Court Orders DHS To Explain Legality Of Secret Plan To Shut Down Cell Service

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The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has given the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security 15 days to explain why it cannot reveal further details about its contingency plan (SOP 303) to shut cell service to localities and potentially entire regions.

The court order comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) when DHS failed to fully respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in 2011. EPIC’s original request to DHS came after authorities shut down the cell service in the San Francisco subway system during a protest.

EPIC asked DHS to release the document that gives the agency the authority to take this action. DHS responded to the request by turning over a highly redacted document for a procedure called SOP 303. The plan was adopted by DHS following the 2005 subway attacks in London, during which terrorists used cellphone signals to activate bombs.

When DHS refused to turn over more details about the program, EPIC sued the department and won at the district court level, but lost when DHS appealed the ruling to the DC Circuit Court.

The court ruled this past February that a FOIA exemption applies if the government determines that releasing the information “could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.”

EPIC next petitioned the DC Circuit Court to revisit the case En Banc, meaning that all the justices of the court, rather than the normal three justice panel, will rehear the case.

The DC Circuit Court order to DHS on Friday indicates that EPIC and the American public may yet get further details about the SOP 303 plan.

h/t: The Blaze and ARSTechnica

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson: ‘You Can’t Know Everything’ About 40 Americans Who Have Returned To U.S. After Fighting For ISIS

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged that, of 180 Americans who went overseas to fight for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), 40 have returned to the United States– saying, “you can’t know everything.” Other top officials have also discussed the 40 ISIS fighters returning to the U.S. from overseas.

04082015_Jeh Johnson Tweet_Twitter

Johnson had the following exchange with CBS Correspondent Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes in a segment that aired Sunday:

Stahl: As I understand it, of the 180 Americans who have gone overseas to fight in Iraq and Syria, 40 have come back. I assume you’re keeping close tabs on those 40?

Johnson: We have in fact kept close tabs on those who we believe have left and those who’ve come back. A number have been arrested or investigated and we have systems in place to track these individuals. But you can’t know everything.

U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper made reference to the 40 last month while speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations. Reuters reported at the time:

Clapper said not all those who went to Syria, where Islamic State militants and other factions are fighting each other and the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, had engaged in the Islamist campaign. Some might have been aid workers, he said.

The United States and its allies believe that more than 20,000 foreign fighters from more than 90 countries have gone to Syria. Islamic State forces have taken over large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq.

Clapper was not the first U.S. official to make the statement, however. Former Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., confirmed what Stahl asked Johnson about during a speech last September.

“One of the concerns is the number of U.S. citizens who have left our country to go join up with ISIS,” Bishop said. “It is believed there have been some number up to 100 that have done that.”

“It is also believed that some 40 of those who left this country to join up with ISIS have now returned to our country,” he continued.

Those who returned “are under FBI attention and surveillance. So they are known and being tracked by the FBI,” Bishop added. The New York Democrat lost re-election last November to Republican Lee Zeldin after having served in the House since 2003.

h/t: Right Wing News

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Operation Jade Helm: Should We Be Worried?

Boston militarized policetank

For two months this summer, the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) will conduct Realistic Military Training (RMT) Operation Jade Helm 15 (JH 15) in seven Southwestern U.S. states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Military spokesmen say the operation is merely a standard training exercise designed to prepare Special Forces troops for warfare overseas.

According to the London Daily Mail, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said: “‘This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.’”

Units participating in the operation include Army Green Berets, Navy SEALS, USAF Special Operations Command, USMC Special Operations Command, USMC Expeditionary Units, Army 82nd Airborne Division, and Interagency Partners (whatever and whoever that is). Over 1,200 troops will participate. For purposes of the exercise, the states of Utah and Texas, and parts of southern California, are designated as “hostile.” Local mayors and county commissions have been notified of the operation and have already signed off on it.

To be sure, the U.S. military often conducts off-base exercises; there is nothing new about that. However, this operation might be the largest off-base training exercise on the U.S. mainland. It is certainly one of the most aggressive.

In this exercise, Special Forces troops will practice all sorts of activities including extractions, searches and seizures, urban camouflage, etc. According to the Houston Chronicle, “[A]mong the planned exercises, soldiers will attempt to operate undetected among civilian populations.

“Residents, in turn, will be asked to report suspicious activity in order to gauge the effectiveness of the soldiers.”

See the London Daily Mail report here:

Special Forces Set To Swarm Southwest And Operate Undetected Among Civilians In Massive Military Exercise

According to USSOCOM, the exercises will only be conducted between 11pm and 4am. Pray tell, how difficult will it be for Special Forces troops (the best of the best) to operate undetected and “blend in” during the middle of the night? That part of the military’s description makes no sense to me at all.

We already have millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on mass media advertising that tells people, “If you see something, say something.” Now we are going to “practice” reporting “suspicious activity”? Believe it or not, there was a time in this country when such an idea would have been considered abhorrent by the American people as resembling Nazi Germany or Red Russia too much. Then again, most of our World War II generation has passed, hasn’t it?

The Internet is abuzz with speculation that these exercises are not designed to prepare U.S. troops for overseas operations, but are actually designed to prepare U.S. troops for aggressive operations against the American citizenry.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, ever since 9/11, our federal government has targeted America’s homeland for all sorts of surveillance, spying, snooping, etc. The National Security Agency (NSA) routinely collects virtually all electronic communications, telephonic transmissions, etc., from the entire American citizenry. The U.S. Congress and federal courts have become nothing more than rubber stamps for an executive branch of government determined to know the most intimate details of every person in the nation. The United States now has the dubious distinction of being the most spied-on country in the history of the world.

For the first time in U.S. history, we have U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), a full active military division (3rd Infantry Division), assigned to the Continental United States. We have the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has turned our local and State police agencies into miniature military units, and has armed them with all sorts of military weaponry and equipment–including some of the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering equipment in the world.

The Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, NDAA, etc., authorize the federal government to basically treat the U.S. citizenry as “enemy combatants.” As far as the passage of these laws is concerned, we Americans have already lost our right to trial by jury, habeas corpus, the right to have an attorney, the right to a speedy trial, the right to be secure in our persons, houses, effects, etc. Martial Law may not be the experience of most U.S. citizens YET, but understand that the laws are already in place for such an event.

The whole idea of practicing “extractions” (a nice word for kidnappings) in U.S. cities sends chills up my spine. Using the aforementioned laws, this kind of activity has already been made “legal” in this country. So, first we have laws authorizing such activity, and now our military troops are practicing doing it? Please tell me, again, how we have nothing to worry about.

Folks, please take a look at what is happening in this country: our local and State police are being militarized; we have ubiquitous laws being proposed and passed (by both major parties) denying the Bill of Rights; we have Twentynine Palms Marine Corps surveys asking Marines if they would turn their guns on the U.S. citizenry; we have repeated attempted gun confiscation coming from Washington, D.C.; we have hundreds of military field-grade officers being dismissed because of their loyalty to the U.S. Constitution; we have a federal foreign policy that seems hell-bent on inciting most every country in the world against us, while practically giving a red-carpet invitation for any would-be terrorist to waltz across our southern border; we have a CIA that gives some of the most powerful weapons in the world to just about any third-world resistance group (including elements of Al Qaeda and, believe it or not, ISIS) that comes along (The U.S. government is far and away the largest gun dealer in the world!), while its sister government organizations, such as the ATF, think we Americans can’t be trusted with .223 ammunition; we have Democrat and Republican presidential administrations alike that use the IRS as a political mafia against people with dissenting opinions; we have a national news media that has become nothing more than a propaganda ministry for the federal government; we have politicians from both parties in Washington, D.C., that can only be described as blood-thirsty war-mongers; we have politicians at the local and State levels who seem determined to turn their communities into a Police State (and some Homeowner Associations are even more Naziesque than the federal government); and, for the most part, we have an apostate, cowardly church pulpit that is doing its dead-level best to turn the Christian people of America into sheepish servants of the state.

I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE GOOD REASON TO BE A LITTLE PARANOID.

I posted a few preliminary thoughts on my Facebook page regarding this subject before writing this column. Here are a few comments from my Facebook followers:

James: “Jade Helm. Jade is blue. Helm is German for helmet. Blue Helmet. UN blue helmets?”

Jeanie:  “Their supposed reasons for this exercise [don’t] make sense. They won’t be blending in with civilians in third world countries. The only purpose I can see is to use force against us one day.”

Mark: “Pastor, just because we are a bit paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out to get us.”

Lou: “‘Blending in.’ LOL.”

Jason: “The exercise itself is not a direct danger. It is, however, practice to [acclimate] soldiers and citizens to military action in their neighborhoods.”

And, of course, there is this kind of response from Terry: “Worry? No! We should worry about you.” [Meaning, yours truly.]

I invite readers to “Like” my Facebook page. I often post comments on my Facebook page that do not make it into my column. Go to my Facebook page at:

Chuck Baldwin Facebook

I realize it is extremely difficult for Americans to believe that their own government could actually turn against them. And, I’m sure that many people will tell me that to think otherwise is alarmist and extremist. But, isn’t that exactly what the citizens of every country overtaken by its own government said? “That can’t happen here,” have been the last words of millions.

The fact is, the vast majority of us cannot know what the true intention of Operation Jade Helm might really be–and that includes the military personnel who are commanding it and participating in it. I am convinced of this much: the federal government–and its propaganda ministry in the national news media–almost NEVER tells us the truth. Of that much, I am absolutely certain.

© Chuck Baldwin

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Homeland Security Stockpiles ‘Less Lethal’ Crowd Control Munitions…And Hides It Under Border Patrol Procurement

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It seems our government could be getting ready for anything in the future regarding the controlling of the American population. Buried under the procurement process for the Customs and Border Patrol department, DHS is buying a whole lot of “less lethal” equipment and munitions that could be only used for one thing—controlling the domestic population in times of unrest, not policing the border.

If you read the request for proposal, or RFP, some of the weapons don’t seem all that “less lethal,” such as rounds that can blow away barricades and release chemicals at the same time.

Zero Hedge reports:

…considering several recent contentious situations in Ferguson (Michael Brown) and New York (Eric Garner), it appears the Department of Homeland Security (via the US Customs and Border Protection dept) is intent on enhancing its ability to bring unruly crowds under control…

In case you’re wondering what types of munitions Homeland Security is looking for, here’s a list: a variety of smoke canisters, an assortment of crowd management projectile cartridges, controlled noise and light distraction devices (Batman may also be looking to purchase some of these), and the always useful “ferret rounds,” which, for those unfamiliar, will blow apart any barriers protesters may be hiding behind and upon impact, will introduce chemical agents into the surrounding environment.

How all of this is useful for “border protection” we don’t know…

You can read the entire RFP in the link above.

It makes one wonder, after purchasing all of that ammo and militarizing the police over the last few years, if DHS is getting ready for something we should be concerned about. Obama has a history of using government agencies to threaten and intimidate his political opposition. I wonder what DHS knows that we citizens don’t.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Obama Has A New Plan To Change America That’s So Insane He Has To Keep It Quiet

Flickr/Thomas Levinson

It is very obvious now that our Dear Leader doesn’t have to run for reelection, he is being more “flexible.” The gloves are off and the change is starting to come fast and furious. This change is not the hope he advertised, but a subversive policy to change America by changing the demographic nature of its people. With little fanfare and with reduced transparency to the media and the public, the Obama Homeland Security Department has started a program that has been discussed since children started arriving from Central America in droves last year.

This program consists of flying children directly from several Central American countries and resettling them in the United States. Oh, and, by the way, they get free everything, and you’re going to pay for it.

Judicial Watch reports:

To facilitate the often treacherous process of entering the United States illegally through the southern border, the Obama administration is offering free transportation from three Central American countries and a special refugee/parole program with “resettlement assistance” and permanent residency.

Under the new initiative the administration has rebranded the official name it originally assigned to the droves of illegal immigrant minors who continue sneaking into the U.S. They’re no longer known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), a term that evidently was offensive and not politically correct enough for the powerful open borders movement. The new arrivals will be officially known as Central American Minors (CAM) and they will be eligible for a special refugee/parole that offers a free one-way flight to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The project is a joint venture between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department.

Specifically, the “program provides certain children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are undertaking to the United States,” according to a DHS memo obtained by JW this week. The document goes on to say that the CAM program has started accepting applications from “qualifying parents” to bring their offspring under the age of 21 from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The candidates will then be granted a special refugee parole, which includes many taxpayer-funded perks and benefits. Among them is a free education, food stamps, medical care and living expenses.

This man has less than two years to go as President of the United States. It is staggering the amount of damage he can do to the country in that time in addition to the harm already done to America. The only remedy freedom loving Americans have is to stop his agenda through the courts and via congressional action. Get involved if you love America!

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom