Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

FBI domestic surveillance: JTTF being sued because law enforcement engaged in unlawful intelligence gathering

The Image You Want
Saturn-Toilet Mystery Image redirect: Here

A toiletbowl for a toilet-foreign policy and stinky justice system.

Original Blog

Ref Well, let's finally admit what's been going on. JTTF used 9-11 to expand its powers, collect intelligence on innocent civilians, and then use that to intimidate people to become informants.

  • How many public citizens were arrested and taken to court on trumped up charges as retribution for standing up to the absurdities in government?

  • How many innocent people were targeted in manner that resembles that which we allegedly fought to defeat in Nazi Germany?

    Hay, we're getting to close to the truth. We need another diversion. How about Iran.

    Oh, how are all you officers in JTTF enjoying your enlistment in Iraq? That kind of sucks: There you were, in your cushy state-side job, getting a check for doing nothing as a bailiff.

    Then, you get activated. There you are. In Iraq. 58 years old. Thought you'd be able to enjoy your retirement.

    Ha! You really planned wrong on that one. Meanwhile, back home your wives are getting lonely. Or are they just your girlfriend now?

    Sorry about that "Dear John" e-mail. Kind of sucks to find out via blog that your ex has an attorney.

  • Read more . . .

    DoJ' case management system is botched, won't work

    What to prepare for, just in case you are illegally stopped. Ref You'd think that all this post 9-11 attention on DoJ would mean that there's be some real experts in place to get things solved.

    But, the resignation from DHS should have been a clue that not all was well in the government's IT-objectives.

    Now, DoJ's joined the "we can't do it with IT"=crowd.

    Let's run down the contract-review checklists, shall we? Who was actually "in charge" of this software-development program; and why this late in the game to figure out "it wasn't working"?

    Surely, there were some mid-term milestones and demonstrations to show that the concept was actually viable.

    Yet, all this money spent, and what do we have to show for it? Just another botched program. "Hay, not to worry...we'll just hire some unemployed IT-workers and create the illusion of making progress post 9-11."

    Where's the follow-up to see how this "result" compares with "what was told to the 9-11 commission"? Surely, we aren't going to be asked to ignore the "wonderful glowing news" that was conditioned upon this system actually working.

    Nope, don't count on DoJ or the public to bother following up. Just throw more money tat the problem. Not enough to do it right, but plenty of time to do it over.

    How many more attempts going to have? Let's see, computers have been around since the 1950s, and in 2004 DoJ is having problems managing their cases.

    That's impressive! So much for the paperless office--there is no office, just paper to document the system that doesn't work as planned.

    There should be no surprise why the FBI can't find out what's in the I-drive--nobody can create a system that actually works. The same people who "can't create a new system" are the ones who "can't find the data".

    Is DoJ actually expecting to be given more money despite this disaster? Of course, we all know that DoJ is a valued contributor to ... well, something. Just nothing related to actually documenting their cases.

    Hmmm...kind of like a gas station that can't find it's gas. "Hay, we've got a great poster out front, but don't ask us where the important stuff is."

    For this disaster, DoJ will be rewarded with even greater budgets, and more plus-ups.

    Is anyone actually going to dare take the money from DoJ to pay for the Tsunami disaster relief? Of course, not ... DoJ is too busy chasing "terrorists" in the Alabama Boy Scouts.

    So much for national security, lessons learned, and leadership. With this many disasters, DoJ can only blame the messengers.

    We await the backlash. In the meantime, which PR-firm is going to get the DoJ account to "beef up" the reputation of an agency whose actions speak volumes at odds with the needed "public impression?"

    Hay, there are some great photos from Abu Ghraib. Show the world what "great work" DoJ does to defend America from ... Innocent people.

    Read more . . .

    DoJ: No time prior to 9-11, can't translate terror info, but has time to investigate Boy Scouts

    Convoluted priorities. Convoluted agents. DoJ's priorities are upside down. Prior to 9-11, they claimed they didn't have enough resources. Backlogs of translations.

    Today, they claim they have higher priorities, can't bother dealing with specific threat information against individuals, blah-blah.

    But where did they suddenly find it "within their mission statement" to go after the Boy Scouts?

    Come on, DoJ! Why the inconsistencies? One day you're too busy to bother with really important things, the next you're worried about minor things like Boy Scout membership.

    Before, I thought they were just morons. Now, there is no doubt. DoJ is run by idiots and there is a definite leadership problem.

    Read more . . .

    Tsunami: It's like Pompeii, but bigger

    It may be centuries before the full scope of this disaster is known. Many who have died may not be found, except for future archaeologists.

    Also spelled, "Pompei"

    Read more . . .

    Safety tips when disposing of seasonal decorations

    A satirical look at a serious Holiday.
  • Ladder safety

    - Look around, look up, look down
    - Avoid placing ladder on ice

  • Lifting

    - Lift with your legs
    - Bend at the knees

  • Placing tree in box/bin

    - Avoid hitting homeless people sleeping in dumpster

  • Light socket

    - Avoid splashing fish-tank water on electrical outlets

  • Tree Ornamentation

    - Ensure chord removed before exiting household

    - Do not use tree to sweep oil or clean animals

    Read more . . .

  • Wednesday, December 29, 2004

    Tsunami: The people, not the government, will do the real work

    Remember those who are no longer with us. Support those who will rebuild. Governments aren't in a position to really do much this time. There are millions of people affected. The funding is paltry.

    All these years the people have been preached to about "what government does to create conditions to improve your lives." In return, the public is told, not asked, to pay taxes.

    Yet, when things go bad, where's the government? Are they there "making the conditions better?" No, it's the people who are going to have to do the work.

    Tsunami watch: Government creates conditions to create wealth; so where are they when those conditions fall apart?

    I get tired of government telling the public, "Because we, as the government create a society that allows you to earn money, you owe it to us when you make money. You are only able to make money because of the conditions we created. So you must share the wealth when you succeed."

    Actually, the reason "I do what I do" is in spite of society.

    Sure, compared to the Tsunami-devastation, I suppose government might have a point: The public can only create wealth if society has the necessary conditions.

    Yet, who's really doing the work? Not government. I don't see governments showing up to fix this problem.

    The ones who are really going to have to "put this back together" are the people.

    Society commands tax revenues to create conditions; but then does nothing to accept responsibility for the failure of those conditions.

  • If things are going well, people pay taxes to society.

  • If things go bad, it's the individual's fault.

    If individuals have the bear of burden of bearing the loss, why does society only share in risk-reward when there is a reward?

    If governments want to scream, "We do so much to allow you to make money, so you owe us," then I think government needs to take a look at itself.

    It's all well and good to scream about "what the public owes government," but I'd like to see government also say, "We screwed up, the reason you can't create wealth is because of our fault."

    They don't do that. They blame the individual when things go bad.

    That's inconsistent.

    If government can compel tax revenues because of "conditions created," where is government's accountability when things go bad?

    They only want to be "part of the issue" when there is money to be taken. Government is like an insurance company: When things go bad, they'll come up with all sorts of excuses not to cover "their" end of the bargain.

    They talk about "the conditions" "allowing" the citizen to make money.

    Funny how they don't also talk about the "bad conditions which government creates" that get in the way of making that wealth.

    Read more . . .

  • Gates Foundation funding to libraries -- how is the funding actually used to collect personal information?

    A constitution to protect your freedoms. Slowly whittled away at your public library. Bill and Melinda Gates through their Gates Foundation provide funding to public libraries. This is a nice thing of them to do.

    I was wondering what their views were on libraries requiring patrons to register their names and have an identification card.

    For example, there are some systems that require patrons to provide their names that are loaded into permanent databases.

    This is more than simply the normal "before you can checkout a book, you have to have a library card, so show us your ID."

    Rather, this is analogous to saying, "before you can even enter the library, you have to have your ID on file."

    Today, patrons do not have to show their ID before reading books. Only when checking them out.

    In my view, the public should not be required to give up their right to privacy and anonymity just because they choose to use public resources.

    The courts have long held that the public has a right of access to public facilities. This is a clearly established federal right.
    The mechanism on which we rely to keep courts open thus depends on maintaining a motivation for private parties to seek access to courts through litigation by ensuring that a person who or entity that establishes openness obtains the benefit of it... Huminski can assert an individual right [**87] of access to the courts
    The reason the public should similarly have the right of "access without identification" to the libraries is that requiring identification will have a chilling impact on research.

    Currently, individuals IPs are tracked. At no time are individuals required to links their searches with their name.

    Society benefits by having free and open searches of public information. Great thinking occur when one knows they are not having "big brother" monitoring their every move.

    It is absurd to suggest that "without big brother," people will wander of "the path." What path?

    We have seen nothing from DC suggesting that they have "the path" nor a superior position.

    Indeed, if we are to go before the JTTF or DoJ, who is DoJ or the US attorney to talk about "what the right standards are." They violate the law, kill people in detention, and then cover up the crimes.

    It is the government, not the people, who should be required to account.

    Yet, at every turn, when the public desires to use public resources, suddenly the government says, "We require you to make a showing."

    The people should first see that demonstration first, by the government. That the government is to be trusted to follow the rules.

    When the public sees that the rules are followed, perhaps the people might think about giving up their liberty and privacy.

    Yet, as a condition of "exercising those rights to access," the public is required to give up their anonymity.

  • Is the Gates foundation aware of the mandatory registration requirements?

  • Are libraries institutionalizing "mandatory registrations"?

  • How will patrons "use of the internet" be associated with identifying information?

  • What provisions are there to remove this information?

    Recall, IndyMedia had their records subpoenaed during the RNC by Secret Service. Photos allegedly showing Swiss law enforcement were posted; and also e-mail names of the RNC staff also appeared.

    I have little confidence that a public library is going to have the requisite resources to stand up to DoJ, an organization that already moves people around on Gulfstreams, commits torture, and makes inconvenient people go away.

    What do I want?

    End to mandatory public registrations under these systems. Patrons should be able to freely come and go without having their personal identification shows to use the library services. Users should be able to have pseudonymous access.

    Moreover, there needs to be a better understanding how the web information is collected, collated, and stored.

    I would hope that the Gates Foundation understand how the grants are actually used to dissuade the poor from using public resources.

    Read more . . .

  • Tuesday, December 28, 2004

    Close-up Saturn images

    Evidence of life. How long before the it gets flushed away? Toilet Image redirect: Here

    Cassini Finds Saturn Stools


    Not as close

    Liquid methane: Proof that stools can survive anywhere.

    Read more . . .

    Tsunami: Estimating population affected

    There's quite a bit of confusion over "how many" were affected.

    Let's take a Google approach. There should be already-existing maps showing the population densities along the coasts.

    Here's what to do. Find a map.

    Then go inland 10 miles. Assume everyone within 10 miles of the ocean is gone.

    A high number, but probably far more accurate than the current piecemeal approach.

    Read more . . .

    Tsunamis, earthquakes, and seismic detection in India

    What did India fear? Apparently not everyone was caught by surprise.

    Remember those strange seismic recordings in Korea? Someone thought a nuclear bomb went off.

    Well, India also has the same types of detection equipment in order to monitor Pakistan.

    Why was India so quiet about a 9.0 richter scale?

    If everyone was truly "surprised," should we wonder whether nuclear detonations will be missed?

    How many intelligence centers monitoring nuclear events said nothing about the 9.0 earthquake?

    Read more . . .

    Monday, December 27, 2004

    Rumsfeld admits US behind 9-11 and shot down planes

    Looks like Flight 93 is more than just a smoking hole in the ground. But the smoking Gun.

    Rumsfeld clearly links "those who shot down the plane" with those who "were behind 9-11." By admitting the planes were shot down, Rumsfeld is also admitting "those who were behind the attacks" were also the ones who shot down the plane.

    Call this the major slip of the tongue.

    "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania."

    Relying on Rumsefeld's words, "those who shot down the plane, were behind the 9-11 attacks." Unless someone on the ground shot down the plane, the only people who could've shot down Flight 93 were in F-16s.

    When will the impeachment of President Bush hit the Congressional calendar?

    Stickers here:

    Read more . . .

    JTTF rebuffs specific threat information -- "pre"-9-11 bungling continues

    That's right. The same idiots who said, "We did nothing" about specific information prior to 9-11, are still doing the same.

    Yet, this time, it's worse. They're not only "doing nothing," they're actually rebuffing specific threat information.

    Why? Because they have too much information coming in; and not enough analysts to pick through the pile. Don't even talk to me about translation problems. How many months backlogged are you?


    Specific threat information against specific targets and individuals was rebuffed.


    Let's take a look back at the 9-11 commission "major finding" ... something to do with a "lack of imagination." Here's the "imagination": Someone out there [wherever you want] has specific information that JTTF is rebuffing.

    Problem JTTF has is that they're using the administrative oversight responsibilities of "other angencies" as the basis to defer personnel, informants, and witnesses.

    Bluntly, the core intelligence information within the primary contact is getting ignored, and JTTF is sending the "person who comes forward" on a wild goose chase.

    Last time I checked, we had 3,000 dead people in NYC, and a "war on terror."

    When specific statements are made in re targets and personnel, it would be reasonable to presume that JTTF [regardless the primary "administrative" body that has "jurisdiction"] would be interested in the intelligence information, inter alia:

    - Target name, location, and identifying information;

    - Specific indentifying information of the individuals making the statements, representations, calls to action;

    - Means of obtaining information to substantiate/corroborate the alleged statements;

    - Where the evidence is physically located;

    - Identify other agencies requiring notification to ensure a comprehensive asset protection plan is in place; and

    - Other information that would facilitate resource, asset, or individual protection to include adjusting patterns, changing security/schedules.

    None of the above was done, collected, or gleaned. Rather, the public was directed to "other agencies" which had no authority to physically protect the target. This delay and diversion is not acceptable, and an inappropriate delay in both notification and adjustment [if needed] in security actions.


    JTTF can't argue "it's a new world" while at the same time both rebuffing intelligence, and failing to take action on specific information that would other wise be "evidence".

    Translation: JTTF is trying to have it both ways. They want to say "they're too busy" and "we have higher priorities"; yet, at the same time, when they bungle, they claim "We're still used to the prosecution-level of evidence" world.

    That's a bunch of hogwash. Because when given specific information that would facilitate prosecution, they also do nothing.

    It's all well and good to argue "this is a new war." The problem a civilian population has is when it reasonably expects law enforcement and security information to take actionable intelligence, but the security services not only fail to take the information, but send the public on a wild goose chase.

    The reason the public is willing to come forward is that they have specific information; it is credible; and the information is given on the condition that the information be acted upon; and that there be no consequences for the public when engaging in a "civic duty."

    Clearly, we have the opposite: Information is rebuffed; intelligence not gleaned; no action taken by security services; and direction given to expose the public to the exact opposite outcome and conditions desired.

    There is no telling how many people sitting on actionable intelligence have thrown up their hands saying, "I give up."

    These types of problems [rebuffing information; Alice in Wonderland stupidity] is the same type of non-sense we had prior to 9-11.

    Except this time, despite 9-11, they still rebuff information, and induce people to take action that will further expose them to conditions that prompted them to initially contact the agencies.

    It makes no sense to shout "tell us what you see-hear," but then do nothing to ensure that report generates appropriate action; it's not up to the public-citizen to make sure that JTTF "does the right thing." This should be automatic.


    Know that if you are sitting on actionable intelligence, do not be fooled into thinking "they want to know."

    Apparently, the barriers to entry are higher; and if you desire to maintain confidentiality you will be given non-sense to strip away the protections you might otherwise desire by keeping your identity non-disclosed.


    How many individuals sitting on important information continue, despite the "new era" to be given the run around?

    A credible security system is only effective when it demonstrates that it will take action based on specific information. When that system rebuffs information, it has little credibility.

    It is more disturbing when more effort goes into silencing those who dare challenge JTTF for their failure to take the information. We learned prior to 9-11 that the smallest bit of information can mean alot.

    Today, the same "failure of imagination" continues. We have yet to understand the scope of the barriers to information. The problem of "having a hard time getting information into the system" continues despite Congressional statutes.

    A free citizenry will only continue to support a system when that system continues to demonstrate it remains effective. One is less likely to come forward when the barriers to entry are high.

    We haven't even touched on the "whether the mechanisms to address the situation" [assuming the intelligence is taken] actually work.

    God help America. It's still in a coma despite 9-11.

    If I have to tell you "what do I want" at this point, we're in real here goes:



    1. Personnel within JTTF need to be briefed on the importance of gathering actionable intelligence, and thank the public and informants for providing this information.

    2. When informants approach JTTF with specific threat information against a specific target and/or individual, that information be gleaned for intelligence information.


    3. JTTF should make the notifications of the identified individual so that threat management unit [TMU] personnel in the associated municipalities/jurisdictions can privately take action to protect assets, individuals, and resources.

    4. When specific information against a specific target, location, or individual is obtained, JTTF should not "pawn off" the informant to another agency that has a lower-level interest in this type of threat information.

    5. The informants should not be directed to "do the work" of making "higher reporting" to "other agencies." JTTF should not rely on the public or "those in the know" to do the work.


    6. Individuals choosing to provide information on a "non-identify" or "confidential" or "do not identify the source" should have that desire respected.

    7. In those situations where personnel have come forward on condition of anonymity, JTTF needs to take this into consideration when providing other "direction". If the individuals do not wish to be identified, then it makes no sense to direct them to "other agencies" where identification is a requirement as a starting position or before any action will be taken.


    8. Congressional oversight needs to contact DoJ OPR for letters to identify the number of complaints; and then compare this with a statistical analysis of the "actual number of complaints that are rebuffed" [using missing data algorithms] in order to assess the type of intelligence being rebuffed, and the scope-severity of the threats being ignored.

    Read more . . .

    They sacrifice their lives -- Is democracy a waste of time?

    Some government officials say yes.

    They don't like the idea of checks and balances.

    Rather than do their jobs, they ridicule the public for following up.

    Curious, they speak of citizen involvement. Yet, with the other hand they invite the agents to harass those who dare ask questions.

    The hypocrisy isn't simply a nation fighting for lip service. But government officials commanding high pay to do nothing but give excuses.

    They speak of greater vigilance. Upon the vigilant.

    Read more . . .

    A visit with John Ashcroft's librarian

    You didn't think that 2005 would be free of John. We await the conversation with his hometown library.

    Not just to see what he's been reading.

    But to find out the condition of the books.

    How many pages torn; how long overdue; and what was the reason for those pages getting stuck together?

    Naughty, naughty!

    Read more . . .

    What kind of democracy are they dying for?

    The troops love this war. Their lovely war. But what kind of democracy and nation are they really fighting for?

    A nation whose leaders....

    ...wraps themselves in the flag. A flag it dares not let anyone photograph when draped upon the coffins of those who fall in its defense. As if embarrassed of the reminder.

    ...lament when young people don't get involved; but when they do, lock them up in abandoned bus stations on the Hudson. As if exercising those rights remains a threat.

    ...feign concern the public is not serviced; then goes out of its way to ridicule the citizenry relying on the promise of public service. As if respect were an unacceptable standard.

    ...speak of checks and balances; then accuse those who dare check...of treason. As in a holy man were no longer holy.

    ...invoke the name of sacrifice; but when the citizens sacrifice to assert rights, their liberty is sacrificed. As if a religious threat from eastern provinces.

    They fight, not for country or democracy. They applaud when fighting for the leadership.

    These leaders no longer serving the constitution, nor the democracy. They serve themselves. To which the troops gladly enter the meat grinder.

    More gold stars. For saddened mothers. Remember what they really died for.

    A myth. Not principle. But for something that will send more without regard to the number of gold stars won.

    Read more . . .

    CIA rejoices in the new year: They've found a new country to commit torture

    It's called the United States of America.

    No longer does the CIA have to ship people abroad. The new country will save gas money.

    Once, only in Baghdad. Now in your hometown.

    Happy 2005.

    Read more . . .

    Lewis Libby again pointed to as the likely source of CIA leak

    Ref Ref It's been quite some time since we've had a good pig roast. Washington surely is now planning for the early Summer BBQ.

    Will Libby survive a DOJ investigation? Sure. DoJ has far larger distractions and crimes to cover-up. The last thing they want to do is upset their poodle inside Dick's office.

    DoJ knows well what happens when the Vice President gets upset. He makes personal visits. Creates innuendo. And that mumbling, spare us!

    What's in store for the summer of 2005? Possible-AG Gonzalez will be covering up the DoD-DoJ abuses in Guantanamo; hiding the evidence of the Gulfstream Vs transporting detainees; and overall doing more of what he's so good at--rewriting Alice in Wonderland fiction.

    Read more . . .

    CIA Assessments dead-on in Iraq -- What are they saying about the US economy?

    It's all well and good to cite the "popularity" of a war among troops. The assessments need to be looked more broadly.

    CIA got it right in re the post-war disruption. They've also got it right when they share the news about the US economy.

    Things are not going well. Greenspan, the dollar, and the markets know it.

    Roach knows it. And Krugman isn't bashful about calling the US economy what it really is: A banana republic, one that compares unfavorably with Argentina.

    If the CIA truly has good analysts, they'd share that information with the public so that things can be set right.

    And any comments that "Medicare is out of control" aren't going to wash. There's a surplus. Looking great. Plenty of room for maneuver in the out-years.

    The present and President's problem is an imploding economy which the troops are understandably distracted from.

    Favorable ratings do not change reality. Not only does a "popular" war not create WMD out of mushrooms, so does a suppressed CIA report on the US economy make the economic disaster go away.

    It's unlikely that a President, so used to be given unfavorable news from the CIA, is predisposed to listen to reports of the imploding US economy.

    He's gotten away with asserting the Alice in Wonderland fiction in Iraq. The markets can be fooled as well. But when they finally awaken, few escape.

    Recall the 1997 Asian crisis. The contagion continues to spread.

    Happy New Year.

    Read more . . .

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    NY ACS continues to provide misleading information on child experiments

    BBC has identified multiple, repeated instances of ACS putting children at risk using experimental drugs.Ref Ref

    ACS continues to say otherwise. Don't believe them.

    BBC has on tape information showing the pattern is widespread.

    Too bad ACS doesn't do what the NIH did: Fess up and fix the problem.

    But why expect a federally-funded program in NYC to do the right thing.

    Read more . . .

    National IDs: Can the be stopped, or are they already here?

    The Patriot Act II bill already has provisions calling for a national ID.

    Yet the "debate" is whether or not there should be national IDs. The horses have already left the barn.

    And, US forces are already practicing using the ID-system in Fallujah. Iraqi males who are "suspicious" have their retinas scanned and have to carry an ID card.

    No choice. Arbitrary standards. Simply ironing out the kinks before going global.

    Which company was under contract to develop that system? You'll have to wait and look at the ID you'll be carrying.

    It will be printed on the back. Big letters. Saying, "too late to do anything."

    Why law enforcement loves them

    National IDs are a good thing. Law enforcement will now have more excuses not to do their job. "Oh, we can't take care of that problem, we're chasing legal Americans who have forgotten their ID cards."

    Mind you, ICE law enforcement gets paid big bribes to "can't find the illegal ones". Requiring people to carry ID's isn't going to stop terrorism. Those 9-11 terrorists were legally in the US.

    State Legitimacy

    Requiring free people to carry a document is unrelated to whether or not terrorism occurs. Those bent on terrorism know how to forge documents. They also know how to legally do what the US cannot stop.

    Whether the US wants to admit this is another matter. But the interim solution is to impose the consequences for the security problem on those the government has the duty to protect.

    If the government cannot achieve that security objective and do so in a manner consistent with the constitution, it remains unclear why the democratic nations call themselves legitimate.

    Read more . . .

    US torture, no problem; but a pen machine, that's a crisis

    Bush signed executive orders authorizing dogs to threaten prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. And DoD personnel pretended to be FBI agents to avoid accountability.

    But it wasn't the threat of war crimes that prompted Congress to call for the resignation of the SecDef.

    It was that blasted pen machine.

    International law isn't the barrier. It's bad press. Mind you, the President stands by his Negroponte.

    Hitler was also named Time's "Man of the Year."

    Read more . . .

    Comparing Yukos to Enron -- Two democratic approaches to energy conglomerates

    US State Department sounded rather foolish when it lambasted the Russians for their approach to Yukos. The US is just upset the Russians acted, unlike the US approach to Enron.

    Yukos and Enron offer to interesting case studies on how societies deal with energy conglomerates. In both cases we have large energy conglomerates. However, how both societies approached this concentration of power is noteworthy.

    Enron was permitted, under the "watchful" eye of the auditors and the Securities and Exchange commission, to spiral out of control. The US would rather take a hands off approach to energy companies if that company advances the agenda, or the company can persuade the "regulators" to do nothing.

    Yukos, on the other hand, was dealt a swift blow. Rather than let it continue to remain a threat, the government acted.

    If you were in investor in both cases you'd stand to lose alot of money. Sounds like the common element is energy. The issue is not whether Russia or the US is a relative advantage for corporate governance and reliable regulatory mechanism.

    Which brings us back to the State Department's comment. What is the notion that the Yukos action is a signal that Russia remains questionable as a land for the "rule of law"?

    The US track record is no better. Enron raises questions about the merits of this allegation. It was only after Enron imploded that the regulators awoke from their coma. Mind you, this was the third or fourth round of major financial disasters prompting the auditors to ignore the SEC Blue Ribbon Commission.

    Apparently, the State Department and the Enron auditors are on the same page: Ignore reality, and then find something to justify that ignorance.

    No surprise why State cannot find enough "volunteers" for Iraq duty. People are sheep, but they are not perpetually stupid. Then again, the smart ones no longer work at State.

    Russia is taking action before the disaster. Whether the action is in the interests of the US is a separate matter. We shall not speculate as to which investment bankers are pushing on State to get a bailout. Think Argentina and pennies on the dollar.

    Free markets remain free only as long as people pretend they are. At least the Russians are honest.

    Buyer beware, even in the US.

    Read more . . .

    Saturday, December 18, 2004

    US looking more like Stalingrad

    Ref It's sure amazing how far things have come since 9-11. The sad part is: These are real people, not something to be laughed about in 1984 or Brave New World.

    Read more . . .

    Monday, December 13, 2004

    Rumblings of a mob connection and Keric ... Rumors?

    Ref. There's no telling whether this has any legs.

    If it's true, it means DoJ's access into these areas is scaled back.

    Read more . . .

    Can the self-deluded actually solve problems?

    Sure. If nobody bothers to check the results.

    Canada's got this current "thing" with bashing countries that dare exercise soverignty. Take the recent outburst by one Parliamentarian. I won't mention her name as I know I don't have all the facts.

    Suffice it to say she's not all that happy with her neighbor to the south, George.

    Last I heard, she was stomping on a doll of George shouting, "Coalition of the idiots." Probably I missed some important point.

    What I do not understand, though [if her premis is true], that America is full of idiots, how do we explain how "so much can happen in a land of idiots."

    I'm talking scientific progress. Mind you, they haven't had a major social outburst since the 1960s. And the last civil war was over 100 years ago.

    America might be full of idiots, but it sure does make some pretty facinating reading. If only they could fix my problems before they occurred.

    Read more . . .

    Soldiers penalized for ingenuity; while those behind the war crimes escape discipline

    Ref It sure is amazing. The nation is at war. Troops don't have enough armor. Spare parts are a problem.

    In battle you go with what you have. And you make do.

    I get annoyed when I read that this nation's leadership avoid accountability in re 9-11 and the war crimes in both Iraq and Guantanamo.

    Yet, it's the man on the ground, doing the hard work...when they do the "same thing" [make do], they get penalized.

    Meanwhile, they give medals to troops "just for being there." Crazy.

    The ones who should be getting the medals are the ones who are figuring out how to do their job despite the poor planning and leadership.

    Not this Army. Punish those who offer and implement real solutions. And reward those who do nothing out of the ordinary.

    What they learn overseas, will be brought home and be 'the new standard' for America to celebrate. This is not inspiring, yet these warrior who are punished for ingenuity take a back seat to those who blindly obey.

    And you wonder why America has disasters like Enron and Andersen.

    Read more . . .

    I saw a map of the home of records of US troops killed in Iraq

    Ref Made me think: All the people in the White House, DoJ, CIA, and DoD who failed to act prior to 9-11, have this to show for their inaction.

    The more outrageous thing is that the problems that actually led up to 9-11 [government inaction, excuses] continue.

    No, 9-11 and Iraq are not related. But this President used the illusion of a connection to sell this country non-sense.

    What a waste. More into the meat grinder.

    Read more . . .

    If you go hiking in the woods, be careful how much you drink

    If you drink too much water, you might actually have to use the restroom. Ooops! They don't have those in the wilderness.

    But, if you're from Cambodia, and have had too much water to drink...guess what? That's a felony. And you get deported.

    Long ago, in the 1600-1700s, people were deported to the New World because of small crimes. Today, the simply get probation.

    But if you're from another country, there is no sympathy.

    They did their time in prison, but that's not enough.

    Read more . . .

    Sunday, December 12, 2004

    4th Amendment: How annoying the constitution is for law enforcement

    Ref Ref Trackback

    The constitution is there as a shield for the people, not as a sword for the government to weild recklessly.

    Read more . . .

    Saturday, December 11, 2004

    Asian oil demand below forecast -- means insufficient growth rates to sustain debt repayments

    OPEC isn't the only one having problems. When countries develop budget forecasts they assume certain growth rates. Falling oil demand means tax revenues in Asia are going to be less than forecast.

    Read more . . .

    New York Child Services allegedly engaging in Nazi-like drug experimentation

    BBC reporters found widespread abuse, experimentation. Not surprising from a country that ignores the Geneva Conventions.

    Read more . . .

    Homeland Security -- DoJ fails in the background check: You feeling safe

    Ref. Wow, another law enforcement officer goes down in flames. Is this the best they can do, or are they actually running out of barrel to scrape?

    Imagine, Kerik was going to be the one that would oversee immigration. Yet, he relied on illegal immigration to keep him on schedule.


    Two issues that concern me in re this appointment. First, Ridge's resignation was delayed. There had been rumors floating around for a while; then the false resignation report.

    In hindsight, it looks as though what happened is the Keric nomination may not have been timely, and this prompted the White House to delay the official Ridge resignation.

    Which leads us to the second concern, why is it so difficult to find a replacement for DHS? I suspect, the law enforcement community knows the former customs-now-DHS is a can of worms waiting to explode.

    We're now going on a month since the first loud rumblings about "Ridge resiging" surfaced. That's a long time in White House-days.

    What's also interesting is that despite the resignation [going on two-weeks now], the White House still has Ridge's bio on the White House website.

    CNN reports

    Read more . . .

    Friday, December 10, 2004


    I've spent, lately,
    alot of time
    on things
    that I thought I valued,
    but realized ...
    it's not my issue.

    because "the issue isn't addressed" ...
    it affects me.


    many choose
    not to address the issue.

    I can really only watch.


    I can do more.

    And I do.

    I can call it like it is.
    And that's the best
    First step
    To finding a solution.

    Then I'll be
    Where I want to be.

    It's that simple.
    And that difficult.


    Read more . . .

    DoD's staged response to a staged question

    This story has so many Russian dolls, I don't know where to turn. There's no way to know whether the "follow-up story" is simply another DoD-ruse.


    Read more . . .

    Saturday, December 04, 2004

    Former Bush Cabinet Secretary discusses details on 'How to Commit terrorism'

    Ref. Strange that a Cabinet secretary gets the chance to talk about vulnerabilities. Yet, the average person in the US, if they exercise a similar "freedom of speech" are put on watch lists, have their photography studies interrupted, and are forced to account.

    More double standards. No surprise.

    What is a surprise is the detail the former Cabinet Secretary goes into. Why go out of the way to point out a vulnerability?

    Read more . . .

    May 2003 NAVY SEAL Torture Photos: Picture shows arm crushed

    The caption is misleading. The soldier is not simply stepping on the man's chest, but forcing the prisoner's left arm between the boot and chest.

    Look on the right and side of the photo [left shoulder]. You'll see there is no left arm. That's because the arm is underneath the boot.

    Read more . . .

    Ukraine vs Guantanamo: How would US Law enforcement have handled public demonstrations?

    There was quite a show in Ukraine. True democracy. And the court asserted that the law should prevail.

    The United States, on the other hand, seems to take a different view. 2004 RNC is all the evidence you need to know how the US Law Enforcement "community" would have handled Ukraine-like demonstrations in the United States.Ref

    Compare what happened in 2001 with 2004. In 2001, Ukraine asked for FBI assistance. Yet, we see no NYC on the streets of Ukraine.

    Compare the RNC demonstrations to that which occurred in Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands protested in Ukraine, yet we hear of no young children being throw in into oil-soaked prisons.Ref Ref

    Vigils in NYC face JTTF backlash; yet the same in Ukraine, the police mesmerized by orange.

  • How many JTTF in the US were drooling at the sight of that sea of orange thinking, "There are thousands of lawyers we could lock up."Ref

  • Are DoJ personnel viewing the 'demonstrations against fraud' one of irresponsibility?

    Certainly not. US Attorneys will, when given evidence of corruption inside the Securities and Exchange commission, scoff off the information as, "To take action would be to sue ourselves."

    No surprise. The US requires much to awaken it to the malfeasance within the ranks of DoJ and the financial reporting and regulatory system.

    Which scapegoat will the White House, DoJ-JTTF use for this unfolding financial disaster?

    Oh, that's right. There are always more "GITMOs" to be established in Tehran.

    Read more . . .

  • Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Will DoJ Follow Zambia's Example in re Providing Leadership to Law Enforcement in Combating Government Corruption?

    Ref Zambia, if it pulls this off, would be a great example for the United States DoJ and local law enforcement.

    What's noteworthy isn't simply the leadership has to remind law enforcement "that the rule of law relies on uniform application of rules."

    But that despite this "well known standard of modern society, " even the FBI and local law enforcement in the United States fails to meet this standard.

    Unresponsive Government

  • Excuses not to take complaints

  • Trumped up charges against those who "need to be taught a lesson"

  • Declining to investigate or prosecute cases not on the basis of the merits, but on who's the victim; the "reputation" of the victim; and whether its politically correct to bring the case

  • Why liability insurance against 42 USC 1983 claims remains a risk area

    Sure, these fit into the "declination standards" that prosecutors are given.

    But what's absurd is when officers use the "we can't win this case" as the excuse not to take a complaint; but then use the proximity of the complainant as the excuse to then dive into their personal lives, probe into areas unrelated to criminal activity.

    Such conduct does little to inspire public confidence in law enforcement. The misconduct continues.

    Samples of Unresponsive Government

  • Illusory investigations
  • Excuses not to take action
  • Feigned ignorance about misconduct
  • Mid-level management feign ignorance about local leadership efforts to look into matters

  • Notice Management Philosophy

  • Do public officials know that they are to meet and exceed the standards, not create excuses to explain away requirements;

  • Do personnel feign ignorance of the statutes and reporting requirements; and

  • Have issues which would reasonably require legal advice been ignored?

  • Interpretation requires competent legal counsel input.

    - reporting requirements,
    - investigations,
    - "honest services standard,"

    It is disturbing when information unrelated to criminal activity exists in official databases, as the FBI I-drive corroborates. Yet, officers claim they "know nothing" while testilying.

    Want to know more? Talk to the public defenders who know the reputation problems of law enforcement. They'll tell you about the deals, discussions, and eye rolling that goes on in court, "Oh, you know where that complaint is from..."

    We have yet to understand why the US parades itself as the 'standard of justice' when the courts, knowing this reputation problem, fail to impose meaningful sanctions on law enforcement.

    One way to measure the discipline problem is to look at the outside auditing plans of law enforcement. It's a sure bet there's a management-auditing problem when officers brazenly lie before the auditors, "We lie all the time."

    Are your "independent auditors" silently monitoring the situations [law enforcement- public interactions]; or are they inappropriately interjecting themselves into discussions to dissuade the public from following up on an issue?

    Find out if your local reps have in their checklists items to look for, inter alia:

  • Failure to conduct no-notice visits to FTOs, field units, or spot check the IAD logs to ensure visits. Case in point: The officers lounging around at LAX. Where were those supervisors and IAD personnel?

    Strange how the local media has close links with members of local government who feign shock and surprise when informed of police misconduct, or cursory investigations.

    Look into the ways that your local officials act on information. What records do they keep; should they be keeping to comply with code-regulations-statues-rules; and are they able to timely provide that information when asked?


    A sure sign of a problem is when a "clearly promulgated rule-code-statutory requirement to collect information" gets the response, "The computers are down."

    Make sure you know the status of the computers before making the request; and have your fellow-auditors in place to monitor both the IT system, and the individualized access at the target area. The inconsistency between what they say and what they actually report on "computer availability" can be useful information for the grand jury.

    Need to ensure you team gathers information on the status of the computers and your target area before you announce the "formal audit." Know the procedures in place to review files; the training of personnel in file access; and whether personnel when given information should reasonably be expected to competently conduct a records reviews.

  • Are their "we found nothing"-claims believable?

  • Did they really, on the first round, find nothing in the report; or have they left themselves room to say, "There was nothing in that report" implying that the investigating officer or auditor asked for the "wrong report."

    File deletions: Who really knew?

    Also, following an indictment and prosecution, it's useful to track the subsequent management actions. Sure, management pleads up and down that they "knew nothing". But if there's a pattern of behavior that suggests management has a pattern of misleading investigators, you've got something.

    Suppose your teams has determined that record retention rules are not being followed. The issue isn't simply "who ordered the destruction" but whether the management in place should have known or had the incentive to encourage this destruction.

    If your team for purposes of backstopping has filed a report [with specifics on time, location, personnel], the obvious problem arises when management in response to a subpoena or informal investigation is unable to produce a report that substantially matches the details provided.

    Other signs of problem are when stories change; when the information was clearly not taken at the time of the original complaint; but then suddenly appears.

    Look closely for inconsistencies between the original complaint and the documented records. The specifics can be important.

    Brief Backdating Checklist

  • Do the details in the various reports match;

  • Is the identifying information that "should reasonably have been collected" matching the details provided to other sources;

  • What information does your team provide: What information was originally recorded; what questions were asked; then compare this information with the final report.

  • How did "information that was not discussed" appear in the report;

  • How were details that were "never shared" suddenly able to be found; and

  • What method was used to actually complete the report details?

  • Again, it is useful to gather the information from the "other locations" well in advance of the "official notification" of the investigation. This is a no-brainer.

    Note the similarities in "final reports". When things are matching too closely, especially in situations where no questions were asked, you can reasonably assume that an investigation report has been either backdated, or that the investigation was no actually done but generated later based on the subsequent reports.

    Management does have a problem when the provide misleading statements to investigators. This is a no-brainer. The trick is to have your team in place, backstopped, and the evidence ready to submit to the grand jury before local officials realize they've been targeted. Duh.

    The best approach is to ensure that local officials believe they are up against someone who "doesn't know what they are doing" so as to give them the mistaken belief that they can get away with something.

    That's when the big guns can come in. CFE has a really nasty habit of showing up without notice to ensure the computers don't suddenly catch on fire or lose all the data.

    Signs of management alarm

    Other things to watch for are the sudden reversals in tone.

    Does management move from an attitude of "you're welcome to provide inputs" to one of "we do not allow meetings."

    Has management changed their way of dealing with complaints from one of "Oh, we'll look into that" and then shifted gears from one manger to another, all the while shifting the basis of the concern from one of "The issue is clear and it can be resolved" to one of "The issue is the disagreement."

    Notice whether the subsequent management responses to audit reports actually address the problem. The key isn't just the words in the management letter, but whether there exists factual and discoverable evidence that would either corroborate or discredit management claims about progress, actions, or efforts taken.

    For example, if management asserts that they have a training plan in place to address auditing concerns, a reasonable follow-up would be to inquire to the status of the training efforts.

    It is problematic when follow-up audits find that personnel are not actually at training at times reported in the training roster; or when management asserts [incorrectly] that personnel are actively engaged in a training program, but your team identifies by sight and name those personnel doing nothing at those times.

    Also, another no-brainer is to compare management statements to actual practices before the final report is published. There is a window of opportunity when management will say that they have a plan in place to remedy the defects, but the final report has not reached a wider audience.

    Management will use this opportunity to imply compliance; however, independent views and visits can establish whether the "management training plan" is actually achieving results.

    Interim Workforce

  • Are personnel actually able to perform the task;

  • Are personnel in the area surprised when there are deviations and errors; or

  • Is the explanation for the error consistent with the technology?

  • Sometimes management will state in their management response that there is a technical solution to a data-base problem. However, one sign of a problem is when the proposed "no-brainer management solution" cannot be replicated.

    For example, one entity suggested that the training program in place was adequately supported by a common database that tracked personnel training progress and ensured the inconsistencies were reconciled.

    Direct observations determined this "solution" was impossible. The two databases were never linked, were in geographically separate areas, and the errors continued well after the final report was signed. In short, the management response had no credibility.

    Sample Risk Indicators

  • Have personnel suddenly resigned without warning;

  • Are there unfilled positions in areas where there are repeated complaints;

  • Have problem areas gone unresolved;

  • Have personnel made misleading statements on whether they were at meetings, or aware of personnel who should be in a position to provide guidance;

  • Has senior management implied that problems are resolved, but subsequent actions fail to find evidence that a rigorous approach exists to resolve these issues;

  • Do the auditors have a requirement to take information; but there are complaints that information is actively rebuffed;

  • Do your auditors have a statutory duty to conduct performance/management reviews [unrelated to finances], yet tell informants [incorrectly] that they only take financial information;

  • Have personnel stated that they would look into an issue; but subsequent investigation fails to validate that assertion;

  • Are mid-level management feigning ignorance of the investigation results;

  • When asked about reviews and close-out, do senior managers incorrectly assert that the performance [below the standards] actually exceeds the standard; or that the issue is the auditor "doesn't agree" with the "decision" [which was actually a decision to do nothing];

  • Are there inconsistencies in how management treats the public versus the media; can media get rapid access but your backstopped informants given the brushoff;

  • Are status reports timely closed out;

  • Have there been timely resolution of the matters raised; or

  • Were the reasons given for "failure to document, monitor, or complete the work" consistent with policy; if not, what corrective action was taken?

  • In cases like these, it is useful to review the organization financial and personnel records to determine when personnel were hired; their duties; and who would reasonably be in a position to take care of requirements.

    Investigators can use the "cold approach" when revisiting retired personnel. They may not be in a position to directly know the information, but they can point you in the right direction.

    Partial Cold Approach Checklist

  • If there are no records, where are they, or where should they be;

  • If there are no personnel, who was taking care of this requirement;

  • If the job remains unfilled, how was this tasking re-delegated in the interim period; and

  • What efforts were taken to ensure this delegation was appropriate and that the primary responsibilities were still met?

  • Summary

    Public confidence in American institutions depends on responsiveness.

    The public has the federally protected right to both file a complaint and have honest services.

    It is unfortunate when clearly promulgated rules are ignored and there are substantial efforts to create the illusion of compliance.

    Public officials command a great salary. They are expected to perform. It is unacceptable when public official backdate investigation reports.

    The goal is to meet the standards, not create a climate where infractions mushroom into larger problems.

    Management has the responsibility to ensure the personnel they hire are trained and ready to do the job.

    The time to address the complaint is in the initial stages, not when it mushrooms into a full-blown public relations disaster.

    The time to address a concern is when it initially arises, not provide excuses to engage in hand-waving when DoJ OPR arrives.

    The public deserves better. And the world expects much more.

    It's called leadership.

    Read more . . .