Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 5, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on September 5, 2014

On this day in 1996 Hurricane Fran comes ashore killing 27 and causing over $3 billion in damages.

On this day in 1666 the Great Fire of London is brought to a close.  Over 10,000 buildings were destroyed.  Fewer than ten people are thought to have died.

On this day in 1972 the Black September terrorist group attacks the Munich Olympics taking hostage Israeli athletes and coaches.  Eleven of the hostages, one German police officer, and five members of Black September would eventually be killed.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

September 5, 2014 @ 6:27 am

Double E. and others have shown an interest in legislation. Some good or even great legislation has never been enacted. Quin says he is writing an article on Title VI of Stafford.

So another blast from the past:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Congress- I miss Chris Shays!

Okay long gone the Republican from Connecticut wiped out in a recent election was a favorite of mine even though the other party for trying to and successfully grappling with Homeland Security and Emergency Management issues long before 9/11/01!
So thanks Chris for all the hard work. Like the deceased Tilly Fowler of Florida also a Republican Chris’ thoughtful work should not be lost.

For one thing Chris was the father of the TOPOFF series of exercises. That series was designed so that senior officials that normally did not participate in Exerices at any level might be exposed to issues and given understanding of what possible scenarios they might face in both catastrophic and less than catastrophic situations. Like the long serving FIRE SERVICE Battalion Chief that has not faced a FULL BOX alarm recently or ever that goes catatonic when faced with one the need for senior officials to think about both the thinkable and unthinkable always will be a big problem for HS and EM leaderhsip. After all both those leaderships are supposed to be expert based on knowledge, training or experience or education and someone has to do the job. Oddly of course Mayor Guiliani was prepared as Mayor on 9/11/01 largely because unknown to most of the public the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice has long housed the emergency action types of that department. Guiliani was once in that Division and even led it for a while if my understanding is correct. Oddly Michael Chertoff also headed that division and I thought he would make a good choice to head DHS and in someways did so but largely failed. His immigration reform efforts killed by Senate Republicans I believe will resurface at some point.

Back to Chris Shays. One of the battles Chris lost in the formation of DHS was given that new department new standards setting and regulatory authority in its organic legislation. Specifically what became the Homeland Security Act of 2002, enacted in November 2002. NONE, repeat NONE of the above was given although in several instances it came close.

So in an effort to repair that deficiency Chris introduced the following which while not perfect was a step forward and hoping Peter King revives it in the 112th. So see the bill reproduced below and imagine its positive impact on HS/EM in the long haul.

National Preparedness Standards Act (Introduced in House)
HR 3227 IH
1st Session
H. R. 3227
To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish clearly defined standards and guidelines for Federal, State, and local government emergency preparedness and response capability, and for other purposes.
October 2, 2003
Mr. SHAYS (for himself, Mrs. MALONEY, Mr. TURNER of Ohio, Mr. TIERNEY, Mr. MURPHY, and Mr. RUPPERSBERGER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Select Committee on Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish clearly defined standards and guidelines for Federal, State, and local government emergency preparedness and response capability, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the `National Preparedness Standards Act’.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) The Second Report of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (also known as the Gilmore Commission) called for standards for emergency preparedness and response.
(2) The National Strategy for Homeland Security calls for the issuance of standards for emergency preparedness and response.
(3) The standard-setting activities called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) need to be accelerated and coordinated.
(4) Actual preparedness against the threat of weapons of mass destruction is not being enhanced sufficiently.
(5) The lack of standards for Federal, State, and local government emergency preparedness and response poses the risk of grant funds for emergency preparedness and response being wasted.
(a) IN GENERAL- Title V of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 311 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, in consultation with other Federal agencies, State and local emergency responder agencies and officials, and standard-setting bodies from the emergency responder community, shall establish clearly defined standards and guidelines for Federal, State, and local government emergency preparedness and response capability, including for training, interoperable communication systems, and response equipment.
`(2) CONTENT- The Secretary shall design such standards to comply with the following:
`(A) FLEXIBILITY- The standards shall be sufficiently flexible to allow local government officials to set priorities based on their needs, while reaching nationally determined preparedness levels within a fixed time period.
`(B) MEASURABLE CAPABILITIES- The standards shall be designed to develop emergency preparedness and response capabilities that are measurable and subject to Federal audit.
`(1) determine for each State the minimum essential emergency preparedness and response capability that should be achieved by the State, including State and local government emergency preparedness and response agencies of the State; and
`(2) measure for each State progress made by State and local government emergency preparedness and response agencies–
`(A) in achieving the minimum essential capability determined for the State under paragraph (1); and
`(B) complying with standards issued by the Secretary under this section.
`(c) IMPROVEMENT OF COMPLIANCE WITH STANDARDS- To improve compliance with emergency preparedness and response capability standards under this section, the Secretary may–
`(1) coordinate and consolidate the development by the Federal Government of standards for Federal, State, and local government for Federal, State, and local government emergency preparedness and response capability, including for training, interoperable communication systems, and response equipment;
`(2) establish and coordinate an integrated capability for Federal, State, and local governments and emergency responders to plan for and address potential consequences of terrorism;
`(3) coordinate provision of Federal terrorism preparedness assistance to State, tribal, and local governments;
`(4) establish standards for a national, interoperable emergency communications and warning system; and
`(5) establish standards for training of first responders, and for equipment to be used by first responders, to respond to incidents of terrorism, including incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.
`(d) CONSULTATION- In carrying out activities under this section, the Secretary shall consult with relevant private sector groups, including–
`(1) the National Fire Protection Association;
`(2) National Association of County and City Health Officials;
`(3) Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; and
`(4) American National Standards Institute.
`(e) ANNUAL REPORT- The Secretary shall, by not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this section and annually thereafter, report to the Congress, on a State-by-State basis, regarding–
`(1) progress achieved, by grant and training programs administered by the Department, in–
`(A) increasing State and local government terrorism preparedness; and
`(B) conforming such State and local government terrorism preparedness to applicable standards issued by Federal agencies;
`(2) when State and local government terrorism preparedness will conform to such standards; and
`(3) the amount of expenditures required for State and local government terrorism preparedness to conform to such standards.’.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 509 the following:
`Sec. 510. Emergency preparedness and response standards.’.
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, pursuant to the amendment made by section 3, include in the fiscal year 2005 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security a minimum essential emergency preparedness and response capability standard with respect to weapons of mass destruction- and terrorism-related disaster equipment and training, separately–
(1) for metropolitan areas, expressed per 100,000 persons in a metropolitan area; and
(2) for rural areas.

Hearings should be held after introduction in the 112th Congress so that it could be refined but this would also make some understand why DHS and FEMA have accomplished so little since DHS opened its doors in March 2003!

And thanks again Chris wherever you are for all the concerted effort to forge better catastrophic preparedness and response in the US. Some of US noticed your efforts.

Posted by The Vacation Lane Group at 6:34 AM

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 5, 2014 @ 10:49 am

Postponed next week but to be rescheduled is a House T&I hearing on FEMA’s role in a cyber attack!

Comment by Tim

September 5, 2014 @ 2:19 pm


The original Topoff was part of a CJS appropriations act and was the brain child of Jim Morhard (appriations clerk) and Senator Judd Gregg. Senator Gregg was responsible for funding the state and local preparedness programs in the Department of Justice which were managed by the Office for Domestic Preparedness (one of many names for that office).

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 5, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

Thanks Tim! National Level Exercises [NLE} became the successor. The Exercise Dark Winter with Sam Nunn playing President pre-9/11 was the driver. His organization now is the private leader in certain WMD arenas.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 5, 2014 @ 8:45 pm


The local Department of Revenue will suspend a taxpayer’s driver’s license even if the taxpayer engages the Right to refute the local agency’s action such as lien, freezing bank accounts and the Department of State says this week of Americans joining ISIS:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

State Department Won’t Confirm If Passports of Americans Fighting With ISIS Have Been Revoked

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Jen Psaki would not confirm if passports belonging to Americans confirmed to be fighting with ISIS/ISIL in the Middle East have been revoked.

“It’s not as black and white as that,” Psaki said, adding that there are legal parameters the State Department must work around on a case-by-case basis.

“We [State Department] can revoke passports for a number of reasons.”

Government officials, intelligence agents and Americans have been concerned for weeks about ISIS fighters, who have now sent two messages directly to America with the beheadings of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, will easily use U.S. passports to get back into the country to carry out attacks.
Just yesterday Saudi Arabia King Abdullah warned ISIS could reach Europe and the United States within two months.

A senior regional diplomat told the Daily Mail last week, “The Islamic State is now the most capable military power in the Middle East outside Israel.”

Meanwhile, the State Department and Homeland Security have lost track of 6,000 students inside the U.S. on expired student visas.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 5, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

“Indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor — never its victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten” (Wiesel 2).

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 5, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

Known as the “Sword Verses” (9:5 and 9:29):

Expansionist jihad became the explicit norm.

Rudolph Peters, professor of Islamic Law and Law of the Middle East at the University of Amsterdam, observes, “The crux of the doctrine is the existence of one single Islamic state, ruling the entire umma [Muslim community]. It is the duty of the umma to expand the territory of this state in order to bring as many people under its rule as possible. The ultimate aim is to expand the territory of this state in order to bring the whole earth under the sway of Islam and to extirpate unbelief.”

To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged—and verily, God is most powerful for their aid—(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right (for no cause) except that they say, “our Lord is God.” (22:39-40a)

In yet other places, the Quran seems to command offensive warfare against unbelievers:

Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not. (2:216)

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (9:5)

Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews), until they pay the jizya [tribute] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (9:29).

In early September, where is Congress, both sides of the aisle and how is it that this Chicago city street slicker, this eight year Wh resident who said to the press corp one evening at a benefit that he wished he could use the name of his Father – Hussein – well, if in fact he is a Christian, having been raised a Muslim in Indonesia supposedly, where is his Christian name and of course chose to sit in the new for 20 years in the pew attentively listening to the illustrious Rev Wright!

Give us a break….Really?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 6, 2014 @ 10:01 am

Breaking News:

Germany will send trained Kurdish forces to the Islamic State, German Chancellor

Angela Merkel announced September 1. It will ship them $90.7 million worth of arms, including 40 machine guns, 200 rocket-propelled grenades, 500 anti-tank missiles, 16,000 assault rifles, and ample am- munition. The shipments are intended to equip 4,000 men. Germany will either fly Kurds soldiers to Berlin for training, or train them in Iraq. The Defense Ministry has said that send- ing German soldiers to Iraq in order to train Kurds would not require the approval of Germany’s parliament.

This is a major step for Germany, which is why it has taken it longer than many other nations to reach this decision.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 6, 2014 @ 10:25 am

Bravo Barry Obama, you have almost accomplished your goals in bringing our beloved Republic to its weakest point in history by your pledge not to oath and to Constitution, but as I warned when you were to be nominated…

….your pledge to Hussein Obama and his anti-Christian, anti-colonialist Kenyan pals, but heck what was to be expected as your friends were the likes Bill Ayers and other such, well, what was America to expect other than the “change” you promised, running to Cairo to bow and kiss the ring of another sovereign King and to tell the press corp and media that you certainly wished you too could use the name Hussein….

No, Barry, ISIS or now, IS is not a JV team and something to contain, but heck, whether you are Black, Blue White or Green with all your divisiveness and that of your illustrious AG as ambulance chasers seeking Civili Rights actions when in fact it was White America who ignorantly voted your not once, but twice into office because of the off color pigment of your skin rather than wait for a real Black President choice as Ben or the Col who love this nation…again you were clear as to priorities not to America, but to Muslims and the Middle East jeopardizing this nation in every way and again, where you should be held for breach of faith, treason prior to, during and after the “Benghzai Massacre” —

You, the eight year half-white man resident at the White House that allows a brave US Marine warrior to sit in a Mexican jail for making a wrong turn while the US Marine watches from his jail cell as busload after busloads of illegals and even convicts wave to him as they are permitted by agreements by you and the Mexican government to open the borders compromising our Homeland Security:

Obama: ISIS ‘a Manageable Problem’
TRUTH REVOLT | September 3

President [Barack] Obama spoke in Estonia Wednesday morning about the recent beheading video released by [the Islamic State] terrorists.

In language that continues to give the impression that the president is trying to downplay the threat [the Islamic State] poses to the world, he called the well-armed terrorist group “a manageable problem” if “the international community” works together. …

“[T]he question is going to be making sure we’ve got the right strategy but also making sure we’ve got the international will to do it. This is something that is a continuation of a problem we’ve seen certainly since 9/11, but before, and it continues to metastasize in different ways.

And what we’ve got to do is make sure that we are organizing the Arab world, the Middle East, the Muslim world, along with the international community to isolate this cancer.

“This particular brand of extremism that is first and foremost destructive to the Muslim world and the Arab world and North Africa and the people who live there. They’re the ones who are most severely affected. They’re the ones who are constantly under threat of being killed. They’re the ones whose economies are completely upended to the point where they can’t produce their own food and they can’t produce the kinds of goods and services to sell in the world marketplace.”

…..and now more weakness and alignments because of your indifference to anything that may adversely affect ‘ol Glory other than your bias and tainted perceptions where you run as quickly as you did to Cairo, to Cambridge (MA) and to Ferguson (MO)….when will the Black community in the 21st century take responsibility for itself, its young who have so many babies out of wed lock and you support even late term abortions…and Fathers who are no where to be seen as well as criminal behavior among the community with high unemployment and drugs….where are the jobs you promised the Black kids who deserve far more –

Asian Military Cooperation on the Rise
JeremiahJacques | September3

Despite the hype regarding America’s “pivot to Asia,” the nations of the East see that the United States’ mili- tary power is becoming ever more hollow. They see America’s populace war-weary,

….its policymakers almost comically disunited, and its president power-thirsty at home but deliberately weak internationally.

In response, many Asian countries are rebalancing and re-aligning. The adjustment is most apparent in the increased military cooperation among them.
As the West has sought to isolate Moscow over the ongo- ing Ukrainian crisis, Russia and China have entered into a new era of unprecedented military cooperation. In May, the two held their first-ever joint naval exercises near some Japanese-administered islands. The location—in the back- yard of America’s strongest Asian ally—was not arbitrary.

From August 24 to 29, more than 7,000 troops from Russia, China and three central Asian nations assembled for the largest joint military drill ever held by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (sco). According to the sco, the massive drills were meant to prepare soldiers to protect the region from potential terrorist strikes. But as analyst Matthew Sussex said, “It is kind of rare to have an anti-terrorist mission which uses battle tanks. It says: ‘We are trying to exercise together to coordinate our troops to meet any potential eventuality.’”

Another aspect of the new golden age of Russia-China military cooperation has been a sudden willingness on Moscow’s part to share cutting-edge military technology with the Chinese.

Japan and India are increasingly aware of America’s eroding influence in Asia, and increasingly wary of China’s rise.

Both are impressed by the power and boldness of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, but also anxious about its ever steeper tilt toward Beijing.

The answer for each, at least in the short term, may be each other.

On September 1, Tokyo signed an historic deal with India entering into the first-ever India-Japan defense co- operation agreement. The deal marked a historical change in Asian geopolitics: the first time post-war Japan entered such an agreement outside its three traditional alliance partners—the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

As the thinness of the American paper tiger becomes increasingly evident,

….and as Russia and China continue to become more powerful and more aggressive, the Asian nations will increasingly work toward shoring up defense ties with each other.

Some appear to be digging their heels in, working to build alliances that will protect them from the Moscow-Beijing axis. Others seem to be preparing themselves to be allied with or dominated by it. Bible prophecy says that, regardless of which category a given nation currently falls into, almost all will eventually be joined together as a gargantuan power bloc with Russia and China at the helm

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 6, 2014 @ 10:39 am

While on this Friday I worry about our electric grid and a US Congress on vacation while scandal after scandal rock this tainted and anti-American White House seeking in every way to undermine our Judeo-Christian values, our Constitution and our need to have strong arsenal to sustain our Democracy, really, you fellas who play such politics and self-servingw ays had tome to go on vacation, really? The borders are open and the scandal, thousands and thousands of kids tossed to communities everywhere and no one really cares that our US Marine sits in a jail and that local communities are overwhelmed and while the schools cannot even give our kids a good education – see US ranking in education globally, now the taxpayer who has seen to rise in wages for years and costs soaring along with the $18 trillion deficit and you fellas are on vacation? Really?

I don’t give a damn if you are Democrat or Republican, get to work and get our US Marine out of jail now and decided whether we shall enslave more of our population to an ever imposing government as well as enforcing laws which include immigration laws as no other nation allows undocumented illegals from entering and We here on “Main Street USA” now hear that Health and Human Services are intentionally holding public information as to these youngsters who are illegal in every way and we have no business picking up their tab! Send the kids back home now and sure we understand why you won’t give information as to the whereabouts and to what communities, because you know there will be protest after protest – you have opened our country to much harm and peril and per the oath and pledge to office as “entrusted” US officials, take back America!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 6, 2014 @ 11:48 am

13 Hours At Benghazi….despite being told to “stand down” and understanding that your team personnel were in peril, thank you for your service and bravery! In addition, God Bless those of your team who were lost fighting while no air power arrived, despite looking to the skies…

…and you Barry Obama and Ms. Hillary, where were you? You could give a damn….

For us here on “Main Street USA” we are always reminded:

“You should not honor men more than truth.” ? Plato

….and while we honor and much appreciate the valor, the courage of the men on the ground and on roof top, you Barry Obama and Ms. Hillary, you should be held by House arrest for your breach in faith, treason placing politics and self-serving agenda prior to, during and after standing shoulder to shoulder in blatant lie!

We never leave a man behind, well why is a US brave Marine warrior still in a Mexican jail for making a u-turn? Seeing busload after busload of illegals waving to him in his cell as both governments have negotiated the opening of porous boundaries and yet, our US Marine sits in a Mexican jail – cut funding to Mexico and you’ll see how quickly he will be released and what Congressman stayed home and did not go on summer vacation to get this brave warrior’s release? Really?

How dare any of you take a vacation when you have an eight year resident of the WH seeking in every way to undermine our country – without closed borders and a strong arsenal and accountability from those we “entrust’ to lead our nation forward, we are in much despair….

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 6, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson

We have laws which require those we “entrust” to public service to enforce them and anyone who chooses to seek America the beautiful as their home, let he or she make appropriate application for immigration as so many generations have in the past for our borders are not open to those whose first loyalty is not to ‘ol Glory, our Constitution and the laws we must abide by with no man above the law, even our present eight year WH resident who seems to dismiss the very essence of beloved Republic which acknowledges that for a Democracy to be sustained, a strong arsenal must stand ready for there are many who seek our demise in this 21st century….

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645 USA

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 7, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

Breaking News:

Islam ‘does not belong in German society’ – poll

Published: 07 Aug 2014 08:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Aug 2014 08:05 GMT+02:00

Comment by John Wilson

September 12, 2014 @ 10:30 am

Local assets are not used enough with the concept of Homeland Security.

Larger cities create tasks forces for the multiplication of forces. Local police and administrations are utilized only when they are needed, but smaller cities and towns do not have the man power and the federal government does not often feel that the cities or assets are high enough risk to assist with security assistance against anti terrorism or counter intelligence efforts. Granted, not all need administrative search assets, however, due to the likelihood of the threat against soft targets, private organizations are filling the gap for threat assessments and mitigation. What should be a happy medium? Should the government spend more time on smaller assets, cities, towns etc. or is it a lost cause that the private security sector to reap benefits? Should the government assist with the cost of theses assessments or should it be put on the organization in question in an ad hoc cost?

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