Archive for Department of Homeland Security

If You Like Elizabeth Warren, You're Sure To Like Juliette Kayyem


Juliette Kayyem

Yes, this Massachusetts man is proud to once again boast a terrific new face on the political scene. She may only be known within the boundaries of the Bay State, and even in the Obama White House, but soon that may change. Kayyem has announced she's going to run for Deval Patrick's seat as governor of Massachusetts.

So what's so special about her? A lot of things. Hightlights from her Kayyem for Governor website include:

...a civil rights attorney, litigating cases involving the rights of children and defending progressive and just causes. She helped bring the first federal anti-bullying case and was part of the team that argued for The Citadel to open its doors to women.

She spent several years overseeing the 8,000-plus member Massachusetts National Guard, the commonwealth’s strategic security planning, and the distribution of homeland security funds she was tapped by President-elect Obama to be part of his transition team before being chosen as Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security.

For her exemplary leadership in the wake of the BP spill, coordinating 60 federal agencies over five states, Juliette was awarded the Coast Guard’s highest civilian honor.

As a young, female candidate with no elected office in her background, she's being favorably compared to stalwart freshman Senator Elizabeth Warren. Aside from gender similarity, there's quite a bit more.

Here's what The Daily Beast writes about the recently announced candidacy of Kayyem:

The 2014 gubernatorial hopeful bears some striking similarities to Warren. After all, Kayyem is a lawyer from Cambridge who taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government but has never held elected office. Warren is also a lawyer from Cambridge who was a political novice before being elected in 2012 and who taught at Harvard, though she was a professor at the law school.

Kayyem is modest about any comparison to Massachusetts’ first term senator, telling The Daily Beast, “While it’s a compliment to be compared to Elizabeth Warren, I am very realistic that she is just an amazing person. I hope I can generate that kind of enthusiasm but I’d be foolish to assume” that will happen on its own.

A neophyte politician, she faces a number of obstacles, the largest of them is name recognition or lack thereof. She will be running in a Democratic primary against candidates including state treasurer and former DNC chair Steve Grossman, Donald Berwick, the former administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicare Services, and state senator Dan Wolf.

The winner will likely face Charlie Baker, the GOP’s popular 2010 gubernatorial nominee, in November 2014. That's  just over a year away and finding your way through that crowded primary will prove daunting. But there's a special people's quality to Ms. Kayyem. Her teacher background, her strong writing talents and her Homeland Security background seem to make many in her state feel confident. That's a major part of leadership -- exuding confidence. And she's going to need to demonstrate it very quickly.

 Massachusetts’ unique system for nominating a candidate where delegates are elected in caucuses to a state convention held in the early summer before a primary. To make it to the September primary ballot from there, a candidate needs win the support of 15% of the delegates at the convention. The result, according to Peter Ubertaccio, a professor of political science at Stonehall College, candidates need to start organizing early and win the progressive activists who dominate the caucuses. In Ubertaccio’s opinion, if Kayyem can “demonstrate early strength” in the same way that incumbent Governor Deval Patrick (in whose administration Kayyem served) did in 2006, “she’d be a pretty formidable player.”

From John Adams to John Kennedy, from Edward Brooke, Elizabeth Warren, John Kerry, Tip O'Neill and current Governor Duval Patrick, Massachusetts has had some winners. They have had their Dukakis's and Romneys as well. But larger than life characters are what we do well in the commonwealth. And the next governor of this great state might just be joining that list of winners.

Wish to know more?


This Should Scare The Bejesus Out Of You


Plum Island sign

Run by the Department of Homeland Security, Plum Island is a top secret facility. Situated on a tiny parcel of land lurking a mere ten miles off the coast of Connecticut, and two miles off the tip of New York's Long Island, this place is the epicenter of U.S. top-secret biowarfare research.

TRU TV  reports this:

The U.S. government acknowledges that the island is home to a scientific facility. Its stated purpose is to study animal-borne diseases. But investigators are beginning to uncover startling new facts about this forbidding place. Insiders and ex-employees have come forward to tell their stories. From security breaches in germ labs, to escaped diseases and potential mass epidemics.

So just how safe are we from this facility? Here's an interesting thought. Do you remember the stories of the atrocities committed by the Nazi's during the war? Well what if they continued their abominable scientific experimentation after the war? And what if they took place on American soil and were not only condoned by the US Government but backed by them?

Welcome to Project Paperclip. If you thought Area 51 was some kind of freaky government secret facility...


This Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) recruited German scientists post-WWII. These (in many cases war criminals) and their families were relocated together on... wait for it, Plum Island.

From Project Paperclip's website:


TO: Members of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
FROM: Advisory Committee Staff
DATE: April 5, 1995
RE: Post-World War II Recruitment of German Scientists - Project Paperclip

At least 1,600 scientists and their dependents were recruited and brought to the United States by Paperclip and its successor projects through the early 1970s.

In recent years, it has been alleged that many of these individuals were brought to the United States in violation of American government policy not to permit the entrance of "ardent Nazis" into the country, that many were security risks, and that at least some were implicated in Holocaust-related activities.

The reason we should be interested in this comes from the not-so-distant past outbreak of Lyme Disease. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Those two cities are just a few miles from Plum Island.

From Rense Watch:

An important chapter in the story of how the inquiry into the possible link between Plum Island, Erich Traub's (resident of Plumb Island under Operation Paperclip) work on behalf of the US and the spread of Lyme Disease concerns the work of former Justice Department prosecutor John Loftus. In his book The Belarus Secret, Loftus referred to work done on Plum Island in the early 1950's in which Nazi scientists were experimenting on diseased ticks.

Well, if that's not cause to pause, consider this: the high potential for terrorist attack on this facility.


 In 2002, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, well known for his contacts and sympathies for Taliban was captured in Afghanistan with a dossier in his possession on Plum Island.

His goal was to steal pathogens from Plum Island and turn them into a human biowarfare agent.

Ah, but the good Sultan wasn't alone in this germicide warfare. PJ MEDIA:

In 2008 Aafia Siddiqui was the FBI’s most wanted woman in the world. Now the U.S.-educated, Pakistani mother of three is being held in New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center facing attempted murder charges.Among the documents in her possession were handwritten notes referring to a “mass-casualty attack” listing locations commonly known to be targets: Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Plum Island and the Empire State Building.

Here's what our GAO (Government Accountability Office) reported on security at the Plum Island:

Security at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center has improved, but fundamental concerns leave the facility vulnerable to security breaches. First, Plum Island's physical security arrangements are incomplete and limited. Second, Plum Island officials have been assuming unnecessary risks by not adequately controlling access to areas where pathogens are located. Third, Plum Island's security response has limitations. For example, the guard force has been armed but has not had the authority from USDA to carry firearms or make arrests. Moreover, Plum Island's incident response plan does not consider the possibility of a terrorist attack.

plum Island facility

One thing's for sure, this is one hell of a frightening and dangerous place. We can't keep sequester cuts and risk security at places like this. Maybe the conversations in Washington need to shift from budget cuts and government shutdowns to reinforcement and even whether or not there's a need for facilities like this one.


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano To Resign



I'm betting she's running out that door, no looking back. She's been one of the GOP'rs favorite pinatas.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to step down from her cabinet position in order to become president of the University of California system, ABC News has learned.

“”For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security,” Napolitano said in a statement on Friday. “The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career.”

Napolitano, who has been serving in her current post since 2009, was the first woman to helm of the Department of Homeland Security. A Democrat, she previously served as governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009 and before that was the state’s attorney general.

Napolitano notified President Obama of her decision to step down a month ago, sources say. She is planning to leave her post in early September.


"Does this open the president up for criticism? Will critics have new ammo? Well, will they, huh? Huh?" #LibrulMediaMyAss


bias liberal media my ass smaller

When I opened my Los Angeles Times this morning, I saw an article about how the Boston bombing is affecting policy on student visas. The Times is reporting that Homeland Security will be tightening oversight for foreign students entering the U.S.

One of the friends, Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, was allowed to reenter the U.S. on a student visa even though he was no longer attending the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also studied.

Congressional Republicans have questioned how the government has dealt with visa security issues. In a three-page letter this week, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for details about student visas and how Tazhayakov was able to reenter the U.S.

In a statement this week, the Homeland Security Department said that Tazhayakov entered the United States on Jan. 20 using a student visa with an expiration date of Aug. 30. Customs, which is part of Homeland Security, had not been notified that Tazhayakov had left school on Jan. 4, so he was permitted entry.

An hour later I was watching MSNBC, and the anchor substituting for Alex Witt was asking her guests about this very topic. And by "asking her guests" I mean falling all over herself to get them to slam President Obama. Here is how she posed her questions (paraphrased, but not all that much):

"Does this open the president up for criticism? Will President Obama be under fire for this? Will his critics have new ammo? Well, will they, huh? Huh?"

Okay, I made up that last question. Here is how it sounded to me:

Ooo! THIS is exactly what I needed to create some controversy, because so far, this show has been really dull. If ratings dip while I'm covering for Alex, I'm toast!

SO. Guests! WTF is up with Obama? Shouldn't he be in a big ol' pot of hot water for this? Isn't the bombing all his fault anyway? Well, isn't it? Let's make this into more of a story, stat! Is his goose finally cooked? Will you go on the record saying that his presidency a big fat epic FAIL now? Boyoboy was he negligent, right? RIGHT?

I cannot WAIT to hear your answers to my leading questions! GO!

BENGHAZI! Oh, sorry, that just slipped out.

1. Note to Ms. SubbingForAlex: You must be more than aware that nobody needs to encourage anyone to clobber the president. He has been barraged by smears since he announced his run back in 2007. He's been blamed for everything from Bush's recession to personal bad hair days since forever. So stirring that pot is overkill to say the least.

2. What happened to objectivity in the media? Oh, sorry, did I say "objectivity"? My bad.

3. Not everything has to be hyped up to entertain viewers. Sweartogod.

4. Did you, or anyone, ask questions like those when GW Bush was in office and lied us into a fraudulent war?

Now, I'm sure this host is a very nice person, professional, and just trying to do her job by keeping the conversation interesting and lively, but come on.

By the way, in their statement, part of what the Homeland Security Department said was, "At the time of reentry there was no derogatory information that suggested this individual posed a national security or public safety threat." I didn't hear that mentioned.