"Now we are all Americans. Or prosecutors of Americans. Or whatever."
If you wondered whether the Bush Administration was being paranoid when it said that the ICC would be used against Americans, this ought to help with the answer.
The Border Measures proposals are also still subject to considerable disagreement. Some countries are seeking de minimum rules, the removal of certain clauses, and a specific provision to put to rest fears of iPod searching customs officials by excluding personal baggage that contains goods of a non-commercial nature.
It’s June 14, 2003 at Chicago’s O’Hare international airport. The U.S.-led war to topple Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime in Iraq was launched a little less than three months ago. Resurgent fears of terrorism have kept some would-be passengers from the skies, but O’Hare is still operating at a fairly brisk pace.
A Jordanian man named Ra’ed al-Banna is among the throng of passengers who have just arrived on KLM flight 611 from Amsterdam. After waiting in line, al-Banna presents his passport to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
The CBP officers consult the computerized targeting system used to screen passengers who seek to enter the U.S. The information about al-Banna – drawn from his airline reservations and past travel – triggers a closer look. The officers examine al-Banna’s documents, and they begin asking him questions.
Something doesn’t add up. Al-Banna has a legitimate Jordanian passport; he holds a valid visa that allows him to work in the United States; and he had visited the U.S. before for a lengthy stay. But the officers aren’t satisfied that he’s being completely truthful with his answers, so they decide to refuse him admission. Al-Banna’s fingerprints are taken, and he is put on a plane back to Jordan.
So far it sounds like a fairly routine day at the border. And it was, until events in Iraq nearly two years later gave it a new, and sinister, significance.
On February 28, 2005, at about 8:30 in the morning, several hundred police recruits were lined up outside a clinic in Hilla, a city in the south of Iraq. With no warning, a car drove into the crowd and detonated a massive bomb. 132 people were killed, and about as many were wounded. At the time, it was the deadliest suicide bombing Iraq had seen.
The driver was Ra’ed al-Banna. We know that because when authorities found the steering wheel of his car, his forearm was still chained to it.
No one knows why al-Banna wanted to be in the U.S. in 2003, or what he would have done if he had gotten in. But we do know what kept him out – the government’s ability to quickly marshal the data that first triggered a closer look, and that the CBP officer later used to question al-Banna closely and to conclude that his answers weren’t satisfactory.
At the center of that system was airline reservation data, known as Passenger Name Records or “PNR.”
A much faster way to provide relief would be for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to exercise her power under the law and approve such status by executive order. But she has no such intention, said her spokesman, Sean Smith.
"There is no change in our policy on temporary protected status, and deportations to Haiti are continuing," he said Tuesday. "And let me be clear: No one living in Haiti right now should be attempting to come to the United States in hopes that they will be granted TPS."
Washington Times - Protected status sought for Haitians
The officials declined to enumerate the questions but said they went to the case against each detainee that Europe might be asked to accept. They also sought assurances that the policies underlying the system of detention in Guantanamo are a thing of the past.
"We have a list of questions, not conditions," said Ivan Langer, the Czech interior minister whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union. He added at a news conference Monday in Washington, "There is one condition: maximum information."
Accompanying Langer was Jacques Barrot, a vice president of the European Commission. The visit was the first formal senior contact between the European Union and the Obama administration.
Langer said the decision of whether to accept detainees is one for individual states within the union, but because of open borders in continental Europe, officials there would like an agreed framework among the member states in advance of any transfers from Guantanamo.
As an example, Van Loan said Canada is interested on reopening talks with the Obama administration about opening U.S. customs pre-clearance facilities at Canadian land border crossings. The aim would be to allow trucks carrying goods to the U.S. to clear American customs before they arrive at the border, "the same way we pre-clear passengers at airports" in several Canadian cities. The idea went nowhere under the Bush administration.
Several witnesses at Tuesday's hearing echoed James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who argued that the "greatest failing" of the CNCI was that the initiative "despite its name, was not comprehensive." In part because it was launched under a veil of secrecy and without statutory support, the CNCI focused primarily on securing the dot-gov domain. But as a report sent to Congress last month by the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection stressed, 85 percent of the nation's critical infrastructure is privately owned and operated.
The arrest of Khoshnevisrad was an unexpected bonus in those efforts, U.S. officials said. After tracking the businessman and his import company, Ariasa, for months, investigators with U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered that the entrepreneur was traveling from Iran to the United States for what was believed to be his first visit to this country.
There's a concerted Canadian effort to raise and revisit border issues while the new Homeland Security secretary is settling into her job.
“I think we are doing a good job on our side of the border,” Mr. Van Loan said.
It's a message that successive Canadian governments don't believe was well heard by the Bush administration.
also questioned the proposed requirements for affected aircraft operators to prevent passengers from carrying prohibited items onto the aircraft. "While unauthorized weapons, explosives, incendiaries and other destructive substances must be excluded from general aviation aircraft, this rule appears to apply a commercial passenger security checkpoint standard to general aviation."
"There wasn't much left of the bus except the wheels and chassis. But the cameras survived, and that was the point."
Did the cameras' memory chips survive the blast intact? Fourteen out of 16 did.
State Department spokesman Richard Aker said the agency regrets that it issued these four passports, adding that "the truth is that this was human error."
In her visit to address law enforcement officials gathered from across the country in Kansas City, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said shifting the responsibility to the National Security Agency is under review but hardly a settled matter.
We're going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense," Obama said, according to an account by McClatchy Newspapers. "I don't have a particular tipping point in mind. ... I think it's unacceptable if you've got drug gangs crossing our borders and killing U.S. citizens."
Phil Reitinger, currently "chief trustworthy infrastructure strategist" at
Microsoft, will become deputy undersecretary of DHS's National Protections
An email obtained by CWNN Tuesday indicates that while Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, seems open to the idea of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, she is adamant that the issue will have to go through a review with President Obama’s political staff.
Stewart Baker, the former first assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security will re-join Steptoe & Johnson as a partner in the firm's Washington office. He will work in the firm's national security, cybersecurity, and encryption practices.
Baker, who says he'll join Steptoe next month, is currently working as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Governor Deval Patrick's homeland security undersecretary has been tapped to serve as a top official at the US Department of Homeland Security. The department announced Thursday that Juliette Kayyem, the first Arab-American appointed to serve as a homeland security adviser at the state level, will be an assistant secretary for intergovernmental programs under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Patrick appointed Kayyem in January 2007 and charged her with developing a statewide policy on homeland security.
US Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano will visit Germany next week in her first foreign trip, followed by visits to neighboring Canada and Mexico in April, her spokeswoman said Friday.
The CIB said that bugs in the Symbian operating system were exploited by the software, which was first invented in China in 2007, replacing more traditional methods of phone tapping where a chip had to be physically inserted into a phone.
Former Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rod Beckstrom said in a resignation letter published by the Wall Street Journal it was a "bad strategy" to have the National Security Agency, which is part of the Department of Defense, play a major role in cybersecurity.Rod is a friend and a remarkable talent. He understood Washington much better than most in Silicon Valley. His inability to move the bureaucracy shows how deep is the divide between government and the tech community.
Here’s why: Back in the 1970s and 1980s, hyperinflation and economic chaos led Brazil to streamline its basic system for completing financial transactions. The new system, called Sistema de Pagamentos Brasileiro, or SPB, helped the South American nation restore its transactions infrastructure. But it also accelerated its citizenry’s dependence on online banking. Today 60% of Internet users in Brazil are online banking patrons, versus 23% in the United States, according to Colin Groudin, CEO of Grail Research. What’s more, Brazilians use their debit cards and file electronic tax returns much more than we do, Groudin says.Quite naturally, the best-and-brightest malicious software coders and thieving cyber gangs swarmed Brazil like flies to honey. Brazil has emerged as one of the most hostile online environment in the world; in particular, it has become a hotbed for innovation in banking trojans, says Gunter Ollmann, of IBM Internet Security Systems.