A Look into Homeland Security

I was listening to NPR on my ride home today and they ran a very interesting article on some 'sensitive' documents which leaked from the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently, the documents included daily briefings for former Secretary Tom Ridge, and are all posted here: Cryptome.org. As Cryptome.org says, the files were found off Google archived searches.

According to the site, the Department of Energy sent Cryptome.org an email on January 19. The site says, "19 January 2005. A person claiming to be a Department of Energy contractor telephoned this morning to ask in a friendly manner if the Homeland Security Operations Morning Briefs could be removed. We said no. He said, "I didn't think so. But the briefs are for official use only, couldn't they be removed." We said no, the briefs provide good public information. He said, "okay, thanks for talking to me." A courteous homeland security contractor, that's good news, unlike the briefs."

There are some pretty interesting briefs, take this one for example:

1. (FOUO) MICHIGAN: Train Derailment and HAZMAT Leak. According to the Department of Transportation, on 25 October, near Detroit, nine cars of an 81-car Canadian National Railroad train derailed. Four of the derailed cars were carrying methyl alcohol—a flammable liquid. One of the four cars developed a leak and local authorities evacuated a one-mile radius for precautionary measures. Reportedly, rail officials quickly contained the leak. A preliminary police investigation revealed no evidence of terrorist or criminal activity; however, their investigation is continuing. (DOT e-mail, 25 Oct 04; HSOC 4063-04)


2. (FOUO) SOUTH CAROLINA: Unknown Possible Gang Symbol on Military Uniform. According to JRIES reporting, a commander at the Fort Jackson U.S. Army Training Center reported an unknown possible gang symbol drawn on a military cap belonging to a soldier in training. The symbol, seen below, is a numeral “8” with “777” resting on the top of the “8”. Anyone with information as to the meaning or possible gang relation of this symbol is requested to contact: Gunnery Sergeant Cindy A. Whetzel, USMC Criminal Intelligence Fusion Center at Quantico, VA, at (703) 784-2962 or Fax (703) 784-2733 (JRIES, Oct 25 04; HSOC 4086-04)

I find this whole thing a little funny... it is amusing to see the Department of Homeland Security fail at security. It makes me wonder though, there are daily events which threaten our national security but most of these seem like they're not that big issues, dwelled upon only by paranoid beaurocrats. Terorrism is a serious issue (though there are those far more serious) and it is reassuring to know that some people look into them. They of course feel that they have to cross the line to do that.


You can always depend on Google. They throw nothing away. LOL I wonder how big brother is going to deal with this? No doubt they will.
I certainly agree with using information to combat terrorism. I'm sure the Iraqis would agree. But, what I fear is the infringement on privacy that is already happening in the states today. I'm thinking about the blogger who had the CIA knocking on his door soon after going on a rant on his blog about Bush. WhyNot did a blog on it and I can't remember all the details now but I have seen similar incidents, not enough to make headline news but enough to be concerned about.

BTW the word 'Homeland' gives me the willies.

Posted by Dianne
1/22/2005 10:18:00 am  
"BTW the word 'Homeland' gives me the willies".

Me too. Reminds me of Hitler's "FatherLand" brandished for all nationalistic feelings to turn ppl into rampant racist exterminators.

Sure, it also has a soft and cudly meaning, as in "where my home is", "where I was born", "where I spent my youth", etc. But even then, to me, this has little to do with Countries. It has to do with that special place in your heart. It could be a town, or even a farm. It could be one in a different country to where you are living now.

But in this article's context, HomeLand reeks of nationalism. "Department of Homeland Security"! Sheesh! Why not simply use "national security"? That's plain and factual, and does not give unnecessary emotional connotations that national territorial security equates to the security of your home and family.

Am I the only one to see something wrong with the terminology used? 

Posted by whynot
1/22/2005 10:51:00 am  
After a little research on the term:


native country: The country where somebody was born or where somebody lives or feels that she or he belongs.

The entity named “Homeland Security Institute” was created in 1999 by a corporation named Anser, Inc. (Analytic Services, Inc.) which, as luck would have it, happened to be a major one-shop (federal) military and security contractor. On its board of trustees was Stephen Hadley, who became Condoleezza Rice’s Deputy National Security Adviser in the Bush administration.

Look at this site to see what 'homeland security' means to some Americans. You will be amazed or maybe not.


Posted by Dianne
1/22/2005 12:13:00 pm  
Well, they couldn't call it Motherland (communist Russia) and they couldn't call it Fatherland (Nazi Germany)! So I guess our "homeland" is the American equivalent of the Nazi's Fatherland and the Communists Motherland. Oh boy!

Homeland security's just a phrase used to get people to think the government's soft and fuzzy, which it never has been, and to draw support from those who are desperately afraid the black man or the Mexican are going to steal their car and rape their woman. 

Posted by starchybean
1/22/2005 07:46:00 pm  
"So I guess our "homeland" is the American equivalent of the Nazi's Fatherland and the Communists Motherland. Oh boy!".

LOL, yeah, LOL :-) 

Posted by whynot
1/23/2005 06:35:00 am  
Speaking of google. I am reading an interesting book called _O'reilly:_Google_Hacks_2003_ . It is basically a user manual to google. Amazing what you can actually do and exactly what you can find with google if you know how to look for it.

commands like filetype: and phonebook: and others have been very fun to use lately. I am certain that persons who know enough can get to what they want to see.


Posted by catonine
1/25/2005 02:01:00 am  



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