.com, as Israeli envoy Ron Prosor left Ahmadinejad’s speech in protest, the U.S. delegation hung around to listen.

Emphasis mine.

Of course the U.S. Delegation, part of Obama’s State Department
hung around to listen. After all, they have to be polite to kindred spirits.

too bad Barack Obama thought it was more important to be on The View than to be in New York with other world leaders. There are real issues going on around the world, Mr. President. Maybe you should be involved.

Of course he should.

Also of course, there’s this…

It seems that even if there were no other reason Barack Hussein Obama is so pro-Islamist, his indebtedness to one Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal might have tipped the scales, though we doubt it: Being as he is so anti-U.S. Constitution, he might also have sought out Islam because, even more than communism, it is the direct antithesis to the freedoms made available through the tenets of that great document.

The boost from the weed Al-Waleed bin Talal was probably just icing on the cake.

August 16, 2012

SEALS “Swiftboat” Obama

From Conservative Byte

Here at Hard Astarboard, we consider this one a “must watch” video!

by @ 11:51 am. Filed under Global War On Terror, Homeland Security, The President

July 24, 2012

White House: A Sieve?

Well, close to it, if even a major player in the LDQ (Liberal Democrat Quagmire) is to be believed.

The video below comes courtesy of Conservative Byte.com

Perhaps Mr. O ought to just put together a daily terrorists’ briefing package to make things a little easier for America’s enemies, for whom he seems to hold a great deal of affection…

by @ 10:51 am. Filed under Homeland Security, The President

July 19, 2012

More “fun” with TSA

It’s beginning to seem — no, actually it began to seem a long time ago — like the T in TSA stands for “Tragedy”.

If Seth, being the security professional hereabouts and the most loudly vocal critic of the Transportation “Security” Administration I have the pleasure of knowing, were posting this one, I’m sure he’d have some choice epithets.

From CSN News:

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved flight training for 25 illegal aliens at a Boston-area flight school that was owned by yet another illegal alien, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The illegal-alien flight-school attendees included eight who had entered the country illegally and 17 who had overstayed their allowed period of admission into the United States, according to an audit by the GAO.

Six of the illegal aliens were actually able to get pilot’s licenses.

I wonder if “Gadzooks!” would be considered sufficiently strong to cover this piece of news…

Rep. Mike Rogers (R.-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, said he found the GAO’s findings “amazing.”


“We have cancer patients, Iraq War veterans and Nobel Prize winners all forced to undergo rigorous security checks before getting on an airplane,” said Rogers, “and at the same time, ten years after 9/11, there are foreign nationals in the United States trained to fly just like Mohammed Atta and the other 9/11 hijackers did, and not all of them are necessarily getting a security background check.”

Stephen Lord, who is the GAO’s director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues, testified about the matter Wednesday in Rogers’ subcommittee. Rogers asked him: “Isn’t it true that, based on your report, the Transportation Security Administration cannot assure the American people that foreign terrorists are not in this country learning how to fly airplanes, yes or no?”

Lord responded: “At this time, no.”

Although the illegal alien who owned the Massachusetts flight school had not undergone a required TSA security threat assessment and had not been approved for flight training by the agency, he nonetheless held two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot licenses, also known as FAA certificates.

Read the entire article here.

What kind of government are we running here, exactly? More to the point, what kind of people are these politicians we elect to protect us hiring to supervise these efforts? Can you imagine such incompetent people holding a job, for any length of time, in the private sector?

Seth has long advocated extracting the politics from the business of protecting the people and placing qualified, dedicated professionals in charge of these efforts, people who have literally been there and done that, rather than PhDs owed political favors by career politicians for getting their worthless hides elected.

As taxpaying citizens, a form of paying customer, we are surely entitled to some bang for our buck, and I’m not referring to the kind of “bang” we’ll get if these idiots don’t start doing what we pay them to do.

by @ 12:12 pm. Filed under Homeland Security, Security, TSA Concerns, Unbelievable!

May 19, 2012

TSA, Our Very Own Homeland Security Threat

Yes, keeping up with Seth’s reading, in his absence, in order to try to keep up with Hard Astarboard (and I stress “try”) can be a highly informative activity.

Also in line with the boss’ particular interest in his own profession, Security, there’s some material (though not the more Protection Industry specific, “non-publishable” stuff) on the subject that I spend time reading, and if I believe it is relevant to Seth’s security blogging interests, share it.

One of his greatest pet peeves, as long time readers will know, is the inept sieve of useless bureaucracy known via oxymoron as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

From NJ.com

Top ranking TSA managers are not telling the head office about nearly half of the security breaches at the country’s major airports — including Newark — making it more difficult to spot dangerous weaknesses in the national fight against terrorism, according to a federal report obtained by The Star-Ledger.

But much of the fault may lie with the Transportation Security Administration headquarters itself, which has a poor system for reporting and monitoring breaches, says the report, which is scheduled to be released today by the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the TSA.

Let’s not all have cardiac arrest as a result of our amazed shock!

“The agency does not provide the necessary guidance and oversight to insure that all breaches are consistently reported, tracked and corrected. As a result, it does not have a complete understanding of breaches occurring at the Nation’s airports and misses opportunities to strengthen aviation security.” states the report, signed by Anne L. Richards, the Department of Homeland Security’s assistant inspector general.

The report grew out of a February 2011 request by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) for an investigation into articles by The Star-Ledger about at least half a dozen security breaches at Newark Liberty International Airport in January and February of that year.

While the report focused on breaches occurring at Newark Liberty from January 2010 to May 2011, it says investigators also reviewed security breaches at five other major airports during the same 16-month period, to determine the severity of Newark’s problem as well as deficiencies at other airports and for TSA operations generally. The five other airports were not identified, though Lautenberg had requested investigators also look at John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports.

While the actual number of breaches were blacked out, the redacted report said that only 42 percent of breaches detected in Newark during the survey period were then reported by local managers to the agency’s central Transportation Security Operations Center. The average reporting rate among all six airports surveyed was 53 percent, while the highest rate at any one of them was 88 percent.

Doesn’t that just make you want to make immediate flight reservations?


“A TSA source told The Star-Ledger newspaper there were three more security lapses, but TSA has disputed them,” Lautenberg stated in letter dated Feb. 24, 2011, asking Inspector General Richard Skinner to look into the beaches.

Even before last year’s breaches in Newark, Lautenberg told Skinner, in January 2010 a Rutgers graduate student took advantage of a vacated security post at a checkpoint exit lane to enter a secure area and kiss his girlfriend, shutting the airport for six hours and disrupting air travel around the world.


Investigators found local officials often may not report security problems because of confusion over what the national guidelines from TSA headquarters require.

Ah, yes, your typical “well oiled machine”…

One of the six airports did not report that a passenger had been allowed into a secure area without a valid boarding pass because the local TSA management did not consider it reportable “based on their interpretation of the guidance.”

Well oiled: Supplying KY for airline passengers headed for Bendover, Massachusettes.

Now, now, Mrs Wolf… Actually, I remember Seth telling us that of every U.S. airport he’s passed through, the only one in which he found any professionals working for TSA was Logan International, in Boston.

One possible reason for the under-reporting, the report suggested, is that the definition of a breach varies in internal agency literature.

Yeah, guys, better talk fast…

For example, the report quotes one TSA operations directive, titled “Management of Security Breaches,” as defining a breach as, “any incident involving unauthorized and uncontrolled access by an individual or prohibited item into a sterile area or security area of an airport that is determined by TSA to present an immediate and significant risk to life, safety or the security of the transportation network.”

But a different directive, involving the agency’s Performance and Results Information System, titled, “Reporting Security Incidents via PARIS,” refers only to individuals’ gaining access improperly, not to prohibited items. The result, the report states, was differing interpretations of what constituted a breach among local TSA managers, resulting in inconsistent reporting, with only headquarters to blame.

“At the six airports visited, TSA did not always take action or document their actions to correct security breach vulnerabilities because,” the report states, “the agency did not provide TSA management at the airports with a clear definition or guidance for identifying and reporting security breaches through its reporting systems.”

Sure, sure…

Hat Tip to an email link from Steven Emerson and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

by @ 11:45 am. Filed under Homeland Security, Security, TSA Concerns