(WIRED) The ATF doesn’t just want a huge database to reveal everything about you with a few keywords. It wants one that can find out who you know. And it won’t even try to friend you on Facebook first.
According to a recent solicitation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the bureau is looking to buy a “massive online data repository system” for its Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII). The system is intended to operate for at least five years, and be able to process automated searches of individuals, and “find connection points between two or more individuals” by linking together “structured and unstructured data.”
Primarily, the ATF states it wants the database to speed-up criminal investigations. Instead of requiring an analyst to manually search around for your personal information, the database should “obtain exact matches from partial source data searches” such as social security numbers (or even just a fragment of one), vehicle serial codes, age range, “phonetic name spelling,” or a general area where your address is located. Input that data, and out comes your identity, while the computer automatically establishes connections you have with others.
Many other specific requirements are also to be expected for a federal law enforcement agency: searching names, phone numbers, “nationwide utility data” and reverse phone searches. The data will then be collected to help out during investigations and provide “relevant information and intelligence products.” There’s no hint the database is to be used to track gun sales, which is a big part of the ATF’s job, as the bureau is prohibited by law from establishing a centralized electronic database for gun purchases.
It’s necessary to note, however, that the ATF already does most of these things. Tracking down your identity, financial data, and finding connections between you and your kinfolk — your relatives, friends and business associates — is what criminal investigations are all about. And the bureau’s intelligence analysts already use a number of databases to help piece this information together.
But hunting through them for information that’s relevant and timely is a mind-numbing and time-consuming job. “Many of these tasks are performed manually,” the solicitation states, “resulting in longer turnaround times on important information and intelligence research and analysis requests.”
The bureau wants this new system to do all that gathering and research automatically. Which sounds like a good deal, in theory, allowing federal investigators to more easily bust criminals during a hot case. It could potentially give the investigators a lot more information than your sense of privacy may be comfortable with, or information not strictly relevant to a case. At the same time, the ATF is widely perceived as a weak, stagnant and underfunded agency. Even if it has a database that can track you down and find out who your friends are, it won’t necessarily be able to apply that to tracing gun transactions due to Congressional restrictions. If the agency finds a gun linked to a crime, and then traces the gun to someone who bought it from someone else, all of that work figuring out the who’s-who will still likely have to be done manually.
A follow-up document from the ATF clarifies a few things. The database will not “consolidate multiple databases” the ATF already has access to — like LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters. The bureau is seeking to buy an existing database system and not fund the development of a completely new one. And it has to be reliable and work all the time. That includes 24-hour tech support for agents pulling those coffee-fueled all-nighter investigations. It’s also not an anti-terrorism tool and isn’t intended to “quickly respond to problems, threats, etc.”
But putting the ATF’s problems with tracing guns aside, it could still help agents track you down a lot faster than they could before — along with finding out everything else about you.
(ALTERNET) In September, 2011, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms banned state law-abiding medical cannabis patients from owning firearms. A bureaucratic decider simply swiped away hundreds of thousands of Americans’ Second Amendment rights by way of an added item on a pre-sale questionnaire.
Using an ancient herb as recommended by your doctor, one that any law enforcer will tell you makes people less aggressive? Sorry. Whacked on Oxycontin? Fire away.
My friend Carl, a Vietnam veteran, concealed handgun permit holder, political conservative of the John Wayne school and New Mexico medical cannabis patient, is apoplectic about the policy. “I can’t believe I lose my rights because I’m receiving treatment. I defended this country’s freedoms.”
This is just one example of key ancillary details that need to be fixed as America’s Longest War limps to its federal demise. Another is arbitrary limits on or zero tolerance of bloodstream THC when driving, even by locally-Kosher cannabis fans: if you legally used cannabis three weeks ago at the Ziggy Marley concert in Washington, you can, absurdly, be found to be impaired today.
In addition to the mining of the harbor that such unacceptably policy represents among those sore losers, the retreating Drug Warriors, this again shows the risk that any cannabis enjoyer faces. These unscientific THC policies must be squashed in courts and state houses, and fast.
The risk list continues. On my January flight in Honolulu to testify in support of pending industrial and social cannabis legalization in the Aloha State, the grey haired 59-year-old local fellow sitting next to me, Jeb, a construction site manager, had a sadly common story for me when he found out where I was heading that day.
“Tell the folks at the statehouse that I just lost my job after 23 years because THC showed in my system,” Jeb told me. “I had smoked at home on a Saturday night two weeks earlier. I don’t drink. I’ve never come to work impaired. Never even had a sick day. My work record was so impeccable that my supervisor apologized to me. He said, ‘we work for a company that will fire its best employee for pot, first time.’ I might lose my house. I’m flying to Oahu to meet with my lawyer but he told me that if it’s the policy it’s the policy.”
Not in my America. The America that resides on what I deeply believe to be on the healthier, safer side of history. The America of the Bill of Rights.
The bottom line: responsible adult cannabis users should no longer have to hide any more than responsible alcohol users do. As if to hammer home this point, when our flight landed, Jeb had some parting words for me. “Tell (the legislative committee) how deeply cannabis is embedded in Hawaiian culture. Tell them this is the only law I break. I don’t even drive over the speed limit.”
I did. I told the state’s House Judiciary Committee about Jeb during my testimony. Social legalization, incidentally, had a lot of momentum in Hawaii last session. The speaker of the house, Joe Souki (D), told me he thinks it’ll happen next session. From Florida to Maui, everyone knows the Drug War is ending. There’s no reason America’s 100 million cannabis users should be dealing with the life-upending administrative nonsense.
And yet they are. Even without a drug testing company fraud scandal emerging in San Diego this week, even without the revelation that some of the former DEA chiefs who are lobbying so hard against the Drug Peace in fact profit from their roles in drug testing companies, the Sniff Your Pee era is simply misguided – it’s unnecessary, intrusive and downright un-American. Work is about performance. Cannabis isn’t keeping America from being competitive. In fact, it’s probably helping return us to competitiveness, in the creative fields of the Digital Age. But my research into the role of practical cannabis use in Silicon Valley is a whole other column.
(THE LEGENDARY) Cynthia Colvin-Montgomery is a picture of frustration. Her business is stymied by FBI and ATF investigators who want to tear down structures before she can appraise the damage they sustained in the fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. on Wednesday, April 17. With an extensive background in alternative dispute resolution, mediation, investigations and the ins and outs of seeking a settlement with insurance carriers, she is adamant about her role.
(GUNS SAVE LIVES) FPSRussia is one of the most well known channels on Youtube. Georgia native Kyle Myers speaks with a Russian accent and demonstrates using some of rarest and most entertaining weapons on the planet. Myers business partner was found murdered in his office back in January.
According to independentmail.com:
Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas would not say whose properties were searched or if anything was found. But he confirmed that the searches were in connection with the investigation into Ratliff’s death in January.
Authorities said the search was for illegal explosives.
Myers often blows up cars, refrigerators, and other objects in his Youtube videos.
According to onlineathens.com:
Federal agents, accompanied by Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents and deputies with the sheriff’s offices in Franklin and Hart counties, raided the Royston residence of Myers. Authorities also raided on Tuesday the 60-acre farm of Lamar Myers, Kyle’s father, in Lavonia.
According to Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas, federal investigators descended on Carnesville and Hart County Wednesday with warrants.
“On March 25th we were notified by agents with the ATF in Atlanta that they would be executing two search warrants signed by a federal magistrates,” Thomas said. “One (warrant) in Franklin County and one Hart County. I notified the Hart County Sheriff and at 9a Wednesday morning, our officers met with the ATF agents at the Franklin County location.”
“They were conducting an investigation regarding the explosives the pair were using on their You Tube show,” Cleveland said. “They were blowing up cars and other things in Hart County on their farm. Agents were looking for explosives or anything connected to explosives that would have put them in violation of federal law.”
“The way I understand it they were using Tannerite. It’s legal up to a certain amount and agents were looking for any violations of federal guidelines,” Cleveland said.
No arrests were made and authorities did not say if any explosives were found.
The FPSRussia Youtube channel has over 3.4 million subscribers, is one of the largest channels on Youtube and is the largest gun related channel on Youtube. Myers has been in several Call of Duty video game commercials and promotions as well.
(INFOWARS) A leaked training manual used in the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) program for law enforcement and funded by the Department of Justice lists political bumper stickers expressing opposition to the United Nations and support for the bill of rights as indications of terrorist activity.
The presentation documents, leaked to the Public Intelligence website, are entitled Terrorism Training For Law Enforcement and are marked “law enforcement sensitive.” The program is funded by grants from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Slides for the presentation depict the kind of behavior that law enforcement officials should be wary of in spotting potential terrorists during highway patrols.
One of the slides – entitled “Fourth Amendment Issues” – notes that “a suspicious map located on the passenger seat” could warrant further investigation as a potential indicator of terrorism.
Another slide entitled “General Right Wing Extremist” – depicts suspicious bumper stickers that should warrant further investigation by cops conducting traffic stops.
The bumper stickers read, “Know Your RIghts Or Lose Them,” and “If You Love Your Country, the U.N. Is Not Your Friend!,” and “Get US Out Of the United Nations”.
Under the category of “Special-Interest/Single Issue Terrorism,” the slide characterizes people who hold political opinions that “represent a fairly popular point of view” as terrorists. Anti-abortion activists are also listed as terrorists under this category.
Another slide lists people who are “antigenetic engineering” as terrorists. Presumably, that includes people who are concerned about a new study which found that rats fed with genetically-engineered Monsanto corn suffered premature deaths.
Apparently, the Department of Justice considers Americans who have a good grasp of the bill of rights, are concerned about the food they eat, those who politically oppose the United Nations, and even those who hold “fairly popular” opinions, to be likely terrorists. Perhaps the DOJ is drawing inspiration from the Department of Defense, who in 2009 characterized the First Amendment right to protest as “low level terrorism”.
These documents are by no means the only instance in which displaying political bumper stickers has been characterized as a suspicious and potentially terrorist activity by the federal government.
The infamous 2009 MIAC report, published by the Missouri Information Analysis Center framed Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists.
Under the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism program, the bulk purchase of food is also labeled as a potential indication of terrorist activity, as is using cash to pay for a cup of coffee, and showing an interest in web privacy when using the Internet in a public place.
A recent Department of Homeland Security-funded study produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Given that the DHS is now recruiting citizen spies to report “suspicious activity” via apps on their smartphones, don’t be surprised to see SWAT teams being called out to Starbucks on a regular basis to apprehend terrorists who choose to pay for their cup of joe with a few dollar bills.
One can only imagine what kind of response would be generated by someone paying cash for a cup of coffee whoalso has a political bumper sticker displayed on their car – the President would obviously have to be immediately notified in order to prepare for the enactment of emergency crisis procedures in order to safeguard national security.
View the slides from the DOJ funded presentation below.
(JOE JOSEPH) The following article is how I would market deficit reduction to Americans. People really need to wake up and smell the roses as to the detrimental state of our economy and our well being. Cost of living is rising, wages are falling. The globalization focus has all but decimated our manufacturing base. This article is the way that I would market real change in America! Ahhhhh… I can smell the austerity measures setting in now. President Obama has implemented a two year pay freeze for Federal employees that would save the tax payers five billion dollars over two years. All hail our President for looking out… NOT! As we dive deeper into the political muck, we can see that the military (and rightfully so) is exempt from having their pay frozen. But wait… there’s more! Congress and their staffs are also exempt?!?!? President Obama knows all too well that he can’t get this pay freeze passed through Congress if they have to vote themselves out of pay raises, so nice going there Barry! Seeing as how the President or Congress can’t seem to get it right and are going to try and steal more of the common citizens wages for a drop in the bucket savings, I thought I would give a recommendation of where we could save money, eliminate the deficit, give a tax break to citizens, and bring prosperity back to this once great nation. Let’s first go through the agencies that we could cut out due to the fact that they are either way to big or UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!
- Department of Education: Just look at the public education system in this country, and I don’t need to say any more than that.
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA): It is a person’s right to do to themselves what they want to do. Drugs should be legalized so that the black market can be eliminated, crime can be reduced, and the free market can take over and capitalize on a new area of opportunity. It is the personal responsibility of each individual to ensure that they are a functioning member of society… not the government. The DEA has been increasingly interfering in doctor/patient relationships causing inadequate care, pain, and suffering of an untold amount of people in this country. The government has no place in dictating how a doctor cares and treats his or her patient.
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF): Again, prohibition didn’t work before, and it hasn’t worked this time either. As for firearms, it is every person’s right to have or own firearms in this country. That right shall not be infringed, or so it goes in the Constitution.
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS): After 9/11 George W. Bush increased the size of the Federal government by 40% with this monstrosity. Funny… if I were to believe for a second that it went down the way the government said it did, then all it would have took to avoid the situation entirely was for people and agencies to do their jobs. If they did that and the current laws and regulations were enforced, then it would have never happened. Congress has a nasty habit of enacting more legislation each time there is a screw up, rather than ensure that current laws are enforced and regulations followed. That’s why no one knows these days what the law really is, and why our non-representing representatives don’t read bills anymore…
- Social Security Administration: It is not the responsibility of the government to manage retirement funds or provide for disabled people. While everyone who works pays into the system, it has been used, abused, and bankrupted. People should be given the option to opt out of Social Security, take the money that they have put into it, and do what they want with the money. After all, it’s their money. Private insurance companies should offer policies to people who work; so that if they become disabled, they’re covered. It should be the choice of each individual to purchase that insurance.
- U.S. Military: I firmly believe that we need a strong military to be able to defend ourselves against some of the crazies out there and protect our interests abroad, but over 700 bases in 130 countries?!?!?! How about the three illegal wars that we are fighting??? (Three you ask? We never stopped the conflict in Korea… we’ve had a cease fire in place for over 50 years now). If we brought our men and women in uniform home and say gainfully employed them on the border, we could kill two birds with one stone. Getting out of these places where we don’t belong and enforcing immigration law with people already on the payroll. This leads me too…
- Border Patrol: This is the TSA in a different uniform. These idiots operate UNCONSTITUTIONAL checkpoints 100 miles inside this country to ask people for their papers. Are you kidding…? We already have a military that can more than adequately protect the border and repel invaders. Last but certainly not least…
- Transportation Security Agency (TSA): Need I say more???
See folks, by eliminating or streamlining those eight bureaucracies listed above, we would eliminate the national debt, create a surplus that would enable us to give tax breaks to all Americans, institute worthwhile social programs that give people a hand UP and not a hand OUT, and increase our liberties and freedoms in this country. You want to see it happen?? Then wake up and get active. Michael Roberts; the pilot who told TSA to go blow when they told him to go through one of their scanners or get a “enhanced pat down” caught lightning in a bottle when he said “NO!”. We can do the same thing, but we have to be persistent and we have to let our elected officials know that they are PUBLIC SERVANTS. That means they answer to whom? To each and every one of the citizens in these united States of America. Let the police man know the next time they harass you, who they are harassing… their boss! Let all of these public servants know that they answer to us, we don’t answer to them. If enough people embark on this line thinking, then change can really start to take place.
Joe Joseph is the host of “The Freedom Link” on Orion Talk Radio and a contributing writer at FederalJack.com. You can check out Joe’s show and the great programming Orion has to offer by visiting their site at: http://www.oriontalkradio.com
(THE INTEL HUB) The Department of Homeland Security has made news in the past few weeks with the revelations that they have purchased up to 650 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammunition.
Now, despite ignoring requests as to why they need that much ammo, they have moved forward and purchased an unknown amount of bullet resistant booths to possibly be stationed at unannounced checkpoints throughout the country.
A press release from the company that supplied the booths bragged about the sale:
Press release date: April 4, 2012
Owner: Department of Homeland Security
Shelters Direct provided the Department of Homeland Security with this 4×13 Steel UL 752 Level 3 Bullet Resistant Booth.
This guard building features a standing seam hip roof, a thru-wall HVAC unit, (2) UL 752 BR Level 3 sliding doors, UL 752 Bullet Resistant Level 3 glass and a Low]E coating.
These booths seem destined to be used at checkpoints throughout the country as DHS and other government agencies continue their full scale takeover of America.
As we have heavily reported in the last few weeks, numerous government agencies have went on an ammo buying spree, with the total amount reaching well over 700 million rounds.
“In the last three years numerous domestic US government agencies have ordered a total of over 750 million rounds of .40 caliber ammunition.
That’s right, multiple government agencies that specifically operate primary inside the United States have gone on a literal ammunition spending spree in preparation for what they must believe will be some sort of violent event.”
Whether it be 140 million packets of emergency food, detention centers in all 50 states, 750 million rounds of ammo, or numerous bullet resistant checkpoint booths, the Department of Homeland Security is clearly gearing up for something.
Note: You can view a picture of the booths here.
(INFOWARS) On Thursday, December 22 2011 Alex Jones talked with Don Browning, a K9 unit police officer for OKC who found many living and dead in the Murrah rubble and had the courage to testify before the OK County Grand Jury and stand up for police officer Terry Yeaky, who was murdered under suspicious circumstances. Alex also talked with Holland Van den Nieuwenhof, the writer and producer for A Noble Lie, a documentary exposing the official lie behind the Oklahoma City bombing. Purchase the movie here.
OKC K9 Unit Police Officer / Marine: FBI Complicit in OKC Bombing Terror Attack – PT 1 of 3
OKC K9 Unit Police Officer / Marine: FBI Complicit in OKC Bombing Terror Attack – PT 2 of 3
OKC K9 Unit Police Officer / Marine: FBI Complicit in OKC Bombing Terror Attack – PT 3 of 3
Authorities Confirm Gun Found in Arizona Is Third at U.S. Crime Scene Tied to ATF’s ‘Fast and Furious’
(FOXNEWS) Authorities confirm a weapon from the failed ATF program ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ was found at a violent crime scene in Maricopa, Ariz. in 2010. This is the latest in a series of cases where Fast and Furious guns have been linked to violent crimes across the U.S. and Mexico.
The two guns found at the scene were an AK-47 and a Beretta pistol, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The AK-47 is linked to Fast and Furious, according to ATF. The weapons were found inside a stolen truck in March 2010 after the driver slammed into two DPS vehicles while trying to evade members of the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force, ABC 15 reports.
The driver, Angel Hernandez Diaz, was reportedly arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle, aggravated assault on an officer with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, theft of means of transportation and misconduct involving a weapon, according to court documents.
Fast and Furious was an operation launched in late 2009 by the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to follow gun purchasers in hopes that suspects would lead investigators to the heads of Mexican cartels. But hundreds of high-powered rifles and other guns ended up in Mexico, and many now accuse the ATF and the Justice Department of letting the guns “walk” even after safety concerns were raised.
Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said last week that three weapons linked to Operation Fast and Furious had been used in violent crimes in the U.S.
Weapons linked to the program were used in a December attack along the Southwest border that killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Months later, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, launched his committee’s investigation, as the Justice Department’s inspector general also opened an inquiry, at Attorney General Eric Holder’s direction.
On Wednesday, Holder said for the first time that not only he but also other higher-ups at the Justice Department were not aware of the operation as it was being carried out. Holder also suggested politics could be a driving force behind Republican lawmakers’ forceful inquiries into the matter.
Recently, the man who headed ATF in the midst of it, Ken Melson, was reassigned, and U.S. attorney Dennis Burke, who oversaw the prosecution of cases coming out of the operation, abruptly resigned.
At least three men have been charged in connection with the murder of agent Terry, though only one is in U.S. custody. The Justice Department recently informed lawmakers that cases coming out of Operation Fast and Furious will now be led by prosecutors from outside Arizona.
(THE STATE) A small woman in her 50s working as a hotel clerk at a Columbia area Days Inn shot and killed a robber “more than double her size” Monday morning, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.
The man, Vincent Carson, 43, of Orangeburg, had held a knife to her throat, put the knife down and was apparently going to tie her up and sexually assault her, Lott said.
“He was a career criminal on a crime spree and would not have stopped except for what happened this morning,” Lott said later Monday.
The woman had been the victim of a prior robbery and had gotten permission from her hotel supervisor to carry a concealed pistol, Lott said.
“She did not have a concealed weapons permit, but you don’t need one on private property where you have permission,” he said.
The clerk was preparing the hotel’s breakfast about 6 a.m. when the attack happened at the Days Inn at 133 Plumbers Road, near I-20 and Wilson Boulevard.
Carson was hiding in the breakfast room, apparently waiting to ambush her, Lott said. Carson had brought along cords to tie up the woman, Lott said, adding Carson weighed a good 250 pounds and was more than six feet tall.
But when Carson put the knife down, Lott said, the victim shot him.
Carson died of one bullet wound to the chest, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.
The clerk was physically unhurt but was very shaken up, Lott said. “Our victim services unit is assisting her … She is devastated by this. She did not want to take someone’s life, but she was put in a position where she had absolutely no choice.”
Lott said Carson had a lengthy criminal record in New York and New Jersey and was wanted in connection with a hotel robbery in Orangeburg.
Law enforcement normally cautions people caught in a robbery to cooperate, Lott said. But when a situation escalates to where a victim feels their life would be in danger, the victim has to decide whether to take more drastic action, he said.
“This had escalated beyond a robbery to a sexual assault, and we don’t know what would have happened beyond that,” Lott said.
“She did the correct thing — she protected herself.”
“The lesson for robbers is, you never know when you are going to encounter someone who is armed and will protect themselves,” Lott said.
Lott declined to give some details, such as the kind of gun the woman had and where she had it concealed.
“The bottom line — he is the one who caused him to get killed,” Lott said.