Tag Archives: homeland security

America vs. the Terrorists, 9/11/10: a status report, nine years on…

In September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. They flew three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The fourth was retaken by the passengers and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. These things we know. Since then, much has transpired. For example:

  • The US invaded Afghanistan, the nation that had harbored the terrorists and their mastermind, Osama bin Laden. The war has not been uniformly well managed and attempts to install a stable self-government have so far failed. Many experts argue that our efforts there have been woefully counterproductive. Read more

We’ve been compromised

Those of us who sounded off on Mark Udall’s capitulation on the FISA bill apparently all got the same nice form letter in response to our concerns. He’s happy to hear from us. Let me begin with what he wrote.

Dear Sam:

Thank you for letting me know your views on H.R. 6304, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments of 2008. I appreciate hearing from you.

This bill is designed to update FISA while putting an end to abusive domestic spying, and I voted for it in order to prevent a future program of warrantless surveillance by the executive branch. Read more

Airport security and the fast lane to hell

I’ve been hearing some ads lately on sports talk for the Fly Clear program, which allows you to speed through airport security. Seductive message, that – those security lines are a bitch, even now that the TSA has apparently concluded that I’m not a terrorist. It would damned sure be nice to be able to scoot through a special line and be on my way, especially when I’m running late.

Of course, it’s not an uncomplicated issue, is it? These days convenience comes at a price, and the price here is almost certainly even more loss of privacy. So let’s see – how does this work? Ah, here it is, in Step 2: Read more

“We will not fear George W. Bush”

President Bush yesterday took as harsh a one-two beatdown as he has endured in the entire seven cynical, corrupt years of his doomed presidency.

First Silvestre Reyes, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent him a damning letter on his stubborn and hypocritical position on FISA. The letter not only outlines the facts of the law and the circumstances surrounding it for those who might only be familiar with the overt lie that Bush has been pandering to the American public, it concludes with a statement of intent that every single Member of Congress would do well to adopt: Read more

Perpetual fear: a brief moment with Fatherland Security

Not everything in life is a huge deal, but sometimes the small things provide a lot of insight into the big things.

I’m sitting in the Cleveland airport right now, waiting for my flight back to Denver to board. A few minutes ago I saw one of those things that make you go “hmmm.”

Imagine that you’re in the security line, and you realize – ohmygod, I have 3.2 ounces of shampoo in my shaving kit instead of the legally allowable three ounces. You’re way to far through the line to make a break for it, but you’d hate to go to Gitmo just because you wanted fuller, shinier hair. As panic begins to set in you notice something. Beside the line is a trash can with a small hole in the top and a makeshift sign reading:


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