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Who staffs the surveillance state?

23 Aug

This Homeland Security Employee Is Preparing for a Coming Race War

War on the Horizon
At The Atlantic AUG 21, 2013
A Department of Homeland Security employee who works on, among other things, the procurement of guns and ammunition for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, spends his nights and weekends preparing for a coming race war and advocating for anti-gay causes, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meet Ayo Kimathi, a.k.a. “the Irritated Genie,” who told his bosses at the DHS that his anti-white, anti-gay site, “War is on the Horizon,” was just an entertainment site that sells concert and lecture videos. 

You see, DHS employees, even those with office jobs like Kimathi’s, have to get outside activities approved by their supervisors, according to the SPLC. Kimathi’s former supervisor told the watchdog group, which tracks hate speech and groups in the U.S., that despite her former employee’s banal description of his extracurricular activities, the actual content of the site left her “stunned.” She continued: “To see the hate, to know that he is a federal employee, it bothered me.” She added that had Kimathi’s site been accurately described to the agency, there’s no way the DHS would have signed off on it. Possibly to keep his bosses from looking up his work, Kimathi used only the site’s acronym, WOH, in his permission request. In addition to his involvement in the purchase of ICE supplies, Kimathi also had a public profile for the agency, speaking at vendor events. As “Irritated Genie,” Kimathi also has a public profile as a black supremacist advocate. 
The content of Kimathi’s advocacy demands some clarification. In some (white, conservative) circles, the term “black supremacist”  is applied with a very wide brush. Black supremacy was the implication of Maine Governor Paul LePage’s reported comments that President Obama “hates white people,” for instance. Kimathi’s site is not in this vein of this imagined threat — on the contrary, War on the Horizon calls Obama a “a treasonous mulatto scum dweller,” and lists him among the movement’s enemies (also on the list? Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Condoleezza Rice, among others) Instead, the DHS employee advocates for:
  • The mass murder of white people. His site says, “warfare is eminent, and in order for Black people to survive the 21st century, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites – more than our christian hearts can possibly count.”
  • A conspiracy theory arguing that white people are trying to “homosexualize” black men in order to make them more effeminate and therefore weaker. As part of this, Kimathi, praises a series of laws in some African countries that criminalize LGBT behavior and people. Kimathi also advocates for the supremacy of black men above black women — he offers tips on his site, for instance, “to help every Black woman in the world understand what she needs to do to keep a strong Black man happy.” 
Conservatives don’t tend to be fans of the Southern Poverty Law Center: this is the same group that labeled The American Family Association and pretty much the entire anti-Islam movement as hate groups. But their report seems primed to stoke the fires of a set of American conservatives who already believe the DHS is hoarding ammunition (contrary to the evidence), either to build a secret army, or to prevent gun owners from accessing it.  
Update: ICE’s Deputy Press Secretary Gillian Christensen responded in a statement to this story: 
ICE does not condone any type of hateful rhetoric or advocacy of violence of any kind against anyone.  Every ICE employee is held to the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct. Accusations of misconduct are investigated thoroughly and if substantiated, appropriate action is taken.
Christensen declined to comment, as a matter of ICE policy, on whether the agency was currently investigating Kimathi or not. 
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author ataohlheiser@theatlantic.com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire

Tanks as Protection Against Dangerous Libertarians

9 Aug

N.H. City Wants a “Tank” to Use Against Occupiers and Libertarians

Concord police listed the nonviolent groups as domestic terror threats in a federal grant application.

| Tue Aug. 6, 2013 
A Lenco armored police vehicle, parked near an Occupy DC camp in 2012. 
After the public release of a document in which he suggested that Occupiers and libertarians pose a domestic terror threat to Concord, New Hampshire, the city’s police chief has backed away from the claim.
In an application to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking more than $250,000 to purchase an armored police vehicle, the capital city of New Hampshire specified the local branch of the Occupy movement and the Free State Project, an effort to recruit “liberty-loving people” to relocate to the Granite State, as potential sources of terrorist action.
“The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type,” the filing reads. “We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges.”
The application was obtained by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union (NHCLU) through a public records request, and is one ofmore than 250 filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to trackwhat it sees as the increasing militarization of police departmentsthroughout the country.
While the sovereign citizens movement has a history of racism and violence, Police Chief John Duval now says that he doesn’t actually believe the Free State Project or Occupy New Hampshire are domestic terror threats. “I wish I would have worded things different in retrospect,” he says. “I understand why their eyebrows are raised about that.” He chalks up the wording to the limitations of writing a detailed proposal in only three pages and says it was meant to refer to the “unpredictable nature of unpredictable people who attach themselves to otherwise lawful situations.”
Duval has no plans to issue a formal apology, but he has exchanged emails with Carla Gericke, president of the Free State Project, to explain his position, which he has also attempted to clarify with local reporters

Read the rest at Mother Jones..

If you see something…don’t read it!

18 Jul

DHS warns employees not to read leaked NSA information

The Department of Homeland Security has warned its employees that the government may penalize them for opening a Washington Post article containing a classified slide that shows how the National Security Agency eavesdrops on international communications.
Homeland Security logo reflected in the eyeglasses of a cybersecurity analyst at the agency's secretive cyber defense facility in Idaho. (Mark J. Terrill/AP).

Homeland Security logo reflected in the eyeglasses of a cybersecurity analyst at the agency’s secretive cyber defense facility in Idaho. (Mark J. Terrill/AP).
An internal memo from DHS headquarters told workers on Friday that viewing the document from an “unclassified government workstation” could lead to administrative or legal action. “You may be violating your non-disclosure agreement in which you sign that you will protect classified national security information,” the communication said.
The memo said workers who view the article through an unclassified workstation should report the incident as a “classified data spillage.”
The NSA is a Defense Department agency, meaning it does not fall under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security. It was not immediately clear whether all federal agencies released similar warnings to their employees.
Below is the full text of the memo:
 From: LARSEN, MARK R
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 9:50 AM
Subject: SECURITY ALERT ***Washington Post Article***
Importance: High
FYSA…From DHS HQ
Per the National Cybersecurity Communications Integration Center:
There is a recent article on the Washington Post’s Website that has a clickable link titled “The NSA Slide you never seen” that must not be opened on an Unclassified government workstation.  This link opens up a classified document which will raise the classification level of your Unclassified workstation to the classification of the slide which is reported to be TS/NF.
If opened on an Unclassified system, you are obligated to report this to the SSO as a Classified Data Spillage (Opssecurity@hq.dhs.gov<mailto:Opssecurity@hq.dhs.gov> <mailto:Opssecurity@hq.dhs.gov <mailto:Opssecurity@hq.dhs.gov> >).
Again, please exercise good judgment when visiting these webpages and clicking on such links. You may be violating your Non-Disclosure Agreement in which you sign that you will protect Classified National Security Information. You may be subject to any administrative or legal action from the Government.
To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, friend his Facebook page or e-mail josh.hicks@washpost.comFor more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

DC Homeland Security wants to alert you!

2 Jul

The District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Wants Your Feedback About the “Alert DC” Emergency Preparedness Alert System
The District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DC HSEMA) is hosting an online survey to find out how we can improve emergency preparedness and customer service by better understanding the needs and interests of Alert DC users.
HSEMA invites all DC residents, visitors, and subscribers of Alert DC to participate in the survey by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hsema. The survey will be open from June 22 through July 6, 2011.
During an emergency, HSEMA uses Alert DC to deliver important emergency information and protective actions. This alert system provides a personal connection to real-time updates, instructions on where to go, what to do, or what to avoid, and who to contact during an emergency. Additionally, various District agencies use Alert DC for public notifications, including emergency incidents, traffic, weather, utility incidents, crime, and planned events.
Alert DC is available to DC residents, commuters, visitors, or anyone else interested in following events in the nation’s capital. Notifications can be received via email, cell phone, and pager/Blackberry. Subscribers can customize their service by neighborhood(s) of interest, types of alerts, and time of day.
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