Saturday, December 18, 2010
Read his story here
Monday, December 6, 2010
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Dec. 6, 2010
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING'
WASHINGTON -- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the expansion of the Department’s national “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign to hundreds of Walmart stores across the country—launching a new partnership between DHS and Walmart to help the American public play an active role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation.
“Homeland security starts with hometown security, and each of us plays a critical role in keeping our country and communities safe,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I applaud Walmart for joining the ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign. This partnership will help millions of shoppers across the nation identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to law enforcement authorities.”
The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign—originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and funded, in part, by $13 million from DHS’ Transit Security Grant Program—is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.
More than 230 Walmart stores nationwide launched the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign today, with a total of 588 Walmart stores in 27 states joining in the coming weeks. A short video message, available here, will play at select checkout locations to remind shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity.
Over the past five months, DHS has worked with its federal, state, local and private sector partners, as well as the Department of Justice, to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign and Nationwide SAR Initiative to communities throughout the country—including the recent state-wide expansions of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign across Minnesota and New Jersey. Partners include the Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, sports and general aviation industries, and state and local fusion centers across the country.
In the coming months, the Department will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign nationally with public education materials and outreach tools designed to help America’s businesses, communities and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the county safe.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
From Reuters, here's why:
(Reuters) - Afghan security forces are freeing captured senior Taliban for payment or political motives, with President Hamid Karzai and his powerful brother among those authorizing and requesting releases.
The practice is so systemic that the Taliban have a committee focused on getting their fighters out of jail. It undermines the deterrent effect of arrest and the potential of the prisoner population as a card to play in peace talks, analysts say.
The releases, which were confirmed to Reuters by several sources familiar with a range of cases, also raise questions about the capacity and political will of Afghan security forces meant to be taking over from foreign troops starting next year.
U.S. forces will begin drawing down numbers from next July and NATO hopes to meet Karzai's 2014 target for all security to be provided by Afghan police and military.
But cases uncovered by Reuters including that of Ghulam Haidar, a top insurgent in the southern Taliban heartland of Kandahar, suggest that a web of complex loyalties and widespread corruption are undermining the fight against the insurgency.
Ghulam Haidar, meaning "servant of God," is a common name in Afghanistan so when Canadian forces turned one of the most dangerous men in Kandahar city over to their Afghan counterparts in March, they may not have realized who he was.
Days later he was walking free again, according to three sources who have investigated prisoner releases or have seen documents about Haidar's capture. They asked not to be named because they are not authorized to release information.
"They took this guy into custody in mid-March, but he was out again in a few days. This is a classic example of what has been happening," one former Western official told Reuters.
A Kabul-based source with links to Western intelligence services confirmed Haidar was a Taliban leader known to have a major role in the insurgency around the city.
Yet his freedom was requested by Karzai's younger brother Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar provincial council.
Dubbed "AWK" by Westerners working in Kandahar, he has an iron grip on the city but his loyalties are considered less solid. A U.S. government cable dated 2009, released by WikiLeaks, described him as a corrupt drug trafficker.
"When Ghulam Haidar was in (Afghan) custody AWK asked for his release," said a second source, who rejected the idea that Haidar could have been set free because he was a double agent.
"If the Afghan government had good agents within the Taliban things should have gotten better -- but that is obviously not the case," the source added.
Ahmad Wali Karzai said he had never asked for the release of a Taliban prisoner and had not heard of Ghulam Haidar.
"I am the person most wanted by the Taliban, with nine suicide attacks against me," he told Reuters by telephone.
Hat Tip to Christopher Fountain who properly asks: Why waste another American life?
Really; who in the hell needs this shit?