and other airline workers' unions have asked the TSA to reconsider
their recent announcement to loosen security restrictions on airlines, effective April 25, that would allow passengers to carry small pocket knives
, among other items. [more inside]
David Brin -- hoping to rescue modernity
"... I have spoken before of the blatant -- and yet never-reported -- pattern shown by more than a hundred members of the United States Congress, appointing young cadets to the US Military Academies according to one criterion above all others -- their depth of religious zealotry. This infusion of young officers who believe in a coming apocalypse is discreetly worrisome at West Point and Annapolis, but it has already had newsworthy effects at the Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs. A town that is also now known as a main locus and training center for fanatics bent on dominating American civilization. (see
) This coincidence... one of many that simply cannot be coincidence... should be tallied and noted.
See also this in recent -- 11/26 -- news
"... Among the steps already taken by the Pentagon that enhanced its domestic capabilities was the establishment after 9/11 of Northern Command, or Northcom, in Colorado Springs
, to provide military forces to help in reacting to terrorist threats in the continental United States. Today, Northcom's intelligence centers in Colorado and Texas fuse reports from CIFA, the FBI and other U.S. agencies, and are staffed by 290 intelligence analysts. That is more than the roughly 200 analysts working for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and far more than those at the Department of Homeland Security...."
a letter to Thomas Kean, Chair of the 9/11 Commission
from Sibel Edmonds: Unfortunately, I find your report seriously flawed in its failure to address serious intelligence issues that I am aware of, which have been confirmed, and which as a witness to the commission, I made you aware of. Thus, I must assume that other serious issues that I am not aware of were in the same manner omitted from your report. These omissions cast doubt on the validity of your report and therefore on its conclusions and recommendations. Considering what is at stake, our national security, we are entitled to demand answers to unanswered questions, and to ask for clarification of issues that were ignored and/or omitted from the report.
A solid letter detailing many disturbing things reported to the Commission, yet not in the report.
More on Edmonds here.
Bush will raise the national terror threat level today from yellow to orange
(CNN). This means little to us here in NYC where we've already been at orange. (At least that's what I've heard, although orange looks like a brownish color on my TV screen and a sort of muddy green on my computer monitor.) What, if anything, will your town, city, state, company, family do in response to this heightened threat level?
Coffee, tea or should we feel your pregnant wife's breasts?
Well, like most of you I've read many personal accounts of the change in air travel since 9/11. But this one packs a major wallop, well written, infuriating and containing one of the best concluding sentences . . . ever. ( via Blogdex
''Am I proud to have served my country? Hardly.
On September 11, I will awaken at dawn. I will retrieve all my variously colored medals from their little box in my dresser drawer. I'll put my robe on, go into my daughter's room and tell her I love her. I will unlock the deadbolt (my homeland security), and proceed out the front door, remove the lid to the trashcan, and throw my medals in the garbage, where they belong." (via yellowtimes.org)
Napoleon once said he could make men fight and die for brass, and bits of colored ribbon. There will be no more fitting memorial for September 11 than destroying the symbols of a way that contributed so mightily to the terrible events of that day....an American Waterloo.
Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST)
We know about the US "elite" special ops - Delta Forces, Navy Seals, CDC (I would argue) - but had you heard of NEST
, located inside a small, unobtrusive box under "Dept of Energy, Emergency Response" in the New York Times Office of Homeland Security Org Chart
(reg required), "....The primary task of NEST is constantly to be on the lookout for potential nuclear or radiological weapons that might be smuggled onto the U.S. ....After the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, NEST was put on a state of high alert and operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the nation's capital and New York City monitoring for nuclear-related weapons... includes extensive use of deployed sensors and specially equipped vehicles patrolling the streets of both cities..." I can't decide if I feel safer or more paranoid thinking the windowless minivan parked for the last hour outside my window is sniffing for a nuke.
Drastic changes due for America after terror attacks
We are to become a garrison state, for better or worse, with the CIA more intimately involved with internal (domestic) doings and the FBI taking on new duties.
Bush will observe "high alert" at...the World Series?
Confirmed at the NY Times
. Is this sort of mixed signal supposed to make us feel better about our safety? At least "officials disclosed that Vice President Dick Cheney [has] been taken to an undisclosed secure location
." Let's review: we're on high alert; the President is going to a sporting event; the Vice-President is safe. Tom Toles got it right.
Who needs boxcutters, when you can just pack a gun
In the midst of so-called heightend security, a man accidentally brings a loaded gun onto a plane undetected. I know Southwest doesn't have meals, but do they not have metal detectors either?
from Amy Langfield's always entertaining blog.
Next attack by containership?
The head of security at Logan Airport, responsible not only for security lapses that led to 2 of the 9/11 hijackings but hundreds of other lapses as well, has been removed from his post--and reassigned as the head of security at the Port of Boston. Mass. politics at its finest.
The Rocket Man
says: "I know I wouldn't get on an American airline unless it had an armed guard." Despite everything, I think it's going to be a long long time before that happens---could airlines really afford that?
World wide "lock-down" of major parts of major cities.
The Malaysian government has detained without trial several Islamic extremists, checkpoints were set up outside the Citibank Tower and Asian-Pacific Financial Tower in Hong Kong, the CN Tower in Toronto was shut, Downing Street was evacuated because a suspect package had been found inside No 10. (The alert was called off within minutes.) Etc, etc, etc.