Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 15, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on August 15, 2014

On this date in 2007 an 8.0 earthquake in the Pacific off Peru devastates several coastal communities killing more than 500 and injuring more than a thousand.

On this day in 1935 Wiley Post and Will Rogers were killed in the crash of a private airplane. (Sort of interesting that spill, fire, explosion, and other search terms mostly found individual car crashes and other transportation-related accidents. Nothing really big.)

On this day in 1998 a car bomb exploded in Omagh, Northern Ireland killing twenty-nine and injured more than 200.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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30 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 12:50 am

30th Anniversary of repeal of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 approaching. P.L. 93-337 repealed Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress but also translated some of the latter’s language into a new Title VI of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act enacted in 1988 as P.L. 100-707 and revising in part, supplementing in part, and rescinding in part P.L. 93-288, the Disaster Relief Act of 1974.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 1:19 am

Correction: P.L. 103-337 repealed the Civil defense Act.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 1:20 am

THE CIVIL DEFENSE LEGACY

With the approaching 12th anniversary of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296 (November 25, 2002) it becomes timely to assess whether the legacy of the civil defense programs, functions, and activities stimulated by the enactment of the Federal Civil Defense Act [Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress], in the early 1950’s has continued to impact current homeland security thinking. It is also important to understand the legacy of that Act’s programs, functions, and activities in order to be able to capture what is and is not useful in the long-term struggle against terrorism and prevention and threats of employment of weapons of mass destruction. It must be remembered that the perceived greatest threat during the life of the FCDA was strategic nuclear attack as opposed to WMD threats or employment by terrorists. It is argued, however, that some of the programs, functions, and activities of the civil defense structure and its research have value in the current milieu. It might even make for greater clarity of both administration and public perceptions if the current organizational title of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was renamed the Department of Civil Defense.

First, from the standpoint of personnel and organization, no current leadership either in DHS or elsewhere exists that served in an appointive or civil service capacity in civil defense programs, functions, or activities authorized and appropriated pursuant to Public Law 81-920. Why? Originally an independent Executive Branch civil agency those programs, functions and activities became housed in the Department of the Army until 1972 when the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency became an independent civil agency within the Pentagon reporting to the Secretary of Defense as opposed to the Secretary of the Army.

Rather than strengthening the advocacy of civil defense, this represented the abandonment by the Secretary of the Army (pre-Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986) for the civil defense advocacy role. Left to advocacy by a relatively junior executive level appointee, John Davis (former governor of North Dakota), the civil defense programs, functions and activities were impacted by the fallout from the Nixon Watergate scandal. Thus, one of the most important civil-military links was now left to the civilian side of government to nurture and protect. Perhaps this breach could even be analyzed in having fallout for current military operations in MENA [middle-east and N. Africa]. A subject for discussion elsewhere.

As of 1972, DCPA had approximately 1400 personnel down from its peak strength of about 1700 in the late 1960’s. In 1974, lack of support from the Ford administration resulted in a significant collapse in the effort to defend civil defense in the budget wars. The result was a significant RIF (Reduction in Force) for DCPA in 1974 and 1977.

Significantly, several titles of the Civil Defense Act lapsed in the 1970’s. In the early 1980’s these lapsed titles would be incorporated into standby emergency legislation along with lapsed titles of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as a standby legislative package called the “Defense Resources Act” and briefed to the Congress. This draft legislation was never formally submitted to Congress although it was played in major REX-ALPHA and BRAVO exercises from 1981-88. These were major Pentagon mobilization exercises designed to test civil-military interface and for other purposes.

By the time FEMA was augmented pursuant to President Carter’s Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 by civil defense assets (July 15, 1979) in Executive Order 12148, civil defense personnel transferred by OMB determination order numbered less than 1000 (still the largest transfer of personnel and the most senior in the new agency). Funding annually which had never exceeded $250M had diminished to just over $100M.

Primarily through egotism and ignorance in the White House, the transferred civil defense personnel, even though they dominated the higher civil service positions in FEMA, were regarded as a budgetary problem because of the prejudice of the defense budget examiners in OMB, particularly those managing the 050 accounts and this prejudice was also reflected in the President’s reorganization project team that worked the FEMA reorganization (Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978).

Further, in the fall of 1981, with the formation in FEMA of the State and Local Programs Directorate (which lasted until November 1993) the civil defense program was largely considered as a preparedness grant program that could be used to assist state and local governments. This change has been largely ignored by academics who fail to understand that federal continuity of government programs were not considered part of the civil defense effort [as opposed to the Soviet Union]. With almost no standards and no enforcement of rules these civil defense grants were largely treated by many states as general revenue sharing. And under OMB A-87 many states raked off 80% of the grant outlays to support overhead.

To the extent that policy drivers existed in the FCDA, as amended, various Presidential Decision Directives or National Security Directives were issued in an attempt to vitiate the civil defense agenda. These failed. The amendment of Public Law 920 in 1981 had authorized so-called “dual use” of civil defense assets for both nuclear attack planning and natural disaster preparedness. It also specifically authorized program assets to be utilized in enhancing offsite safety in privately owned and operated nuclear power stations.

The Armed Services Committees of the Congress had given DCPA administrative discretion to adopt “dual use” as early as 1975 but the administration had chosen not to pursue this concept aggressively. Even now, “dual use” transformed into a debate over whether DHS should be “all-hazards” has absorbed much intellectual capital in DHS. In 1993, one year before repeal of Public Law 920, it was amended by P.L. 103-160 to mandate “all-hazards” the transformed term from “Dual use”.

No standby Executive Orders (PEAD’s) or other emergency actions except the standby legislation mentioned above were predicated on Public Law 920 after FEMA began operations in April 1979. Various National Security Directives were issued by President’s Carter, Regan, and Bush (41) in an effort to correlate civil defense with strategic doctrine, but these essentially were watered down versions of the civil defense statute as it existed prior to the loss of the earlier titles. Since only OMB and Congressionally budgeted programs, functions, and activities (not unfunded actions by the National Security Council and its staff), had significance the potential of the civil defense programs, functions, and activities diminished. Some of these documents and other reports and history of civil defense appear at:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/index.html

Perhaps, the fact that the civil defense budget was made part of the VA-HUD appropriations bill in 1980 and no longer part of the DOD appropriation was additional reason for DOD to have diminished interest in civil defense. Also, up until repeal of the Act by P.L. 103-337, at least one Associate Director of then independent FEMA was subject to Senate confirmation hearings by the Senate Armed Services Committee. After repeal, no Associate Director had their nomination reviewed by the Senate Armed Services. Additionally, repeal led to lapse of any direct oversight by the Armed Services Committees of oversight of FEMA.

It also ended the annual rite of a senior DOD official testifying on behalf of civil defense authorizations in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. A Congressionally mandated report asking that the Executive Branch thoroughly analyze and provide any needed modifications to the civil defense program resulted in a March 1992 report entitled “Disaster Preparedness” that led to the statutory enactment of “all-hazards” use of the FCDA in Public Law 103-160 in fall 1993 and then the repeal a year later in Public Law 103-337 with incorporation of some language in new Title VI of the Robert T. Stafford Act with language largely substituting the term “emergency management” for “civil defense.”

The Clinton Administration [January 1993-January 2001] used the change in oversight to redirect the primary energies of FEMA to natural disasters. This redirection seems to have not prevented the end of FEMA’s role as an independent agency post 9/11 by its incorporation into the Department of Homeland Security by Public Law 107-296 November 25, 2002.

Homeland Security is defined in statute as the prevention of terrorist acts, the reduction in the consequences of those events on people and property, and the response and recovery from those terrorist events.

Civil Defense is a broader approach and reinforces the fact that DHS is a civil agency and not a para-military operation that might impinge on fundamental rights of citizens and residents of the U.S.A.

Comment by E. Earhart

August 15, 2014 @ 4:23 am

Mr. Cumming,

Thanks for the informative post. Perhaps with the recent items in the news re militarization of law enforcement and civil liberty violations, the time is right for a little executive order changing the name of DHS to DCD? Or what about Department of Civil Protection, DCP?

Comment by E. Earhart

August 15, 2014 @ 4:24 am

FBI: 80 Percent of Police Officers are overweight

Researchers have said law enforcement personnel are 25 times more likely to die from weight related cardiovascular disease than the actions of a criminal.

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/08/14/fbi-80-percent-of-police-officers-are-overweight/

Comment by E. Earhart

August 15, 2014 @ 4:58 am

Wheels of Justice grind slowly . . .

Seamus Daly charged and arrested earlier this year (2014) for the murder of 29 individuals.

“Saturday, 15 August 1998, was the final day of Omagh’s annual carnival week. The streets were packed with shoppers taking advantage of the summer sales and buying uniforms ahead of the new school year.

At 3.10pm, a massive car bomb containing 225kg of explosives detonated in a vehicle parked in the middle of Omagh’s main street. A warning had been called in 40 minutes earlier, but had wrongly indicated the location of the car containing the bomb.

Police had begun to evacuate the area, but were actually shepherding people towards the site of the explosion. Those who thought they had reached safety were instead caught up in the most devastating single atrocity of Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

The death toll of 29 included nine children and three generations of one family. Avril Monaghan had taken her mother, Mary Grimes, on a shopping trip to celebrate her 66th birthday. With them was Avril’s daughter Maura, at 18 months the youngest victim. Avril was also heavily pregnant with twins. All of those killed were civilians. They were Catholic, Protestant and Mormon, man, woman and child, ranging in age from one to 66. Over 200 people were injured, some left without limbs, others blinded or disfigured.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/omagh_bomb

Comment by John Comiskey

August 15, 2014 @ 5:32 am

HLS ubber alles and obesity too.

Clearly law enforcement (LE) is part of HLS. LE and HLS could and should be more professional

Gardner and Shulman (2005) found that physicians, lawyers, architects, and engineers are generally accepted as professionals. Nurses, social workers, and teachers are generally considered to be professionals but less so than the aforementioned first tier. Several other practitioners may also have some claim to professional status. Professions are subject to their times, from the growing reach of new technologies to fiscal realities.

Palin (2010) found that homeland security may be an emerging new profession. Claiming the core characteristics of a profession is how homeland security could best serve the public interest.

Gardner and Shulman (2005) identified six characteristics of professionals:
• A commitment to serve in the interests of clients in particular and the welfare of society in general;
• A body of theory or specialized knowledge with its own principles of growth and reorganization;
• A specialized set of skills, practices, and performances unique to the profession;
• The developed capacity to render judgments with integrity under conditions of both technical and ethical uncertainty;
• An organized approach to learning from experience, both individually and collectively, and thus growing new bodies of knowledge from the context of practice, and;
•The development of a professional community responsible for the oversight and monitoring of quality in both practice and professional education.

(con >)

Comment by John Comiskey

August 15, 2014 @ 5:33 am

The Office of Domestice Preparedness (2002) [A DHS predecessor that was housed in DOJ] identified 10 key disciplines that should be trained to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction: emergency management agencies, emergency medical services, firefighters, governmental administrators, hazardous materials personnel, law enforcement, public health, health care, public safety communications, and public works.

I argue that each of these disciplines is represented in the homeland security enterprise. All should be trained and educated to prevent/mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and help the nation recover from homeland security events that do occur. Each discipline, to varying degrees, satisfies Gardner and Shulman’s (2005) professional criteria.

As members of the homeland security enterprise, practitioners at all levels may be faced with homeland security versions of what Krulak (1999) referred to as three block wars wherein strategic corporals make critical decisions that decide the outcomes. Three block wars are tactical engagements with strategic implications. Strategic corporals are entry-level and first-line supervisors that are trained to make critical decisions. The heroic and tactical actions and decisions made by numerous first responders during the events of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the Boston Marathon Terror attacks in 2013 demonstrate clearly that members of the homeland security enterprise can, and do make critical decisions that decide the outcomes.

Homeland security’s strategic corporals, entry-level and first-line supervisors, require the knowledge and professional skills that were once reserved for mid-level managers and executives. For most members of the homeland security enterprise, the requisite knowledge and skills and hence professionalization will come from organizational training and undergraduate education.

(con >)

Comment by John Comiskey

August 15, 2014 @ 5:34 am

LE officials must be educated as the public trust imperative. Law enforcement officers must navigate the warfighter-humanitarian transition continuum. They must detect, deter, and suppress the worst criminal/terrorist element in society whilst they provide safe school crossings and a Andy Griffith-like sense of community. They must be professional

I mostly agree, LE officials do not need military camo to do their jobs. [Game warderns and certain backwoods operations may be exceptions].

Long guns, military tanks and armored cars should be displayed/used with the “utmost discretion” Canines were grossly misused during the civil rights movement. The result is a reluctance to use a valuable tool.

One related issue is HLS grant funding that encourages the over militarization of the police departments.

Law enforcement is a reflection of society. In my strongest opinion, law enforcement must be held to higher moral, physical, and professional standards.

I have often said that the police are doctors, lawyers, and Indian Chiefs. People call 9/11 and expect the police to fix things or at least make them better. The same can be said about members of the homeland security enterprise.

Krulak, (1999). The strategic corporal: Leadersip in the three block war. Retrieved from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/strategic_corporal.htm

Gardner, H. & Shulman, L. (2005). The professions in America today: Crucial but fragile. Daedalus. 134(2). Retrieved from
http://www.emporia.edu/teach/ncate/documents/GardnerandShulman2005.pdf

Office for Domestic Preparedness WMD training strategy (2002). U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Domestic Preparedness.

Palin, P. J. (2010). Homeland security: An Aristotelian approach to professional development. Homeland Security Affairs, 6(2). Retrieved from http://www.hsaj.org/?article=6.2.2

Comment by Quin

August 15, 2014 @ 6:19 am

Bill,

Thanks for that quick history! I can tell you for a fact, I’m the only person in all of FEMA that has actually spent the time to read the legislative history of the FCDA, and try and figure out what Title VI means. You left out that in 1993, Congress inserted “all hazards” for “attacks” so that for one year President Clinton could have used its “in case of emergency, break glass” provisions for a hurricane! LOL.

Reading the debate from 1950 is pretty interesting, including at one point, one Congressman stating they are giving the head of the FCDA more power than the President!

Unfortunately, Title VI might provide some useful tools, especially in the cases of a real catastrophe, but there’s pretty much zero institutional curiosity, or initiative to care.

I actually plan on writing a journal article in the next year on it. Something about Title VI as a legal coelacanth. It’s been there all this time, but no one knows about it.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 7:35 am

Thanks Quin! And perhaps oddly not only did FEMA pay for and produce an informal legislative history of Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress, as amended but LOC [Library of Congress] produced a top-notch legislative history of that statute in an effort to have the statute enacted into positive law. Never done! Nor has the disaster legislation.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 7:42 am

Some may wonder why I repetitively raise old issues and themes. It is because IMO they are still alive.

One of the key reasons DHS was created was so that DHS could handle WMD issues and policy impacting domestically. Yes, civil defense. Yet who works these issues and policies in DHS and how exactly would DHS respond to deployment or usage of WMD in the USA?

And DoD has covered its A____!

See below:

http://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/cjcsi3125_01b.pdf

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 8:17 am

Disclosure: In 1992 I was asked by the then political GC of the then independent FEMA to join her [Patricia Gormeley-now deceased] [and the best GC FEMA ever had political or civil servant and the first woman to make four stripes in Navy JAG before her retirement from the military] in taking a call from the AG and White House Counsel. I did so.

The question was what to do about the LA Riots! When asked Pat turned to me and perhaps not unexpectly asked me to provide a short round up of federal response to Riots and Civil Disorders. I did so. Some of the points I made follow:

First, I stated than no Presidential Disaster or Emergency declaration had been made for riots and civil disorders and going back to FEMA’s formation the FEMA role in riots and civil disorders had been explored in writing by the then GC of FEMA George Jett with the Director of FEMA, Louis O. Guiffrida [a former creator and head of the California Specialized Training Institute under then Governor Ronald Reagan.

The AG then asked if DoJ had been involved in application of disaster programs to riots and civil disorders? I stated absolutely and internal writings in OLC of DoJ absolutely countered the FEMA GC opining.
But although legal in the opinion of DoJ for the President to declare a disaster or emergency for riot and/or civil disorder the DoJ and past AGs had opposed declarations a a matter of policy because it would incentivize further riots and civil disorders.

Just as the AG and DoJ have opposed declarations for the the Exxon Valdez oil spills [admittedly for different reasons, by written opinion of a past GC formally and of course informally DoJ and the AG have a hand in disaster policy for in the end authority is vested in the President not the FEMA Administrator or Secretary DHS.

Then I was asked by the WH counsel if there might be another way to pursue the matter [after all it was a Presidential election year and Hurricane Andrew a month off from landfall]! I turned to PAT and asked her if I should answer the question? She said your doing fine keep going [not really answering the question of mine].

So I told the AG and WH counsel that the disaster legislation did not really track issues of causation but it did mention “fire’!

Later I was informed that the LA Riots were declared a Presidential disaster citing “fires’ as the basis.

After the formation of DHS I wrote a personal letter to the then AG asking that DoJ opine on the roles of FEMA and DHS in riots and civil disorders. I received no answer. But I did sned copies to the Judicary Committee staffs in the Senate and House. No hearings held there either.

So good luck to the SHOW ME state and Ferguson. Missouri!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 15, 2014 @ 9:02 am

…and where is the illustrious AG and the Justice Department and the FBI this morning pursuing charges against an entity hacking into a local police department:

The hactivist group Anonymous, who pressured the Ferguson Police Department to release the officer’s name, hacked the police department’s website.

(RNN) – Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said six-year veteran Darren Wilson was the police officer who who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Friday. Wilson is from the St. Louis area, and has no history of disciplinary action.
“He’s devastated by this. He never wanted any of this to happen,” he said.

The department declined to release the officer’s name because of the threats of violence against the officer. The police department is making the announcement willingly and not as the result of any lawsuits, Jackson said.

The hactivist group Anonymous, who pressured the Ferguson Police Department to release the officer’s name, hacked the police department’s website. The group posted a name on Twitter they claimed to be officer involved, but it turned out to be incorrect.

Comment by Brian A. Lozada

August 15, 2014 @ 11:14 am

A recent article on CNN.com this past Monday revealed that U.S. authorities arrested an American at JFK airport on August 2nd immediately upon his return from an overseas trip and charged him with the possession of illegal weapons and weapon trafficking. Officials state that Donald Ray Morgan is an active supporter of the radical terrorist group, ISIS, and officials have traced his online activities, including tweets in support of organization under the alias “Abu Omar al Amreeki.” While it was not made clear by authorities, it is implied that Morgan may be providing members of ISIS with trafficked weapons. The FBI is currently on alert for more than 100 Americans who are said to have traveled to Syria to take part in the ongoing civil war and who may be associated with groups, such as ISIS, that are fighting there (CNN, 2014).

This arrest signifies what could be just the beginning of the support that ISIS has the potential to garner in the US. Monitoring the communication of suspected individuals through internet and phone activity to identify these radicals, as authorities have done in this case, is necessary despite the controversy it may cause due to privacy infringement.

For more information, please see http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/justice/isis-sympathizer-suspect-arrest/index.html?c=us

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

Quin! Again what is the possible topic of your book?

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 15, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

Quin! Again you may want to check out the writings of a relatively young PhD in Public Administration–Professor Patrick S. Roberts.

Comment by Rubin, claire

August 15, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

Hi Quin:

Bill Cumming and I just read Patrick’s book recently and it is a useful contribution.

Regards,
Claire

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 15, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

There are few who would disagree and yes, it is certainly necessary that our most capable and trusted intel and law enforcement officials, dedicated so and truly American patriots, vigilant in their discipline, to monitor and hold those accountable for any intended harm against our American citizenry whether here or abroad:

Mr. Brian Lozada writes:

“Monitoring the communication of suspected individuals through internet and phone activity to identify these radicals, as authorities have done in this case, is necessary despite the controversy it may cause due to privacy infringement.”

While this executive WH knew full well from intel operatives that a small ISIS contingent posed a real problem six months ago and had the opportunity to use drone attack and by other means to wipe out a caravan when ISIS was far less organized and boasted only some 800 members, now we have 15k+ and in growing numbers daily and still no decisive action from a WH directive to our brave warriors, the US military, a WH which seems to be indifferent to these 10k thugs killing and raping Christians along their route now extending to a country size similar to Belgium and crossing into Syria….

I remind many that Barry Obama has had only one pledge, not to ‘ol Glory or to our unique and highly valued Constitution kept close to our hearts, a citizenry obligated to protect this beloved Republic and this oath Barry Obama has sworn allegiance to is only to his Father, Hussein Obama and his anti-Christian, anti-colonialist Kenyan pals and as history has shown us, certainly in doing his utmost to weaken our America in every way and to utilize the illustrious “top cop” to promote divisiveness among the populace….

Never mind privacy infringement, whether US or other, anyone aiding and supporting ISIS and any enemy of our United States of America should be dealt a swift blow by jailing and holding immediate criminal proceeding and NOT to be allowed to roam free as DHS and Barry Obama and this tainted US administration has done in allowing criminals to run free among us and to enable terrorists to be returned to operations as the famous six were allowed to be set free rather than held for the terror crimes they had committed….

….and by the way, why is our brave warrior, a US marine who served our nation still be held in a Mexican prison captive? Again, for a nation who does Not leave anyone behind – well, of course let’s not forget the “benghazi attack” – we are allowing the Mexican government to hold our US marine….the question remains, why are fellow Marines not walking over the border and taking our Marine back? W/the millions and millions in monies given by our country to Mexico and an obvious deal between this WH and Mexican authorities to open their borders to bus loads of illegals, one bus cannot be directed to make a stop by the prison and to pick up our brave warrior? Com’on fellas, we never leave anyone behind, at least that’s what this WH says when it conveniences them….

God Bless our nation!

Comment by Stephen Swain

August 15, 2014 @ 9:51 pm

One interesting topic that certainly has not had any shortage of attention lately is the Ebola Virus. This week as I was browsing through some articles concerning the Ebola Virus I came across this article that was written by a nurse that works at Emory Hospital, where the victims of Ebola are being treated. It offers a different perspective than the media has to offer. It talks about how having the virus here in the United States allows us to study it in a more controlled environment, and those who fear that the virus will get out are misinformed. She states that learning more about the virus will allow us to prepare for any possible outbreaks in the future, because it is a very possible threat. Additionally, we want to provide our people with the best care possible. The doctors that were infected were over in Africa to do humanitarian work out of the goodness of their heart. It is important to remember that one of the core values of our country is to keep its people safe.

Taking a step away from how the media portrays the virus, and listening to how a professional is dealing with the virus is very different in this instance. I hope that you all spare the minute or two it will take to read this article and pass it around. It is one of the few that I have seen noting the positive developments we have made in our fight against the virus.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/06/im-the-head-nurse-at-emory-this-is-why-we-wanted-to-bring-the-ebola-patients-to-the-u-s/

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 15, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

BBC PERSIAN | August 13

Less than two months ago, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Aya- tollah Ali Khamenei, spelled out his position on Iraq. Iran was against United States intervention, he said, and the world should respect the results of Iraq’s April election which saw victory for Nouri Maliki’s alliance.
But the ayatollah has been overtaken by events.

The past week has seen the U.S. launch air strikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, while in Baghdad, Mr. Maliki has failed in his bid to return to the prime minister’s office.
Although this all goes contrary to Iran’s stated wishes, officials in Tehran have said almost nothing.

“Iran’s silence shows they are happy with what’s hap- pening in Iraq,” says

Ghassan Attiyah, president of the Baghdad-based Iraqi Foundation for Development and Democracy.

Mr. Attiyah says that Iraq’s new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has strong ties to Iran, and, for this reason, the Iranians have not tried to block his nomination.
“They were not happy with Maliki from the beginning but they accepted him because the Shia bloc supported him
in parliament,” he says. … Iran has also confounded expectations that it would issue an angry condemnation of the U.S. air strikes this week on Islamic State positions in northern Iraq.

In fact, in a striking change of tone, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that Iran and the U.S. should work together to counter Islamic State in Iraq. …
“Maliki won’t leave easily,” says Mohsen Milani, the Iranian-born director of the Center for Strategic and Diplo- matic Studies in Florida. “But if both Iran and the U.S. support the new government, he has to go.”
Mr. Maliki said Mr. Abadi’s nomination was a “viola- tion of the constitution” but for Iran what is important at the moment is to see a unified Shia bloc in Iraq and a new government formed without further delay.

And if Mr. Maliki cannot deliver either of these things, then as far as Iran is concerned, his time is up.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 15, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

FRom the Trumpet, it is reported:

Russian military to acquire 200 new aircraft, 50 new naval vessels by year’s end
The Russian Air Force will receive more than 200 new warplanes and helicopters by the end of 2014, Russian Air Force commander in chief Vik- tor Bondarev said on August 12. The announcement came just weeks after Moscow had announced that its naval force would get more than 50 new vessels by the end of the year. During celebrations of Russia’s Air Force Day, Bondarev said the Russian Air Force

A Russian Su-35S fighter jet has received more warplanes in the last three years than in the previous 20 years. In late June, the Russian Navy launched a Project 636 diesel-electric ultraquiet submarine, as well as a new-generation Project 12700 mine countermeasures ship. Navy commander in chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov said in a June 21 statement that by the end of the year, the navy will receive five more Project 636 submarines, 4 Raptor patrol boats and over 40 other combat and logistic vessels. Mean- while, savvy Kremlin watchers say the true breadth of Russia’s military budget is unknown, and likely much higher than what Moscow reveals.

Submitted by,
Christopher Tingus
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 15, 2014 @ 10:17 pm

U.S. Wages Down 23 Percent Since 2008

BRIETBART | August 11

United States jobs pay an average 23 percent less today than they did before the 2008 recession, according to a new report released on Monday by the United States Conference ofMayors. … Jobs lost during the recession paid
an average $61,637. As of 2014, jobs in the same sectors paid an average of $47,171 annually.

“Under a similar analysis conducted by the Conference of Mayors during the 2001-2002 recession, the wage gap was only 12 percent compared to the current 23 percent—meaning the wage gap has nearly doubled from one recession to the next,” stated the Con- ference of Mayors in a statement.

The report also found that 73 per- cent of metro area households earn salaries of less than $35,000 a year.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 15, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

How Long Until the Euro Crisis Flares Up Again?
BY RICHARD PALMER

Europe’s economy is not getting better, and even Germany is struggling, according to the latest reports by Eurostat, the European Union’s official statistics agency.

The eurozone’s economy did not grow at all between April and June of this year, Eurostat reported August 14.
____________________________________

The inevitable erosion of the European Union economy coupled with a war fatigued and much weakened America while at the same time, shirtless Putin signs contracts to secure food from South America to overcome any sanctions imposed and forges much stronger bonds with China and India.

“Both Germany and Italy saw their gross domestic products shrink by 0.2 percent. Across the Continent, nations are being forced to reduce their forecasts”

In the interim, we here in the west allow Barry Obama and his illustrious AG to continue to do their utmost to be divisive in every way….well, whether on the streets here or in Paris or London, unless we see strong leadership take the reigns, unfortunately the road ahead looks bleak as War looms ahead!

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 16, 2014 @ 12:41 am

FDI=Foreign Direct Investment and is a critical factor for all nation-states. Why raise this concept on a HS blog? IMO resilience of any nation-state rests in part on FDI inflows and outflows.

Any studies relating to HS and resilience impacts of FDI would be of interest to me!

One example! German owners of USA private water systems may be in the majority! Almost all closely held.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 16, 2014 @ 12:52 am

My posted Amazon review of Professor Roberts most recent book follows:

THE MOUSE THAT ROARED IN DHS–disaster relief!, August 13, 2014

By The Vacation Lane Group

This review is from: Disasters and the American State: How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Public Prepare for the Unexpected (Hardcover)
This excellent book still has some gaps and perhaps a key one discussed below:

Executive Order 12656 issued November 1988 replaced the 1969 Executive Order 11490! Neither Order made FEMA or its predecessors the “Nation’s Emergency Czar”! Nor did any of the drafts of E.O. 12656 which while amended is still in effect!

The Department of Justice oddly perhaps feared that FEMA would become the successor to LEAA [Law Enforcement Assistance Administration]! Those fears heightened after the 1984 Summer Olympics where FEMA helped fund and arrange security for the GAMES.

DoJ added language in the 1984 Omnibus Crime Control legislation enacted that year creating something called a LAW ENFORCEMENT EMERGENCY [see 28 CFR Part 65] and using that authority to define the LAW Enforcement Community.

DoJ’s worst fears have now materialized with the creation of DHS in 2002 which is largely a LAW ENFORCEMENT Department with a majority of its employees wearing guns, badges,and/or uniforms.

IMO NO FUNDING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES is authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act [P.L. 100-707] that both supplemented and revised the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 [P.L. 93-288]!
Overall this book a wonderful contribution to the literature on disasters. The simplest reform that could be made to the pyramid of federal disaster relief programs, functions, and activities erected since since the enactment of Public Law 875 of the 81at Congress is to make all federal disaster programs, functions and activities block grants whether housed in FEMA and DHS or elsewhere in the Executive Branch. “FREE” federal disaster relief is increasing the vulnerability and increasing the risk from many types of disasters.

It is reputed that Secretaries of DHS Chertoff and Napitalano have stated off the record that over 50% of their total management time while running DHS was spent on disaster issues [and FEMA?]!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 16, 2014 @ 4:42 am

The book of Ezekiel, for example, has some of the strongest warnings about internal warfare. The first part of Ezekiel 5:12 states, “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence.”

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry referred to this prophecy in his booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet. He wrote:
“The word pestilence just means destruction or death (see Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon). One definition of the root word is ‘to lay snares, to plot against, to destroy.’ So this pestilence could be a plague of violence or burning— not necessarily a physical disease at all! It can be defined as a plague of violence or rioting—such as the Los Angeles riots in 1992 or the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks! Why would the first third be burned with fire (Ezekiel 5:2), if it refers to a disease epidemic?”

This is talking about race riots prophesied to hap- pen during this end time in Israel, Britain and especially America.

Race riots are coming to America. Many of its inner cit- ies are already seething, ready to explode.

All it took was one death to set off destructive riots in Missouri—and this while America is relatively wealthy; food is still readily available on store shelves and people’s tables.

What will happen if something changes that? How many city streets will look like West Florissant Avenue did on the morning of August 11? To learn more about the coming riots, read “London’s Riots Were Prophesied.”

Comment by Quin

August 16, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

Thanks Claire and Bill. I actually know Patrick and sat in on one of his classes in at the Virginia Tech campus in Alexandria.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 16, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

In looking at ourselves from the inside out, this is interesting:

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz calls himself a “liberal Democrat who would never vote for Rick Perry,” but he’s still “outraged” over the Texas governor’s indictment Friday on charges of abuse of power and coercion.

The charges are politically motivated and an example of a “dangerous” trend of courts being used to affect the ballot box and politics, he told Newsmax on Saturday.

“Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment,” Dershowitz said. “If you don’t like how Rick Perry uses his office, don’t vote for him.”

On Friday, the District Attorney’s office in Travis County, Texas, filed its indictment against Perry charging he overstepped his powers by threatening to veto, and then vetoing $7.5 million in funding for the office’s Public Integrity Unit after District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her conviction for drunken driving.

Perry said Saturday he stands by his veto, and slammed the indictment against him as outrageous.

“We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country,” the Republican governor said in a brief news conference Saturday afternoon. “It is nothing more than an abuse of power — and I cannot and will not allow that to happen.”

Perry’s supporters are backing his decision, saying that he was well within his rights under the state Constitution to veto the funding, while opponents say it’s another example of how he abuses the power of his office.

“This is another example of the criminalization of party differences,” said Dershowitz, a prominent scholar on United States constitutional law and criminal law who writes the “Legally Speaking” column for Newsmax. “This idea of an indictment is an extremely dangerous trend in America, whether directed at [former House Speaker] Tom DeLay or [former President] Bill Clinton.”

Further, Dershowitz said, such indictments are something that’s done in totalitarian countries and should not be done in the United States.

In such countries, “if you don’t like them, you indict,” Dershowitz said. “In America, you vote against them…this should be up to the voters. There is no room in America for abuse of office charges, and this has to stop once and for all. This is a serious problem.”

And indicting a politician, rather than fighting back through a ballot box, “is so un-American.”

Dershowitz also told Newsmax Perry was well within his rights when he vetoed the money for Lehmberg’s office, as he “saw a drunk serving as DA” who “shouldn’t be enforcing criminal law.”

Dershowitz believes Perry will be acquitted, and the indictment will become an embarrassment to those involved.

Perry is often named as a potential candidate for the GOP nomination in 2016, and has opted not to seek a fourth term as governor of Texas. Dershowitz said he hopes the legal charges are resolved long before the presidential election campaign cycle begins.

“It’s just ridiculous the extremes some prosecutors will go to,” when they seek criminal charges in retribution for actions that they don’t agree with politically,” Dershowitz said.

He’s not alone among liberals questioning the Perry indictment, reports Business Insider, with pundits including former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, Clinton and Obama administration alum Jonathan Prince, Vox’s Matt Yglesias, and New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait all tweeting that they do not agree with the DA’s decision to indict the governor.

Axelrod called the indictment “sketchy.”

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 18, 2014 @ 5:48 am

Homeland Security from within – an obvious Black thug who steals and then arrogantly pushes the elder store clerk per the video which should have been released and does indeed show the character and demeanor of this youth, black or white and who proceeds in his portrayal in pompous gait on the video walking almost out of the store and coming back to taunt the store clerk….

….to disrupt traffic and at the same time, a cop who just may have been trigger happy or Not, only the investigation will help solve this question however finding it difficult to understand why possibly one or two shots were all that was necessary even if justified, Not six shots necessary to wound and take down this big young man. Now surely investigated by local and state officials, yet the illustrious AG and Barry Obama who are so divisive and use the race card, the pigment of a man’s skin whenever they have an opportunity to engage in local police matters where any other such incident, the local and state police handle such matters….that’s the way it is done and if there is then a question of ethical behavior, then further federal government involvement. The feds should stay out of state and local matters.

There are enough watchdogs to make sure State officials conduct proper investigation and whether cop or elected official, if they have been involved in an illegal way, criminal prosecution….

Until recently criminals are sent to jail, not released as terror operatives to rejoin the enemy or for DHS to unlock the cells of known and convicted felons to walk the streets or for a US Marine to be left behind and to peer out of his cell window as he watches busload after busload of illegals en route to an already overburdened America by this resident of the WH who talks w/the Mexican President and both agree to open their borders to – illegal law breakers and even gang members allowed access – and even provided buses to come across our border while our US Marine, left behind just as our brave warriors were at the “Benghazi Massacre” by the illustrious Hillary Clinton and Barry Obama

This possible criminal act by a police officer should have been handled locally and by State officials just like any other incident w/no interference by the WH and if a hate crime, a white on black criminal act, then the FBI, however neither the Black or White communities need the WH stepping in and feeding the already divisiveness which this resident of the WH has intentionally created in causing racial tensions whenever possible….obviously Barry Obama very much the student of the illustrious Rev Wright who feels that Tehran should have WMD in hand as long as the “Zionists” have such…how absurd.

Listen, black youth were promised as We all were jobs and more jobs, a “change” and we certainly have seen nothing such as unemployment among black youth especially as well as overall salaries and jobs for all dwindling and the Rev Wright and Barry Obama seeking in every way to divide and cause much distrust among all and especially among the Black and White communities which in this 21st century has no place and we together must demand term limits for “entrusted” elected officials and question why a predominantly black community had a predominant white police force and elected officials which for the most part from reports almost all white? Where is the Ferguson Black community in taking responsibility for getting involved and participating…getting elected and demanding that more Black police officers and a majority to be part of a predominantly Black community….

Bad cop/good cop, an obviously young man arrogant in his gait and willing to steal, a criminal no matter his skin color yet what really did happen and how did he promote such threat to a police officer for him to shoot at this your man six times even if four shots in the arm and shortly a better picture of what truly happened….however truly if we have a WH and AG who don’t give a damn about laws and checks and balances, well, what do you expect from folks on the streets who are far less educated and fear one another so….what divisiveness and where is the parenting, the responsibility to community and getting involved, not looting and burning down stores…

….and to those seeking to spark more violence on our streets, spend your time seeing what you can do to help youth to gain an education, to be innovative and resilient and by the way, what does this young man’s drug tests show at the time of death? Was he on drugs? What about the police officer? There are many questions, however looting and breaking windows and portraying Blacks as law breakers and indolent in every way, far from the truth as there are many, many very successful Black professionals and business folks who do not have what I refer to as the “Rev Wright chip on the shoulder” – let’s try and work together as we have in many communities and while no one needs to embrace another, certainly the pigment of one’s skin in 2014 whether black on black, white on black etc, enough of this divide and let’s get incompetents such as Barry Obama, the present and unfortunate resident of the WH under House arrest and his illustrious top cop, the AG for suspicion in breach of faith, treason!

These empty political promises in ’08 and later to date, change, you betcha and still no jobs for the youth black or white and only a worsening landscape for so, so many where even food banks for black and white cannot even keep their shelves stocked as Barry Obama has done little to restore any confidence in America from within, never mind from the int’l community and again, Barry Obama w/sworn oath to his Father, Hussein Obama only in his promise to weaken America in every way as Hussein Obama and his Kenyan pals were indeed anti-Christians and anti-colonialists.

While the following is disturbing, maybe if we all repent a bit and work together, just maybe we can salvage our beloved Republic which looks as though it will continue to unravel mostly because of indolence and real ignorance on many issues and about one another, caring little to work and achieve and to be proud of our heritage, our pigment of skin black or white and to care about our neighbor and help one another….after all, this is 2014 and I would have hoped by now, folks would have learned to Respect one another and again, maybe not embrace one another, but to understand that all of us are far more similar, than different….

Gerald Flurry of the Trumpet states,

The book of Ezekiel, for example, has some of the strongest warning about internal warfare. The first part of Ezekiel 5:12 states, “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence.” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry referred to this prophecy in his booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet. He wrote:

The word pestilence just means destruction or death (see Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon). One definition of the root word is “to lay snares, to plot against, to destroy.” So this pestilence could be a plague of violence or burning—not necessarily a physical disease at all! It can be defined as a plague of violence or rioting—such as the Los Angeles riots in 1992 or the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks! Why would the first third be burned with fire (Ezekiel 5:2), if it refers to a disease epidemic?

This is talking about race riots prophesied to happen during this end time in Israel, Britain and especially America.

Race riots are coming to America. Many of its inner cities are already seething, ready to explode.

It took only one death to set off destructive riots in Missouri—and this while America is relatively wealthy; food is still readily available on store shelves and people’s tables. What will happen if something changes that? How many city streets will look like West Florissant Avenue did on the morning of August 11?

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