Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 21, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on March 21, 2014

On this day in 1857 an earthquake and resulting fire at Tokyo, Japan kills over 100,000.

On this day in 2011 a chemical plant explosion and fire in Louisville, Kentucky kills two.

On this day in 1960 South African police open fire at unarmed protesters at Sharpsville, killing 69 and wounding 180.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by John Comiskey

March 21, 2014 @ 4:37 am


Last Friday this blogger argued that NYPD’s Intelligence Enterprise is a HLS Antinomy Unresolved. See:http://www.hlswatch.com/2014/03/14/friday-free-forum-46/

The impetus for this post and now a series of posts on this blog’s Friday Free Forum is a developing journal article of the above title and most recently blogger E. Earhart’s question:

What if NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly had implemented the post-9/11 NYPD Intelligence Enterprise after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing? See:http://www.hlswatch.com/2014/02/26/alternative-reality-what-if-ramzi-yousef-had-accomplished-his-goals/

Previous posts have chronicled NYC and the NYPD’s HLS-like activities during the American Civil War and World War I. This post examines NYC’s HLS-like activities during World War II


“The state of readiness of the naval forces on the morning of December 7 was not as was required to meet the emergency.” Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, U.S. Navy and Lt. General Walter C. Short, U.S. Army, the responsible commanders in Hawaii, were found derelict in their duty for not consulting with each other respecting the meaning and intent of the warning and the appropriate measures or defense required by the imminence of hostilities. The errors of judgment contributed to the success achieved by the enemy. See http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/roberts/roberts.html

On May 20, 1941, by Executive Order 8757, the Office of Civil Defense was created to define further the functions and duties of the Office for Emergency Management of the Executive Office of the President in respect to the national emergency that was declared by the President on September 8, 1939, to assure effective coordination of Federal relations with State and local governments engaged in defense activities, to provide for necessary cooperation with States and local governments in respect to measures for adequate protection of the civilian population in emergency periods, to facilitate constructive civilian participation in the defense program and, to sustain national morale. See:http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=16117

Notably, New York Mayor Fiardor LaGuardia was appointed the first Director of the Office of Civil Defense and held that role during his mayorship. LaGuardia, stirred by the bombings of European cities and fearing the same for NYC, had written President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that the bombings called for “developing new techniques of civilian defense.” See: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/docs/DHS%20Civil%20Defense-HS%20-%20Short%20History.pdf


Fast forward to Spring 2014, Al-Qaeda again calls for attacks against the West and especially the U.S. Topping the list of “Specific States and Cities” is Washington DC and NYC:

“Washington is the capital, and New York is the former capital. Both have symbolic importance to the American people and government. Moreover, the White House is in Washington, DC and has about 347,000 federal government employees and many important figures in the government live there. As for New York, it is known for its status as a financial,
cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center, it is the leading center of banking, finance and
communication in the United States.”

See: https://ia600601.us.archive.org/18/items/INSPIRE-12/INS-EH.pdf

World War II dismissed the notion that two oceans and two friendly borders provide security. 9/11 affirmed that notion.

Then as now, the efficacy of readiness (preparedness),consulting (information-sharing), federal-state-local collaboration, and “new techniques” (innovation) are self-evident.


Comment by John Comiskey

March 21, 2014 @ 4:58 am


On November 1, 2013 a lone gunman entered LAX Airport and began firing. TSA Official Gerardo Hernandez was killed and two other TSA officers were wounded along with one civilian. Nationally, 1,500 flights and 171,000 passengers were affected.

The AAR stemming from the incident resembles many a HLS AAR:

It is incumbent upon all of at Los Angeles World Airports to take a clear-eyed, detailed look at every aspect of this incident to identify any action we might undertake that could prevent a similar occurrence, enable us to better manage emergency events, and ensure we harness all available resources to ensure appropriate customer care during prolonged operational disruptions.

The report concluded that:

Airport police must have a robust capacity to interdict armed threats by criminals, lone shooters, or terrorists using conventional weapons and/or explosives. ….Although it may not be possible to prevent a major crime or attack on an airport, it is possible to identify its potential, deter its occurrence, and respond to a threat once it has materialized. An ability to carry out these actions places a premium on intelligence, private sector/civilian engagement, security design and systems, situational awareness, interoperable communications, command and control, operational capability, and high level of coordination, not only among law enforcement agencies but also with civilian stakeholders and security counterparts (p.15) See: http://www.lawa.aero/uploadedFiles/LAX/LAWA%20T3%20After%20Action%20Report%20March%2018%202014.pdf


The HSINT-imperative is directly tied to the NYPD HLS-antinomy (see above) and is introduced here in connection with the LAX Active Shooter AAR released this week. This blogger will tie HSINT to the NYPD-HLS Antinomy in future Friday Free Forum posts on this blog.

For more on HSINT see: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33616.pdf

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 21, 2014 @ 7:36 am

While airplanes may be more secure since 9/11 airports are not. Passengers and families and friends should be dropping off and picking up remotely from major or secondary terminals.





Pigs are usually fattened and slaughtered.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 21, 2014 @ 7:42 am






Comment by William R. Cumming

March 21, 2014 @ 7:45 am

Should any business or industry subsidized by the taxpayer have to meet federal security standards in return for that subsidy?

Comment by Meredith

March 21, 2014 @ 11:35 am

Throughout the semester our HLS Technology class has been learning about the different technologies used to make our nation more secure. One technology in particular is the “ring of steel”, which originated in London and has recently made its way to lower Manhattan. In lower Manhattan the ring of steel is used as a “network of security measures intended to counter-terrorism and fight crime” (Aiello, 2011). http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/07/29/lower-manhattan-ring-of-steel-to-have-3000-cameras-by-91111/ However, just recently the security measures were put to the test and failed miserably.

On March 16, Justin Casquejo a teenager from New Jersey snuck out of his house around 4 a.m. and made his way to the new World Trade Center. When he arrived he crawled through a hole in the ground zero fence “got a lift up the tower from a clueless union elevator operator, even though he had no ID. He was dropped off on the 88th floor and hiked the stairs up to the 104th floor where a guard assigned to protect the top of the tower was sound asleep” (Messing & Rosario, 2014). http://nypost.com/2014/03/20/teen-sneaks-past-sleeping-wtc-guard-reaches-104th-floor/ When Casquejo finally reached the top he hung around and took pictures for over two hours until a construction worker caught him.

So how is it that one of the world’s biggest terrorists target was so easily breached? This question starts the what ifs, meaning what if this boy was really a suicide bomber, or a terrorist checking out the security measures in place and the design of the building, etc. It’s just amazing to see the amount of money that went into lower Manhattans security measures, for a 16 year old boy to get past them all. Hopefully, we will learn from this experience.

Comment by John Comiskey

March 21, 2014 @ 11:39 am

HSINT-A HLS IMPERATIVE (continued from above)

Two different LAX shootings but similar failings: Problems found in how security forces responded to a 2002 attack at the airport cropped up again in last year’s fatal shooting of a TSA agent. That’s troubling. See:

The LAX After Action Report like most if not all post mortem reports provide retrospective warning. The 2002 El Al attack at LAX was deemed officially to be terrorism. See: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/terror02_05.pdf

Official or not, both the 2002 and 2013 LAX shootings terrorized citizens and disrupted critical transportation systems.

The primary goal of HLS is prevention/mitigation. Response and recovery are secondary goals.

The HSINT-IMPERATIVE is about doing more of the former and less of the latter.

Comment by John Comiskey

March 21, 2014 @ 11:53 am


I will answer part of your HLS-LE question as the National Capital Region may be a special case.

NYC should not and will not be totally federalized. Local, State, and Federals share governance of NYC.

Federalizing NYC policing would delegitimize state and local governance.

Forget revising the US Constitution: Nation would need a new Constitution.

Certainly, we could and have explored related concepts. See: The Constitution as Homeland http://www.hlswatch.com/index.php?s=homeland+security+and+the+constitution+

Comment by John Comiskey

March 21, 2014 @ 12:00 pm



As you noted a construction worker caught “him.”

Airline passengers caught the underwear bomber and the Secretary of Homeland Security said “the system worked.” See:

Ring of Steel or no “Ring of Steel” (the ring is limited to the financial district), no system is perfect. Office workers, custodians, construction workers, and citizens should say (or do) something when they see something.

Technology works best when it is integrated into people-systems.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 21, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

Hey John! You know how I love the federal system and clearly understand it is part of our limited federal government.
But FEMA has had statutory and other Presidential level mandates for years to boldly analyze States and their local governments preparedness. All all the time are making “substantial progress”! All unprepared for large-scale events.

And the NRF? Have FEMA flood the disaster areas with largely untrained $12/hr workers?

Washington, NYC, and Wall Street locked at the hip! The rest of the world and USA someone else’s problem?

I would argue NYC policing largely federalized now just maybe does not know it!

Comment by E. Earhart

March 22, 2014 @ 8:43 am

Airports are already among the safest places for citizens. Of all places that a citizen might visit in the course of their 24 hour day, the only place safer might be their home . . . maybe.

The AAR is nothing but a call to spend more. How much more money do we need to spend?

Comment by E. Earhart

March 22, 2014 @ 8:46 am

Are airports too safe?

“It may be time to reduce security,” said John Mueller, a professor of political science at Ohio State University who co-authored the report with Mark G. Stewart, a civil engineering professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Mueller and Stewart conclude that airports are not good targets for terrorists and the odds of being killed in an airport attack are extremely long.

Their study, titled “Cost-benefit analysis of airport security: Are airports too safe?” appeared in the March edition of Journal of Air Transport Management.


Comment by E. Earhart

March 22, 2014 @ 9:03 am

Mr. Cumming, thanks as always for the questions.

You ask about federalization of many hls services, taking a different course, what about privatization of some or most of those services instead?

For NYC, as you have pointed out, NYPD is also defending many international organizations housed in NYC including the UN as well as the global center for the world’s finances.

Many of the top 30 Companies in the world already pony up substantial sums of money to help fund the NYPD effort. Does this create a conflict of interest?

Privatize and regulate rather than Federalize and regulate yourself?

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 22, 2014 @ 9:03 am

Thanks Double E!

I have not flown on a commercial flight since 1991 so will leave the wonders, comfort, and security of air travel to others.

Of course as a taxpayer I continue to subsidize air travel.

Comment by E. Earhart

March 22, 2014 @ 9:29 am

Sometimes things just happen

Humans have a rocky relationship with randomness. On the one hand, we declare that “shit happens”–an acknowledgment that bad things sometimes occur for no particular reason. But more often than not, our minds resist randomness, searching for meaning even where none exists.


Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 22, 2014 @ 10:20 am

Friday Free Form:

Russian forces break into Ukrainian base

Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:14:52 AM

News Alert

Russian forces break into Ukrainian base

Russian forces used at least two armored vehicles to break into the Ukrainian air base in Belbek after an hours-long tense standoff at the gate. Gunfire and explosions could be heard as the vehicles broke down the gate where Ukrainians had been refusing to allow them entry.

Read more at:

Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 22, 2014 @ 11:05 am

Friday Free Forum:

The “KGB Putinites” VS Karl-Theodor Zu Guttenberg – the evolving Germany

Let the games begin!

The Ukraine teetering on the brink of political and social upheaval and much more to come as the weakness of US global presence as a result of this executive White House has enabled the “KGB Putinites” to arrogantly and correctly nominate Barry Obama and the US Congress on both sides of the aisle for an Oscar for best supporting actor!

It was last November that the brilliant Putin in all his brilliance in strategy and intent on restoring the Imperial Soviet Union made it quite clear to Kiev to distance itself rather than embrace the EU! The provocation to Germany is now certain and through Biblical verse, the Prince of Rosh maybe able to dupe Barry Obama and Hillary Clinton as well as John kerry, all worthless as we have seen from the outrageous “Benghazi Massacre” where not one perpetrator has been arrested….

…and what is truly interesting to all this evolving and substantial news worthy event transpiring in the Ukraine which should be forefront and center on cable news, not the loss of a 777 configuration and its passengers which will be found using 21st century technology, but even more importantly as Germany now evolves into even more of a superpower than the US or Russia, it was 15th January which received no television coverage here on the networks and a meeting whose participants, Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen began to spell out the new German and European assertiveness in foreign policy! Mr. Putin and your KGB cronies, listen up!

In fact, Der Spiegel writes, “The new German government, inaugurated just a month ago, is chartering a new course in foreign policy” – the bad blood between the Germans and the Russians coupled with an EU much influenced by the Catholic church….War Looms ahead!

The decline of America and the void left is now being filled by Germany and Russia!

Revelation 17:10:

“And there are seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.”

Otto von Habsburg said over two decades ago, “The European community is living largely by the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire, though the great majority of the people who live by it don’t know by what heritage they live. The Holy Roman Empire is their heritage.”

As these thugs, the “KGB Putinites” become truly aggressive now, suggested reading turning to (Daniel 2:31-33, 40-43) and to (Daniel 8:23) and to (Daniel 11:21) and to (daniel 12:4,9) —

Recall Winston Churchill as well while studying this man as students of Homeland Security as history has so many meaningful lessons for humanity and good ‘ol Winston said, “The history of man is the history of war!”

Daniel 8, 24-25!

God Bless us all for we have taken our beloved republic and our Constitution and our Democracy which must have a strong arsenal at all times all for granted and We are now paying a steep price as our debt spirals even from 2008 and these broken political orations of transparency and all such to an ever embracing government enslaving so many to relying on a government so corrupt, so broken and while many have wanted a German-led Europe to be its replacement at least in the Middle east and in norther Africa which is happening today and while the US is failing so quickly, Germany’s dominance even in northern Africa as another staging platform for what will eventually come is very apparent and Germany will continue to use the presence of French military personnel in Africa to effectively counter the spread of radical Islam, however all at a cost for the future does not bode well and again, War loom ahead!

While this increasingly dangerous world demands each of our attention and in a heightened mode as many events are unfolding which will create many more challenges to humanity, it is only through truth and the Spirit of God that fellow humans will endure and a suggested reading, Romans 12!

God Bless us all!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645 USA
skype: christopher.tingus


Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 23, 2014 @ 1:55 am

Ukraine loses 2 bases and its submarine

Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 23, 2014 @ 1:58 am

From A Historical Perspective, This Is Why Crimea Matters
Wed, Mar 19, 2014
by Kelly O’Neill

Here it is then, a timeless observation packaged in a handwritten note sent from one palace to another in the bone-chilling cold of 18th century St. Petersburg. The significance of Crimea is now, as it was then, as much about security as it is about symbolism. Just as important, it is as much about Crimea itself as it is about the projection of Russian power well beyond the peninsula.

The turmoil of recent weeks attests to the intimate cultural and economic linkages between the peninsula and much of eastern Ukraine. One need only consider Crimea’s utter dependence on the pipes and power lines carrying gas, water and electricity across the narrow spit of land at Perekop to get a sense of how deeply embedded Crimea is within Ukraine’s infrastructure and economy. The question becomes, is it possible to administer Crimea without also administering the territory running northward? The purported $20 billion savings that will accrue to Gazprom from rerouting the South Stream Pipeline overland across Crimea rather than across the deep Black Sea would certainly defray the cost of governance, but Vladimir Putin might well follow in the footsteps of Catherine, who linked Russian security with control of Ukrainian territory.

As Potemkin’s letter suggests, possessing Crimea allowed the empress and the long line of leaders who succeeded her, to assert influence over even broader swaths of territory than those constituted by modern-day Ukraine. By virtue of its geography, Crimea is a portal to the world of the Black Sea. As a former vassal of the Porte and home to some 300,000 Muslims, Crimea gave tsarist Russia entrée into the fractious politics of the Ottoman Empire. And as the last remnant of the Mongol commonwealth in the west, Crimea provided grounds for Russia to claim the mantle of inheritor of the imperial legacy of the Eurasian steppe.

There are echoes of these grandiose claims in the discourse emanating from Moscow. Putin has gestured toward the idea of Russia as a “Eurasian power” in the past, perhaps most prominently in his speech commemorating the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the city of Kazan. His plan for the Eurasian Economic Union, which up until very recently was slated to open in January 2015, offers further evidence that Putin defines Russian power as both apart from and opposed to that of the rest of Europe. In this context Crimea is the necessary western hinge on which turns the economic and geopolitical projection of Russian power.

Catherine II in the Russian national costume, circa 1780. (Wikimedia Commons)
But Crimea is more than simply a portal onto other, more strategically significant terrain. Crimea conjures a very particular meaning in the minds of government officials and private citizens alike. It is, for a host of complex and often contradictory reasons, a crucial site for exploring and articulating Russian identity.

As proof of this one need only consider the extraordinary ideological investment of the state since the formal annexation of Crimea to the Russian empire in 1783. At that point Catherine set about renaming the towns and rivers of her southern provinces and thus converting an unstable and threatening Turko-Islamic landscape into one infused with Classical Greek and Orthodox Christian meaning. She planted groves of olive, citrus and grapes imported from Tuscany and the Greek islands. She built Orthodox churches and sprawling villas. She spent outrageous amounts of money choreographing her tour from Petersburg through Kiev to Bahçesaray, the capital of the khanate — a tour designed with the express purpose of taking possession of Crimea through ritual and ideology.

Catherine and Potemkin concerned themselves too with demographics, settling tens of thousands of Slavic peasants as well as Bulgarian, Mennonite and Lutheran immigrants in what we think of as the Ukrainian steppe. Only 15,000 ethnic Russians had settled on the peninsula itself by the outbreak of the Crimean war, but the forced resettlement of two thirds of the Crimean Tatar population to Ottoman lands in the 1860s made it possible, at long last, to begin transforming the complexion of the population as well as the landscape.

Crimea conjures a very particular meaning in the minds of government officials and private citizens alike.
The events of the 1860s pale in comparison to the scale and trauma of the deportation of roughly a quarter million Crimean Tatars in May 1944. But the government’s investment didn’t end there. Stalin channeled exorbitant amounts of money to Crimea so that Sevastopol, the hero-city (and now home of the Russian and Ukrainian Black Sea fleets) destroyed during the German occupation of 1941-1944 could rise again, clad this time in elegant neo-Classical architectural stylings. Former mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, the Moscow Patriarchate, and countless oligarchs have continued the tradition of sponsoring the construction of elite residences, improved infrastructure, and gleaming upscale maritime oases.

Indeed, if contemporary Russian ideologues want to make a convincing case for why Crimea is now, has always been, and must always be part of Russia, they ought to cease making spurious claims about the need to protect the human rights of the ethnic Russian (majority) population. Instead, why not fortify their claims by referencing the enormous investment the state has made over the last 231 years in making Crimea Russian? They haven’t succeeded — not yet, anyway — but surely it is not for lack of effort.

Comment by Michael Mealer

March 24, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

“But more often than not, our minds resist randomness, searching for meaning even where none exists.”

How many newscasters lead with, ‘The family of BLANK, is trying to find answers why BLANK was the victim of WHATEVER LIKELY NATURAL OR UNNATURAL EVENT’?

Is this a search for causation, blame or the philosophical exercise in understanding human existence?

I think in HLS if the cause of an event is random the need for meaning drills down to particular impact and the ‘what if’s’ that may have averted the impact. Not accepting random impact supports mitigation planning.

Perhaps if this concept was better understood the news lead may state, ‘The family of BLANK is trying to understand why BLANK didn’t take measures to prepare for WHATEVER LKELY NATURAL OR UNATURAL EVENT.’

I wonder what a risk analysis would look like if one was to describe it in terms of the chance of winning the lottery?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 25, 2014 @ 10:02 am

When we look at HLS funding and the enormous debt the US has and how since ’08 this debt has been allowed to spiral exponentially, it was interesting to read the following excerpt from and while I may not concur with much he has written, again rather interesting and for scholars to consider:

The Ultimate Delusion
By: Stephen Ames

On August 4th, 1790 an Act was passed which was Titled -An Act making provision for the payment of the Debt of the United States. This can be found at 1 U.S. Statutes at Large pages 138-178. This Act for all intents and purposes abolished the States and Created the Districts. If you don’t believe it look it up. The Act set up Federal Districts, here in Pennsylvania we got two. In this Act each District was assigned a portion of the debt. The next step was for the states to reorganize their governments which most did in 1790. This had to be done because the States needed to legally bind the people to the debt. The original State Constitutions were never submitted to the people for a vote. So the governments wrote new constitutions and submitted them to people for a vote thereby binding the people to the debts owed to Great Britain. The people became citizens of the State where they resided and ipso facto a citizen of the United States. A citizen is a member of a fictional entity and it is synonymous with subject.

What you think is a state is in reality a corporation, in other words, a Person.
“Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is Person.” 9 F. Supp 272 “Word “person” does not include state. 12 Op Atty Gen 176.
There are no states, just corporations. Every body politic on this planet is a corporation. A corporation is an artificial entity, a fiction at law. They only exist in your mind. They are images in your mind, that speak to you. We labor, pledge our property and give our children to a fiction. For an in-depth look into the nature of these corporations and to see how you also have been declared a fictional entity. See: AMERICAN LAW AND PROCEDURE. JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL INSTITUTIONS. VOL.XIII By James De Witt Andrews LL.B. (Albany Law School), LL.D. (Ruskin University) from La Salle University. This book explains in detail the nature and purpose of these corporations, you will be stunned at what you read.

Now before we go any further let us examine a few things in the Constitution.

Article six section one keeps the loans from the King valid it states; “All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.”

Another interesting tidbit can be found at Article One Section Eight clause Two which states that Congress has the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States. This was needed so the United States (Which went into Bankruptcy on January 1, 1788) could borrow money and then because the States were a party to the Constitution they would also be liable for it. The next underhanded move was the creation of The United States Bank in 1791. This was a private Bank of which there were 25,000 shares issued of which 18,000 were held by those in England. The Bank loaned the United States money in exchange for Securities of the United States. Now the creditors of the United States which included the King wanted paid the Interest on the loans that were given to the United States. So Alexander Hamilton came up with the great idea of taxing alcohol. The people resisted so George Washington sent out the militia to collect the tax which they did. This has become known as the Whiskey rebellion. It is the Militia’s duty to collect taxes.

How did the United States collect taxes off of the people if the people are not a party to the Constitution? I’ll tell you how. The people are slaves! The United States belongs to the founding fathers, their posterity and Great Britain. America is nothing more than a Plantation. It always has been. How many times have you seen someone in court attempt to use the Constitution and then the Judge tells him he can’t. It is because you are not a party to it.
If you don’t believe read Padelford, Fay & Co. vs. The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah. 14 Georgia 438, 520 which states ” But, indeed, no private person has a right to complain, by suit in court, on the ground of a breach of the Constitution, the Constitution, it is true, is a compact but he is not a party to it.”

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 25, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

In Bivens v. US SCOTUS ruled no federal official is granted the authority to violate the Constitutional rights of a citizen. The facts briefly! Six [6] ATF agents broke down the front door and beat up the resident. The proble? They had the wrong address.

At the time I retired from federal service [October 1st 1999] there were 26,000 Bivens suits pending in federal courts.

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