“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cyber Czar, national security or a massive assault against personal liberty?

"The Cybersecurity Act is just a wolf in sheep's clothing, much in the way that the USA Patriot Act was an encroachment on our freedoms," said John W Whitehead, the founder and President of the Rutherford Institute, a non-profit conservative legal organization.

"It is being sold to us as a way to protect America against the next generation of terrorist attacks - cyber attacks. But all it will do is enable the government to finally turn the lock on this technological prison it has built," stated Mr Whitehead


Statement for the Record

Lieutenant General Keith Alexander
Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare

Before the:

House Armed Services Committee
Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities

5 May 2009

Chairman Smith, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the military’s cyberspace mission and some of the challenges we face executing the responsibilities assigned to us by United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).

As you are all well aware, our economy, the nation’s critical infrastructure, and many of our military operations depend on unfettered access to cyberspace. Cyberspace has clearly changed the way we interact as a global community. More than that, it has influenced business processes, the management of critical infrastructure, and human interaction in ways that were not foreseeable just 15 years ago. However, this advancement in technology comes with vulnerabilities for our nation that have not been adequately addressed.

The vast array of electronic devices populating the global information infrastructure today remain the functional tools of cyberspace, and any of these devices, or the underlying software, can be used for both beneficial or malicious purposes. As cyberspace continues to evolve and grow in complexity and importance, our nation must vigilantly maintain technological dominance and freedom to maneuver within this global domain. This statement will focus on the latter in an attempt to provide this Committee insight into how the DoD is organizing to operate in the cyber domain, how we operate in the environment and some initial thoughts regarding deterrence.

JFCC-NW Organization Overview
As the Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare
(JFCC NW), it is my responsibility to support USSTRATCOM’s mission to plan, coordinate, and conduct offensive and defensive cyberspace operations. Executing this mission requires assembling and maintaining a force capable of adapting to, and operating in, a complex and continually evolving and expanding environment. Unlike the land, sea, air and space where the laws of physics do not change, cyberspace is a man-made creation that continually changes and evolves – operating effectively in this kind of environment requires that we leverage the expertise from a wide variety of disciplines. Moreover, we must close the seams between information assurance, network operation and defense, intelligence collection and offensive operations.

Recently the Commander, USSTRATCOM, placed the Joint Task Force – Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO), which directs the operation and defense of DoD’s networks under my operational control in order to better integrate and synchronize defensive cyber operations. This necessary initial realignment is a significant step towards the establishment of a command that is organized to operate and defend vital networks and project power in cyberspace.

The next steps in this transformation will require a more substantial reorganization, which is one reason why the DoD is considering the establishment of a new sub-unified command for Cyber, under USSTRATCOM, that would be headquartered at Fort Meade.

The creation of a single, sub-unified cyber command would provide the DoD with a command comprised of forces and capabilities better aligned to conduct cyber operations and capable of evolving to meet and overcome challenges presented by operating in cyberspace at the speed of cyber.

Operating in Cyberspace
Maintaining freedom of action in cyberspace in the 21st Century is as inherent to U.S. interests as freedom of the seas was in the 19th Century, and access to air and space in the 20th Century. This is especially true since the United States is committed to leading international and domestic efforts to ensure the security of global information infrastructures upon which cyberspace depends; maintaining the capabilities to use cyberspace as a medium to deter, deny, or defeat any adversary seeking to harm U.S. national and economic security; while ensuring actions are undertaken in a manner that protects our Constitutional liberties. The ability to operate freely within cyberspace poses a number of unique challenges.

The rapid expansion and global dependence upon cyberspace required the Defense Department to evolve its warfighting doctrine to include cyberspace as a viable domain on par with the domains of the land, sea, air and space. As I have mentioned, cyberspace is unlike the other warfighting domains, it is a man-made technological phenomenon solely reliant upon human activity. The Department of Defense defines cyberspace as “a global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processes and controllers.”1

The uniqueness of cyberspace can best be described by three attributes: volume, speed, and convergence.

Perhaps the characteristics of volume and speed are best known, as the truly unprecedented volumes of data and speed at which communications occur in cyberspace are demonstrated daily. More than the speed of the communications, the rate of change of cyberspace, and the applications that use it, is continuous, making this domain ever evolving. However, the convergence of communications devices being driven by cyberspace is fueling an integration that has far reaching consequences, both positive and negative, that must be appreciated if one is to understand this domain.

The integration taking place in communication devices is easy to see in our daily lives. What were once separate communications means such as telephones, cell phones, television, radio and computers are increasingly being combined into single devices, allowing us to watch video or send email on our cell phone or use the telephone over the Internet. Fundamentally, this is only possible because of a much greater integration occurring behind the scenes, the increasing merger of what were once separate communication networks into one network-of-networks. Accordingly, what were once distinct networks carrying the communications of our adversaries, allies and ourselves have also merged into one network-of-networks – “cyberspace”.

And while it may be hard to believe for something that has become so important and so much a part of the fabric of our lives, cyberspace largely “happened.” It was not planned or designed to serve the purposes for which it is being used today. And while the concept to make it easier for people to communicate by connecting networks was conceived and given life in the United States, it resulted in a global domain that knows no geographical boundaries, is largely unregulated and impossible to fully secure. There is no one entity, be it from the private sector or from the community of nations, “in charge” of cyberspace, which means that there is no one entity that can change cyberspace to eliminate the negatives while keeping the benefits. Thus, cyberspace is a perfect environment for United States adversaries to thrive and a domain that the United States must vigilantly protect.

Deterrence Strategies
Robust information assurance and securing vital networks must be our first priority.
Our people play an important role in preventing unauthorized access to the critical systems in cyberspace. The cyber security training provided to our service men and women, and the civilian and contractor workforce is inadequate and must be improved.

Secondly, the defense of our networks must be accountable to the highest levels, and managed as such. It is imperative that all commanders enforce measures to ensure the readiness of networks managed by personnel under their purview. Our adversaries are taking advantage of this lack of assiduousness and discipline that ultimately costs hundreds of millions of dollars in lost information and work hours.

Finally, we must leverage the power of automated security protocols to effectively manage these threats we face every day. For example, deploying a host based security system will provide a level of security that potentially will operate at the speed of the network, and centrally update systems to a trusted baseline.

Cyberspace is a uniquely complex domain absolutely vital to the nation. For the Department of Defense to operate freely within the cyber domain it must devote sufficient resources and personnel to ensure mission success. This includes creating an organizational construct that aligns and synchronizes forces so that they are able to operate and defend the military’s network and project power at “network speed”.

Traditionally, military action is an option of last resort that should complement deterrence strategies. Within the DoD, deterrence can be partially achieved through the creation and maintenance of a cyber force capable of freely operating within cyberspace.

Thank you for providing me with this opportunity and I will try to answer any questions that you may have.


  1. Here is your change ass holes.

    There are over 200 billion emails sent daily. In order to find terrorist activity, all of them will have to be sorted and analyzed. The data will form the raw material for the largest government dossier ever created anywhere by anyone.

    Every part of your daily life that directly or indirectly enters a computer, any computer, will end up in a government file. It will be sorted and analyzed by syllable and word. It will lie fallow indefinitely or recalled at anytime by a politician or by their unquestioning minions in civil service.

    There has never been anything like it in human history.

    No problem? No. Nothing?

  2. I think the French have a system where the coppers can do a lot of searching, but if they find something not related to terrorism, say an illegal gambling ring or something, it can't be used, acted on in any way. Which prohibition might certainly not be adhered too, strictly speaking.

    It's a hell of a problem. Soon, your private medical records will be floating around too.

    I've gotten a lot of good out of my computer, do business with it also.

    But sometmes I think about chucking it totally, and going back to letters sealed with wax.

  3. Why, duece, if the US does not monitor every communication that it can, why, people could die.
    We could lose a city to a terrorist strike, a nuke in our midst.

    There is no security sacrifice that cannot, will not, be made to save our cities and our people!

    It is not torture, and you'll not even know your data sets were investigated. No harm, no foul.

    We have to do, something!

    I mean, what if it was discoovered we could have known, but failed to even look. That'd not be excused with claims of protecting personal privacy.

    The ship of State is maintaining course and speed, we just have a new Captain.

    Ain't life grand!

  4. The ignorance of someone believing in the benign intentions of government, politicians and corporations is astonishing. It amazes me that Americans take such little interest to the threats to their personal liberties.

    The entire mortgage scam and bank meltdown was caused by a system, based on credit scores, based on second hand information, which allowed for the sterilization and securitization of debt instruments of the unknown trafficked to the unknowing. It would have been impossible to achieve without these data bases. The damage has mostly been inflicted on those that never wanted any part of the system.

    I would like to see an opt-out right. Why should private for profit companies be keeping credit files on anyone without their permission? They sell them with impunity to any and all buyers.

    Not that long ago, if you wanted to borrow money, you went to a bank and they handed you a form asking for references and information. You willingly either gave it to them to secure the loan or you did not. That would include personal financial documents that were in your possession. They would ask for references and you would provide that as well.

    ID theft was next to impossible. Technology should be irrelevant to your individual rights. Anyone should be able to exercise their fourth amendment rights:

    The Fourth Amendment

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    The process should allow, someone who just wants to be left alone to demand that all private and public data banks desist from holding and accumulating data that is not related to a crime.

  5. You got a good point there, deuce.

  6. Those private companies, they are not the Government. That data they mine, public, now. The Fourth Amendment does not apply.

    The horse is gone, the barn afire, we may as well try to close the door, as not.

  7. Pass draconian laws against data mining. Make it like a home invasion. Make it criminal, fines and jail.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. For instance on a real estate sale. The figures always get out, even though I've asked the closer not to disclose it. (We're still a non-disclosure state) If the title company or the title insurer discloses it, make it like a theft.

  10. The trouble with purging those data banks, the data there, when properly studied, well, it could help to solve crimes.

    Just because those data sets are not obviously related to a crime, does not mean that when the proper investigative techniques are applied, a crime will not appear.

    We must be safe and secure.
    Nothng is more important than saving US cities from attack!

    Especially a nuclear one.
    No sacrifice is to great, in the name of freedom, liberty, safety and security.

  11. That's true too, think islamic 'charities.' Maybe the French are onto something.

  12. Better thousands are investigated, without cause, than to let a miscreant slide on by.

    Standing conservatism on its' head, but Sir Willam Blackstone would understand.

    Everything's changed, after 9-11.

  13. O/T, but I was reading that President Mahmoud Abbas is no longer prez of the Palestinian Authority, his term having expired in January, I think. But they are keeping him on, not wanting to have an election, as it's thought Hamas would win. This would be embarrasing to the 'peace process' as Hamas doesn't concede Israel's right to exist. And our muzzie lovin' prez is promising them a state, with a capital in Jerusalem. What a farce. A tragic one.

  14. Indeed it has changed. Nukes exist, and may get in the hands of terrorists. Anthrax is easily made. Etc etc etc.

    It's not an easy problem.

    I want to see a report that shows what was actually stopped, as Cheney said some things were.

    There were prayer cloths in the desert. Maybe Phoenix was saved from some kind of attack, who knows. It's been said about LA.

  15. "Cyber Czar, national security or a massive assault against personal liberty?"

    Yes, it is, both.

    Ain't life grand!

  16. All to true, bob.

    They should report the attacks that were stopped, no doubt of that.

    The loss of the US public's support of the War on Terror is due to ignorance. The secrets that the Federals keep, compounding that ignorance. Making the US more vunerable, over the long run, in the name of operational security.
    Keeping means and methods secret, while the war is lost, at home.

    Some lessons are never learned, by careerists in Government.

  17. I feel the potential to really round up some Americans is much higher now than it ever was under Bushitler.

    After all Bushitler never talked about a domestic security force as strong as the military. And didn't have Acorn running around who could easily morph into thugs. The O adminstration just let off those Black Panthers that were standing intimidating folks at a polling place in Penn., against the wishes of the professional justice dept. lawyers.

    What have I been reading about Obastard and 'preventative detention.'

    Saw some passing article about it.

  18. We were all defined as potential terrorists recently. Single issue voters, anti abortion folks, veterans,etc.

    Obama and Preventive Detention

  19. Mr Obama manages the commons, now, bob. The good of US all.

    That is the problem with personality politics, rather than policy politics.

    We have granted huge amounts of power and authority to the Executive. Power and Authority well beyond that described in the Constitution.

    The power goes with the office, not the person that happens to be in it at any given time.

    The people change, the power accumulates. You have supported that trend, so far.

    Now that you're amongst those on the outs, it seems a tad dangerous, don't it, having so much power so concentrated?

  20. Here's Something About It--Preventive Detention--

    This was a term Nixon bandied about for awhile as I recall.

    Maybe he even thought it up.

  21. off topic...

    I am trying to get my arms around something...

    The Scotus nominee...

    everyone says her life story is so remarkable..

    Lived in public housing, went to Princeton and yale!

    Yep all true...

    but is it also true that she lived on the government dime for her housing?

    that she got a free ride at princeton?

    that she got a free ride at yale?

    sounds like she never has had to pay for anything...

  22. She's a Tan Klanner, a bitch. She's on the board of La Raza, and a bunch of other stuff.

    What was it I read, dang, can't remember. Raised by a single mother, but there really wasn't much struggle....

    She may have gotten scholarships for college, but I don't know.

    That New Haven firefighters case was something. Absolutely shameful.

  23. Obama Bombs at StandupGotta love that upturned, arrogant, snout, tho.

  24. "sounds like she never has had to pay for anything..."
    Welcome to Barry's World, WIO!

  25. America.

    Land of the Czars.

    That's some shit, ain't it?

  26. Amerika

    Land of the Czar...

    Pravda said yesterday:

    American capitalism gone with a whimper

    It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

    True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

    Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

    First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

    Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

    The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

    These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

  27. Well, if Pravda said it it has to be true, eh?

    Come on; Give me a break. Why would anyone, anywhere give a flippin' fuck what any Russian, much less one who writes for Pravda, thinks (or, says?)

    I've never, in my entire life, talked with Any Eastern European, or Russian, for more than 5 minutes before they went into a diatribe about "What's wrong with The United States."

    Their "prescription" is, almost without exception, some form of much-needed authoritarianism.

    Fuck the Russians. And the Czechs. And the Finns. And the Poles. And the Lithuanians. And, the Presbyterians. And, the Confucianarians. And, Anyone from L.A. Oh, yeah, And the Arabs, and the Jews.

    Did I miss anyone?

  28. Oh, yeah. Fuck Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gengrich. I've had about all I can stand of those bloviating assholes, too.

  29. During the course of this day about 20 Million American kids will take videos with their cellphones, and email them to their friends' cellphones, and computers.

    Next year this time it will be, probably, 40 million, and the videos will be longer, with higher resolution.

    Bill Clinton said about the internet: You might as well try to nail jello to the wall.

    Actually, Ol' Slick Willy was right about quite a few things.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Blogger 2164th said...

    Here is your change ass holes.

    There are over 200 billion emails sent daily. In order to find terrorist activity, all of them will have to be sorted and analyzed. The data will form the raw material for the largest government dossier ever created anywhere by anyone.

    2164th said...

    The ignorance of someone believing in the benign intentions of government, politicians and corporations is astonishing. It amazes me that Americans take such little interest to the threats to their personal liberties.

    This is what I find so sad about American politics - the blind partisan nature of it, the blatant hypocrisy! Ole Bush works with the telco's to secretly, systematically, peruse all communications and the Republicans barely make a sound about it (other than to defend it). Congress even goes so far as to pass legislation to retroactively 'forgive' such transgressions and still barely a peep. Now, however, the full-throat roar can be heard. BAH!

  32. I have been critical of the TSA since they took away by NRA silver bullet key chain.

  33. Why not address the issue for a change Ash? Do you think the government or Google or private credit agencies should be aggregating data files of private citizens for any reason other than a court ordered criminal investigation?

  34. Rat hinted at an important delineation - that which is public and given up publicly. So yes, governments and private companies are free to examine information in the public realm. This is very different then the Federal government tapping your phone or reading all your emails. They are free to track all my posts at place like this however.

    I think to suggest that information and the collecting of it led to the current financial crisis is ludicrous on its face.

  35. Why should I care if they "record" my conversations? Or, listen to them? They'll be bored out of their silly skulls.

  36. And, what's this nonsense about "privacy of medical records?"

    Look, if I'm out there in Ideeho visiting Bob, and I have a serious wreck I Want the paramedic on the scene to be able to take my drivers license, and pull up every damned medical file I have on record Anywhere.And, DNA: Do I want my DNA on record? You betcha. And everyone else's, too. My fingerprints have been on file ever since I joined the Marines. I think it's okay to have the guys down at the local jail's DNA on file.

    Look, the only way "I'm" going to jail is if the Guilty Guy gets away. I'd just as soon they catch the "Guilty" Guy.

    As for Credit information. It's what makes the world go 'round. If I'm down at Deuce's Digs in Costa Rica, and I see something I want to buy "I Can Buy It." Immediately. In "Real" time. How's that a "disadvantage?"

    Folks, as long as we have "The Constitution of the United States" in pretty much its present form, and it contains the 2nd Amendment, we'll be okay.

  37. Ash, you cannot rate two million mortgages without a computer model. The models have to be based on some rational measure. That model is based on data gathered on individuals. The architects of the models sold the concept up and down the financial food chain. They made incredible fortunes by doing so. The entire world banking system accepetd their credability.
    The models were wrong or the data twisted, probably both.

    The collection of financial data without the permission and participation of an individual is by my reading of the Fourth Amendment wrong. A consequence of the ignoring of the amendment was the creation of the data bases.

    Further more, is was illegal to use a social security number for anything other than the social security system and for tax purposes. The wide spread use of them and the data bases made identity theft possible. It made the mass securitization of mortgages possible.

    I believe it is wrong for a civil rights reason. It turned out to be deadly for the banking system and was a true weapon of mass financial destruction.

    Mass medical data can be misused as well. Suppose some analyst rates the individual health records against what is a supposed norm. If you are outside of that norm you could be rated a higher risk than average for let's say your age group. As credit is rationed so could health care. Not enough money in the system then you may be deemed to be too costly.

  38. Access to everyone's medical records will prove invaluable at cull time.

  39. Attorney Dan Monnat says Tiller was shot as he served as an usher during Sunday morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church. Monnat said Tiller's wife, Jeanne, was in the choir at the time of the shooting.Hmmm....Reformation Lutheran...WTH?

  40. All together, in Christ, whit.

    Christians to the core, the Doc was eternally forgiven of his sins.

    Ain't life grand!

  41. Uh, Deuce, I think the financial meltdown was a result of NOT taking advantage of prudent lending parameters.

    Your medical history is used, NOW. Do you think you can buy health insurance that will pay for an "Existing" condition? If you do you're going to be unpleasantly surprised when it comes time to "Collect" on a claim.

  42. Welcome to 9-10-01 Though the initiative is a work in progress, some senior counter-terrorism officials and administration policy-makers envision it as key to the national security strategy President Obama laid out last week -- one that presumes most accused terrorists have the right to contest the charges against them in a "legitimate" setting.

    The approach effectively reverses a mainstay of the Bush administration's war on terrorism, in which global counter-terrorism was treated primarily as an intelligence and military problem, not a law enforcement one. That policy led to the establishment of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; harsh interrogations; and detentions without trials.

    The "global justice" initiative starts out with the premise that virtually all suspects will end up in a U.S. or foreign court of law.

    That will be the case whether a suspected terrorist is captured on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the Philippine jungle or in a mosque in Nigeria, said one senior U.S. counter-terrorism official with knowledge of the initiative.

    "Regardless of where any bad guy is caught, we want the bureau to be in a position to put charges on them," the official said, adding that the Bush administration's emphasis on CIA and military operations often marginalized the FBI -- especially when it came to interrogating suspects

  43. "As credit is rationed so could health care"
    As credit is rationed so WILL health care...

  44. Or, as Whit puts it:

  45. Gravely Wicked:

    Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the . . . Go

  46. Access to everyone's medical records will prove invaluable at cull time.--

    Excellent answer, Whit.

    And cull time is acomin'.

    Rufus, your attitude is exactly that of my wife.

    You can always keep your vital medical records on a chain around neck for the paramedics if you want. On my drivers license it says I'm highly allergic to bees, for instance.

    I feel my medical records are my business only, unless I want otherwise. Whose business are they of anyone elses? Maybe I don't want the insurance companies getting them, or the newspapers. Not that I have anything to hide.

  47. and the Republicans barely make a sound about it--

    Actually Ash we've been around this topic a couple of times. I recall mentioning the French model (if I understand it corrctly) before.

    Nobody likes this shit. What would you suggest?

    Seriously. There are dangers not faced before.

    As for me, I get spooked out by these damned traffic cameras.

    Though I realize they've been invaluable in some court cases, etc.

    Your guy seems to be backing up on a number of fronts in this regard.

    By the way, the answer is in on the Nez Perce shooting by the Idaho State Patrol guy the other day. His cruiser dashboard mounted camera caught the whole incident. He was attacked by the two guys, was on the ground, getting the crap kicked out of him, pulled out his gun and shot them both. Case closed on that one. So, there's a case where cameras proved some real utility.

  48. As credit is rationed so WILL health care....

    Here, let me fix that for you.

    As credit is rationed so IS health care.

    There, all fixed. You're welcome.

  49. Wrong Then, Wrong Now by Andrew C. McCarthy on National Review OnlineOne attack does not a jihad make. Radical Islam followed up with a more ambitious plot to bomb various New York City landmarks — a plot stopped only because the same informant agreed to re-infiltrate the cell. But by 1994, plans were under way to murder the pope, murder the president, and blow up U.S. jumbo jets in flight over the Pacific. By 1996, Osama bin Laden was publicly calling for the global slaughter of Americans while Hezbollah and Iran were killing 19 members of the U.S. Air Force at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

    The government’s response? Its obsession at the time was the fear that federal judges might think the FBI was abusing its national-security wiretapping power — using it as a pretext for conducting ordinary criminal investigations. So in 1995, the Justice Department raised a regulatory “wall.” The effect was to bar intelligence agents and criminal investigators from “connecting the dots.” More significant, the wall fostered an ethos of risk-aversion. The message to career-minded agents was: “Take heed: The mere hypothetical (and highly unlikely) possibility of civil-liberties violations is of greater concern to us than the potential of jihadist mass-murder attacks.”

    And what good is risk-aversion if you can’t export it? In 1995, President Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 39, making the FBI, with its matrix of law-enforcement procedures, the government’s lead counterterrorism agency — even overseas, which had been the preserve of the CIA and the military, agencies operating under the quaint notion that where you have enemies and exigencies, rather than criminals and crime-scenes, you need a different, less onerous set of rules.

    How effective was the Brave New World of “global justice”?

  50. Not for everyone, YET, Rufus, including me and my family and Millions of others across the land.

    Meanwhile, millions of illegals get free healthcare @ everyone elses expense.

  51. Guy was a Lutheran. --

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, a prominent advocate for abortion rights wounded by a protester more than a decade ago, was shot and killed Sunday at a church in Wichita where he was serving as an usher and his wife was in the choir, his attorney said.

    Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church, attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said a manhunt was under way for the shooter, who fled in a car registered to a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.

    National anti-abortion groups had long focused on Tiller, whose Women's Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.

    My nominal church has become expert at writing up position statements, really eloquent ones, that straddle the fence, one leg firmly on both sides of an issue.
    The Catholics, bless 'em, haven't budged. (though no one pays much attention to the teachings any longer)

  52. While you're at it, Ash, explain why someone who is on the board of a racist organization like La Raza should be on the Supreme Court.

  53. Because only White "Males" can be Racists.
    You're Welcome.

  54. I, for one, am proud my tax dollars go in part to support the noble deeds of La Racists, ACORN, probly Southern Poverty Law Center, etc etc.

    Doing a job many Americans are unwilling to do.

  55. A Majority of Catholics, and a overwhelming Majority of "Catholic" Universities Support the Infanantacider in Chief.

    First came the Decider, all hail
    the Infanantacider.

  56. Sure it is, Doug. Everything is "rationed." You just happen to be on the "sunnyside" of the rock, currently.

    If you were a middle-aged man, or woman, with a "health condition" that just lost your job the condition of the part of the stone closest to your head would be considerably colder, and more damp.

  57. Six Killed In Hamas/Fatah Shootout In West Bank--

    If an election were held today, Hamas would probably win, I've been reading.

    Great 'partner for peace.'

  58. Well, in the end all one can do is live ones own life.

    It's the time of the year here, all too short, when the phlox blooms, my favorite flower.

    "Beauty of a few days only, but never lost forever."

  59. Our Govt will "Fix it,"
    Just ask the Canucks that come down for an MRI w/o the year wait.
    Or worse,
    Too late,
    Not at all.
    The woe we perpetrate on our offspring will make your tragic stories read like comedy.

  60. Better to have a market driven ration than one created by Barry, Harry, and Nancy, and Teddy's Ghost.

  61. Well, then, al-Bob, Walt has something for you:
    SALMON CHANTED EVENINGSomething’s fishy, people say
    A slur to briny cousins
    You don’t hear fish say that ‘bout us
    Though reasons they have dozens
    We treat them all about the same
    With hook and net and trawler
    We bait them with some eel or squid
    And sometimes a night crawler
    And all because they’re good to eat
    Their taste is quite delicious
    Salmon, trout or small mouth bass
    Just show me where the fish is
    They’re not as dumb as some do think
    They talk and sing till late
    Nearer My Cod To Thee is one
    And another Kiss Me Skate
    Come Joe Sardine In My Flying Machine
    And the popular Am l Blue
    I love to hear those good old songs
    But I sure wish they’d sing something new

  62. heh, Walt's good, isn't he! He can really toss them out.

    I hope he creates a good drinking poem/song one of these days.

    (Heh, maybe that is a drinking song!)

  63. A History of our Superiors
    74. Cadmus:

    Mad Fiddler

    This is from Wikipidia about the Beirut Law school. The paragraph also tells why so much was lost. Beirut was completely buried in mud. Today in cleaning up the damage of war, we had the first opportunity to dig up some of the past, which was right under the modern city and inaccessible.

    Beirut Law School

    Beritus (Berytus) Nutris Legum (Beirut Mother of Law)

    14 BC. Beirut’s school of law was widely known at the time. Two of Rome’s most famous jurists, Papinian and Ulpian, both natives of Phoenicia, taught at the law school under the Severan emperors. When Justinian assembled his Pandects in the 6th century, a large part of the corpus of laws were derived from these two jurists, and Justinian recognized the school as one of the three official law schools of the empire (533). Within a few years, as the result of a disastrous earthquake (551), the students were transferred to Sidon. About 30,000 were killed in Berytus alone and, along the Phoenician coast, total casualties were close to 250,000.

  64. What rufus said. Mostly.

    I also assume that everything of mine is monitored. So I endeavor to keep it lively.

  65. 2164th,

    It strikes me as an incredibly broad reading of the fourth amendment to suggest that one private individual or company cannot keep records on sales they make. Yes, many got the the computers models wrong and placed undue faith in them, so? How is that unconstitutional? Many have sold snake oil purporting that it holds many a curative power - the state cannot guard us against all marketing exaggerations nor should it - "caveat emptor" should have some play in the US, no? I can see the government committees being formed making sure all data collected, all models made from that data, are 'government inspected truth'.

    With respect to Medical records and analysts using them for rationing - they sure do, especially in the private health insurance market in the US. That does not seem like an egalitarian method of rationing health care. That should be a guiding criterion on rationing health care should it not - egalitarian?

  66. Trish, would you have a problem with the government placing a camera in your bedroom or is that information not even off limits to our over seers?

  67. We're an endangered species, you know.

    Might need a red head wildlife preserve one day soon. Someplace where the sun's not too harsh, the humidity is mild, and the bartender is a witty and generous soul.

  68. Another interesting issue on use of information:

    An individual owes loads of money to the IRS and has been bankrupt a number of times. That same individual is in line to get a reconstruction contract for work in Iraq. Should the government be able to use its IRS knowledge to aid it in choosing contractors? Damn right it should!!

  69. This could provoke something. Big Time Late-term abortion Doctor gunned down in Kansas.

    George Tiller's efficient practice.

    The state’s most efficient practitioner of this dubious art, Dr, George Tiller of Wichita, has boasted on his website of having “more experience in late abortion services with fetuses over 24 weeks than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere, more than 60,000 since 1973.

  70. Don't look to Canada, Doug; look to Massachusetts.

    The trick, Doug, is, NOT, for the Government to be the "Provider," but to organize an "Insurance" system that's available (and, affordable) to All.

    It Won't cost all that much more, Doug. You're already paying Big Bucks. You're just paying through insurance premiums, and you're NOT getting your money's worth.

    You're paying for a few people with "Chronic" conditions to revisit the emergency rooms week after week, and month after month. It would be cheaper for YOU to pay to "Cure" them, once, and for all.

    My Proof? No "taxpayer revolt" in Mass. They LIKE the new system. It's gotta tell you Something.

  71. Ash, it surprises me not that you and the majority are supine with the erosion of civil liberties. Every street thug, tyrant, totalitarian, and master manipulator through all time recognized the human capacity for denial of a universal danger.

    It is probably no different than the rest of the animal world where after the predators take down the kill, the surviving herd celebrates their escape.

    “Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of ‘emergency’. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And ‘emergency’ became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.” Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), 31st US President

  72. How a guy can perform late term abortions all week, then usher folks into the church and listen to his wife sing in the choir is beyong me.

    On the other hand, how you could do that and not want to get to church on one's knees is beyond me too.

    Ash the Rationer, can't think of any other option.

  73. 60,000 times say $5,000 per pop is 300 million is it not? Lucrative practice.

  74. 2164th,

    I'm a big fan of civil rights, right to privacy, due process and all that unlike most republicans who do scream "EMERGENCY" or, in your case and many others "911, remember 9/11" as a justification for all and sundry.

    There is a big difference between taking information given willingly and obtained through the normal course of human interaction with information gathered surreptitiously an by coercion. I"m surprised you can't see the difference.

    rufus, I know you love the Mass. forced public health insurance system but I don't think you realize how it slants the game against the consumer and for the insurance/health business. There are no cost controls - business can charge whatever they want and the public is forced to pay, collectively.

  75. Might need a red head wildlife preserve one day soon.--

    Can I be the Park Ranger, pleeease?

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. Ash, you should become an ACORN (paid) volunteer. It'd get you off the golf course, off the sailing yacht, out on the streets of America where you can do some good.

  78. Conspiracy lovers--tonight on C2C--

    JFK Assassination & Conspiracies

    George Knapp hosts broadcaster John Barbour, who'll discuss his work on the JFK assassination. Parts of Barbour's interview with the late Jim Garrison will be played.'s Mark Allin will also join the conversation and talk about the evolution of conspiracy-related media.

  79. George Knapp is an excellent host. Would like him to me on more often in place of Ian, who talks too much and says little.

  80. Ash, we have the Greatest Healthcare "Technology" on Earth. There's a reason for this. We believe in the Profit Motive.

    The way you keep the providers/insurance companies honest is through co-pays. This is what encourages the customer to "shop" a little.

  81. For awhile I thought maybe Castro and the mob had teamed up to get Kennedy. Now I'm leaning to Oswald did it alone. Wish some big revelation would come out so the mystery was solved.

  82. Take the profit motive away, and put the decisions in the hands of apparatchiks, soon we'll have nothing to be proud of, that's for sure.

  83. The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M.-
    And now, from the mold of the Novice in Chief...
    Everybody acts like the Company that was selling as many vehicles Worldwide as Toyota.
    (1 - 2, or 2 - 1)
    When in fact, they were doing just fine, except for "Legacy Costs"
    BHO Could have taken his and Rufus's Experiment in Healthcare out on the UAW "workers" at our expense (far cheaper than BHO OneCare for the nation)
    ...and let GM drop that anchor, hire some real labor, and get on with business.
    Instead, we'll get something that makes TARP look like a beauty queen.
    ...and lose one of the World's Great Automakers.

  84. I heard Ian Pundita or whoever, just long enough to recognize the name, and quickly changed stations.
    It has literally been decades since hearing that twirp.

  85. "It is probably no different than the rest of the animal world where after the predators take down the kill, the surviving herd celebrates their escape."
    Please, let's not demean Animals!
    Does everyone know the origin of

    "Thrown to the Wolves."?
    Meanwhile, there's a story every day of dogs, and even occasionally cats, sacrificing themselves for people, or more commonly, mom's brood.
    ...or suckling the occasional odd duck or hamster, or whatever.

  86. "How a guy can perform late term abortions all week, then usher folks into the church and listen to his wife sing in the choir is beyong me."
    He can't.

  87. Ian Pudenda? I kinda like Ian.

    He can't.

    heh, right you are.

  88. But Rufus:
    The Dems are already on the Public Record in favor of a setup that will run private Insurance Companies out of Business.
    Romney lost to Crazy John, last I heard, the rest was history, as "Moderate Patriot" Powell endorsed the Marxist, as did many intellectuals and pseudo's on the "right."

  89. al-Bob softens up the cerebellum with some Ambien before tripping off into late nite land.

  90. Yes, Doug, and that just Might happen. My point is that if the Republicans "just say no" the Dems might steamroll right over them and give us Cuba II.

    On the other hand, however, if the Pubs would push an "alternative," like, perhaps, Romney's Massachusetts Experiment, they just might peel enough dems off to get the job done.

    I am, however, not Optimistic.

  91. Man, this is getting Ugly, again. Oil is right at $67.00 bbl, and Wholesale Unleaded Gasoline is $1.91.

    That should translate out to about $2.65 at the pump. We might not get a "recovery."

    I think if we wake up July 15 to $3.00 gasoline we might as well just go back to bed.

  92. My prediction is it's going to be energy that gets Obumble. Most people don't care much about foreign policy, or domestic matters that don't seem to affect them, but the price at the pump, to heat their homes or apartments, the cost of food when transportation costs go up, unemployment---I think one day the halo will have slipped off Obumble's head.

    No drilling.
    No nukes.
    Nyet on coal.
    No shale.
    No nothin' really.

    Just a lot of Hollywood partying, jettin' around, and with the arabs.

  93. Greetings,

    Welcome to the 20th issue of the Idaho Energy Newsletter. We hope to bring regional journalists a collection of recent news in the energy field, with an emphasis on nuclear energy. This newsletter is a product of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. (, which has proposed the Idaho Energy Complex, a large advanced nuclear reactor with low cooling water requirements located about 65 miles southeast of Boise, in Elmore County. Company officials plan to submit a Combined Operating License Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2010. The approval process is expected to take three years and cost $80 million. Construction could begin as soon as late 2012 and finish with power generation beginning in late 2016.

    Currently, there are 439 nuclear power plants in 30 countries, mostly in North America and Europe, and another 35 plants in 12 countries are under construction. Globally, there are 400 new reactors proposed in 50 new countries.

    You may also be interested in Don Gillispie’s blog at Don, the CEO of AEHI, gives his take on energy-related issues and we invite you to visit and comment.

    Please call or write if you have any questions,

    Martin Johncox

    Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.

    Elmore County Commission to discuss nuclear plant rezone June 8
    The fate of the only proposed nuclear plant by a public company west of the Rocky Mountains may be decided on Monday, June 8. The three-member Elmore County Commission is set to discuss the issue, after hearing more than four hours of testimony in April. Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. has asked the commission to rezone 1,300 acres of land, 200 of which would be for a proposed power plant and the remainder to continue being farmed as a buffer. At the June 8 meeting, the commission will not take any more testimony and commissioners may or may not vote on the rezone. By law, the commission must deliberate and vote publicly. Around 500 people came to the April 22 hearing to support the rezone.

  94. News letter also says Obumble is okaying a deal Bush negotiated to help the United Arab Emirates build a nuclear plant.

    heh, but we shut down Yucca Mountain here.

    What a revoltin' development.

  95. Hawaii's started in '93, still haven't gotten around to refreshing my memory of what happened.
    Do know that just last year they came out with some extension of coverage for everyone, but after a few months stopped it when they noticed everyone was canceling their existing insurance.
    Too bad DC Pols are not as sane as Hawaii's Dems/Moderate But Sane GOP Gov Lingle.

  96. I was priviledged to see the whale blown up live on TV, al-Doug!

    Churchill quotes--

    15. Alex:

    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965);

    We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

    There is no such thing as a good tax.

    Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

    We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

    An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last.

    The problems of victory are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but they are no less difficult.

    From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.

    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

    Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
    Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

    Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
    Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

    A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

    Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.

    If you are going to go through hell, keep going.

  97. Churchill quotes continued--

    It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

    You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

    If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.

    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.

    History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

    Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.

    The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.

    A sheep in sheep’s clothing. (On Clement Atlee)

    A modest man, who has much to be modest about. (On Clement Atlee)

    I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

    The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

    To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

    Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.

  98. Churchill quotes continued--

    Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.

    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

    Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others.

    The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.

    From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.
    -“The Sinews of Peace” speech, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, March 5, 1945
    If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.

    Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.

    Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.

    The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.

    If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

    You ask, What is our policy? I will say; “It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.” You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory—victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.

    We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

    Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fall, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
    Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour!”