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Tag: Department of Defense

Visitors to Military Bases Will Now Be Screened by FBI Database

Ford Hood Darnall Hospital

Ford Hood Darnall Hospital

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Anyone trying to enter a military base will have to be screened against the FBI’s criminal database, Nextgov.com reports.

The idea is to determine whether visitors have been arrested, have a  felony conviction or outstanding warrants. It comes in the wake of  the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas  and Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Troops, veterans, relatives and others with access have traditionally been checked against a Department of Defense database.

The DOD database will begin tapping into the FBI database on Friday.

Border Patrol to Test High-Tech Surveillance Balloons Along Mexican Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Forget drones.

The U.S. Border Patrol is testing the abilities of helium-filled balloons that were originally used by the Department of Defense for surveillance, the Associated Press reports.

Don’t be confused by the seemingly simple technology of balloons.

Aerostats, as they’re called, can identify the make, model and color of a car a few miles away while being tethered about 2,500 feet above the ground, the AP wrote.

Border Patrol is testing the devices in hopes of using them to combat human and drug trafficking.

Scientist Gets 13 Years in FBI Sting that Involved Spying for Israel

Stewart Nozette/nasa photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Scientist Stewart David Nozette, 54, will have some time to think over his espionage ways. He was nabbed in an FBI sting trying to spy for Israel.

The suburban D.C. scientist who once worked for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the White House’s National Space Council, was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison for attempted espionage, conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. said the sentenced covered two cases. In one of those, he pled guilty in September 2001 to attempted espionage for providing classified information to a person he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer, but was actually an FBI undercover agent.

In the other case, he pled guilty in January 2009 to fraud and tax charges stemming from more than $265,000 in false claims he submitted to the government, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Nozette had been in custody since his arrest for attempted espionage on Oct. 19, 2009. At the time, authorities said, he was awaiting sentencing on the fraud and tax evasion charges.

“Stewart Nozette’s greed exceeded his loyalty to our country,” said U.S. Attorney Ron Machen said in a statement. “He wasted his talent and ruined his reputation by agreeing to sell national secrets to someone he believed was a foreign agent. His time in prison will provide him ample opportunity to reflect on his decision to betray the United States.”

 

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Says TSA Continues to Prove It is “An Inept Agency”

Douglas B. Wolfe was an FBI agent who also worked for Department of Defense and retired as Senior Special Agent, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture. He runs Fidelity Investigations & Consulting in Maryland and recently launched a blog  WorldFamousPrivateEye’s Blog.

Doug Wolfe

By Douglas B. Wolfe

It’s the week before the busiest holiday travel season, and the TSA continues to prove it is an inept agency in search of a mission. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano justifies intrusive policies with simple-minded platitudes, “It’s all about security,” and “everybody recognizing their role.” When did it become the role of a TSA employee to don gloves and grope passengers?

I doubt most TSA screeners envisioned this part of their job description, and MOST don’t want to be the groper. What do I and most airline customers want? We just want to visit Mom for Thanksgiving and not be hassled.

But the TSA must be doing a great job since there have been no hijackings since 9-11, right? Wrong. The whole paradigm of how to act if your plane is hijacked has changed. The “system” taught us for decades to just comply with a hijacker’s instructions and the plane will land safely in Cuba. Now, no self-respecting planeload (read cattlecar) of travellers will ever let a terrorist, a ne’er-do-well, or anybody else take over a plane again. Not without a fight anyway. Bad guys know it, I know it, you know it, but Napolitano and TSA chief John Pistole are determined to give you and me a choice between the high-tech scanner (think of the ads for xray glasses that accompanied the mini comic strip inside the Bazooka bubble gum wrapper), or the low-tech molestation.

Billions of our dollars have been flushed down the drain called “security.” It’s a brilliant strategy by the Bin Ladens of the world if you think about it. They can’t win by force, but they can watch and wave as the United States spends itself into more economic woe.

In the weeks following the 9-11 attacks President Bush boldly re-drew the lines on government organization charts, creating DHS by simply renaming the people already on the job, adding more layers of bureaucracy, and more political positions. Some of the realignments make sense. But it was never essential. The government’s default strategy for problem solving is to reorganize. But it won’t address the real problem

Secretary Napolitano and Mr. Pistole, your first duty is to respect the Constitution and the dignity of both the traveling public AND TSA employees. Do the best you can within reason, to deter evil-doers.

But please, stop hassling us.