Archive for the 'Department of Homeland Security' Category

Mixed Views On U.S. Border Control Checkpoints

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Watertown Daily Times:

North country residents have mixed views — and strong opinions — about the value of traffic checkpoints routinely set up by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents assigned to monitor the American side of the U.S.-Canadian border.

Based on random interviews, several said they believe border checkpoints are necessary to keep illicit drugs, illegal immigrants and other unlawful activities out of the country.

However, many also said they’re concerned that too many law enforcement officials — including border patrol agents — unlawfully stretch their authority by using aggressive tactics when interrogating law-abiding citizens traveling in their own country.

Last week, Jessica A. Cooke, 21, Ogdensburg, was pulled over at a border checkpoint in Waddington by border patrol agents who wanted to search her car’s trunk. During an altercation that followed, Ms. Cooke allegedly was subdued with a stun gun.

The incident, which was captured on a cellphone video taken by Ms. Cooke, has prompted a spirited debate on social media sites. Ms. Cooke, a SUNY Canton criminal justice major who graduated Saturday, claims she was wrongfully assaulted and has threatened to file a lawsuit.

Several people said they believed both parties deserve some blame for the altercation: Ms. Cooke for provoking agents with an uncooperative attitude and the agents for using excessive force to restrain her.

Here’s a sampling of opinions of area residents and visitors:

William C. Hill, Edwards, said he has driven through checkpoints on several occasions and never had a problem. Usually, agents ask drivers where they’re from and where they’re going. Occasionally, they ask drivers to pull over for further questioning or to inspect their vehicle.

“I’m all for border patrol checks. Look at the drugs seized weekly by these that would otherwise go right onto the streets,” Mr. Hill said in an email. “If you have nothing to hide, why be a jerk? Just cooperate.”

Heather M. Wells, 29, Ogdensburg, said she and her husband pass through checkpoints occasionally on Route 37 when they’re heading to the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation to purchase cigarettes.

“I think we’re close to a border so we should have checkpoints,” Mrs. Wells said. “If you don’t give them a reason to stop you, they won’t.”

In Watertown, Antonio F. Gigliotti said he does not consider road checkpoints set up by the Border Patrol to be cause for concern.

“They don’t bother me,” he said.

Mr. Gigliotti said he has traveled through checkpoints before without an issue. He said since he does not have anything to hide, he never feels worried when he passes through one.

Tonya Fulmore, Watertown, agreed. She said road checkpoints are necessary to keep our border secure.

“I think if they are protecting the border, they have every right to be there,” she said.

William R. Wagstaff Jr., Massena, said he believes border patrol agents at times abuse their power by asking to inspect vehicles without having reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.

“This woman had every right to refuse to open her trunk,” Mr. Wagstaff said in an email. “I have refused several times to let them search me and put their K-9 in my vehicle.”

Mr. Wagstaff said he filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., and received a letter of apology. He also filed a complaint with border patrol officials in Swanton, Vt.

“Now I don’t get harassed anymore,” he said.

Example of reactions continue and you can read them all at Watertown Daily Times.  It isn’t necessary for views to be mixed on anything about this report.  Every stop by the U.S. Border Patrol of a U.S. citizen, unless it is a so-called “Terry Stop” with evidence of a crime, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

If the Border Patrol wants to catch criminals, international terrorists or other trafficking perpetrators, they should do so at the border.  The fact that the border isn’t secure is a sorry testimony to the degree the politicians want it to be open and porous.  It is an obscene pointer to crony capitalism that the only thing the border patrol believes they can do is harass American citizens.

They have become powerless to stop the cross-border flood, and they are taking it out on American citizens.  It is as much Kabuki theater as TSA checks at air ports.  Nothing the U.S. government is doing is helping to keep American citizens safe.  Every program I can think of is designed to foist more control on the American people rather than ensure their freedom and safety.

The saddest part isn’t that all of this is true.  It is that people are still conflicted over these programs.  If we wanted to secure the borders, we could shoot the invading hordes on sight, close down most of the checkpoints on the border, search every vehicle, disallow aliens from driving U.S. transport trucks, implement e-verify, and tell the LEOs to have the courage to go where the gangs are and shut them down rather than bust in doors doing SWAT raids.  Things would change overnight.

None of that will happen because the politicians don’t want to secure the border.

So What Is Operation Jade Helm Really All About?

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

We’ve only briefly touched on Operation Jade Helm and what it really means.  There are far better analyses (via Mike Vanderboegh) than any I have provided, and the reader is recommended to study those articles.  Mike Vanderboegh also has an analysis that’s worth studying in detail.

Of the claims I have seen, it is obvious that every ridiculous piece of disinformation from the 90s has been resurrected for this one, including the old hoary “rail cars with shackles” canard. Personally, were I a militia unit commander in the Jade Helm Area of Operations, I would take the advice above and have my folks — in civilian clothes — follow, watch and learn. Monitor, to the extent that it is possible, their movements. Observe their tactics. Document them. After-action analyze what you learn. I doubt very seriously if you will be able to monitor their communications, but much can be learned — especially by your friendly sources within local law enforcement in the AO — about what is happening.

Try to remember that all this disinformation-driven hysteria does is discredit your position. IT IS DESIGNED TO DO THAT. If the PTB can use things like this to convince serious people who might otherwise be our allies that we are all just a bunch of Alex Jones loons, then they have shaped the future battlefield in unseen ways that are to their advantage. Keep calm, watch and learn. Vocally (and loudly) object in local political venues about troops training amongst the population. It is dangerous. It is unnecessary. And training accidents certainly happen. One day, somebody is going to screw up and fly a Blackhawk into a crowded elementary school. Raise these very real objections with your local authorities, especially your county sheriff. BUT DON’T BUY INTO THE HYSTERIA. IT IS DESIGNED TO DIVIDE YOU FROM YOUR NATURAL ALLIES, THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO TOOK AN OATH BEFORE GOD TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION. Indeed, for the purposes of Leviathan, if Alex Jones didn’t exist already, they would have to invent him.

Well, perhaps.  But I take a slightly different view of things.  I think this is indicative of an evolution in military strategy.  In order to understand the way I see this operation one has to go back to Dr. David Kilcullen, the heralded “Jedi Master” of counterinsurgency who advised the now defamed General David Petraeus on COIN and stability operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom (regarding which I have some pictures of the news coverage outside the federal courthouse taken in Charlotte during a lunch time walk when Petraeus’s lawyers were plea bargaining his case – and I will share some thoughts in the future about manly discipline).

One also must remember that the tilt towards collectivist thinking isn’t just being driven from the civilian rule of the military.  The officer corps – especially that of the Air Force, Navy and Army, with the Marine Corps lagging far behind in post-modern thought – has become increasingly liberal.  Witness the teaching at the Army War College by professor Steve Metz if you doubt me.  So the officer corps has been looking for a new mission since China, Russia and other possible near-peer states are such friends and allies with us now!  David Kilcullen provides that new mission for them, even in the absence of his champion Petraeus.

Kilcullen supplies his vision for the future to us in redacted form from several years ago.

This era’s unprecedented urbanization is concentrated in the least developed areas of Asia, Latin America and Africa.  The data shows that coastal cities are about to be swamped by a human tide that will force them to absorb—in less than 40 years—almost the entire increase in population absorbed by the whole planet, in all of recorded human history up to 1960. And virtually all this urbanization will happen in the world’s least developed areas, by definition the poorest equipped to handle it—a recipe for conflict, crises in health, education and governance, and food, energy and water scarcity.

Rapid urbanization creates economic, social and governance challenges while simultaneously straining city infrastructure, making the most vulnerable cities less able to meet these challenges. The implications for future conflict are profound, with more people fighting over scarcer resources in crowded, under-serviced and under-governed urban areas.

[ … ]

The food security effects are equally severe, as pollution from coastal urbanization imperils fish stocks, and peri-urban areas surround city cores whose infrastructure is scaled for populations far smaller than they now support. This newly settled peri-urban land was once used for farms, market gardens and orchards, but as cities expand into this space, the distance between the city core and its food sources increases significantly. Food must now be produced further away and transported over ever-greater distances, increasing transportation and refrigeration costs, raising fuel usage and carbon emissions, exacerbating traffic problems, and creating “food deserts” in urban areas.

[ … ]

The three megatrends of urbanization, littoralization and connectedness suggest that conflict is increasingly likely to occur in coastal cities …

[ … ]

The implications for civilian agencies of government are equally obvious—the ability to expand social services, city administration, and rule of law into peri-urban areas are clearly important …

Right now I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Kilcullen has recommended a focus on littoral and urban stability operations, and Operation Jade Helm is anything but littoral and urban.”  Yes, but you have to see the bigger picture.  Kilcullen also recommends a strong emphasis on meeting community needs, community engagement, and coupled operations between the armed forces and constabulary forces – wherever might be the area of operation.

And that last part is important.  Kilcullen doesn’t recommend for or against any particular engagement, he is merely pointing to trends.  Those trends and recommendations involve not regular warfare and large unit operations on the field of battle, but a focus on stability operations using all means at your disposal, including civilian assets and police.

So does Operation Jade Helm include preparations for constabulary operations on American soil by the U.S. armed forces?  Of course not, at least as far as you and I know.  You will never hear anything about such a notion, and even the leaders of the operation will not have been told that.  It’s more subtle and insidious than that.  It involves an evolution in thought to that of irregular, urban, constabulary operations rather than conventional war-making.

While it might be popular to suppose that the U.S. learned the right lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan and will never be involved in such military (mis)adventures again, that’s simple childish thinking.  We will, somewhere and somehow, and it just might be on American soil.  The evolution in thought Kilcullen has pressed doesn’t need Iraq or Afghanistan.  It merely needs a willing listener, and the U.S. armed forces are willing indeed.

And so are U.S. LEOs.  The SWAT teams just love to be coupled with the CQB experts with the Army and Marines in mock exercises.  And the experts in the so-called “social sciences” love to be called upon by the military to lend a hand in community stability (witness the participation of civilian anthropologists in operations in Iraq, more frequent than most readers know).

Finally, take note that the DHS is interested in biometrics.

April 28, 2015 – The Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) of the Department of Homeland Security has posted a request for information (RFI) to get industry information regarding current and near future technologies to store, match, and analyze biometric data.

OBIM will use this information to provide customers with important data regarding immigration violators, criminals, and known or suspected terrorists and supports immigration management and border security decision makers.

Supporting national security and public safety as well as enabling operational missions across DHS mission areas, OBIM’s biometric identification and analysis services help government and law enforcement decision makers determine whether individuals pose a risk to the United States and whether those individuals meet the requirements for a specific government benefit or credential.

Folks, listen to me.  This is right out of the Marine Corps play book for Fallujah in 2007.  Unadulterated and unmodified, straight out of the Marine Corps play book.  Biometrics.  When the U.S. government is interested in biometrics and they begin discussing “terrorists,” watch out.  That means you.

So I don’t look to the “disinformation of the 90’s” for what’s happening with the DHS.  I am looking to more recent history and trends for politics and warfare I am seeing in the military thinkers I watch.  Alex Jones is a clown who wants to make money.  But Operation Jade Helm concerns me for reasons completely unrelated to him.

Federal Government Operations In South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 4 weeks ago

Via WRSA, this from Matt Bracken:

I saw a fascinating covert DHS convoy Sunday in South Carolina on I-95.

On Sunday, April 27th at 3:30 pm I was driving by myself southbound on I-95 in the middle of South Carolina. The speed limit was 70 so I was going 80. I passed a convoy of DHS vehicles traveling in tight formation in the slow lane moving at about 75. None of the vehicles was marked in any way with any government or law enforcement decals or insignia. However, they all had black and white U.S. government tags on their rear bumpers.

What was really interesting was the fact that the two lead vehicles had radar or satellite equipment on top of them. I was unable to take any photos, but I took some notes so that I could describe them accurately. I looked for some images on the internet and found the exact types of vehicles, minus the radar/satellite/commo gear on top. I’ll post the photos at the end. Keep in mind these are NOT photos of the trucks I saw, but they are exactly the same types that I did see, minus the tech gear on top.

I’ll start at the back of the convoy, the way that I encountered them in passing. All of the trucks were painted with the same shade of blue-gray. All of the vehicles appeared to be very new, with perfect paint jobs, all were very clean, as if they had just come out of a car wash. That clean. At the rear were three new-looking Suburbans, each hauling a Horton trailer like the one I will post at the end. The trailers were also the identical blue-gray color as the other vehicles. Each trailer had a full ramp for the rear access, that is, the rear wall of the trailers were folded-up ramps, so that I suppose ATVs or other vehicles could be driven in and out when the trailers were parked and the ramps were lowered. Each trailer also had a very large white air-conditioning unit on top. The AC units are not shown on the Horton trailer image I’ll post at the end.

Each trailer was being pulled by a shiny new-looking Suburban. All of the vehicles in the convoy had dark tinted windows, but in passing I did see one driver, he appeared to be around 30-40 years old, and FWIW he had a short trimmed beard. (Grooming standards can be a unit “tell.”) Each Suburban, (in fact, all of the vehicles), had a heavy-duty cable winch on the front bumper.

Next in line in front of the Suburbans, there was a big utility vehicles with a basic square body behind the cab, nothing on top other than radio antennas. This utility vehicle was a Ford F-450 with a body like a tool carrier. Next, there was a heavy-duty GMC utility vehicle about the size of the F-450 or a bit larger. On top of the flat body of the truck there was a radar or satellite dish that was folded down to the rear so that it was horizontal. The dish was approximately five feet in diameter, with all of the hinged gear required to erect it to vertical, all of it folded down beneath the dish transformer-style.

The lead vehicle in the convoy was another heavy-duty GMC truck, but this one had a white radar or satellite communication dome on top of the body of the truck. This white dome stood approximately four feet tall above the flat roof of the back of the truck, and it was about three feet in diameter. That is, it was in the shape of a cylinder, but round on top. I will post pictures of similar vehicles at the end of this report. They are, as far as I can remember, identical to the vehicles I saw, including their dark blue-gray paint jobs.

The convoy drivers had terrific route discipline, that is, they kept a very tight spacing while traveling pretty fast in the right lane. If you have ever tried to keep six vehicles together in heavy highway traffic at 75 mph, (including three with trailers), you will understand that this was a highly professional outfit. Cars entering the highway got between the DHS trucks, but the trucks quickly passed them and reestablished their convoy order with no more than 100 feet between them. These guys were pros, let there be no doubt about that. This was first-tier all the way. Top notch. Extremely impressive.

I am just a little curious about why they were totally unmarked, except for the license plates. Not even a DHS sticker the size of a playing card. Nothing. I did copy down the license plate # of the lead vehicle, the one with the four foot tall radar/satellite dome on top. On top, the plate read U.S. Government. On the left side of the plate, aligned vertically, it read 6G71. These small numbers were aligned vertically, not horizontally, with the 6 on top. On the right side of the plate was the number G177L, aligned normally, that is, horizontally. All of the vehicle plates had the interesting vertically aligned numbers on the left side. (One of the trailers had no license plate at all, but I suppose they were not too worried about being pulled over by the SC state troopers!)

Just after I finished passing the convoy, they exited at Interstate 26, but I was unable to see if they headed north or south. They are probably located today (4-28-2015) between Colombia and Charleston, if you happen to spot them. Also, incidentally, there was an unusually heavy presence of law enforcement vehicles all along I-95 in central South Carolina. At one point I passed about a dozen LE vehicles (cruisers and SUVs) parked in the median strip, like they were ready to move out conduct a raid or some other operation. I have no way of knowing if the extremely heavy LE presence was connected to the DHS convoy or not. Anyway, I thought it was interesting enough to take notes and write this report.

I’m guessing that they were part of a VIP protection detail at the POTUS level, or they are some type of technical response team, such as a NEST (Nuclear Emergency Search Team).

Now, let’s address a number of issues that came up in the article, as well as these two comments at WRSA:

put (sic) your tin hats away. they are wmd/cst. that is, teams formed in the 90’s to detect and react to a weapon of mass destruction attack and coordinate relief efforts and evidence gathering. they are manned by national guard, air force and some civilian technical personnel. there were at last count nearly one for every state, though i recall r.i./conn shared a team. they train DAILY on mock attacks to be highly proficient with very technican (sic) equipment/techniques. they are the good guys, they are there to help,but (sic) pray to your god you never need them.

And this:

Got a buddy from the service who went border patrol on EAOS, then switched to a Dept of Energy job a few years later, transport team for “hot” items. Armored containment tractor/trailer with escorts, armed to the freaking gunnels. What they saw might have been one of these TACLET (his term) units moving something with zoomies in it.

Oh goodness.  So much confusion, so little time to sort it out.  I always hate it when people talk nuclear, biological and chemical weapons when they don’t know what they’re talking about but feel they need to say something.  They say things like “zoomies,” which means everything and nothing, a catch-all word to use when no one knows what to say.

So let’s begin by dividing this up into nuclear material and biological / chemical weapons.  Nuclear material may be divided into (a) so-called “dirty” devices which spread radioactive contamination and (b) fissile material that forms the core of nuclear weapons.  The U.S. is no longer enriching weapons grade fissile material (the exception to this is Naval nuclear cores which require highly enriched fissile material, but those cores are very small and the amount of material limited).  Of course it is a stupid decision not to continue to make the most effective deterrent to war known to mankind, but our country is stupid, so it’s par for the course.

Right now engineers are busy at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory performing calculations to demonstrate whether decay of the fissile isotopes into daughter products (which contaminate the mixture) over the course of the life of our existing weapons constitutes an inability to use the weapons we currently have.  Pantex is the only plant left still able to fabricate the weapons.  We are a long way from the days of massive enrichment of fissile material at Oak Ridge to press the nuclear weapons program forward.

Fissile material is rarely transported.  Savannah River still makes Tritium (the only source for weapons in the U.S.), but Tritium is not fissile.  It is used in thermonuclear weapons for fusion from the heat generated by a fission explosion.  Transportation of Tritium is not inherently unsafe.  Neither is transport of fissile material unsafe as long as the amount and geometry don’t lend themselves to criticality concerns.

I know folks who protect fissile material the infrequent times it is moved from place to place.  They are the same ones who protect it in place as part of weapons.  They are Marines, heavily trained in CQB, and when they travel they travel with a light footprint, small signature and very discretely.  They don’t move in large packs, they don’t announce their presence, and unless you knew to look for the several black SUVs roughly together, you wouldn’t suspect who they are or what they’re doing.  Only a few guys know where they are going when the move, and that’s because someone has to drive.

Their job is so boring – so they have told me – that the ones I know spent all of their time lifting weights, training, and mostly sitting on shift at a hidden facility waiting for the event that never occurs.  The ones I know had to get out that line of work into an infantry Battalion before they lost their minds.  As for so-called dirty weapons, they suffer from the same fate as chemical and biological weapons like with Anthrax.  Dispersal devices reduce the concentrations.  You will sustain more risk on the highways trying to drive away from these things in the madness of the traffic than if you sit still and sheltered.

I’m sorry to have gone through that level of detail, but the picture I’m painting isn’t one of Mr. tacticool riding around in up-armored vehicles so that everyone knows who they are.  You never see the guys I’m talking about.  What’s described above wasn’t a protection detail for fissile material.

In order to explain biological and chemical hazards, it’s best to use an example.  Let’s take Legionella.  Legionnaire’s disease was diagnosed with the first recognized cases at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.  Legionella bacteria is everywhere, usually connected with the humidity in the air.  It isn’t concentrated enough to cause problems in normal situations.  But when concentrated in air conditioning evaporator coil condensate or cooling towers for HVAC or power plants, it can become deadly.

The HVAC design at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel included outside air intake adjacent to the cooling towers (this is the design flaw), in which the bacteria was taken in through system suction, transported, and dispersed in still-concentrated form.  And by the way, this is why you keep your evaporator coil clean and pour Clorox into your drip pan running trap once every half year or so to make sure that it isn’t clogged.

This is key to understanding chemical and biological hazards.  During chlorine attacks in Iraq (primarily in the Anbar Province by AQI), very little damage was done and very few people were injured.  Dispersal by plume caused the chemical to become much less concentrated.  They would have been more effective to have used conventional ordnance than chemical weapons.

Chemical and biological threats MUST include the following things to be effective: concentration, transport prior to dispersal, and then dispersal after transport.  In short, it’s an engineering challenge, and amelioration of such threats is also an engineering challenge.  The federal .gov boys apparently want to send in tacticool operators carrying guns, body armor and up-armored vehicles.  What’s needed is engineers, technicians, chemists and medical professionals.  Go home, DHS soldier-boy.  Your “skills” aren’t needed and won’t be used.  You’re just in the way.  If you wanted to be useful in such a circumstance, you should have stopped bullying kids on the playground and paid greater attention in your technical courses like math and science.

Transport of enriched fissile material is done very discretely as opposed to the gaudy, extravagant operation described above.  Amelioration of chemical and biological threats involves technical folks, not up-armored vehicles.  Except for the pain and trauma, the incident is over by the time soldier-boy arrives.  The perpetrator is long gone, and doctors and nurses are needed, and folks who know how to use anti-C’s and prevent the spread of contamination.

As to the notion that we should “pray to God we never need them” (the folks in up-armored vehicles, that is), I can say with confidence that we don’t need them.  Their skills are as irrelevant to such threats as they are too rudimentary to assist in recovery.  So I am left with one of two options.  The first one is that the federal *.gov departments are chock full of imbeciles who, when taken collectively, aren’t capable of the intellectual capacity of a gaggle of monkeys if they believe that DHS jack-boots will be useful in events like those described here.

The second option is that the convoy of men and equipment described by the report from South Carolina had nothing whatsoever to do with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.  Take your choice.  The government is comprised by idiots, or they have designs on population control and stability operations in the “homeland” and the report documents trial operations.

I suppose there is another possibility from the comments at Matt’s Facebook entry.  This was DHS/TSA VIPR teams out and about.  Perhaps.  But I’m equally doubtful that any good could come of this.  Up-armored vehicles and tacticool operators who aren’t at the scene of the attack to prevent the carnage cannot possibly do any good once the carnage has occurred.  That requires doctors, nurses, medical technicians and scientists.

Does BLM And DHS Really Have Snipers?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

It has been reported on several news outlets that the Bureau of Land Management has deployed “snipers” against Cliven Bundy over cattle.  I haven’t weighed in on whether Bundy has a case or not, and I won’t.  But I wanted to comment for a moment on this notion of government “snipers.”

They aren’t snipers in the sense of the word that I use.  When Daniel was in the Marine Corps he had a friend named [name redacted] who was a Scout Sniper.  All MOS 0311 Marines have to qualify at 500 yards with iron sights.  Daniel scored highest in his Battalion every year he was a fleet Marine.  He also went to Designated Marksman school, where he learned many of the same shooting and sighting techniques that [name redacted] did.  He was a DM in spite of the fact that he was a SAW gunner because he was such a good shot.

But as for [name redacted], he went to the entire Scout Sniper school, and one incident he shared with me involved him crawling in a ghillie suit for endless hours to target, and he inadvertently crawled on top of a red ant hill and had to endure being bitten hundreds of times by red ants in order to keep from giving away his position.

Hey, here’s a note to the idiot LEO who believes that American hunters aren’t good enough to cull deer (if the state of New York calls them in and asks them to kill all bucks less than 6 points to control herd size), and so a SWAT team needs to be called in.  And the same note applies to the supposed BLM “snipers.”

You aren’t really snipers.  Not really.  You might be wearing fancy tactical gear, and your bosses might have bought you really expensive Night Force scopes, and really nice bolt action rifles, and you might wear some fancy patches on your sleeves.  But the likelihood is that your just a middle age or old man who goes home and watches sitcoms at night.

Go qualify with a rifle using iron sights at 500 yards for starters, and then come back and tell me you’re a “sniper.”  I know how to sight a rifle in too, and what BDC means.  Perhaps you even believe that heavy objects drop faster than light ones because, you know, you work for the DHS rather than having taken college physics like you should have.  You may be a better shot than I am, but with the same gear I’ll bet not by much.

I have one final note concerning this report from The Blaze.

Claiming that all other options have been exhausted, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. National Park Service responded to Bundy’s inflexibility on the issue by calling on federal agents and contract cowboys to restrict access to the public land and to confiscate Bundy’s “trespass cattle.”

I belly laughed when I read this report.  You’re having to pay “contract cowboys” because you don’t really know anything about animals, do you?  No, really.  You seriously don’t know anything about animals?  You call yourselves Bureau of Land Management and not a single one of you knows how to ride a horse or handle cattle.  How disgusting and ridiculous.

Department Of Homeland Security Targets Americans

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

Infowars (Alex Jones’ outfit) has to be taken with a grain of salt, or several grains of salt, and routinely ignored unless they have hard evidence for their assertions (and given that they don’t do analysis of said evidence because their analysis is routinely faulty).  But this time they have a zinger.  The Department of Homeland Security is targeting Americans.  We all knew that anyway, but this adds detail to the charges because there is a leaked DHS document

The document (PDF) was leaked by an individual affiliated with Stewart Rhodes’ Oathkeepers organization and passed on to Infowars. It is entitled National Exercise Program – Capstone Exercise 2014 – Scenario Ground Truth.

The document is intended for “U.S. Department of Homeland Security Trusted Agents Only” and is “disseminated only on a
need-to-know basis.” Even the role players involved in the exercise itself are prohibited from seeing the files.

The exercise is designed to evaluate readiness in preparation for a catastrophic incident, natural disaster or major act of terrorism. Some of the scenarios which will be in play during the exercise include a series of earthquakes, tsunamis and a nuclear weapons accident.

On page 125 of the document, a scenario is outlined whereby a group calling itself “Free Americans against Socialist Tyranny” responds to “The U.S. Northern Command mission of Defense Support to Civil Authorities” (or the imposition of martial law) by launching a protest campaign on social media and potentially engaging in cyber attacks.

The scenario goes on to suspect members of North Command of being sympathetic to the cause of opposition to socialist tyranny.  This document is remarkable for a number of reasons, but let’s rehearse just a few.

First of all, as I’ve observed before, while the DHS, Northern Command and all sorts of other armed agents in the service of the rulers think they are with the “in” crowd, they aren’t.  The effete, entitled, elitist sophisticates see them as Neanderthals.  Brutish and evil, but a necessary evil if the state is to function to maintain two classes of people.  To the rulers the gun-toting, government paid troopers are knuckle-dragging monkeys who do their bidding.  The rulers don’t love them or even like them.

Second, this is what happens when so-called “conservatives” create unnecessary and bloated government programs like the DHS.  Socialists like Obama put layer upon layer on top of those government programs to ensure power in perpetuity.  It’s best not to create those government programs – ever.

Third, notice the paranoia.  There are patriots who disagree with socialism, and they are the enemy.  Worse still, there are those in Northern Command who – gasp – might just agree with them.  The threat isn’t the Taliban, or al Qaeda, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Chinese, or the Russians.  The real threat is inside of America, and not only that, but inside of the DHS and military structure as well.

Fourth, notice what the disagreement is over: government control, which not coincidentally is what the original America revolution was about.  One wonders if that irony is lost on the morons who created this scenario.

Fifth, this is apparently what happens when a large, bored land army has nothing more to do, at least, one who has lost its moral bearings.  They begin to worry over things like stability operations in the homeland, about internal threats, and about ludicrous scenarios like “extremist militias” taking over the government of Darlington, South Carolina.

Finally, this is simply as creepy as I can imagine.  We pay people good wages to watch us, to investigate us, to spy on us, and to monitor our comings and goings.  Forgive an engineer’s perspective on this, but it seems to me that these folks ought to be earning a technical degree and making a better widget.  Thus would they be adding to theirs wealth and the wealth of others.  But they’re not.  They are parasites on Americans, the very ones they are supposed to watch.

Just like local LEOs who behave abusively towards the people, they are in danger of losing the “mandate of heaven.”  When they do, they will have lost everything because the respect of the people is tied to moral certitude and justification.  To folks in the DHS and Northern Command, think hard about those things.  Those ideas have visitation with you and haunt you in the future.

Department Of Homeland Security Counterinsurgency And Stability Operations

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

DHS facial recognition being tested:

September 20, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will test its crowd-scanning facial recognition system, known as the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, or BOSS, at a junior hockey game this weekend, according to the Russian news agency RT.

With assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, DHS will test its system at a Western Hockey League game in Washington state. The test will determine whether the system can distinguish the faces of 20 volunteers out of a crowd of nearly 6,000 hockey fans, to evaluate how successfully BOSS can locate a person of interest.

According to DHS, BOSS technology consists of two cameras capable of taking stereoscopic images of a face and a back end remote matching system. Stereoscopic images are two images of the same object, taken at slightly different angles that create an illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images.

The cameras transfer the pair of images to the remote matching system by way of fiber optic or wireless technology. The system then processes and stores the two images into a 3-D signature, which is the mathematical representation of the stereo-pair images that the system uses for matching.

Using the BOSS facial recognition algorithms, the signature is matched against a locally stored database created from volunteers, using a combination of mathematical and statistical analysis.

BOSS is capable of capturing images of an individual at 50-100 meters in distance. The system can capture images of subjects participating from a specific distance, or be set up in a way that tracks and passively captures frontal face images of an individual as he/she moves in front of the camera.

As reported previously in, a $5.2 million contract for BOSS was awarded to Electronic Warfare Associates, a U.S. military contractor.

Recently the system was not deemed ready since it could not achieve 80 to 90 percent identification accuracy at a distance of 100 meters and could not process and identify images in less than 30 seconds against a biometric database.

This weekend’s test will attempt to rectify this deficiency.

Apparently these “volunteers” don’t have any problem selling out their countrymen.  Folks, this is full-orbed counterinsurgency and stability operations.  The Marines were first to do it in the Anbar Province of Iraq, and the best at it between all branches of the armed forces.  They knew that to control the population you must know who everyone is, at least MMA (males of military age).

So what comes next?  Sharing of information between the states and federal government so that the DHS has a full database of pictures (e.g., from a driver’s license).  Fingerprints, iris scans, and so on will follow on.

Unapolgetically, out in the open and with intentionality.  DHS counterinsurgency and stability operations.  Just like I said.

See also WRSA.

Ray Kelly – Totalitarian

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 4 months ago

Via WRSA, Ray Kelly is being considered for the new top cop of the DHS, and there is this directly from Kelly himself.

“I don’t think it ever should have been made secret. I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it’s going to be recorded and goes to the government … ”

First of all, this reminds you of what kind of person you have for president.  Obama isn’t ignorant of Kelly’s views, he knows full well what he believes, and that’s why Kelly is being considered.

Second, the DHS shouldn’t even exist as an organization.  It’s existence is an obscene, repugnant, despicable blight on the face of America.  So the fact that Kelly is being considered for the top cop of the federal government shouldn’t surprise us.  Obama isn’t going to appoint someone who does away with this monstrosity.

Finally, I will remark that God hates totalitarianism in all of its forms – Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Fabian Socialism, and whatever else – and God hates totalitarians.  There are no accidental totalitarians.  They all know what they do, intend it, and want all power to themselves.  They all usurp His authority.  Their end will draw nigh, sooner or later.  And then, eternal judgment.

Extremists, Tannerite, IEDs and You

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Or perhaps the proper title would have been “You the Extremist and Tannerite.”  David Codrea.

An “Unclassified/For Official Use Only” Federal Bureau of Investigation WMD Intelligence Analysis Section Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center intelligence bulletin issued Tuesday “assesses with high confidence recreationally used exploding targets (ETs), commonly referred to as tannerite, or reactive targets, can be used as an explosive for illicit purposes by criminals and extremists and explosive precursor chemicals (EPCs) present in ETs can be combined with other materials to manufacture explosives for use in improvised explosive devices (IEDs).”

[ … ]

“The term extremists,” the bulletin explains in a footnote, “includes international terrorists, homegrown violent extremists, domestic terrorists, and lone wolf offenders operating in the United States or abroad.” Previous Gun Rights Examiner reports have demonstrated the federal government applies those terms liberally to include groups as innocuous as “preppers” and “Constitutionalists,” among others.

Good Lord.  Seriously?  Really?  Western Rifle Shooters reacts:



Hold me close, Uncle Bob — I’m a-skeered.


On a serious note (because the FBI is so unserious these days), note what is not happening in all of this.  The FBI is not chasing down illegal aliens crossing the border.  They are not targeting the Mexican drug lords.  They are not eradicating MS-13.  They are not burrowing down deep into organized crime in the inner cities.  The folks who work in the field offices might get killed doing those things.

No, those things are hard to do.  They would rather wring their hands over “extremists” and Tannerite.  So there you have it.  Your tax dollars at work.

Read it at Examiner.

The Feds And Ammo

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

From Instapundit:

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Why Are The Feds Loading Up On So Much Ammo? “According to one estimate, just since last spring DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm. That’s sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times. Including illegal immigrants. To provide some perspective, experts estimate that at the peak of the Iraq war American troops were firing around 5.5 million rounds per month. At that rate, DHS is armed now for a 24-year Iraq war.”

Wicked fascists.  If you’re in this line of work, you ought to go home tonight, fall on your knees, beg God for forgiveness and then turn in your resignation.  You will answer for your sin of totalitarianism one day.  God does not approve of your world view, and He manages the economy of His creation by spheres of influence and authority, the Church, State and Family, all accountable to Him and none with the authority to override the other’s domain.  You have usurped God’s natural order.

Shame on you, now or in eternity.  Beware.  God will not be mocked.

Prior: So Why Does DHS Need 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Handgun Ammunition?

So Why Does DHS Need 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Handgun Ammunition?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 10 months ago

From Market Daily News:

Paul Joseph Watson: While the Obama administration sets out to eviscerate the gun rights of American citizens in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, earlier this week it was announced that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded a company a contract worth over $45,000 dollars to provide the DHS with 200,000 more rounds of bullets.

This new purchase adds to the staggering figure of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition already secured by the DHS over the last 9 months alone.

A solicitation originally posted on the website on December 17 on behalf of the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center advertised the need for 200 cases of 13–40 Cal, 180 Grain, Jacketed Hollow Point bullets, with each case containing 1000 rounds, to be delivered almost immediately as soon as the contract is awarded.

So I’m just asking.  And don’t tell me that the DHS needs all of this ammunition for training.  You do the math.  Assume (as an enveloping case) that the DHS consists of 15,000 agents who need yearly qualification.  Divide 1.6 billion by 15,000, and you get more than 100,000 rounds of handgun ammunition per agent.

If each qualifying agent shot 1000 rounds per day, he could practice for 100 days at that rate before needing more ammunition.  This shooting rate is something nearing equivalence with Marine infantry and Army special forces doing pre-deployment workups for combat.

You do the math.

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