From my friend Boudica’s blog. Please read it. This is pretty scary stuff.
Tag Archives: DHS
Like the days of drive-in movies, there’s something romantic and comforting about the days of passenger trains.
Remember the dining car scene in North by Northwest where Cary Grant meets Eva Marie Saint for the first time? Linen table cloths and a flower vase on the table. . .
But there’s no money to be made in passenger trains anymore or Burlington Northern would be running them right now. That’s the reason Governor-elect John Kasich is right to refuse the building of a commuter rail in Ohio. If the private sector sees no profit in running passenger trains again, why does the government think it’s a good idea? Just look at what AmTrack costs us every day for proof that this is a losing proposition.
On the other hand, if passenger trains were available to me, and I don’t mean AmTrack, I’d never fly again. I’d take a train, run by the private sector, almost anywhere rather than fly. I wonder how many people feel the same way I do. Flying has become such a major hassle, that I don’t plan to ever fly again unless in the event of a family emergency. I can get back to Wyoming in less than 24 hours, by car, with a lot less government intrusion.
I’m in favor of the opt-on day that is being promoted online. Opt-out of naked body scans and cause a slow down in the procedures. Go for it! Our security is reactive not proactive. We create another layer of security after another threat is thwarted. We have to take off our shoes because some IslamoFacist boarded a plane with explosives in his shoes. Body scans now because another tried to blow up a plane with explosives in his shorts. And in that case, it was an alert passenger who risked his life to thwart that attack – not an air marshal.
The headline at Drudge today is “The Terrorists Have Won.” That is absolutely correct. The airlines are nickle and dime-ing us for an extra suitcase, a blanket or a glass of Coke. We’ve given up the right to a comfortable and quick way to travel and our privacy to fear.
I am quite frankly tired of it all and I’m just not going to fly anymore.
A scandal involving unauthorized use of a federal crime database that’s been brewing in Colorado for four years may have abruptly ended the political careers of Gov. Bill Ritter and his longtime aide, who was nominated by the Obama administration for Denver U.S. attorney.
Last month, Stephanie Villafuerte unexpectedly withdrew her name after the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican member, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said he expected her to answer the FBI’s questions about her role in the affair and under oath.
Democrat Ritter’s announcement that he would not run for a second term sent shock waves through a Democratic Party already reeling from retirement announcements the same day by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn.
It also focused renewed attention on Transportation Security Administration nominee Erroll Southers, who gave Congress conflicting reports over his personal use of the same crime database to run unauthorized background checks on his then-estranged wife’s boyfriend.
Congressional Republicans are now demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano investigate the firing of former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Cory Voorhis for pointing out Ritter’s hypocrisy during the 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
As Denver district attorney, Ritter allowed 152 illegal immigrants accused of deportable felonies to plead guilty to lesser charges such as “agricultural trespass.” Those pleas allowed them to remain in the country.
Angered that Ritter blamed ICE agents for not removing criminal aliens from the state when he had been releasing them himself, Voorhis then contacted a staff member for Republican Bob Beauprez, who was running against Ritter, and suggested he check Ritter’s record on the issue.
Even though Voorhis did not pass on the information himself, he was blamed for a subsequent Beauprez attack ad based on information provided to the Republican’s campaign by a private investigator in Texas.
The ad featured Honduran illegal immigrant and heroin dealer Walter Ramo (aka Eugene Estrada and Carlos Roberto Estrada-Medina) whose 2002 plea deal with Ritter allowed him to stay in the United States. Ramo was later arrested in California for sexual assault on a minor.
Only those with access to the National Crime Information Center database would have been able to link Ramo to the California crime. According to the Denver Post, an FBI investigation found that only three people accessed Ramo’s record: Voorhis, Houston-based private investigator Kenny Rodgers, and First Assistant DA Chuck Lepley. A phone log belonging to DA spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough noted that Villafuerte, who was then working on the Ritter campaign before, had called her to ask about Estrada-Medina.
It took a federal jury less than two hours to find Voorhis not guilty of two misdemeanor charges of unauthorized access to the restricted NCIC database, but ICE fired him anyway. The Merit Systems Protection Board, which upholds federal civil service personnel standards, will hear his appeal later this month.
The Denver Post also reported that an April 2009 internal ICE memo said Tony Rouco, Voorhis’ supervisor, perjured himself at the trial and made false statements to the FBI. Instead of being fired, Rouco was given a temporary promotion.
“Three people accessed the federal database,” Colorado blogger Ross Kaminsky (rossputin.com) told The Examiner. “Of the three, the only one whose access was for law enforcement purposes was Cory Voorhis. Two people passed on the information. … The only one who didn’t pass the information was Voorhis, and he was the only one prosecuted.”
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., has asked the Justice Department to investigate Villafuerte but he has not yet received a reply. Coffman sent another letter to Napolitano last week asking her to lift the “indefinite suspension” on the still-unemployed Voorhis’ security clearance so he can get a job.
Last month, Sessions also asked Napolitano to reopen the investigation into Voorhis’ dismissal. DHS agreed to do so. However, a Sessions aide says he has since heard nothing from DHS.
Meanwhile, Voorhis — a decorated 15-year veteran who has suffered tremendous financial and personal hardship for exposing Ritter’s duplicity — is still twisting in the wind.
Barbara F. Hollingsworth is The Examiner’s local opinion editor.
Be sure and watch the ad.
From the mission statement:
Keep America Safe believes the United States can only defeat our adversaries and defend our interests from a position of strength. We know that America has, for 233 years, been an unparalleled force for good in the world, that our fighting forces are the best the world has ever known, and that the world is a safer place when America is trusted by our allies and feared and respected by our enemies. Keep America Safe will make the case for an unapologetic approach to fighting terrorism around the world, for victory in the wars this country fights, for democracy and human rights, and for a strong American military that is needed in the dangerous world in which we live.
Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol and Debra Burlingame are the board of Keep America Safe.
Make no mistake about it, this is nothing short of damage control from the White House. His image is taking a beating in the court of public opinion and on the op-ed pages of the thinking class of media. He’s coming out here “all fired up – ready to go!” – which is a stark contrast to his first appearance after the thwarted Christmas Day attack.
In his first televised remarks, Obama looked and sounded like a common, wooden D.A. announcing the capture of a wife killer. Los Angeles D.A. Gil Garcetti showed more fire when he announced that OJ was “now a fugitive from justice” a lifetime ago as prelude to the trial of the century – ah… last century.
The trio of stoogie image handlers in the White House (Iranian born Jarrett – hey, did you know that? – Axelrod and Emanual) have apparently figured out that they can no longer rest on their laurels and expect the “media” to glow, gush and gloss over (Man! I love alliteration!) every thing TheOne says or does. I guess they realized that the honeymoon is about over. Even without the benefit of an unbiased media, polls indicate that Americans are starting to figure out that this administration is short on conviction, character and common sense (! yippeee, there, I did it again!)
So he comes out in front of the cameras, looking all presidential, with fake disgust and anger and tells us that his administration finally bears responsibility for SOMEthing. The main SOMEthng is that he will still not smarten-up and keep Gitmo open.
Seriously, he can prostrate himself to a world full of dictators, but to the American people, he can only do it just so much…
For all his flaws and mistakes, Americans largely did not doubt George Bush’s love of country. He acted immediately after 9/11 with harsh words and harsh actions against the enemy. In fact, he was criticized by the left for jingoism, or too much love of country.
Obama, on the other hand, has done what would be unthinkable for a commander-in-chief in an earlier time. His demeanor during the press conference after the foiled Christmas Day attack was without emotion. He has done what would be taken as treason by besmirching his own country on foreign soil. The year was filled with him bowing to America’s enemies and glad-handing with Hugo Chavez. His Department of Justice is persecuting the CIA, of which seven members just died in Afghanistan. He states his discomfort with victory in Afghanistan, while cutting the military budget and changing the rules of engagement to favor the enemy. Through his Justice Department he is according terrorists who killed nearly 3,000 of our citizens the same rights and conducting a trial in the midst of survivors who will pay for the defense through their taxes. The Department of Homeland Security instructed law enforcement to go after dissenting patriotic Americans, particularly military veterans, and displayed callous disregard of the facts and the fears surrounding the thwarted Christmas Day terror attack.
One of the most treasonous acts concerns the communist, antiwar group Code Pink, which has been aiding and funding the enemy and raising money for Obama. As our vulnerable soldiers awaited word about sending more troops to Afghanistan, Obama was meeting with Code Pink, as recent videos show.
Obama is not merely “clueless.” Even when he gives lip service about the regrettable necessity of war as he did in the Nobel speech, Obama’s words do not ring true because they lack conviction.
I wish I could see things as plainly as he does and write them even a fraction as well. I hope you can take the time to read it today. He has a great way of putting all kinds of things into perspective.
I think he has coined the absolute best name for this Christmas day terrorist: the Knickerbomber. And a new terrific name for Janet Napolitano – Janet Incompetano.