Archive for the ‘homeland security’ Category

No War on Terror; No, Wait: I Like To Know What I’m Talking About!

March 26, 2009

I have grown to trust the Washington Post for news.  I don’t always agree with their point of view; but no matter.

The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon sent around an e-mail saying “war on terror” was not to be used anymore in favor of the phrase “overseas contingency operation.”

Now some guy in the Obama Administration is saying: nothing of the sort!  There is no edict to drop “war on terror.”

Who to believe?  The guys that gave us the stimulus and the AIG flail?  Or the Washington Post?

Also, it would be fully in the character of the Obama Administration, based upon what we know so far, to drop the phrase “war on terror.”

On March 13 we reported that President Obama had removed another descriptive term from the U.S. government lexicon.

“Enemy combatant” we were told, was no longer to be spoken.

The banned term joined “terrorists” on the verbally verbotten list.

Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano, in Congressional testimony, refused to say the word “terrorists” except when asked about it.

In court filings, the Justice Department said it would no longer use the term “enemy combatant” to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama still asserts the military’s authority to hold prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But he says that authority comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president’s own wartime power.

It sounds like President Obama is giving up on the “overseas contingency operation” against whoever and those captured guys, well, who knows what to call them?

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From AFP

President Barack Obama’s administration denied Wednesday dropping the punchy but controversial phrase “global war on terror” for the less snappy formulation “overseas contingency operation.”

There is no administration-wide edict from the White House Office of Management and Budget mandating the name change, as claimed in a Washington Post report, officials said.

“I sometimes am amused by things that I read in the press. I am not aware of any communication that I’ve had on that topic,” OMB director Peter Orszag told reporters.

According to the newspaper, the OMB had directed the Pentagon to drop the name coined by president George W. Bush for his battle against extremism after the September 11 attacks of 2001.

For critics, the phrase “global war on terror” was emblematic of an approach that was dangerously broad-brushed and which risked alienating the Islamic world.

Its formal omission would be consistent with the Obama administration’s reversal of key Bush policies, including ending the war in Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090
325/pl_afp/uspoliticsattacks_2009
0325183934

Read Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/26/document-drop-whitewashing
-the-global-war-on-terror-out-of-existence/

The White House is seen from the south side in Washington, DC. ...

Obama using recession to justify largest expansion of federal authority ever; U.S. less safe

March 15, 2009

Good for Politico and CNN for going after and getting this interview and story…..

John Harris of Politico said today on Fox News, “Even people of his own party are wondering how we can advance the Obama agenda.”

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Vice President Cheney charged Sunday morning on CNN that President Obama is using the recession “to try to justify” what is probably the largest expansion of federal authority “in the history of the Republic.”

By Mike Allen
Politico

“I worry a lot that that they’re using the current set of economic difficulties to try to justify a massive expansion in the government, and much more authority for the government over the private sector,” Cheney said in his first television interview since leaving office. “I don’t think that’s good. I don’t think that’s going to solve the problem.”

Speaking to host John King on “State of the Union,” Cheney said he think the programs Obama has proposed “in health care, in energy and so forth constitute probably the biggest – or one of the biggest – expansions of federal authority over the private economy in the history of the Republic.”

“I worry very much that what is being done here is saying, ‘We’ve got an economic crisis, there’s we’re fundamentally the health program in America,’” Cheney said. “I don’t think that’s right.”

Cheney has been largely out of sight for the past two months, as he and his wife, Lynne, set up their new home in Northern Virginia. But as he was in a recent interview with POLITICO, Cheney is still free with his opinions and much more aggressive in defending the administration’s legacy than President Bush has been so far.

Cheney pushed back against effort by Democrats to blame President Bush for the current economic valley, saying the Bush administration is not responsible “for the creation of those circumstances.”

“I think there’s no question but what the economic circumstances that he inherited are difficult ones,” Cheney said. We said that before we left. I don’t think you can blame the Bush administration for the creation of those circumstances. It’s a global financial problem.

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/new
s/stories/0309/20013.html

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLI
TICS/03/15/cheney.interview/ind
ex.html#cnnSTCText

"We've accomplished nearly everything we set out to do," ex-Vice President Dick Cheney says Sunday about Iraq.

“We’ve accomplished nearly everything we set out to do,” ex-Vice President Dick Cheney says Sunday about Iraq.

Cheney also worried about “terrorism” and “terrorists,” words Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano can’t even say….
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/0
3/13/eyes-shut-at-homeland-security

Related:

Obama wants to ‘discuss’ with Taliban? Taliban threatens to kill aid workers

 Rosy Talk From Obama and Gang is BS

 Obama, Biden Chat Up Economy; Congress Talking “Stimulus II”

Obama: Fire Geithner

 Obama: Stop Thinking About What Might Be Gained; Think What May Certainly Be Lost

Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

March 13, 2009

President Obama has removed another descriptive term from the U.S. government lexicon.

“Enemy combatant” will no longer be spoken.

The banned term joins “terrorists” on the verbally verbotten list.

Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano, in Congressional testimony, refused to say the word “terrorists” except when asked about it.

In court filings Friday, the Justice Department said it will no longer use the term “enemy combatant” to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama still asserts the military’s authority to hold prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But he says that authority comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president’s own wartime power.

It sounds like President Obama is giving up on the war against whoever and those captured guys, well, who knows?

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id
=D96TBEN00&show_article=1

http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/03/13/52-days-52-mistakes/

Stimulus: Some Loony Spending Requests in Obama Plan

February 3, 2009

Here are some of the unusual spending items, many that don’t really create jobs,  in the Obama stimulus package, as passed by the House of Representatives:

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
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• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.”

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

Chertoff Says Cyber Threat Increasing

December 20, 2008

Following a two-day wargame exercise on cyber-security issues, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today said that no one person should be in charge of cyber-security, despite the growing and emerging future threats.

By Jason Ryan
ABC News
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“As we look at this threat, [it] is clearly only intensifying over time,” Chertoff said. “A system where one agency sits over everything, military and civilian, is not usually one that has been regarded favorably by the American public.”

Chertoff urged that the existing cyber-security strategy developed and shared by the Pentagon, Homeland Security and the FBI be continued by the incoming Obama administration. “I’m sure this is going to be a major area of focus of the new administration,” he told the Cyber Strategic Inquiry 2008 Conference in Washington, D.C., which was organized by the government consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and Business Executives for National Security. “And we obviously want to work with them to help them get the benefit of what we’ve done and whatever advice they seek from us.”

US Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael ...
Michael Chertoff, Director, Homeland Security says cyber security is an ever increasing problem.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Read the rest:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6491376&page=1

Obama Cabinet: pragmatism could leave them rudderless, without intellectual cohesion

December 20, 2008

Placing too much emphasis on pragmatism could leave the Obama team rudderless and without intellectual cohesion.
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“Pragmatism has its place, but there are limits, as well,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

“If you aren’t anchored to a political philosophy, you get blown about, and government becomes ad hoc and you make it up as you go — and if you’re not careful, you begin to go in circles,” said Wehner….

By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post

President-elect Barack Obama wrapped up his Cabinet appointments yesterday, meeting his ambitious holiday deadline by assembling a team full of outsize personalities with overlapping jurisdictions and nominees who are known more for pragmatism than for strong leanings on the issues they will oversee.

In Chicago, the president-elect announced his picks to lead the Departments of Labor and Transportation, the Small Business Administration and the office of trade representative. The announcement of the labor nominee, Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-Calif.), the daughter of a union family who has a strongly pro-labor voting record, came as a relief to some liberals who had grown slightly anxious about Obama’s commitment to organized labor’s agenda. “She’s an inspired choice from a working-class background, who represented a working-class district with middle-class sensibilities,” said AFL-CIO legislative director Bill Samuels.

Ken Salazar (L) speaks while US president-elect Barack Obama ... 
Ken Salazar (L) speaks while US president-elect Barack Obama listens during a press conference to nominate Salazar as Secretary of the Interior in Chicago. Obama Wednesday filled out his incoming cabinet with nominees to take over the agriculture and interior departments, two hot-button jobs where controversy is never far.(AFP/Nicholas Kamm)

But many of Obama’s other picks reflect his apparent preference for practical-minded centrists who have straddled big policy debates rather than staking out the strongest pro-reform positions. Their reputations as moderates have won Obama plaudits….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/art
icle/2008/12/19/AR2008121902086.html

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By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer

Barack Obama has wholeheartedly embraced experience in choosing his Cabinet.

That may seem at odds with the president-elect’s campaign theme of “change we can believe in.” But some Democratic activists and nonpartisan analysts say it makes sense, given the dire economy and public anxiety.

Obama has tapped senators and representatives, governors and veteran bureaucrats to help him confront the challenges of two wars, a crippled financial system and a deepening recession.

“In uncertain times, Americans find it much more comforting that the people who are going to be advising the president are steeped in experience,” said Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker. “A Cabinet of outsiders would have been very disquieting.”

To be sure, Obama’s inner circle includes far more veterans of elected office and federal agencies than government newcomers.

More so than his recent predecessors, he has drawn heavily from the Senate for top advisers. His choices for secretary of state (Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York), interior secretary (Ken Salazar of Colorado) and vice president (Joe Biden of Delaware) were fellow senators. Tom Daschle, named health secretary, was the Senate Democratic leader from South Dakota until he lost his seat in 2004.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081220/ap_ca/obama_cabinet_5

Military to be on high alert for inauguration

December 19, 2008

About 11,500 troops, including chemical attack experts, will join the security detail as Obama takes the oath of office.

By Julian Barnes
Chicago Tribune

Reporting from Washington – The U.S. military will be on high alert during Barack Obama’s inauguration, increasing air defenses and deploying chemical attack experts and medical units, a general said Wednesday.

Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., who heads the military command that oversees security for North America, said the Defense Department had not been told of specific Inauguration Day threats. Nonetheless, he said, the armed services must be ready.


General Victor Eugene “Gene” Renuart, Jr.

“It would make news for a terrorist element or rogue element to interrupt that event,” Renuart said. “So it is prudent to plan for the possibility of that event and to deter it or to respond to it.”

The preparations come amid heightened security concerns during the presidential transition. The Bush administration is planning to provide the president-elect with a series of contingency plans for potential international emergencies, including terrorist strikes and electronic attacks, that could occur after Obama takes the oath of office.

Read the rest:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la
-na-obama-inauguration18-2008dec18,0,7352868.story