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Archive for March 4, 2012

Homeland Security Searches Your Facebook and Twitter

Homeland Security Searches Your Facebook and Twitter

Homeland Security Searches Your Facebook and Twitter

Document Proves DHS Is Monitoring Social Media For Government Criticism. Keywords agency is tracking include “body scanner,” “nationalist” , “police,” and “immigration”

Paul Joseph Watson wrote on Infowars.com on February 23, 2012.

[A Homeland Security training manual belies claims made by DHS representatives during a Congressional hearing last week that the federal agency is only monitoring social media outlets for “situational awareness,” and proves the fact that Bis Sis is also tracking online criticism of government, including discussion of airport body scanners.

“Analysts for a Department of Homeland Security program that monitors social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been instructed to produce reports on policy debates related to the department, a newly disclosed manual shows,” reports the New York Times.

The manual, entitled Department of Homeland Security National Operations Center Media Monitoring Capability Desktop Reference Binder, was obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center via a FOIA request.

The controversy over DHS spying on social media erupted last month following the release of 300 documents which detailed how DHS had hired an outside contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, to monitor social media outlets along with a list of websites, on a “24/7/365 basis,” in order to uncover “any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government and the Department of Homeland Security.”

During a subsequent Congressional hearing on the matter, DHS representatives Mary Callahan and Richard Chávez denied the fact that tracking criticism of government agencies formed any part of the program, and that the effort was merely aimed at developing “situational awareness” of potential threats, mostly related to extreme weather events.

However, the 2011 manual makes it abundantly clear that the program was a backdoor effort to keep tabs on what the American people were saying about not just the DHS, but a whole host of federal agencies, including the CIA, the ATF, the TSA, FEMA, as well as organizations outside of the U.S. government such as the United Nations and the Red Cross.

The ‘items of interest’ listed in the document which require monitoring of social media include, “policy directives, debates and implementations related to DHS.”

In addition, the list of keywords the DHS is tasked with monitoring include terms that have little to do with “situational awareness.”
During last week’s hearing, Callaham claimed that such keywords were restricted to “you know, flood, tornado and things like that.” In reality, the manual also directs DHS analysts to search for terms such as “China, cops, hacking, illegal immigrants, Iran, Iraq, marijuana, organized crime, police, pork and radicals.”

The words “militia,” “riot,” “body scanner,” and “nationalist” are also included in the list of keywords the DHS is tasked with monitoring.

The fact that Homeland Security is monitoring what people say about airport body scanners, in the aftermath of a wider national basklash against the TSA as a whole, dovetails with how the TSA has subjected people who refuse to use them to undue suspicion and questioning.

“The D.H.S. continues to monitor the Internet for criticism of the government,” EPIC’s Ginger McCall said in reference to the document. “This suspicionless, overbroad monitoring quells legitimate First Amendment activity and exceeds the agency’s legal authority.”]

[Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.]

“Homeland Security personnel regularly monitor updates on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, to uncover “Items Of Interest” (IOI), according to an internal DHS memo released by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), reports Animal New York.
That baseline list of terms for which the DHS searches — or at least a DHS subcontractor hired to monitor social networks — reveals which specific words generate realtime IOI reports.” wrote Steve Elliott on Toke of the Town.com

ANIMAL New York.com wrote “In addition to the following list of terms, the DHS can also add additional search terms circumstantially as deemed necessary.”
The current list of DHS Media Monitoring Terms can be viewed at ANIMAL New York.com

Nigeria Rejects Dancing On The Brink to American Rhythm

Professor Iyorwuese Hagher Nigeria High Commissioner to Canada

Professor Iyorwuese Hagher Nigeria High Commissioner to Canada

Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada, has written a critical  review on 06 June 2011 about a book by John Campbell, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, The book title is: “Nigeria Dancing On The Brink”. Campbell appears to think the West would be better able to pick a government for Nigeria than Nigerians, and is an excellent example of the arrogance of US foreign policy.

The book review is posted at Education Matters Nigeria and at Nigerians Abroad Live:

[After dancing on the brink for several months with provocative articles, lectures and talks, Ambassador John Campbell has hurled himself into the abyss, by publishing his magnum Opus, Nigeria dancing on the brink. This all important book will be read and re-read by US and western diplomats, politicians, policy makers, NGOs, academia, development agents, and even presidents.

It is a faithful memoir of events, a stupendous collection of facts – and non facts, anecdotes, and beer parlour gossip.  The writer’s style is lucid, lacy, absorbing, beguiling and clever.   Yet the book’s promise is never realised and at the end of the book the reader feels cheated if not betrayed.  The credentials of the writer as former US Ambassador to Nigeria, visiting Professor and essayist, Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the immensity of the subject-matter, do not yield to the reader a rigorous analytical basis through which conclusions are made and thematic order established.

The book’s preface prepares us for the worst when Campbell tells us that much of his book is based on conversations and personal experiences during his short sojourn as political counsellor based in Lagos  from 1988-1990  and as President Bush’s Ambassador to Nigeria from 2004 – 2007.  According to Campbell, Nigerians “like to talk to diplomats”  He claims that he “travelled all over the country”.  Even though he claimed to have visited thirty-six state headquarters,  it is not just possible to travel all over Nigeria within a diplomatic tour or two, with Nigeria’s challenging topography and infrastructure and yet be able to do any other thing else. Besides the challenge of topography and infrastructure, why did His Excellency, the US Ambassador not avail himself of the advisory given by the US to his countrymen, not to travel to Nigeria since “violent-crime, religious and civil crisis in Nigeria is bordering an active war zone?”

The facts about Nigeria’s post-colonial history are well presented and documented.  In fact as Campbell himself boasts, “The department of State, other Federal agencies and the Embassy have access to the US Federal government’s repository of experts and factual information about virtually all aspects of Nigeria and its richness is probably unequalled anywhere else in the world.” (p. 8)   Aha, here is the real temptation.  John Campbell, like Ikato in Tiv folktale coming across the rich storehouse of facts consumed more than he could analytically chew.
The end result is a rehash of expressions like Nigeria is a mere geographical expression;  Nigeria Is bifurcated between the North  which is Muslim and  South which is Christian, and that colonial rule lasted only fifty years so don’t blame the British for your problems.  He goes on to inflame passions: Nigerians hate Igbo and hate Yorubas especially a Yoruba businessman to be President. These are constipated facts, all too often told to the world about Nigeria, and exaggerations that bear no relevance to any present reality.

Ambassador Campbell jumps to wrong conclusions after feeding  fat on his treasure trove of facts collected over the years by the US like other authors before him: Karl Maier “This house has fallen”, Robert Calderis’s “ The Trouble with Africa”, Robert Kaplan’s “The Coming Anarchy” and Roy Cullen’s “Poverty of Nations”. These perhaps well meaning authors like others of their ilk, constantly make the mistake of comparing, relating and interpreting Nigeria and other African countries with American democracy.  With the advent of globalization, the western liberal democracy becomes a veritable but dubious template to condemn some countries like Nigeria, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia are applauded.

Nigeria Dancing On The Brink

Nigeria Dancing On The Brink

Ambassador Campbell’s grand thesis is that whereas Nigeria had been resilient in surviving a civil war, poverty, ethnic and religious violence and even failed elections, this time Nigeria will bifurcate after the 2011 election which he claims  “there is little evidence that the elections of 2011 will be anymore credible than 2007”  Nigeria will become a failed state because it is already there; an obscene presence that is dangerous, and hard to define, but  palpable to sight.  He claims that confluence of intensified ethnic and religious violence in the Middle Belt, the insurrection in the Delta, and the paralysis of the Presidency at the time of the election will be the defining moments of Nigeria’s state failure! (See page 131).

This conclusion is hardly surprising.  Twice in the history of Nigeria’s transition to civil rule in 2000 and 2011, American institutions have sponsored books that prophecy doom and collapse.  In both Karl Maier and Campbell’s books, the words of critical Nigerians are taken out of contexts and remodelled to justify a universal recognition of the approaching Armageddon. In “This  house has fallen’, it is Chinua Achebe’s while dancing on the brink, is Ojo Maduekwe’s words, so the writers can wipe their hands and feel clinically detached from malice and  malignance.

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