Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 19, 2009

Which Risk is Worst?

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on March 19, 2009

Who worries you the most?

  • Drug cartels in Mexico and their wholesalers — and customers — in the United States;
  • Pashtun nationalists, tribal loyalists, religious extremists, and political  opportunists in Pakistan;
  • Underemployed, unemployed, and angry white supremacists in (fill in blank);
  • Underemployed, unemployed, hungry, and desperate people in (throw a dart while blindfolded);
  • Bored, brilliant hackers with a cause or just too much time on their time;
  • Brilliant and motivated hackers purposefully organized to probe and subvert our precariously networked world;
  • Young, comparatively privileged men (mostly) whose aspirations are frustrated and whose sense of alienation is ripe for making new meaning.  Since at least the French Revolution — maybe since the earliest days of our species — these have been our heroes and our monsters.

You can certainly list another seven – or seventy – candidates.

To address the continuum of intentional threats, yesterday locals pushed the Feds to do better sharing intelligence.

Earlier in the week the US offered the Europeans a new partnership in counterterrorism. (Is this the secret proposal?)

fundamental reformulation of national security has been recommended by some.  Whether any such proposal is admirably holistic or a dangerous indulgence in hubris may be mostly a matter of taste.

As our Chinese creditors might say, “We are cursed to live in interesting times.”

As a teenager I enjoyed playing the board game Risk.  Somehow the real thing is not quite as fun.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

March 19, 2009 @ 7:50 am

Always found the game “Risk” a good one myself. I believe it was the source of Paul Kennedy’s theories (Now proved in my opinion) in the “Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.”

Dennis Blair has named the world-wide econonmic meltdown as the Numero Uno Risk. He is supposed to know.

Actually I would argue that technological developments need to be evaluated more closely to build safe and secure and more resilient systems. As far as I am concerned many of the cyber security issues are really just identification of defects in cyber developments. Personally I have subsidized Microsoft in thousands of hours because of defects programed into WINDOWS. Always did like WORD PERFECT for document prep anyhow. While the GATES FOUNDATION is worthwhile, most of GATES family money should be confiscated on basis that it was gained as constructive fraud on the public. So there.

Readers of my comments on another blog–SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS know that I believe MEXICO is beyond the TIPPING POINT already and the US should carve out MEXICO from any illegal immigration policy and really act NOW to bolster democracy, public safety, and economy in MEXICO. We have a joint history as countries and just need to recognize that fact. I guess we have now definitive proof that gaming financial systems and processes in the US is enough to bring down the world-wide economy which of course means that terrorism and anti-US sentiment will increase. The Administration shows early signs of floundering. Again the devil is in the details. Many of the problems track to a completely incompetent Congress that still is driven by campaign funding issues and not the GENERAL WELFARE of the country (Article I, Section 8 of the CONSTITUTION). The posturing of Congress is terrible. Rep. Bennie Thompson is spending time in Mississippi on a hearing on doing business with DHS while there is still almost NO effective oversight of key missions of DHS, nor discussion of its real issues, policies, and problems. Let’s start with the 220,000 figure often used as the number of DHS employees. If there are more than 140,000 on board FTE’s I would like to know it. I think the Coast Guard is THE MOST UNDERSTAFFED and UNDERFUNDED component of DHS. But the career path for all Coasties should be 25 and then eligibilty for retirement not 20 and out. Also each COASTIe should have the option after that 25 years to serve at least 700-900 hours a year not just as a reserves but activated to keep skills and knowledge up in appropriate positions. A detailed study of the real capabilities of the FIRE SERVICE in teh 250-300 largest municipalities in the US or even all SMSAs as units should be rigorously conducted. For example, what % of those services have 100% access to SCBA when fully activated. SCBA being self-contained breathing apparatus, and then the subset of those with equipment to operate in a CBRNE environment. By the way EPA and NRC and DOE who have the federal civil technological response role–how many of their on-boards and contractor support have SCBA? How many NG units? Etc. Then of course the same would be done for STATE and LOCAL law enforcement! After all knocking over a meth lab is really taking on a HAZMAT site. And also Federal law enforcement also. By the way it is a FELONY under OSHA for a responder that is not trained properly and equipped properly to be put in harms way. Time for DOJ and US attorneys to prosecute a few high ranking civilians and STATE and LOCAL Officials to enforce that statutory scheme.
Hey thanks for giving me a forum.

Comment by christopher Tingus

March 21, 2009 @ 8:07 am

No…no… Mr. Cumming – Thank you. You are truly the only breathe of fresh air in enlightening us here on the street with your astute and experienced perceptions and factual evidence portraying an America not prepared to truly address the basic needs of the we the public in our daily Life and certainly with much evidence in our real time of desperate need when Life hangs by a thread.

Let no one doubt that we here on the street are very, very concerned, anxious, and if this charade continues to be permitted by the majority populace who entrusts those seeking to serve the best interests of the majority, then we have lost and the axis of evil will be found lurking in our neighborhoods, never mind across the seas….and in the event of a substantial earthquake for example, we are not prepared and that’s teh bottom line. In fact, from what we hear, cyber security is so lacking that our power grid is more vulnerable that most think and it isof course ok to give Pailson and the boys $350 billion without transparency when we could use such funds to make sure no one can successfully target such vulnerability never mind assuring – first responders -our police officers, firefighters and EMT’s proper training and equipment as well as maintaining at least the minimum in first response personnel staffing. To hear that departments today cannot in some cases properly and make timely responses to 911 calls of desperation is unacceptable.

We are worrisome, very worrisome now as we become more enlightened and less trustful of those who we now see duping us in every way. $350 billion lost…how is this?? Gun sales are up and per the rights of the citizenry of the Republic, if this incompetence among officials supposedly serving the interest of the populace continues, I will become an advocate and a gun carrying citizen myself. I (we) don’t blame responsible, law-abiding folks to worry.

We now see trillions – trillions – of “fiat” dollars printed and distributed among the good ‘ol boy central bankers global network and further, Mr. President making overtures to an Iranian regime that should be held accountable for every death of our US soldiers and innocents for the blood is on their hands w/no repentance, no apologies for the good people of Iran, rich in contributions to the history of mankind are also held by a regime destined to bring calamity to the world and will so!

There is no reason for a US superpower, the most generous, most charitable people in the world who saved the world from evil and if it did not, Asians, Europeans and all others would not have the Life to hope if nothing else, there is no reason to negotiate with those that prefer evil ways.

It will be the down-sized ten (10) nation German-led EU that will challenge Iran and soon. The Germans need oil so we see them in their strategy to form an alliance with the Russians led by Mr. Putin, a man whose background is well documented and surely noting to take for granted. The German-led EU has snubbed us at every opportunity for it wants to seemingly become the Middle East power broker not because it Loves the Hebrews, but because it wants to challenge Iran, secure the oil and ramp up its declining manufacturing capacities. It will and the Iranian regime has much to worry about.

We now can see clearer that a Germany which was never to have an Army after WWII agreements after killing millions and millions is now leading a modern, fully equipped fast deployment Army and new modern naval vessels sailing in the Middle East as it intentionally points its finger at the Iranians. There are 245 million Europeans who speak German fluently and a powerful Vatican very much eager to assert its Christianity even more so than the weaker Islamic fundamentalists’ aspirations. Given Germany’s history in two World Wars, I bet on the Germans and the Vatican and the Iranian regime will never have the opportunity to use its nuclear weapon!

The lawlessness on Mexican streets where people are kidnapped for ransom, a US border and an administration which grants rights and monies to those unwilling to stand at US consulates and embassies every day properly applying for US visas and aspirations to US citizenship, a US Coast Guard which is under-manned, failing to have adequate equipment and authority, an agency which could have used the ill-spent initial $350 billion dollars Wall Street was given for its mismanagement and the continued monies bailing out all those who should be placed under arrest…time is ticking and the same ‘ol, same ‘ol rhetoric from the beltway, the same partisan politics and politicians as well as a media which fails to asks pertinent questions and is controlled by a select few all spells trouble, big trouble and we here on the street see Congressional members having not even the knowledge of the cost of a gallon of milk….

Wake up, DHS needs more funding. FEMA needs help. Our first responders need help. Our country needs help. The question posed from us here on the street, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Citizen, “Is there anyone home?”

This is more than troubling and this economy promises a worsening scenario and government and the lack of ethics in the business world at the CEO level should be held accountable.

Enough is enough!

Thank you Mr. Cumming for keeping us informed for we have few we can trust to tell us what the real world looks like for our little worlds are crumbling and our families are in jeopardy and we will not stand for this much longer….

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, MA 02645

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