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Thread: The Fight Against Terrorism

  1. #76

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    There's only so much people can do against an international terrorist group like AL Qaeda with the genocidal mentality of the Third Reich.

  2. #77

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    Newsday
    June 15, 2004

    Penn Station cans are latest in anti-terror

    BY JOSHUA ROBIN
    Staff Writer

    To protect Penn Station from a terrorist's bomb, Amtrak has installed blast-resistant trash cans throughout the sprawling terminal, officials said.

    The cans, which each cost up to $2,000 and are credited with saving lives in Jerusalem, are also scattered throughout the city's subway stations.

    "Any blast set off from these trash receptacles are directed up, and not out," said Dan Stessel, an Amtrak spokesman.

    Amtrak began installing the cans about five years ago, and NJ Transit has recently put some in place. MTA spokesman Tom Kelly said the bins also have been installed in Long Island Rail Road and subway stations. "We've been putting them in as we get them," he said.

    Their presence takes on new importance as Republican delegates travel to Madison Square Garden, above the terminal, for this summer's GOP convention.

    Eyal Banai, whose Bethesda, Md.-based company, Mistral Security Inc., designed the cans, said each container has three layers that are built to withstand up to about 10 pounds of explosives.

    The innermost is a simple thin bin to collect trash. The middle layer is made of a patented material that is designed to absorb the blast and direct it upward.

    The outermost layer, made of stainless steel or regular steel, expands in a blast and has one weak point. In the event that a blast gets past the inner layers, the weak point will direct the explosion in one direction.

    Terrorists can easily place grenades or bombs inside trash cans, prompting some cities to remove cans altogether.

    "The reason for that is they can be used as receptacles for hiding improvised explosive devices," said Jeffrey Schlanger, managing director of the security firm Kroll Associates, who has provided counter-terrorism consulting for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

    Banai said trash builds up if cans are removed, allowing terrorists to place bombs amid the rubbish.

    "That also is dangerous," he said.

    Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

  3. #78

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    Newsday
    June 18, 2004

    NY apartment buildings ready anti-terror tactics

    By DESMOND BUTLER
    Associated Press Writer

    In his 13 years in the Army, Frank Zapata learned to spot suspicious characters.

    "They trained me to look a person up and down. I was told to look and pay attention," he said.

    Today, Zapata is a superintendent at a 16-story apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side _ and an unlikely sentry on the nation's terrorism watch.

    Last week, the former drill sergeant was polishing his old skills along with 16 other superintendents taking anti-terrorism training. The citywide effort addresses concerns that residential buildings may be in the sights of terrorists.

    Zapata watched attentively for four hours as Michael Lollo, an off-duty police academy instructor, explained how to differentiate between signs of chemical and biological terrorist attacks. He reviewed when to respond and how to coordinate with police and government agencies.

    "You don't want people winging it if something happens," said Zapata.

    The training was initiated by building owners and the union that represents New York's "supers," doormen and others. Plans call for the training of 28,000 workers in the next 18 months _ a goal police hope will increase the city's vigilance for signs of terrorist activity.

    "My mother in Queens knows everything that goes on in her neighborhood in Queens. It's like she has four eyes," said Lollo, who is among a dozen police instructors teaching the course. "We want 56,000 more eyes."

    While the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks all too vividly illustrated the vulnerabilities of office high-rises and government buildings, public safety analysts have more recently raised concerns about large residential buildings.

    The Department of Homeland Security has disseminated intelligence information about terrorist threats to the Real Estate Roundtable, an industry group, which publishes daily briefings on its Web site. The memos have occasionally highlighted threats to residential buildings, according to one New York manager.

    And on June 1, the Justice Department said publicly that Jose Padilla, a suspected American al-Qaida operative in U.S. custody since May 2002, had plotted with top lieutenants of Osama bin Laden to blow up residential high-rises. Padilla, according to the government, planned to rent multiple apartments, turn on gas stoves and cause simultaneous explosions in numerous buildings sparked by timed detonators.

    Since then, security analysts have cast doubt that Padilla, a former Chicago gang member, would have cleared the necessary background checks to rent multiple apartments. They also said that the smell of leaking gas likely would have given the plot away, and that resulting explosions and fires would not bring down sturdy buildings.

    Still, the Padilla revelations offer a sobering glimpse at al-Qaida strategies, according to Matthew Levitt, a former FBI anti-terrorism analyst and now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy.

    "They may be moving from high visibility targets like the Pentagon," Levitt said. "Twenty simultaneous attacks on apartment buildings would still be a big deal."

    In response, some building managers have hired high-paid security consultants to look at safety.

    Anti-terrorism experts at Kroll Inc., a risk consultant company, have been evaluating building security and offering private training for employees and residents.

    According to Kroll's analysts, the gas lines supposedly targeted by Padilla are not the only potential vulnerabilities.

    Street-level air intakes for heating and air-conditioning systems leave many older buildings vulnerable to chemical attacks, said William Vorlicek, a Kroll analyst and retired U.S. Army Colonel with a background in terrorism and disaster response. Kroll is also looking at water supplies, elevator security and parking lots. "The biggest threat is still vehicle bombs," he said.

    Kroll says it has dozens of residential building companies as clients, not only in New York but also in Chicago, Boston, and other cities.

    But experts say New York building owners are on the highest state of alert.

    "If someone wants to attack America, this is the target. So we want to be as professional and as calm and prepared as possible," said Richard Grant director of Midboro Management, which is hosting some of the employee training courses.

    City officials are also on alert. "We're taking any threat seriously," said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne. "We want to cast a broader security net around the city, and that includes educating people who can be our eyes and ears, like doormen."

    ___

    On the Net:

    Real Estate Roundtable: www.rer.org/partners/buildingsecurityissues.cfm

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security: www.dhs.gov/

    Copyright © Newsday, Inc

  4. #79

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    June 25, 2004

    OP-ED COLUMNIST

    Errors on Terror

    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    "Tonight, I am instructing the leaders of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, to merge and analyze all threat information in a single location. Our government must have the very best information possible." Thus spoke President Bush in the 2003 State of the Union address. A White House fact sheet called the center "the next phase in the dramatic enhancement of the government's counterterrorism effort."

    Among other things, the center took over the job of preparing the government's annual report on "Patterns of Global Terrorism." The latest report, released in April, claimed to document a sharp fall in terrorism. "You will find in these pages clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight," Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage declared. But this week the government admitted making major errors. In fact, in 2003 the number of significant terrorist attacks reached a 20-year peak.

    How could they get it so wrong? The answer tells you a lot about the state of the "war on terror."

    Credit for uncovering the report's errors goes to Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist, and David Laitin, a Stanford political scientist, who are studying patterns of terrorism. Mr. Krueger tells me that as soon as they looked at the latest report, they knew something was wrong.

    All of the supposed decline in terrorism, they quickly saw, resulted from a fall in the number of "nonsignificant" events, which Mr. Krueger and Mr. Laitin say "are counted with a squishy definition." Even the original report showed significant attacks — a much less squishy category — rising to a 20-year high. And the list of significant attacks ended on Nov. 11, 2003, but there were several major terrorist incidents after that date. Sure enough, including these and other omitted attacks more than doubled the estimated 2003 death toll.

    Was the report's squishy math politically motivated? Well, the Bush administration has cooked the books in many areas, including budget projections, tax policy, environmental policy and stem cell research. Why wouldn't it do the same on terrorism?

    The erroneous good news on terrorism also came at a very convenient moment. The White House was still reeling from the revelations of the former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, who finally gave public voice to the view of many intelligence insiders that the Bush administration is doing a terrible job of fighting Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, Mr. Bush was on a "Winning the War on Terror" campaign bus tour in the Midwest.

    Mr. Krueger, a forgiving soul, believes that the report was botched through simple incompetence. Maybe — though we can be sure that if the statistics had told the administration something it didn't want to hear, they would have been carefully checked. By the way, while the report's tables and charts have been fixed, the revised summary still gives little hint of how bad the data really are.

    In any case, the incompetence explanation is hardly comforting. In a press conference announcing the release of the revised report, the counterterrorism coordinator Cofer Black attributed the errors to "inattention, personnel shortages and [a] database that is awkward and antiquated." Remember: we're talking about the government's central clearinghouse for terrorism information, whose creation was touted as part of a "dramatic enhancement" of counterterrorism efforts more than a year before this report was produced. And it still can't input data into its own computers? (It should be no surprise, in this age of Halliburton, that the job of data input was given to — and botched by — private contractors.)

    Think of it as just one more indication that Mr. Bush isn't really serious about this terrorism thing. He talks about terror a lot, and invokes it to justify unrelated wars he feels like fighting. But when it comes to devoting resources to the unglamorous work of protecting the nation from attack — well, never mind.

    Speaking of numbers: in 1980, middle-income families with children paid 8.7 percent of their income in income taxes, not 8.2 percent, as I reported on June 8. But it's still true that their combined income and payroll taxes rose under Ronald Reagan.

    E-mail: krugman@nytimes.com

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    Congressional report criticizes government terror warnings


    July 13, 2004

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. government terror warnings to local police and citizens fail to give the specific information many authorities say is needed to protect the public, a congressional report said Monday.

    The report follows a series of official warnings about possible attacks -- most recently voiced last week by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge -- which lacked new intelligence or details on the threat and how to respond.

    The report by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, was based on survey of 28 agencies and 56 states and territories. Those responding "generally indicated that they did not receive specific threat information and guidance, which they believe hindered their ability to determine and implement protective measures," the report said.

    Some critics have accused President Bush's administration of using terrorism warnings as a political tool. Bush has made the fight against global terrorism a major theme of his campaign for reelection.

    The administration denies playing politics with terror threats, but a GAO official said the warning system's credibility could be undermined by vague announcements.

    "When the government gives warnings without more information about why they're giving them ... that inevitably leads to people questioning whether the timing is a diversion, or politically motivated." Randall Yim, the head of GAO's homeland security division, told Reuters.

    The report urged the Department of Homeland Security to give "specific information about the nature, location and timing of the threat, and guidance on action to take."

    A failure to deliver specific information in terror warnings can leave agencies unable to gauge risk or develop an effective response, it said.

    It recommended that the department publicize threats quickly and through multiple channels, and said many authorities reported they had first learned about threat warnings from media sources.

    Government officials have said that the nature of terrorist threats and the classified information on which they are often based make it difficult to give more detailed information.

    But Yim said recent warnings may be counterproductive. "They didn't say what was new and they didn't suggest any additional measures to be taken other than please be a little bit more vigilant and please go about your shopping. I think that that really attacks the credibility of the government warning system."


    Copyright 2004 Reuters.

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    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Some critics have accused President Bush's administration of using terrorism warnings as a political tool. Bush has made the fight against global terrorism a major theme of his campaign for reelection.
    How typical of the Bush Government...There is no surprice for me on this terror warnings. This guys all they do is bring fear to Americans. People buy into it so they believe that this governments is doing a good job in protecting them. Use terror warnings and God in their speeches and the majority of people fall on their mercy.

    Wake up America! It is time to leave this nightmare and into a better good night sleep.

    Lets not focus too much on foreing problems and more on our own.

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    I am not sure if he is using it directly, but I do get the feeling he is not letting this "opportunity" just pass him by.

    I think he can more likely be blamed for rushing reports so that they come out at key times rather than get the full story.

    Warning that "something bad" may hapen "sometime soon" "somewhere" in the US is too much of a "wolf!" cry for me.

    If they want to raise the warning level, fine (Kind of like a Forest Fire warning). But do not start making all these official announcements when they have nothing to go on.

  8. #83

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    USA Today
    July 19, 2004

    Editorial/Opinion

    Q&A with 'Anonymous'



    What if the United States has the important questions about Osama bin Laden wrong? Why he's fighting the West, why he's trying to undermine Arab rulers, why he's embraced by millions of Muslims.

    That's exactly what has happened, argues a CIA terrorism expert who, at the insistence of the agency, writes under the name "Anonymous." And that mistake dooms the U.S. to endless wars, says the 23-year intelligence veteran, who directed research into bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, in his most recent book, Imperial Hubris.

    While the White House says radical Islamists hate the United States for its values and our freedoms, the reality is very different, Anonymous says. Islamists despise our policies in the Middle East. That misunderstanding lures the United States into strategies that benefit al-Qaeda more than the U.S., he says.


    Question: You say that we're losing the war on terror. Why?

    Answer: We've missed the nature of the threat posed by Osama bin Laden. Presidents Clinton and Bush were both insistent that Osama bin Laden was attacking us because of who we are and what we do. That's about as far from the truth as you can possibly get. My bottom line is that we're never going to win this war if we don't realize what motivates our opponent and try to address it across a spectrum of policies instead of just the military policy, which is basically our only option at the moment.

    Q: Is it really that clear cut?

    A: Since 1996, bin Laden has been explicit in what he is up to. He is focused on a very limited number of U.S. policies and the way they are perceived in the Middle East.

    Q: Why focus on the U.S.? He started out focused on the leadership of his own country, Saudi Arabia.

    A: Part of his genius is his focus on the United States. One of the last remnants of European colonialism in the Arab world was a tradition of resistance against national governments. These tyrannies (today's governments) in the Arab world are too strong. There is no way (bin Laden) can ever beat them one at a time. It is too costly in terms of money, lives and families.

    He argues that the U.S. is weaker because it's a democracy, because it doesn't like to lose people, because it's so hypersensitive to any kind of opinion around the world that is critical, that if they can drive the Americans out of the region, the rest of it falls like fruit from a tree. The tyrannies in all of the countries go.

    Q: What do we know about al-Qaeda?

    A: To this day, we don't have a grasp of the size of his organization. We claim that we've killed two-thirds of al-Qaeda's leadership. But what we've done is kill two-thirds of the leadership we knew of on 9/11. We have a body count; we don't have a measure of progress.

    Again, we have a semantic problem. Al-Qaeda is not a terrorist group; it's an insurgency that is extraordinarily well structured in terms of succession for leadership. Al-Qaeda loses somebody and within hours, someone who has been an understudy is named to take his place.

    Until you have defined what al-Qaeda looks like in terms of organization and have an order of battle, you don't have a gauge against which to measure progress.

    Q: So how should we attack it?

    A: It's not a choice between war and peace, it's a choice between war and endless war. The goal should be to undercut the potential of bin Ladenism to grow, and the only way to do that is to address those polices which have been identified in the Muslim world as anti-Muslim or anti-Islamic. Looking out 10, 20, 30 years, it's only going to get worse if these policies stay in place.

    Q: You say war is unavoidable — just the length and form are in question. How should the war be waged?

    A: When we have the opportunity to hit someone, we have to be willing to do it without evidence that could be presented in court. One of the tragedies of the 1990s was the forced injection of the law enforcement community into intelligence work, because we stopped talking about intelligence and we started talking about evidence. You get to the point where you paralyze yourself. It also gives those people in the intelligence community who prefer to protect their career rather than taking risks an opportunity to beat their chests and say, "I wanted their heads on stakes but the lawyers said I couldn't do it." So you have to be ready to act.

    Q: What impact has that had?

    A: We lost in Afghanistan on the first day. The argument we staged between ourselves of whether or not it was bin Laden who attacked New York delayed our assault on Afghanistan for a month. By that time, everyone had dispersed.

    So if there is another attack, it's simply a matter of our military being much more active on the ground. You are going to have to be able to go after two or three or four people at a time. Because that's what the target is. And we are not doing that.

    Q: Is it inevitable that there will be a nuclear attack?

    A: It's inevitable that they will use a weapon if they have one. And that's a terrible answer. But he has never made any bones about it. He doesn't see a weapon of mass destruction as a deterrent. He sees it in Cold-War terms as a first-strike weapon. If he has it, he will use it.

    Q: In a recent report, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously criticized the quality of intelligence that led to the decision to attack Iraq. What might fix that problem?

    A: The president should have the opportunity to talk to a substantive expert. And that is not the case. I came into the agency under directors William Casey and Robert Gates (in the 1980s). They constantly pushed the expert forward. But there has been a marked retreat from providing the experts. The American intelligence community has a contempt for expertise, for the most part. An expert is a nerd. A generalist is what you want to be. So you have lots of people who know a little bit about a lot of things. But we also have some expertise that is world class.

    Q: What are our chances of finding bin Laden?

    A: They are very poor. Afghanistan is the size of Texas .... He's going to zig when we zag. He's not in hostile territory. The image of bin Laden going from cave to cave is one that is appealing but false.

    Q: The Intelligence Committee report also said that there had not been a credible human source on the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction program since 1998.

    A: But that doesn't mean we're not trying. The one thing people don't understand is you're asking a person to commit treason. We got ragged consistently for not having a penetration of al-Qaeda at the highest level. No Arab intelligence service on earth has that.

    One of the big shifts in the recruitment of human agents between the Cold War and now is that, in the Soviet system, the most ideological fervor and dedication to Bolshevism and communism was found in the outer ring, the youth group. The further people went into the party, the more they realized it was corrupt, and so they became disillusioned. The closer someone got to the center, the more access he got to the information you needed, and the more he became less enchanted with his own society.

    Q: And now?

    A: The new paradigm is we want to recruit somebody who sits next to bin Laden. The most corrupt, unIslamic, less pious ring is the outside ring. If you get him there, as he goes into the center he finds these people are who they say they are. And so, in a sense, the further he gets into the system, the less willing he is to work with you.

    Q: If we kill bin Laden, what happens then?

    A: It makes a big difference for al-Qaeda in the short term. Al-Qaeda has virtually every nationality on earth. It's an organization which is well run in the modern sense. It has tensions. But as a whole, he keeps it together and it moves forward.

    Q: What are our chances of finding him?

    A: They are very poor. Afghanistan is the size of Texas, with a bit more tacked on because the border area with Pakistan is really the same country. It's got the largest mountains in the world. It's got a population that is either neutral or pro-bin Laden. What's the tooth-to-tail ratio? He's going to zig when we zag. He's not in hostile territory. The image of bin Laden going from cave to cave is one that is appealing, but false.

    Q: Why has bin Laden waited so long for his next attack?

    A: Because everything has gone his way since the attack on 9/11. We lived up to our reputation of being unwilling to be a ruthless military power. We let al-Qaeda escape. We let the Taliban escape. We had him cornered in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan, but we sent in surrogates rather than U.S. soldiers and he got away. We've reinforced all of the negative aspects of our military policy since 1991.

    Also, the development of Palestine as an international issue has helped him. Frankly, I don't know what else the Israelis can do than what they are doing, but the perception in the Muslim world is that we are no longer playing any kind of moderating role there. Certainly the Europeans have backed away from the war on terror. Things have developed in a way that he just doesn't have to take any action until he's ready to do it.

    Q: Is it possible that bin Laden does not see it in his self-interest to attack the United States?

    A: He's enough of a strategist to see that there is no hurry to attack us. We've tied ourselves in knots now because of this supposed pre-election terrorist threat. There is a lot of threatening information out there, but there's a lot of hubris involved, too. But in the history of Islamic terrorism, we've never known them to attack on an anniversary or an event of any kind. I think he has his own plan, his own tempo and he sees it in his interest to attack us again. It's just that the timing will be his, not ours.

    Q: Is it inevitable that there will be a nuclear attack?

    A: It's inevitable that they will use a weapon if they have one. And that's a terrible answer. But he has never made any bones about it. He doesn't see a weapon of mass destruction as a deterrent. He sees it in Cold-War terms as a first-strike weapon. If he has it, he will use it.

    My own view is he probably wants to use a weapon that is limited in its geographic scope. He is more likely to use something like a dirty bomb or a nuclear bomb, than biological or chemical weapons that might flow outside the borders of the United States and somehow hurt a Muslim community. But that's all speculation.

    Q: When you talk about the mind-set of the country on the war on terror, where do you think the misconceptions come from? The media, politicians?

    A: It's trite to say, but the idea of political correctness is very, very important in terms of the performance of the intelligence community. How many times has USA TODAY, or The New York Times or The Washington Post discussed the role of Islam as a motivating factor in bin Laden's appeal in the Muslim world? I can't remember it very frequently. The director of intelligence and the president say al-Qaeda represents the lunatic fringe of the Muslim world, which, on the face of it, is absurd. But there is no one talking about Islam as a motivating factor for war.

    There were times when our ancestors went to war to defend their faith. So, the debate is very constricted, not only in America but certainly within the intelligence community. We do a lot of analysis by assertion rather than by reality. Somehow the argument that someone is fighting for his faith is seen as a negative. So we assert that only gangsters do that. We make bin Laden into a gangster. But it doesn't get you anywhere.

    Q: Where can this all end?

    A: I don't know. But it's going to end in disaster if there is not some kind of discussion of whether we want to remain in the status quo of our policies.

    -----------------------------

    U.S. policy targets

    Six U.S. policies enable Osama bin Laden to rally his followers against the U.S., Anonymous says:

    - Support for Israel that allows the Israelis to dominate the Palestinians.
    - U.S., Western troops on the Arabian Peninsula.
    - Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    - Support for Russia, India and China against the Muslim militants there.
    - Pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low.
    - U.S. support for corrupt Muslim governments.

    Source: Imperial Hubris

    © Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Is it just me or does he repeat himself in this several times.

    The Texas comment and the usage of the nuclear weapon. I don't know if he is just staying consistant with his position, or if he has all these answers memorized....

    I do believe we need to do more behind the scenes IF we want to WIN this, but the problem becomes, do we have the right to force democracy on people? Should we be going to war against nations? How do we make these "attacks without hesitation" without getting most of the world to hate us?

    this guys makes a lot of sense on how all this needs to be handled to finish it. Unfortunately, a lot of his solutions are not possible in the world theater today....

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    HIDDEN CAMS ON S.I. FERRY

    By CLEMENTE LISI
    July 21, 2004

    High-tech surveillance cameras have been installed aboard the city's fleet of Staten Island Ferry boats and at its two terminals in an effort to keep an eye on passengers and potentially avert a terror attack, The Post has learned.

    The seven vessels were retrofitted with the cameras last month in order to comply with new anti-terrorism federal regulations that aim to tighten security aboard commuter boats.

    The Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard outlined a plan last year that called for vessels to be equipped with closed-circuit TV cameras.

    Large passenger ferries received the highest risk assessment from the feds among 80 maritime terror scenarios.

    The assessment showed that an attack on a passenger ferryboat was tied for first with terrorists targeting a ship carrying hazardous materials near a large city.

    The cameras, which are constantly being monitored, have also been installed at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island.

    The city Department of Transportation installed the cameras last month in order to comply with the July 1 deadline.

    "While we cannot outline specific security measures, numerous security measures are in place on our boats and in our terminals, and our customers appreciate it," said DOT spokesman Tom Cocola.

    The DOT received $2.76 million last year from the feds for port security out of a pool of $92.3 million the U.S. Department of Transportation gave to 51 agencies across the country.

    Cocola would not comment on how much the agency spent on the cameras.

    There have been many security improvements on the Staten Island Ferry over the past three years.

    The city banned cars from boarding the boats and the NYPD has stationed uniformed cops with bomb-sniffing dogs and undercover officers to do security sweeps on the vessels and at the two terminals.



    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    Most worried about terror attacks during GOP convention
    Survey sez they're uptight in Boston, too



    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Originally published on July 21, 2004

    ALBANY — Two-thirds of voters across America are concerned about possible terrorist attacks in Boston and New York City during the Democratic and Republican national conventions, a nationwide poll reported Wednesday.

    For the Republican convention that opens Aug. 30 in New York City, 21 percent of voters surveyed by Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion said they were “very concerned” about terrorism there while 45 percent expressed “concern” about such attacks.

    Twenty percent of voters said they were “very concerned” about possible terrorist attacks during the four-day Democratic convention that opens in Boston on Monday. Another 45 percent said they were “concerned” about such attacks.

    About one-quarter of voters said they were not too concerned about terrorism attacks during either convention.

    Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said intelligence indicated the possibility of attacks aimed at disrupting the election process in the United States. Ridge said the government had no information about specific targets.

    Security preparations have been extensive for both conventions.

    The poll found an equal number of voters expressing concern about terrorist attacks just before the November elections.

    “That’s the new environment,” said pollster Lee Miringoff, head of the Marist Institute located in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “Certainly, there’s been a good deal of attention focused on security measures. With heightened awareness also comes heightened concern.”

    The Marist poll also found that American voters are taking a real interest in the presidential election this year. Sixty percent said they were “very interested” in the race.

    Three-quarters of voters said they had talked at least once in the past week to someone about the presidential campaign. Thirty-two percent of voters said they had done that five times or more in the past week. One in five voters said they planned to watch a great deal of convention coverage.

    “Four years ago we were at peace and there was relative prosperity. That’s a very different issue climate than there is today,” Miringoff said. “People think there’s a lot at stake so they’re talking politics.” Marist’s telephone poll of 938 registered voters was conducted July 12-15 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


    All contents © 2004 Daily News, L.P.

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    Article 1:

    Problem is, oncethese guys are on the boat, it is already too late. they are not going to use the boat to hit something else, it is too slow and easily stopped (if reported). the ammount that would be hurt in it ramming a dock would probably be less than the ammount that would be killed, or drowned, if they managed to blow someone up on it in the middle of the river.....

    Article 2:

    Yeah everyone is nervous about the conventions, but what else is new. maybe they should be held in Nebraska. It would warrant the money we gave them to fight terrorisim.

    As for people being more concientious about it, I think more are just getting fed up. The only ones on Bush's side are the ones that voted for him last time and don't want to feel like they did something wrong. Evidence to this is how they will defend him in ALL matters, even ones that have been openly proven to be incorrectly handled, lied about or otherwise mistakenly done. People who are comfortable with their decisions are usually comfortable with admitting any mistake they had in their original assumptions or beliefs. Those that are not, defend it regardless.

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    July 20, 2004

    OP-ED COLUMNIST

    The Arabian Candidate

    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    In the original version of "The Manchurian Candidate," Senator John Iselin, whom Chinese agents are plotting to put in the White House, is a right-wing demagogue modeled on Senator Joseph McCarthy. As Roger Ebert wrote, the plan is to "use anticommunist hysteria as a cover for a communist takeover."

    The movie doesn't say what Iselin would have done if the plot had succeeded. Presumably, however, he wouldn't have openly turned traitor. Instead, he would have used his position to undermine national security, while posing as America's staunchest defender against communist evil.

    So let's imagine an update - not the remake with Denzel Washington, which I haven't seen, but my own version. This time the enemies would be Islamic fanatics, who install as their puppet president a demagogue who poses as the nation's defender against terrorist evildoers.

    The Arabian candidate wouldn't openly help terrorists. Instead, he would serve their cause while pretending to be their enemy.

    After an attack, he would strike back at the terrorist base, a necessary action to preserve his image of toughness, but botch the follow-up, allowing the terrorist leaders to escape. Once the public's attention shifted, he would systematically squander the military victory: committing too few soldiers, reneging on promises of economic aid. Soon, warlords would once again rule most of the country, the heroin trade would be booming, and terrorist allies would make a comeback.

    Meanwhile, he would lead America into a war against a country that posed no imminent threat. He would insinuate, without saying anything literally false, that it was somehow responsible for the terrorist attack. This unnecessary war would alienate our allies and tie down a large part of our military. At the same time, the Arabian candidate would neglect the pursuit of those who attacked us, and do nothing about regimes that really shelter anti-American terrorists and really are building nuclear weapons.

    Again, he would take care to squander a military victory. The Arabian candidate and his co-conspirators would block all planning for the war's aftermath; they would arrange for our army to allow looters to destroy much of the country's infrastructure. Then they would disband the defeated regime's army, turning hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers into disgruntled potential insurgents.

    After this it would be easy to sabotage the occupied country's reconstruction, simply by failing to spend aid funds or rein in cronyism and corruption. Power outages, overflowing sewage and unemployment would swell the ranks of our enemies.

    Who knows? The Arabian candidate might even be able to deprive America of the moral high ground, no mean trick when our enemies are mass murderers, by creating a climate in which U.S. guards torture, humiliate and starve prisoners, most of them innocent or guilty of only petty crimes.

    At home, the Arabian candidate would leave the nation vulnerable, doing almost nothing to secure ports, chemical plants and other potential targets. He would stonewall investigations into why the initial terrorist attack succeeded. And by repeatedly issuing vague terror warnings obviously timed to drown out unfavorable political news, his officials would ensure public indifference if and when a real threat is announced.

    Last but not least, by blatantly exploiting the terrorist threat for personal political gain, he would undermine the nation's unity in the face of its enemies, sowing suspicion about the government's motives.

    O.K., end of conceit. President Bush isn't actually an Al Qaeda mole, with Dick Cheney his controller. Mr. Bush's "war on terror" has, however, played with eerie perfection into Osama bin Laden's hands - while Mr. Bush's supporters, impressed by his tough talk, see him as America's champion against the evildoers.

    Last week, Republican officials in Kentucky applauded bumper stickers distributed at G.O.P. offices that read, "Kerry is bin Laden's man/Bush is mine." Administration officials haven't gone that far, but when Tom Ridge offered a specifics-free warning about a terrorist attack timed to "disrupt our democratic process," many people thought he was implying that Al Qaeda wants George Bush to lose. In reality, all infidels probably look alike to the terrorists, but if they do have a preference, nothing in Mr. Bush's record would make them unhappy at the prospect of four more years.

    E-mail: krugman@nytimes.com

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  14. #89
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Anti-terrorism legislation is approved


    July 21, 2004

    Gov. George Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced that they have reached an agreement on a comprehensive anti-terrorism bill that has been in the works since November 2001.

    The new legislation calls for harsher punishments for terrorist acts and expands the government's surveillance rights. The possession and use of chemical or biological weapons would be punishment by a life sentence without parole; alarmists who threaten others with substances designed to look hazardous will get seven years in prison without parole.

    The bill eliminates the statute of limitations for terrorist acts that could conceivably cause death or serious physical harm; dramatically lowers the threshold for felonious money laundering to $1,000 transactions; expands state wiretapping and eavesdropping laws to include terrorism crimes; and requires all those convicted of a terrorism crime to submit a DNA sample to the state.

    In addition, a new state Office of Homeland Security would replace the current Office of Public Security; the director of the office would have the authority to review security measures at chemical plants and storage facilities.

    General aviation airports would be required to submit written security procedures to the Department of Transportation. Private and public general aviation airports will have to take additional steps, including locking all hangars which are not in use.

    The bill will also create an advisory council to help the state develop its previously announced statewide wireless network.


    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

  15. #90
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Looks hazardous?

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