Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another dubious excuse (guest post by Uranus)

Just when you thought you'd seen everything, along comes this propaganda from the George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute (the GWUHSPI). It seems that without anyone's knowledge, terrorists are using hip-hop music on the internet to recruit clueless Americans:

Government and community leaders aren't doing enough to counter multimedia-savvy terrorists from using flashy websites, provocative video games, hip-hop music and gruesome images of bloodied Muslim children to recruit young people online, according to a new report that says the Internet may be extremists' most powerful frontier.

"There's only one side on the battlefield, and it isn't us," says Frank Cilluffo, director of George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute, who will testify Thursday on the Internet-Facilitated Radicalization report in the Senate. "We've created this global village — the Internet — without a police department."

[...]

"The Internet is a weapon in the hands of our extremist enemies," says Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which investigates ways to combat radicalization at prisons, universities and on the Internet.

[...]

Among Web-based tactics terrorists use, according to the report:

• Hacking into legitimate websites and posting training manuals deep in subdirectories where no one is likely to notice them.

• Developing video games that spread "a simple but seemingly compelling message: Islam is under attack and young Muslims have a personal duty to fight."

• Using hip-hop and rap musicians "whose catchy, melodic messages contain calls to violence."

The content is typically developed abroad, but it is being placed on U.S. servers and is targeting domestic audiences, Cilluffo says.

[...]

The report doesn't advocate stripping people of their rights to communicate ideas on the Internet. Instead, it says national leaders need to develop a compelling "counter-narrative" that the "West is not engaged in a battle against Islam," hire more intelligence officers to infiltrate chat rooms and foster better relations with Muslims.

Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke says officials are working with intelligence officers, Muslim leaders and police to address the problem. But "it is something that is going to require the vigiliance of local authorities," he says. "They are going to be more likely than the federal government to detect the preliminary signs of radicalization."

The war on pornography isn't about protecting children, and this war on terrorists isn't about protecting you. What it is about is very hard to say, but let me take a stab at it: quieting dissent? Power and control? Shutting down the internet? Or, perhaps it's just another dubious excuse to build an enormous, expensive infrastructure to examine every hard drive in the world. Who knew bullshit could be stretched this thin?

(Hat tip to Janet)

7 comments:

starroute said...

Cilluffo's name is not really one you want to see turning up in your morning newspaper -- or whatever the equivalent is these days. For example, there's this:

Rev Moon, Richard Scaife, CSIS,
and 'Homeland Security'
Thursday 12 Sep 2002
by Margie Burns

Some recommended reading for back-to-schoolers, including those in Congress: a July 22, 2002, cover story in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Insight Magazine, titled "Security Blanket."

If you usually avoid Moon-connected publications, for good and sufficient reason, read this one with a view to learning where our national policy comes from:

"Bush's plan [for the 'Department of Homeland Security'] also shows the fingerprints of a series of homeland-security and related reports prepared by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an independent think tank, under the general direction of veteran journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave with grants from Pittsburgh philanthropist Richard Mellon Scaife. And it should: Bush's special assistant for Homeland Security, Frank Cilluffo, was day-to-day manager of the CSIS studies and is regarded by professionals as one of the best-informed and most forward-looking thinkers on the issue."

Moon media have been boosting the weird "homeland" catchphrase since well before September 2001. The Washington Times, UPI, and Insight Magazine have been consistent supporters of Anser, Inc's 'Institute for Homeland Security' for more than two years, and the Reverend Moon's entities typically support anything involving billions in military-technology contracts for Bush's corporate sponsors. These particular "faith-based organizations" have also given millions directly in speaker fees to former President Bush.

But this magazine article presents a truly bizarre combination of disclosure and concealment. Anyone who did not know that the secretive and ultraconservative mega-donor Richard Scaife was behind "homeland security" might well appreciate Insight's revealing this item.

However, the article does not mention that "veteran journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave" was editor-in-chief of the Washington Times, another Reverend Moon publication, from 1985 to 1991, and is still editor-at-large at the Times. Mr. de Borchgrave has also been President and CEO of United Press International, another Moon-owned media entity, where he is also now editor-at-large.

Nor does it mention that Mr. Cilluffo has co-authored publications with Mr. de Borchgrave and has directed seven "task forces" under a "Global Organized Crime Project" headed for years by Mr. de Borchgrave, according to CSIS.


More recently, there's this:

BELLEVUE, WA – (October 26, 2004) – SAFLINK® Corporation (NASDAQ: SFLK), a provider of biometric and smart card security solutions, today announced the addition of Frank J. Cilluffo, former Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, to its Board of Directors. During his White House tenure, Mr. Cilluffo was a principal advisor to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and directed the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. He currently serves as Associate Vice President for Homeland Security at The George Washington University, where he also directs the Homeland Security Policy Institute and teaches a graduate level course at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

“I believe Mr. Cilluffo’s contributions to SAFLINK will play a very important role in our continued success in homeland security initiatives,” said Glenn Argenbright, CEO of SAFLINK. “For years, he has been one of our government’s most outspoken and respected champions in the fight against terrorism and cyberterrorism. We intend to leverage his expertise in our efforts to help organizations achieve their security goals.” . . .

“Technology will play an even more critical role as we translate current security concepts and policies into practices and lasting capabilities at all levels of government, the private sector, and individual users,” said Mr. Cilluffo. “I believe SAFLINK is very well positioned to deliver this technology – offering a doorway-to-desktop identity assurance platform that combines biometrics, smart cards and PKI capabilities, and providing high assurance solutions required by security-centric government organizations. I am pleased to lend my expertise and experience to help SAFLINK deliver its solutions throughout the government sector.”


Cilluffo resigned from the Saflink board this past February 27. One can only wonder what fresh horizons he may have his eye on.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Thanks, starroute. I'd never heard of the GWUHSPI. It looks like some kind of heavily funded symposium or think tank, parading under the legitimacy of a university. That assessment could be incorrect. I started looking at their website, and it starts out with lots of patriotic mumbo-jumbo and banner waving about 9/11. It made me think I missed my calling in life. I should be a maniac doing incomprehensively dumb things, because there's money to be made. I don't see any events after 2004, but this entry gives an idea of what kind of things they're talking about:

"How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?: Freedom Versus Security in the Age of Terrorism" by Amitai Etzioni, GW University Professor.

Larry Thompson, considered a potential nominee to the Supreme Court, said of the book "Etzioni has produced a detailed, very thoughtful, balanced but provocative examination of how our nation MUST respond to the very real threat of terrorism. He demonstrates decisively that the notion that we should not increase governmental authority to protect innocent civilians from ruthless terrorists, lest we sacrifice our precious freedoms, is simply based on a false premise."


That was a must-see event! Could it be Cilluffo is a good talker who can get money, but has nothing to say? It's possible, and if that's all there is to him, he fits right in with the Bush administration's plans.

lukery said...

thanks Mr U, what a bunch of freaks these people are.

thanks starroute. if i were you, given what you know, i don't think i'd be able to sleep at night... so many freaks, so little time.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Is it my imagination, or is conservative flaptrap becoming more ridiculous with the ticking of every second? The whole thing is utter nonsense. Are we going to need battle groups in the field to engage hip hop? Does it include bebop?

Janet has been following the melamine from China story pretty closely, and believes it has extreme social and political implications. She believes China has received strategic information about America's food distribution system, and says it is a matter of concern. I haven't dragged any of that stuff in here. Everyone is aware the Bush administration has changed how FDA and USDA do their work. That will change after enough people die, and when (and if) Bush leaves office.

Enlightenment said...

I think that this hip-hop flap is the latest installment in their "case" they are building for heavily regulating/censoring the internet as much as is possible. Not long ago it was the "internet identity theft" hysteria, "cyberstalking" "epidemic", and the paedophiles-meeting-underage-girls-online crisis. Most likely they are trying to build public support for censoring the last remaining outlet for free expression in America, the internet. After all, could you imagine if the internet had been around in November 1963? After the C.I.A. assassination of John Kennedy it would have been a lot harder to contain and tamp down public suspicion of a conspiracy if instantaneous data sharing was possible then like it is now. This free media unfettered by corporate masters scares the living shit out of the establishment as it well should.

lukery said...

This free media unfettered by corporate masters scares the living shit out of the establishment as it well should.
indeed.

if i was them, i'd wanna pull the plug *today*

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Political posers have to justify their existence, so millions of political prisoners rot in prison on drug charges--700,000 people arrested for marijuana each year alone. Janet said our state has had a law requiring computer techs to report porn on hard drives for 10 years, but doesn't know how enforcement works or what the penalty for nondisclosure is, or how to prove it. She told me tonight we're also the only state where the governor is part of the parole process, so our parole rate is the lowest in the nation. Meanwhile, our rate of mental illness is around 50%, about 20% higher than the next highest state, highest in the nation. That's attributed to the fact that life here is harder than in any other state. She said that's because we're physically located at a crossroads, and get a patchwork of culture not our own. She learned that on her new job, setting up a halfway house for problem drug convicts. In the last 3 days, gasoline has risen 20 cents a gallon. Washington is too busy for us, listening to beat music and looking for video of kids with their britches down. My question is do any of the people I told not to vote for Bush or the GOP remember I told them?