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Old 11-29-2005, 04:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is the DoD overstepping it's authority?

Samcol started an interesting topic about Miami's police department doing a random show of force to deter terrorism. There is general agreement that this is not the best use of city resources, but Roachboy brought to light the significance of this course of action if it occurred at the state or federal level.

I have had a med check and I have no compelling desire to wear an aluminum foil hat, but I sincerely believe that the Department of Defense is taking measures that could easily lead to a police state.

The topic title would imply that a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer is looked for, but of course there is nothing simple about judging what the proper boundaries of the Pentagon should be. I will offer my concerns with the hope of encouraging a larger discussion of the proper role of the Department of Defense and of our military. (Opinions regarding meds and hats are welcome in a pm)

Katrina raised everyone's awareness regarding our readiness for a regional disaster. We discussed the problems to death in these forums, and I think we can all agree that there was a lack of coordination at all levels of government.

Not long after Katrina, the pandemic response study that had been languishing for years was completed. I shared the alarm with many others that noted that no central coordinating authority was addressed. When a study has been tasked with a plan to respond to a specific threat, how is it possible to leave out that essential piece? At the same time scientists were meeting to discuss the report, Bush offered the trial balloon that the US military should be in charge in the case of a pandemic. I don't think it takes a conspiracy theorist to recognize what an extremely bad idea that is. In my opinion, local first response teams already established by Homeland Security funds are better suited to meeting a pandemic threat. Locally, we have our police and statewide, we have our Nation Guard, if folks choose to get stupid. Bush's idea to deploy the military would solve nothing that wouldn't have already been addressed at the state and local level. So why did he recommend that the US military be placed in charge of a health epidemic? (Cue X-Files theme music)

The following article intensifies my concerns, but please allow me to withhold my opinion of it for now. (Hubby, just got home from Chemo)

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112705X.shtml

Quote:
Pentagon Expanding Its Domestic Surveillance Activity
By Walter Pincus
The Washington Post

Sunday 27 November 2005

Fears of post-9/11 terrorism spur proposals for new powers.

The Defense Department has expanded its programs aimed at gathering and analyzing intelligence within the United States, creating new agencies, adding personnel and seeking additional legal authority for domestic security activities in the post-9/11 world.

The moves have taken place on several fronts. The White House is considering expanding the power of a little-known Pentagon agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, which was created three years ago. The proposal, made by a presidential commission, would transform CIFA from an office that coordinates Pentagon security efforts - including protecting military facilities from attack - to one that also has authority to investigate crimes within the United States such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage.

The Pentagon has pushed legislation on Capitol Hill that would create an intelligence exception to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information gathered about U.S. citizens with the Pentagon, CIA and other intelligence agencies, as long as the data is deemed to be related to foreign intelligence. Backers say the measure is needed to strengthen investigations into terrorism or weapons of mass destruction.

The proposals, and other Pentagon steps aimed at improving its ability to analyze counterterrorism intelligence collected inside the United States, have drawn complaints from civil liberties advocates and a few members of Congress, who say the Defense Department's push into domestic collection is proceeding with little scrutiny by the Congress or the public.

"We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America. This is a huge leap without even a [congressional] hearing," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a recent interview.

Wyden has since persuaded lawmakers to change the legislation, attached to the fiscal 2006 intelligence authorization bill, to address some of his concerns, but he still believes hearings should be held. Among the changes was the elimination of a provision to let Defense Intelligence Agency officers hide the fact that they work for the government when they approach people who are possible sources of intelligence in the United States.

Modifications also were made in the provision allowing the FBI to share information with the Pentagon and CIA, requiring the approval of the director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, for that to occur, and requiring the Pentagon to make reports to Congress on the subject. Wyden said the legislation "now strikes a much fairer balance by protecting critical rights for our country's citizens and advancing intelligence operations to meet our security needs."

Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the data-sharing amendment would still give the Pentagon much greater access to the FBI's massive collection of data, including information on citizens not connected to terrorism or espionage.

The measure, she said, "removes one of the few existing privacy protections against the creation of secret dossiers on Americans by government intelligence agencies." She said the Pentagon's "intelligence agencies are quietly expanding their domestic presence without any public debate."

Lt. Col. Chris Conway, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said that the most senior Defense Department intelligence officials are aware of the sensitivities related to their expanded domestic activities. At the same time, he said, the Pentagon has to have the intelligence necessary to protect its facilities and personnel at home and abroad.

"In the age of terrorism," Conway said, "the U.S. military and its facilities are targets, and we have to be prepared within our authorities to defend them before something happens."

Among the steps already taken by the Pentagon that enhanced its domestic capabilities was the establishment after 9/11 of Northern Command, or Northcom, in Colorado Springs, to provide military forces to help in reacting to terrorist threats in the continental United States. Today, Northcom's intelligence centers in Colorado and Texas fuse reports from CIFA, the FBI and other U.S. agencies, and are staffed by 290 intelligence analysts. That is more than the roughly 200 analysts working for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and far more than those at the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, each of the military services has begun its own post-9/11 collection of domestic intelligence, primarily aimed at gathering data on potential terrorist threats to bases and other military facilities at home and abroad. For example, Eagle Eyes is a program set up by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, which "enlists the eyes and ears of Air Force members and citizens in the war on terror," according to the program's Web site.

The Marine Corps has expanded its domestic intelligence operations and developed internal policies in 2004 to govern oversight of the "collection, retention and dissemination of information concerning U.S. persons," according to a Marine Corps order approved on April 30, 2004.

The order recognizes that in the post-9/11 era, the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity will be "increasingly required to perform domestic missions," and as a result, "there will be increased instances whereby Marine intelligence activities may come across information regarding U.S. persons." Among domestic targets listed are people in the United States who it "is reasonably believed threaten the physical security of Defense Department employees, installations, operations or official visitors."

Perhaps the prime illustration of the Pentagon's intelligence growth is CIFA, which remains one of its least publicized intelligence agencies. Neither the size of its staff, said to be more than 1,000, nor its budget is public, said Conway, the Pentagon spokesman. The CIFA brochure says the agency's mission is to "transform" the way counterintelligence is done "fully utilizing 21st century tools and resources."

One CIFA activity, threat assessments, involves using "leading edge information technologies and data harvesting," according to a February 2004 Pentagon budget document. This involves "exploiting commercial data" with the help of outside contractors including White Oak Technologies Inc. of Silver Spring, and MZM Inc., a Washington-based research organization, according to the Pentagon document.

For CIFA, counterintelligence involves not just collecting data but also "conducting activities to protect DoD and the nation against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, assassinations, and terrorist activities," its brochure states.

CIFA's abilities would increase considerably under the proposal being reviewed by the White House, which was made by a presidential commission on intelligence chaired by retired appellate court judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). The commission urged that CIFA be given authority to carry out domestic criminal investigations and clandestine operations against potential threats inside the United States.

The Silberman-Robb panel found that because the separate military services concentrated on investigations within their areas, "no entity views non-service-specific and department-wide investigations as its primary responsibility." A 2003 Defense Department directive kept CIFA from engaging in law enforcement activities such as "the investigation, apprehension, or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of criminal offenses against the laws of the United States."

The commission's proposal would change that, giving CIFA "new counterespionage and law enforcement authorities," covering treason, espionage, foreign or terrorist sabotage, and even economic espionage. That step, the panel said, could be taken by presidential order and Pentagon directive without congressional approval.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the CIFA expansion "is being studied at the DoD [Defense Department] level," adding that intelligence director Negroponte would have a say in the matter. A Pentagon spokesman said, "The [CIFA] matter is before the Hill committees."

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a recent interview that CIFA has performed well in the past and today has no domestic intelligence collection activities. He was not aware of moves to enhance its authority.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has not had formal hearings on CIFA or other domestic intelligence programs, but its staff has been briefed on some of the steps the Pentagon has already taken. "If a member asks the chairman" - Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) - for hearings, "I am sure he would respond," said Bill Duhnke, the panel's staff director.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think it is an overstep. We already have several intelligence agencies, CIA, NSA, FBI, to handle intelligence/counter intelligence. On top of that the US has other means of policing its laws such as the ATF and Secret Service. I think it is extremely dangerous to even consider giving the military any means to get involved in the process. Hopefully this thing will never make it into law.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe the conclusion was only something like the US military could hope to stop a pandemic from spreading, at least inside the US, and even so, it would not be able to act fast enough.

If we had another 1918 flu incomming, there isn't much choice between the tinfoil hat club vrs 20 million dead. Its easy to put on the Reynolds Wrap and think of a purposeful release of a virus, which would then allow the evil president (or perhaps a powermongering vice president) to declare marshal law, one which is never lifted, but virus'es can be trickey, and have a tendency to go away. If they really wanted to do this and didn't mind a few 100k dead I've have set off a small nuke in a US city, blamed the terrorists, and taken over in that direction.
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
I think it is an overstep. We already have several intelligence agencies, CIA, NSA, FBI, to handle intelligence/counter intelligence. On top of that the US has other means of policing its laws such as the ATF and Secret Service. I think it is extremely dangerous to even consider giving the military any means to get involved in the process. Hopefully this thing will never make it into law.
That pretty much sums up my feelings exactly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
I believe the conclusion was only something like the US military could hope to stop a pandemic from spreading, at least inside the US, and even so, it would not be able to act fast enough.
This is true. If a dangerous deadly flu were to break out there really is absolutely nothnig the military can do. The only thing to even slow something like this down is to vaccinate or give that one flu medicine.. (i forget the name of it.. ... .. hrm... tamiflu i think) and even both of those can be ineffective. In this day and age, with something like a flu virus, quarantine is pointless/useless.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
This is true. If a dangerous deadly flu were to break out there really is absolutely nothnig the military can do. The only thing to even slow something like this down is to vaccinate or give that one flu medicine.. (i forget the name of it.. ... .. hrm... tamiflu i think) and even both of those can be ineffective. In this day and age, with something like a flu virus, quarantine is pointless/useless.
Not true. The military could prevent the mass population movements that help spread the disease.

Research how the Black Plague was spread. First started in one city, and from there on out it was spread by those hoping to avoid it... spreading it accross Europe and back to Asia. While the flu is effectively non-preventable at a local scale, the Military could provide a cork in order to plug the hole in the preverbial sinking ship.

Is this overstepping the bounds of the military? Yes.
Am I against this? Only if there no proper restrictions of time of action and who controls it.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Not true. The military could prevent the mass population movements that help spread the disease.
I don't see how the military can prevent mass population movements, I think that's a pipe dream. You can't quarantine Manhattan. All it takes is a few infected people moving down the road to seed the next epidemic, and so on, and so on. No matter how heroically you try, it's going to be like holding sand in a sieve.
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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By the time the flu is recognized in any given area it will already have spread so much from that area that a quarantine of that area would be pointless. By that time people will have gotten on to planes to other parts of the country, etc.
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObieX
By the time the flu is recognized in any given area it will already have spread so much from that area that a quarantine of that area would be pointless. By that time people will have gotten on to planes to other parts of the country, etc.
And that is being said by the CDC and the scientists/researchers that have done the computer modeling for the spread of a pandemic. Bush must know this, but he proposes military control. It makes absolutely no sense, unless there is another agenda. Gosh! Not our president? /sarcasm
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Imho, it still sets in motion the right pieces for when an election comes up. What are people going to do?

You'd have Limbaugh, Fox, Ann C. and all those other righties claiming, "it was for the best and Bush will lift as soon as all is safe, meanwhile the Left is just making something out of nothing".

In other words the same blind following and spins they give now.
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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/cue storm trooper music
/sound crinkle,crinkle
/em hands out tinfoil sombreros
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
/cue storm trooper music
/sound crinkle,crinkle
/em hands out tinfoil sombreros
Possibly, hopefully... But when you have a VP that platforms for torture, you have a President that says he plans to bring the troops home soon, and then says, the troops won't leave until everything is accomplished over there.

You have a President claiming Martial Law will be needed to contain this "pandemic" yet, by the time they see it, it'll have contaminated just about everywhere in the US.

You have a President that constantly questions the patriotism of the people who disagree with him. Who has the "you're with us or against us" mentality.

Sorry but when I see all those and then I hear he wants martial law ready, my mind turns to asking why? A flu that may or may not come, that may or may not be a pandemic, that may or may not be as bad as they believe..... while there are vaccines coming..... dunno call me paranoid but the suspicion is there, and should be.
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I admit that I have never been suspicious of an administration before this one (call me Pollyanna). I believe this administration has garnered the right to a healthy skepticism at the very least. Mojo, if you believe that is worthy of a tinfoil hat, I can live with it as I said in my OP. I would rather be alert to red flags and address them now, but that goes to my basic control issues. I've never been one to throw up my hands and say, "gee, how did somebody else allow this to happen?"

I really appreciated your first post.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yall are freaking out simply cause of your hatred of Bush.

Are you HONESTLY telling me, you'd rather the President of the US do absolutely nothing in case of a pandemic?

That while you argued he should have stepped down in the case of Katrina... but in a pandemic that would surely kill millions you'd rather him sit idle? Effective or not I would DEMAND my President at least TRY.

You would too, and you know it. Dont let your hatred blind you.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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could someone tell me how many people world wide have died of bird flu? can someone tell me how many cases of bird flu have existed in humans world wide? can someone tell me how contagious bird flu is in people?

Look up that information and tell me we have a pandemic on our hands.....
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekna
could someone tell me how many people world wide have died of bird flu? can someone tell me how many cases of bird flu have existed in humans world wide? can someone tell me how contagious bird flu is in people?

Look up that information and tell me we have a pandemic on our hands.....
at last report that i read some 64 people have died worldwide of bird flu.
just this afternoon i read a news article about a batch of quail was identified with a milder version of bird flu in sun valley california.
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have also heard that there has been 0 cases of human to human transfer of the bird flu...

that doesn't sound like a pandemic to me
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Your right, there is no threat, viruses have never mutated or adapted.

Bush should undeclare marshall law and send the troops back since there is no pandemic.
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekna
I have also heard that there has been 0 cases of human to human transfer of the bird flu...

that doesn't sound like a pandemic to me
I haven't seen troops in the streets yet either.

It's called "preperation". Considering that the expert opinions seem to show that we will have a pandemic SOON, just because there is not one yet means little.

I have to agree with Seaver. How anyone can bitch and moan about the lack of preperation and support for an unforseen disaster like a hurricane while criticizing one potential plan for a disaster we see coming on the horizon is very confusing.
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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A hurricaine is an unforseen disaster? we have been hit by multiple hurricains every year since the dawn of time how is that unforseen?

Having a virus suddenly mutate into something it is not doesn't happen often. Should we start prepairing for AIDS to become airborn? Maybe we should start preparing for alien invasions. Or maybe world wide floods.....
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raveneye
I don't see how the military can prevent mass population movements, I think that's a pipe dream. You can't quarantine Manhattan. All it takes is a few infected people moving down the road to seed the next epidemic, and so on, and so on. No matter how heroically you try, it's going to be like holding sand in a sieve.
isn't manhattan an island? Methinks that would be pretty easy to quarantine -simply shut down any bridges and tunnels and air traffic - which can be accomplished with a small number of troops - and have naval vessels standing by to stop anyone trying to flee by boat.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I think we should have plans ready for any pandemic, not just avian flu. I think it should be controlled by the CDC; I see no reason to plan for martial law at this point. I think the idea that the choice between 1. martial law and 2. doing nothing is simple strawman argumentation. Is there any proof or reason that the military would be more effective at enforcing an area-wide quarantine than local DHEC/police/CDC personel - in the event that a quarantine would be enforceable and efficienct to start with? I think CDC, NIH, etc should absolutely be thinking of countermeasures for any modern disease outbreak. I don't see any real reason to support martial law.

edit: more to the point of the OP, I think adding another domestic intelligence bureau is likely to waste tax dollars and add to bloated, inefficient government. I'm not sure that I think it's a bad idea to allow the FBI and CIA share information; only that they should have limits on what information they can collect in the first place. For that matter, I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to share that information with the military when relevant, under the same limitations as the content. The military should obviously have independent information analysts...I'm not sure I see the benefit of them having a huge redundant department.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:25 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekna
A hurricaine is an unforseen disaster? we have been hit by multiple hurricains every year since the dawn of time how is that unforseen?

Having a virus suddenly mutate into something it is not doesn't happen often. Should we start prepairing for AIDS to become airborn? Maybe we should start preparing for alien invasions. Or maybe world wide floods.....
But when medical experts have been predicting the mutation for a long time, shouldn't we be prepared? Kind of like all those posts after Katrina from those on the left showing how that type of hurricane was believed to be coming for many years, and bitching about the government ignoring it.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:31 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekna
A hurricaine is an unforseen disaster? we have been hit by multiple hurricains every year since the dawn of time how is that unforseen?

Having a virus suddenly mutate into something it is not doesn't happen often. Should we start prepairing for AIDS to become airborn? Maybe we should start preparing for alien invasions. Or maybe world wide floods.....
I'm almost certian that the bird flu will die with a whisper. Almost. But almost isn't good enough. What if I'm wrong? What if this thing does what the worst projections claim? We could lose hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions. It's better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtestudo
But when medical experts have been predicting the mutation for a long time, shouldn't we be prepared? Kind of like all those posts after Katrina from those on the left showing how that type of hurricane was believed to be coming for many years, and bitching about the government ignoring it.
Maybe I'm missing something here (haven't read the entire thread) but, at least outside TFP nobody's saying the government shouldn't be prepared in many ways, they're just pointing out that involving the U.S. military is an overreaction that is likely to do more harm than good.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:32 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raveneye
I don't see how the military can prevent mass population movements, I think that's a pipe dream. You can't quarantine Manhattan. All it takes is a few infected people moving down the road to seed the next epidemic, and so on, and so on. No matter how heroically you try, it's going to be like holding sand in a sieve.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:51 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highthief
isn't manhattan an island? Methinks that would be pretty easy to quarantine -simply shut down any bridges and tunnels and air traffic - which can be accomplished with a small number of troops - and have naval vessels standing by to stop anyone trying to flee by boat.
Well, and how long are you going to quarantine Manhattan, until the disease runs its course through all those 1.6 million people? How long is that going to take, 5 years, maybe? How are those 1.6 mil going to eat during that time?
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Old 12-01-2005, 03:24 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
Randall Flagg is not impressed.


If there is anyone here that doesn't get the reference, it is from a Stephen King novel, based on a military research accident that releases a virus. The TV movie sucked, but the book was good.
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Old 12-01-2005, 05:45 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raveneye
Well, and how long are you going to quarantine Manhattan, until the disease runs its course through all those 1.6 million people? How long is that going to take, 5 years, maybe? How are those 1.6 mil going to eat during that time?
Not to mention it's an island in a river, not the ocean. It would take 15 minutes to swim to NJ, not to mention the piers all the way up and down it. What are you gonna do, build a fence around NYC? I think you'd have people who weren't sick (possibly incubating or carriers) leaving any way they could think.
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Old 12-01-2005, 08:10 PM   #30 (permalink)
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the US should have mass disaster plans but to sit here and say a bird flu is coming we need to be able to do martial law is fear mongering. again I state that if we make plans to have martial law for a non-existant panademic then we should start planning for alien invasions, asteroid strikes, and massive floods produced by the melting of ice caps. There is a difference between being prepaired and causing unnessary fear in people. Bush used fear to gain a lot of power after 9/11 now he wants more people so he is going back to old tricks.
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Old 12-02-2005, 08:05 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I think the important thing to remember here is the evolution is only a theory, viruses (viri?) are irreducibly complex, genetic mutation does not happen, and that because of these three facts there can only be a animal to human virus if america's all powerful, personal diety wills it so. If i recall correctly, this being seemed to swear such things off after the big flood.

Verdict: we have nothing to worry about.
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:20 AM   #32 (permalink)
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actually filtherton according to the bible the rainbow signifies God's promise to never destroy the world with water again but it also promises that he will destroy it one last time but with fire instead of water. There is no promise not to cause a plague again
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:16 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Fair enough. But that doesn't matter, because genetic mutation is just a myth associated with the flawed theory of evolution.
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:57 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Filtherton, it is obvious to me that you are subtly supporting Lebell's thinly veiled reference to intelligent design. Therefore, I can only assume that you must have a previously unknown mission to subvert the minds of all TFP members. You have been a member since 2003? That speaks volumes to the "coincidence" of your presence, and we all know what *that* means.

I hope I have served a higher purpose in reminding everyone here to remain vigilant and steadfast, particularly when it comes to obvious saboteurs, like yourself, who wish to destroy all that American's hold dear.

Give it up, Filtherton. You cannot have another slice of my apple pie.

Ustwo, it's a joke
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:54 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I am taking off the tin foil hat now. Even the military is against this Pentagon move.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121405Z.shtml

Quote:
Is the Pentagon Spying on Americans?
By Lisa Myers, Douglas Pasternak, Rich Gardella and the NBC Investigative Unit
MSNBC

Tuesday 13 December 2005

Secret database obtained by NBC News tracks "suspicious" domestic groups.
Washington - A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military.

A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a "threat" and one of more than 1,500 "suspicious incidents" across the country over a recent 10-month period.

"This peaceful, educationally oriented group being a threat is incredible," says Evy Grachow, a member of the Florida group called The Truth Project.

"This is incredible," adds group member Rich Hersh. "It's an example of paranoia by our government," he says. "We're not doing anything illegal."

The Defense Department document is the first inside look at how the U.S. military has stepped up intelligence collection inside this country since 9/11, which now includes the monitoring of peaceful anti-war and counter-military recruitment groups.

"I think Americans should be concerned that the military, in fact, has reached too far," says NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin.

The Department of Defense declined repeated requests by NBC News for an interview. A spokesman said that all domestic intelligence information is "properly collected" and involves "protection of Defense Department installations, interests and personnel." The military has always had a legitimate "force protection" mission inside the U.S. to protect its personnel and facilities from potential violence. But the Pentagon now collects domestic intelligence that goes beyond legitimate concerns about terrorism or protecting U.S. military installations, say critics.

Four Dozen Anti-War Meetings

The DOD database obtained by NBC News includes nearly four dozen anti-war meetings or protests, including some that have taken place far from any military installation, post or recruitment center. One "incident" included in the database is a large anti-war protest at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles last March that included effigies of President Bush and anti-war protest banners. Another incident mentions a planned protest against military recruiters last December in Boston and a planned protest last April at McDonald's National Salute to America's Heroes - a military air and sea show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Fort Lauderdale protest was deemed not to be a credible threat and a column in the database concludes: "US group exercising constitutional rights." Two-hundred and forty-three other incidents in the database were discounted because they had no connection to the Department of Defense - yet they all remained in the database.

The DOD has strict guidelines, adopted in December 1982, that limit the extent to which they can collect and retain information on U.S. citizens.

Still, the DOD database includes at least 20 references to U.S. citizens or U.S. persons. Other documents obtained by NBC News show that the Defense Department is clearly increasing its domestic monitoring activities. One DOD briefing document stamped "secret" concludes: "[W]e have noted increased communication and encouragement between protest groups using the [I]nternet," but no "significant connection" between incidents, such as "reoccurring instigators at protests" or "vehicle descriptions."

The increased monitoring disturbs some military observers.

"It means that they're actually collecting information about who's at those protests, the descriptions of vehicles at those protests," says Arkin. "On the domestic level, this is unprecedented," he says. "I think it's the beginning of enormous problems and enormous mischief for the military."

Some former senior DOD intelligence officials share his concern. George Lotz, a 30-year career DOD official and former U.S. Air Force colonel, held the post of Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight from 1998 until his retirement last May. Lotz, who recently began a consulting business to help train and educate intelligence agencies and improve oversight of their collection process, believes some of the information the DOD has been collecting is not justified.

Make Sure They Are Not Just Going Crazy

"Somebody needs to be monitoring to make sure they are just not going crazy and reporting things on U.S. citizens without any kind of reasoning or rationale," says Lotz. "I demonstrated with Martin Luther King in 1963 in Washington," he says, "and I certainly didn't want anybody putting my name on any kind of list. I wasn't any threat to the government," he adds.

The military's penchant for collecting domestic intelligence is disturbing - but familiar - to Christopher Pyle, a former Army intelligence officer.

"Some people never learn," he says. During the Vietnam War, Pyle blew the whistle on the Defense Department for monitoring and infiltrating anti-war and civil rights protests when he published an article in the Washington Monthly in January 1970.

The public was outraged and a lengthy congressional investigation followed that revealed that the military had conducted investigations on at least 100,000 American citizens. Pyle got more than 100 military agents to testify that they had been ordered to spy on U.S. citizens - many of them anti-war protestors and civil rights advocates. In the wake of the investigations, Pyle helped Congress write a law placing new limits on military spying inside the U.S.

But Pyle, now a professor at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts, says some of the information in the database suggests the military may be dangerously close to repeating its past mistakes.

"The documents tell me that military intelligence is back conducting investigations and maintaining records on civilian political activity. The military made promises that it would not do this again," he says.

Too Much Data?

Some Pentagon observers worry that in the effort to thwart the next 9/11, the U.S. military is now collecting too much data, both undermining its own analysis efforts by forcing analysts to wade through a mountain of rubble in order to obtain potentially key nuggets of intelligence and entangling U.S. citizens in the U.S. military's expanding and quiet collection of domestic threat data.

Two years ago, the Defense Department directed a little known agency, Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, to establish and "maintain a domestic law enforcement database that includes information related to potential terrorist threats directed against the Department of Defense." Then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz also established a new reporting mechanism known as a TALON or Threat and Local Observation Notice report. TALONs now provide "non-validated domestic threat information" from military units throughout the United States that are collected and retained in a CIFA database. The reports include details on potential surveillance of military bases, stolen vehicles, bomb threats and planned anti-war protests. In the program's first year, the agency received more than 5,000 TALON reports. The database obtained by NBC News is generated by Counterintelligence Field Activity.

CIFA is becoming the superpower of data mining within the U.S. national security community. Its "operational and analytical records" include "reports of investigation, collection reports, statements of individuals, affidavits, correspondence, and other documentation pertaining to investigative or analytical efforts" by the DOD and other U.S. government agencies to identify terrorist and other threats. Since March 2004, CIFA has awarded at least $33 million in contracts to corporate giants Lockheed Martin, Unisys Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation and Northrop Grumman to develop databases that comb through classified and unclassified government data, commercial information and Internet chatter to help sniff out terrorists, saboteurs and spies.

One of the CIFA-funded database projects being developed by Northrop Grumman and dubbed "Person Search," is designed "to provide comprehensive information about people of interest." It will include the ability to search government as well as commercial databases. Another project, "The Insider Threat Initiative," intends to "develop systems able to detect, mitigate and investigate insider threats," as well as the ability to "identify and document normal and abnormal activities and 'behaviors,'" according to the Computer Sciences Corp. contract. A separate CIFA contract with a small Virginia-based defense contractor seeks to develop methods "to track and monitor activities of suspect individuals."

"The military has the right to protect its installations, and to protect its recruiting services," says Pyle. "It does not have the right to maintain extensive files on lawful protests of their recruiting activities, or of their base activities," he argues.

Lotz agrees.

"The harm in my view is that these people ought to be allowed to demonstrate, to hold a banner, to peacefully assemble whether they agree or disagree with the government's policies," the former DOD intelligence official says.

"Slippery Slope"

Bert Tussing, director of Homeland Defense and Security Issues at the U.S. Army War College and a former Marine, says "there is very little that could justify the collection of domestic intelligence by the Unites States military. If we start going down this slippery slope it would be too easy to go back to a place we never want to see again," he says.

Some of the targets of the U.S. military's recent collection efforts say they have already gone too far.

"It's absolute paranoia - at the highest levels of our government," says Hersh of The Truth Project.

"I mean, we're based here at the Quaker Meeting House," says Truth Project member Marie Zwicker, "and several of us are Quakers."

The Defense Department refused to comment on how it obtained information on the Lake Worth meeting or why it considers a dozen or so anti-war activists a "threat."
Here is a fun note, boys and girls. Bangor submarine base has outsourced their base protection. Once, fully armed Marines greated us at the gate and we went through an hour of personnel and vehicle inspections. Now, some little gal whose gun is bigger than she is, waves anyone onto the base. Do I need to remind you of how many nukes are on this base?

The military is no longer keeping this highly sensitive base secure, but has the time to investigate Quakers?
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:29 AM   #36 (permalink)
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First step...."sanitize" Elphapa's "guerilla op-ed" link....above.
This is the link to the original NBC news report that she posted above:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316...playmode/1098/

Secondly....our government is in the late stages of being entirely controlled by folks who won't tolerate news reports similar to the following ones, much longer, so they should be consolidated and posted while it is still possible to do so, especially on political forums. After as brief a period as seven days, some of these reports will be archived and no longer available for "fair use" retrieval.

This describes what seems to be happening, better than I am able to:
Quote:
http://claudialong.com/blog/2005/12/
December 14, 2005
<b>Surprise! Big Brother is a Republican Lobbyist!</b>

The Defense Department document is the first inside look at how the U.S. military has stepped up intelligence collection inside this country since 9/11, which now includes the monitoring of peaceful anti-war and counter-military recruitment groups.

But it isn't military, or other government employees doing the spying, Laura Rozen points out it's Republican 'defense contractors'!

Mitchell Wade's MZM (that would be co-conspirator 2 in the Cunningham case to you and me) is one of the lead companies with a contract for the Pentagon domestic surveillance program, Counter Intelligence Field Activity (CIFA), as Walter Pincus first reported.

And here's Pincus:......
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...600857_pf.html
Pentagon Expanding Its Domestic Surveillance Activity
Fears of Post-9/11 Terrorism Spur Proposals for New Powers

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 27, 2005; A06]

....Perhaps the prime illustration of the Pentagon's intelligence growth is CIFA, which remains one of its least publicized intelligence agencies. Neither the size of its staff, said to be more than 1,000, nor its budget is public, said Conway, the Pentagon spokesman. The CIFA brochure says the agency's mission is to "transform" the way counterintelligence is done "fully utilizing 21st century tools and resources."

One CIFA activity, threat assessments, involves using "leading edge information technologies and data harvesting," according to a February 2004 Pentagon budget document. This involves "exploiting commercial data" with the help of outside contractors including White Oak Technologies Inc. of Silver Spring, and <B>MZM Inc.,</B> a Washington-based research organization, according to the Pentagon document.

So we have Republican lobbyists/'defense contractors' who bribe congressmen to give them secret, no- oversight contracts to spy on ordinary American peace groups. And where does this unholy road lead us to? With Brent Wilkes and ADCS [co-conspirator 1 in the Cunningham case] right back to Tom DeLay................
<B>CIFA subcontractor MZM Inc., is owned by Mitchell Wade,
the primary figure who Randy Cunningham plead guilty to taking bribes from, in exchange for arranging DOD contracts.
Mitchell Wade...former CEO and still majority stockholder of MZM Inc., bought Cunningham's house!</B>


Unrelated news articles removed. At least pretend to stay on topic.

Last edited by Lebell; 12-15-2005 at 06:45 AM..
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:52 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Host: First step...."sanitize" Elphapa's "guerilla op-ed" link....above.
This is the link to the original NBC news report that she posted above:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/1045431...splaymode/1098/
It is only a "rhesus monkey op-ed", dammit. Is it not true that TO preserves the direct link for a longer period of time, and avoids the requirement of registering with the news source?

Thanks, Host.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:08 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubertuber
Not to mention it's an island in a river, not the ocean. It would take 15 minutes to swim to NJ, not to mention the piers all the way up and down it. What are you gonna do, build a fence around NYC? I think you'd have people who weren't sick (possibly incubating or carriers) leaving any way they could think.
/em is thinking about swimming in the East River...

EW. I'd prefer death via flu.
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