Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 28, 2010

Eleven homeland security-related stories you might have missed in 2010

Filed under: General Homeland Security,Humor — by Christopher Bellavita on December 28, 2010

The British artist Ben Nicholson wrote:

Satire is fascinating stuff. It’s deadly serious, and when politics begin to break down, there is a drift towards satire, because it’s the only thing that makes any sense.

Here are eleven “stories” I first heard about this year in various issues of Congressional Quarterly’s Behind the Lines newsletter (one of the quickest and most engaging homeland security reads I know about. )


1. Hillary Clinton Drags Taliban Leader’s Body Through Streets Of Kabul

As members of the international press looked on, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rode on horseback through the streets of Kabul yesterday, dragging the mutilated remains of Taliban chief Mullah Abdul Jalil through the dirt behind her. “Graaaaaggghh!” Clinton shouted as a frenzied crowd of supporters shot AK-47s into the air. Earlier in the day, Clinton had led a band of mercenaries through rugged mountain terrain to hunt down Jalil, whom the former senator eviscerated with a single stroke of her gleaming scimitar. U.S. soldiers marched alongside the triumphant, blood-soaked Clinton to the center of Kabul, where she ordered the Taliban leader’s gutted body be hung from the town’s tallest spire, where “all may behold it.” White House sources confirmed that upon returning to Washington, Secretary Clinton burst into the Oval Office, threw Jalil’s head down on the president’s desk, and let out a deafening war cry.  [The Onion]

2. Newscasters Appeal to FBI to Create Easy Nicknames for Terrorists

The underwear bomb terror attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was the straw that broke the camel’s back in America’s news casting business. In a rare show of agreement between the top media outlets, news commentators from every major prime time and cable news program, excluding PBS, has asked the FBI, CIA and other law enforcement and governmental spokes persons to create shorter nicknames for terrorists as soon as any new terrorist threat or action is leaked to the news. “Not only are we finding it hard to pronounce the names when they come in, but because of the fact that most of our newsroom interns are unpaid students, they don’t have the international spelling skills necessary to get names like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab correct,” FOX News associate producer John Smith said. “If the CIA could create a list of simpler names for news gatherers to follow at the outset of these terrorist acts, we could spend more time on gathering the facts instead of looking up the correct pronunciations of these foreigners’ names.”  [Glossy News]

3. Government To Sell Naming Rights To Hurricanes

As part of his latest effort to jumpstart the economy in an increasingly volatile political climate, President Obama announced a plan to replace the existing hurricane naming process with a corporate sponsorship program that is expected to add at least $500 million annually to the federal coffers. “It’s a plan that says even in the aftermath of possibly the worst natural disaster to strike an area, we may cry, but, uhh, we’ll cry all the way to the bank,” Obama said. “So when the forecast calls for pain, middle class America won’t be left holding the bag . . . Aww, who am I kidding: middle class America is always left holding the bag. But at least now the bag will be sponsored.” Treasury’s Office of Domestic Finance will oversee the application and bidding process, which will begin as soon as a storm is forecast to become a hurricane. Treasury officials acknowledge that the $50 million starting price tag could be a bit steep for all but the largest multinational corporations.  [CAP News]

4. Google Responds To Privacy Concerns With Unsettlingly Specific Apology

Responding to recent public outcries over its handling of private data, search giant Google offered a wide-ranging and eerily well-informed apology to its millions of users yesterday. “’We would like to extend our deepest apologies to each and every one of you,” announced CEO Eric Schmidt, speaking from the company’s Googleplex headquarters. “Whether you’re Michael Paulson who lives at 3425 Longview Terrace and makes $86,400 a year, or Jessica Goldblatt from Lynnwood, Wash., who already has well-established trust issues, we at Google would just like to say how very, truly sorry we are.” Acknowledging that Google hasn’t always been open about how it mines the roughly 800 terabytes of personal data it has gathered since 1998, Schmidt apologized to users — particularly the 1,237,948 who take daily medication to combat anxiety— for causing any unnecessary distress, and he expressed regret — especially to Patricia Fort, a single mother taking care of Jordan, Sam, and Rebecca, ages 3, 7, and 9 — for not doing more to ensure that private information remains private.  [The Onion]

5. Jesus Added to ‘No Fly’ list“

Facing harsh questions about Jesus Christ being placed on the no-fly list before the House Subcommittee for Members We Don’t Know What to do With, TSA director Laurie Partridge explained that the Savior of the world was in no way singled out and it shouldn’t be seen as a religion thing. The tense atmosphere was only broken by Sen. Lieberman wandering through aimlessly. After security officers escorted Lieberman to his place at the Senate Committee for Pretend Legislation, the TSA chief recovered splendidly, according to observers. After some whispering with counsel, she explained. “This is merely a policy matter. Mr. Christ, a Palestinian, comes from a region termed a ‘hot zone’ by our State Department, has no visible means of support, and an arrest record.” [Glossy News]

6. Report: Majority Of Government Doesn’t Trust Citizens Either

At a time when widespread polling data suggests that a majority of the U.S. populace no longer trusts the federal government, a Pew Research Center report has found that the vast majority of the federal government doesn’t trust the U.S. populace all that much either. According to the poll—which surveyed members of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches—9 out of 10 government officials reported feeling ‘disillusioned’ by the populace and claimed to have ‘completely lost confidence’ in the citizenry’s ability to act in the nation’s best interests. . . Out of 100 U.S. senators polled, 84 said they don’t trust the U.S. populace to do what is right, and 79 said Americans are not qualified to do their jobs. Ninety-one percent of all government officials polled said they find citizens to be every bit as irresponsible, greedy, irrational, and selfishly motivated as government officials are.  [The Onion]

7. U.S. Government: We Have Not Forgotten About Osaka Binn Rogen

High-ranking intelligence officials said Monday that the military was still aggressively pursuing notorious terrorist Osaka Binn Rogen, declaring that they had not forgotten about bringing the leader of the Al Hydra network to justice. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates assured citizens that American forces were actively hunting down Osaka Binn Rogen, and asserted that locating the mastermind behind the tragic 19/11 attacks is as pressing now as it was when their search first began, six or 10 years ago or however long it’s been. “This homicidal madman committed terrible atrocities against the American people, and we have never, ever lost sight of that,” Gates said. “Binn Rogen is the most wanted man on the planet, and he remains our No. 1 priority.” Based upon field surveillance and intelligence, officials recently widened the search for Orlama Win Roben by dispatching CIA paramilitary officers and Delta Force soldiers to track down, capture, or assassinate the terrorist leader, who has been described as a “very bad, very tall guy with a beard.” [The Onion]

8. China to Stop Spying on its People; Will Use Facebook Instead

The Chinese government announced today that it would disband its extensive domestic spying program that gathers personal information on its citizens and would instead use Facebook. According to the head of the domestic spying operation, China decided to scrap its elaborate array of spy satellites, eavesdropping devices and closed-circuit surveillance cameras after recognizing that Facebook put them all to shame. “At the end of the day, we were not getting as much intimate personal data as Facebook does,” he said. “So as of today, every man, woman and child in China is officially our ‘friend.”’ The Chinese version of Facebook, launched next week, will feature addictive online games reminiscent of the American version, such as Collective Farmville. [The Borowitz Report]

9. CDC: It’s Time To Panic

The Centers for Disease Control has announced that panic season has officially begun this year, recommending that people immediately begin working themselves up into a state of debilitating, irrational fear over diseases they’re extremely unlikely to get. The CDC suggests people panic initially over West Nile virus, and work up to hysteria over Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Both are carried by mosquitoes, so basic panic should definitely include covering yourself in a thick down parka no matter what the weather, and sealing yourself and your family in an airtight room until December. This year’s panic season is expected to be especially lively due to the Florida frenzy over dengue fever, despite the fact that only about eight people have gotten it and the World Health Organization recently admitted to basically making it up so they’d have something to do. Sources say it’s akin to the big to-do over avian flu a few years back.  [CAP News]

10. Mexico Killed In Drug Deal

In the latest incident of drug-related violence to hit the country, all 111 million citizens of Mexico were killed Monday during a shootout between rival drug cartels. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the violence was sparked by a botched drug deal involving an estimated 20 kilograms of marijuana, a dispute that led low-level members of the Sinaloa cartel to open fire on local dealers in Culiacan. Within seconds, the gunfire had spread to Chihuahua, Michoacan, Yucatan, and, minutes later, the other 27 Mexican states, leaving every person in Mexico dead. “Witnesses reported hearing roughly 357 million gunshots, during which time the Mexican populace was caught in the crossfire and killed,” DEA administrator Michele Leonhart said, adding that a four-gram bag of cocaine was also recovered by agents. The agency has sealed off the 761,606-square-mile crime scene…. [The Onion]

11. Bald Eagle Tired Of Everyone Just Assuming It Supports War

Frustrated by the widely held assumption that he unequivocally endorses the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a bald eagle said Monday that his thoughts on the conflicts were far more nuanced than many Americans might expect. Speaking to reporters from his nest in the upper branches of a 175-foot ponderosa pine tree, the eagle explained that each member of his species was different and none should be taken for granted as a lockstep supporter of American military policy. “I think World War II was justified, and I got behind the first Gulf War [in 1990],” said the bird, who has served as the national symbol of the United States since 1782. “But the recent war in Iraq, with its shifting rationale and poor planning, was clearly a huge mistake.” The majestic bird of prey, who said he is not registered with any political party, admitted to having some ambivalence about the current mission in Afghanistan, lamenting that any argument one could make seemed to prompt an equally valid counterpoint. “I’m not a hawk or a dove,” he added. “I’m an eagle.”  [The Onion]

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Comment by William R. Cumming

December 28, 2010 @ 10:33 am

Thanks but not up to Jonathan Swift.

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 28, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

Okay here are my top ten HS stories of the year!

1. Continued failure of technology by DHS both IT and otherwise.
2. Ending the S&T Directorates office of Interoperability [also other things}!
3. President Obama’s efforts to reform Security Clearance process and need to know for STATE and LOCAL officials. See issued Executive Orders.
4. Adoption of “resilience” paradigm by DHS and FEMA!
5. FEMA emphasis on special populations in increasing resilence.
6. Increased overlap between DEA and DHS on drug related terrorism issues.
7. Failure of House and Senate Homeland Security Committees to pass authorizing legislation.
8. Continued ineffective oversight of Privacy and Civil Liberties issues in HS administration and policies.
9. Continued failure of DHS and FEMA to provide solutions to GAO and DHS/OIG identified problems.
10. Continued use of WEB 2.0 by DHS and FEMA to propagandize their policies and operations.
11. Strangest document ever–DHS listing of major successes in 2010. Ignoring completely relatively successful US Coast Guard efforts to guide response to the largest OIL SPILL in US history. Parallel story–failure of DHS to support staffing and funding of Coast Guard and recommending budget cuts to Congress in FY 2011 budget submission.
12. Continued failure of DHS and FEMA to be so-called “Learning Organizations”!
13. Continued duplication and overlap between DOJ, DOD and DHS.
14. Finally no progress on command and control system for domestic disasters in civil government structure, continued reliance on DOD to bail out failed civil government efforts, and failure to establish a clear cut chain of command for civil catastrophes.
15. Failure to use the QHSR to manage DHS by prioritizing programs, functions, and activities.

Happy New Years!

Comment by wypadek przy pracy

December 30, 2011 @ 1:40 am

Heutzutage kann niemand das Leben ohne Computer vorstellen. Was die Arbeit und die Studie wäre ohne sie aus?

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