Defense and Security of the United States
TSA's New ID, Boarding Pass Scanning System Draws Criticism
The TSA’s new CAT/BPSS system that verifies passenger IDs and boarding passes has come under criticism as being an unnecessary cost to taxpayers that does little to enhance security.
Firearms and Arrest Authority of Federal Agencies
At any time, as many as 120,000 civilian employees of the U.S. government could be making arrests and carrying guns, just like your local police officers. What government agencies do these employees work for and why do they need guns?
Are the Selective Service System and the Draft Still Needed?
The Government Accountability Office examines whether the U.S. still needs a military draft and the Selective Service System.
The 'Terror Gap' In Brady Act Background Checks
Are terrorists slipping through the gun control net? Under current law, being reported as a confirmed or suspected terrorist in a Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act background check does not stop a person from buying a gun in the United States.
Obama's Plan on Women, Peace and Security
The Obama Administration’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security is intended to make women more involved in international process of peacekeeping and conflict resolution.
Beware the bin Laden Death Picture Scam
Read about the bin Laden death picture scam. Learn how to avoid being tricked by the bin Laden death picture scam. Discover why the bin Laden death picture was never made public. Find out why the bin Laden death picture scam was prevalent.
Should bin Laden Picture Be Released?
Find out whether the bin Laden picture is available on the Internet. See why Obama didn't release the bin Laden picture following the terrorist mastermind's killing in 2011. Learn about what the bin Laden picture taken by Navy SEALS shows. Discover the arguments for and against releasing the bin Laden picture.
Napolitano Updates Congress on Mexican Border Initiative
Two years after the March 2009 launch of the Obama administration’s Southwest Border Initiative, Home Land Security Secretary Janet Napolitano updated Congress on her agency’s implementation of the plan and progress in securing the Mexican border.
Is Ban on Women in Combat Old Fashioned?
Find out how the ban on women in combat limits diversity in the military. Read about a study of diversity that recommends women in combat exclusion be overturned. Learn about the history of the military policy on women in combat.
What is the Military Leadership Diversity Commission?
Learn about the Military Leadership Diversity Commission. Find out why the Military Leadership Diversity Commission was created and what the Military Leadership Diversity Commission responsibilities were. Read about the important and controversial recommendations issued by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission.
Hurricane Katrina Damage to New Orleans Area Housing
At the end of 2009, more than five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city; more than 44,200 housing units in New Orleans remain uninhabitable, according to the first comprehensive report on Katrina-related housing damage from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Color-Coded Terror Threat System Replaced
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the replacement of the color-coded terrorism threat advisory system with a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) designed to provide more timely and specific details about terrorist threats.
Why Canadian Border Poses Bigger Threat to U.S.
Find out why government watchdogs believe the Canadian border poses a greater risk of terrorism to the United States than the Mexican border does. Read details of a controversial report on lax security along the Canadian border. Learn about the rugged terrain along the Canadian border and how it hampers security efforts. Discover how much the United States spends on security along the Canadian border and learn about the number of arrests they make.
State Department Backs New START Nuclear Arms Treaty
The U.S. State Department wants to assure Americans that they can sleep soundly knowing they will be still protected by plenty of nuclear weapons after implementation of the new Strategic Arms Reduction (New START) Treaty.
'If You See Something, Say Something' Explained
Read about If You See Something Say Something campaign in this guide to If You See Something Say Something. Learn about the history of the If You See Something Say Something campaign. Discover the history of the If You See Something Say Something campaign. See how the If You See Something Say Something campaign was expanded.
The Hidden Danger of a Green Laser
Find out why the U.S. government issued a warning about the use of green laser. See the problems caused by a green laser. Learn about the health impacts of a green laser on airline pilots. Discover the penalties for shining a green laser at airplanes.
Why and How the US Will Aid the Syrian Rebels
A simple explanation of why and how the US will supply military aid to Syrian rebels fighting the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Preventing Attacks by Homegrown Muslim Jihadists
Effective intelligence gathering and a lack of sympathy from the Muslim community have helped discouraged jihadist terror attacks in the U.S. since 9-11-01, but a spike in domestic terrorism during 2009 stirs cause to worry – and change, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation.
Will Obama's Afghanistan Troop Buildup Trigger a Draft?
Concerns that the Afghanistan war troop buildup ordered by President Obama will trigger a military draft are not supported by the numbers.
Nuclear Waste Storage Alternatives
Aside from burying it all at a single location somewhere within the continental United States, how do you think the government should deal with long-term storage of our nuclear waste?
Yucca Mountain Still in Nuclear Waste Storage Mix?
Shortly after taking office, President Obama pulled the financial plug on further development of the Yucca Mountain, Nevada nuclear waste storage facility, prompting Environmental Issues Guide Larry West to ask the very difficult question, “If not Yucca Mountain, where?” Based on the action being taken by Congress, the answer may still be Yucca Mountain.
The U.S. National Incident Management System
Whenever a major emergency, like Hurricane Katrina requires local responders to call for help from state and federal government, everybody who shows up absolutely must be working from the same game plan. To make sure that happens, the Department of Homeland Security, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, developed the National Incident Management System, or NIMS.
TSA Registered Traveler Program
The Transportation Security Agency's (TSA) Registered Traveler Program (RT) offers flyers who are willing to undergo -- and pass -- an exhaustive security background check with the most convenient and hassle-free path to the airplane possible under today's airport security procedures.
The U.S. Civilian Response Corps
The Civilian Response Corps (CRC) of the U.S. State Department is a volunteer team of civilian federal employees specially trained to travel to countries in crisis or just coming out of conflict and provide those countries with reconstruction and stabilization assistance.
Taking Apart America's Nuclear Weapons
In some unusually good government news, comes a report that the U.S. military taking nuclear weapons apart faster than they built them during the Cold War.
The 18 Benchmarks for Success in Iraq
The following are the 18 benchmarks set for the new Iraqi government in the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007.
The NSA National Cryptologic Memorial
Early in the war on terror, President Bush noted that, "Some victories will be won outside of public view, in tragedies avoided and threats eliminated." In the case of cryptologists -- code makers and breakers -- war has always been like that. The uppermost words on the National Security Agency Cryptologic Memorial sum it up: "They Served in Silence."
Register for the Draft: It's Still the Law
The Selective Service System wants you to know that the requirement to register for the military draft did not go away with the end of the Vietnam War. Under the law, virtually all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are ages 18 through 25, are required to register with the Selective Service System.
The Iraq Study Group
What exactly is the Iraq Study Group? Who sits on it, and what authority does it have in molding our future military and diplomatic policy in Iraq? Lean more about the Iraq Study Group.
FEMA Announces Two New Disaster Recovery Strategies
Continuing to address shortcomings identified in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and the central Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2006, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has announced new "Recovery Strategies" in two key areas of disaster operations: Shelter and Housing, and Debris Removal.
Bush Says U.S. Will Maintain Security at Seaports
President Bush yesterday stated that the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in Dubai of the United Arab Emirates would not change existing security operations at those ports.
Future of War Think-Fest at Sandia Labs
When you put 49 recognize visionaries together for two days in a windowless room, in the middle of the New Mexico desert, and ask them to talk about the future of things like war, terrorism, women's rights and globalization, some fascinating questions come up.
Bush Honors Heroes of 9-11
After a solemn reading of their names, President Bush on Friday honored the public safety officers who gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 by presenting their families with the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor.
FEMA's 'Pam' Simulation Foretold Katrina Disaster
During the summer of 2004, FEMA ran a disaster simulation exercise in which a fictional hurricane named Pam hit the New Orleans area. The purpose of the Pam simulation was to help FEMA and local authorities in hurricane-prone areas to prepare for future disasters. Clearly, that preparation never happened.
'Smoking Dragon' and 'Royal Charm' Yield 59 Arrests
Based on their exotic names alone - 'Smoking Dragon' and 'Royal Charm' -- somebody will surely make a movie about these two highly dangerous and successful undercover federal sting operations, which brought down a ring of at least 59 individuals who conspired to smuggle massive quantities of counterfeit money, weapons, drugs and other contraband into the United States.
Bush Declares Iraqi Democracy Worth Fighting For
President Bush today declared democracy in Iraq to be worth "more tough fighting in the weeks and months ahead," in his weekly radio address to the nation. "A democratic Iraq will be a powerful setback to the terrorists who seek to harm our nation," he said. "A democratic Iraq will be a great triumph in the history of liberty. And a democratic Iraq will be a source of peace for our children and grandchildren."
Rate of Family Violence Dropped by Over One-Half from 1993 to 2002
The nationwide rate of family violence fell by more than one-half between 1993 and 2002, according to a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Reflecting a general reduction in the rate of all violent crimes against people during the same period, the rate of family violence fell from an estimated 5.4 victims to 2.1 victims per 1,000 U.S. residents age 12 and older.
Despite Sagging Recruitment, Draft Still Doubtful
As the U.S. Army reported falling short of its annual recruiting goal for the first time since 1999, suggestion have arisen that the military draft may be reinstated for the first time in 32 years. But, who wants a draft? Not the people, not Congress, and, most of all, not the U.S. Military.
National Sex Offender Registry Website Put On Fast-Track
The Department of Justice has announced it will fast-track development and delivery of a national sex offender registry Website where citizens can search public state and territory sex offender lists.
Applying for FEMA Federal Disaster Assistance
In 2003 alone, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) paid out nearly $2 billion in recovery assistance to victims of 56 declared natural disasters. If you become a victim of a declared natural disaster, do not hesitate to apply to FEMA for disaster assistance. It's a simple process, but there are some tips you need to keep in mind.
Above-Average 2005 Hurricane Season Predicted by NOAA
Coastal residents from Texas to Maine could face damage from as many five major hurricanes during what forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are calling an above-normal 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.
Tariq Ramadan: The Case of the Grand Deception
"No case illustrates the murderous deception of Western society by Islamic militants more than the recent episode involving Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss professor who was denied a visa to teach at Notre dame. His supporters in the U.S. rallied vigorously around Mr. Ramadan, protesting with total moral certitude the politically outrageous move by the U.S. government to muzzle a Muslim 'moderate.'"
Dry Winter Prompts Dire Wildfire Warnings
A record dry winter has residents in Idaho, Oregon and Washington facing a potential devastating 2005 wildfire season, according to a warning issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Learn what you can do to protect your home from wildfire.
Afghanistan On Verge of Becoming a 'Narcotics State'
After three years under a pro-U.S. government, Afghanistan stands "on the verge of becoming a narcotics state," according to a recent State Department report.
Bush Security Budget Would Bump Airline Ticket Prices
Every time you buy an airline ticket, a part of what you pay goes toward the cost of anti-terror, aviation security operations. That security-related portion will increase from a current maximum of $5.00 to $8.00 due to enhanced security measures in President Bush's proposed 2006 Homeland Security budget.
Border Security Gets $6.7 Billion in Bush 2006 Budget
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will receive a nearly 4.8% budget increase -- one of the highest in government -- under President Bush's proposed Fiscal Year 2006 budget. Specifically, the FY 2006 budget for CBP totals $6.7 billion, including $5.6 billion in appropriated resources and $1.1 billion in funding derived from user fees. Get the highlights of this massive budget.
Firefighter On-Duty Deaths Hit 107 in 2004
Despite continued advances in firefighting equipment, training, operations and communications, 107 U.S. firefighters died in the line of duty in 2004, a figure just released by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
RAND Report Details 9-11 Victims Compensation
A study released by the RAND Corporation shows that victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — both individuals killed or seriously injured and individuals and businesses impacted by the strikes — have received at least $38.1 billion in compensation, with insurance companies and the federal government providing more than 90 percent of the payments.
All Peace Corps Volunteers in Thailand Safe After Tsunami
The Peace Corps continues its efforts to ensure the safety of its volunteers serving in Thailand and Eastern Asia following the recent earthquake and tsunami. Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez has confirmed that all 84 volunteers serving in Thailand have been contacted and are unharmed.
"Whitey" Bulger Marks 10 Years as Federal Fugitive
As James "Whitey" Bulger celebrates ten successful years as a federal fugitive, the Justice Department reports new information on the case gathered by the Bulger Fugitive Task Force.
Latest Airport Security Procedures and Suggestions for Passengers
Especially during peak travel periods, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) urges air passengers to be aware of the latest airport security checkpoint procedures and policies, and to take advantage of several tips designed to speed their clearance through security.
Almost 900 U.S. Kids Have Lost a Parent to Iraq War, Scripps Finds
America's sons and daughters fight her wars. In Iraq, however, an unprecedented number of those sons and daughters are also moms and dads. Now the Scripps Howard News Service reports that almost 900 U.S. children have lost at least one parent to the Iraq war. Will the U.S. government be there for the children of its own fallen heroes?
Death Penalty Numbers Continue Five-Year Decline
Is the American public losing confidence in the death penalty as a deterrent to murder? A five-year decline in death sentences, a 40% drop in executions, a shrinking death row population, and waning public support for capital punishment have marked a significant turn around in the use of the death penalty, according to the Death Penalty Information Center’s (DPIC) 2004 Year End Report.
FBI Releases 2003 Hate Crime Statistics
Antagonism toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability prompted hate crimes against 9,100 victims during 2003, according to hate crime statistics recently released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Inauguration Will Get Special Security Attention
The second-term inauguration of President George W. Bush on January 20, 2005 has been designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security.
52 Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2003
The FBI reports that 52 police officers were feloniously killed in 2003. Forty-six separate incidents in 25 states claimed the lives of these officers.
Should the U.S. Lay Off Afghanistan's Opium Growers?
Could U.S. efforts to eradicate Afghanistan's opium crop actually amount to beating plowshares into swords by driving Afghan farmers, who have so far helped in the war against terror, straight into the arms and camps of anti-American terrorists?
Database Tracks U.S. Troop Deployment Since 1950
For decades, American servicemen have been deployed around the globe, but there has never been a year-to-year accounting of where they served. A new report from The Heritage Foundation fills that gap.
Bush Updates Congress on Terror War
As required by the War Powers Resolution of 1993, President Bush has issued the following report to Congress on the status of deployments of U.S. combat-equipped armed forces engaged in support of the global war on terrorism:
Half of 18-29 Year-Olds Think Bush Wants to Reinstate Draft
About half of the country’s 18 to 29-year-olds believe that President George W. Bush wants to reinstate the military draft, even though he and his challenger, Senator John F. Kerry have each insisted they oppose the idea, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey show.
Stealing From Homeland Security to Fight a War in Iraq?
So far, the federal government has spent over $150 BILLION fighting a war against "insurgents" in Iraq. Here at home, the Department of Homeland Security says it would cost $290 MILLION to install terrorist dirty-bomb radiation detectors at U.S. seaports. Problem is, it only takes about 23 hours to spend $290 MILLION on the war in Iraq. Is there something wrong with this picture?
Canadian Vietnam Draft-dodger Memorial Angers VFW
Members of the U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars are furious about Canada's reported plan to build a memorial to Vietnam draft-dodgers.
Bush Drops Terror-related Sanctions Against Libya
Citing the country's "concrete progress in dismantling its weapons of mass destruction," President Bush has removed all sanctions against Libya. The sanctions were originally imposed in 1968, in reaction to Libya's continued support for and use of terrorism against the United States, other countries and innocent persons.
Air Passengers Must Remove Coats for Security Screening
New Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security procedures, now in effect, requires all passengers to remove outer coats and jackets for X-ray before proceeding through the metal detectors. Included are suit and sport coats, athletic warm-up jackets and blazers.
Afghanistan Makes List of Major Illicit Drug-Producing Countries
The White House has added Afghanistan to the list of major illicit drug-producing and drug-transit countries (known as the "Majors List").
The 9/11 Commission Final Report
Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Established by Congress and President Bush in November 2002, the 9/11 Commission was assigned to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks, identify lessons learned, and provide recommendations to safeguard against future acts of terrorism. This is the final, authorized edition of the Commission's report.
What Went Wrong in Iraq?
As the Iraq war -- a war we could win in 48 hours -- enters its sixteenth month, more than 800 American soldiers have died, the government of Iraq remains unstable, and the price tag for war easily exceeding $200 billion, lots of people are asking, "What went wrong?"
Federal Sky Marshals Shouldn't Dress Like G-men
So, you're on a flight to Maui, and the guy seated next to you is wearing a suit and tie, spit-shined shoes, and has a military-grade haircut. Just another passenger, or an armed federal air marshal? Probably an air marshal. Too "probably," says the Association of Flight Attendants (CWA), who believe that forcing air marshals to dress like stereotypical G-men jeopardizes the lives of airline passengers and crew.
Saddam On Trial: Right Where He Wants to Be
Saddam Hussein is on trial in Iraq. Given his history of spending time in Iraqi jails, Saddam is right where he wants to be.
Current Headlines from the War on Terror
The latest news from all fronts in the War on Terror, including the battle against al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, and the crisis in the Middle East. Also includes a daily archive of events from Sept. 11, 2001 through the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Killed in Action
American military personnel confirmed by the Department of Defense as being killed in action over the past week in fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts in the war on terrorism.
Chasing Castro Harder Than Bin Laden?
The Treasury Department has confirmed that five times as many of its agents were assigned to track Cuban embargo violations than to track the flow of money to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
President's 2004 Memorial Day Proclamation
President Bush's 2004 Memorial Day Proclamation.
DOE Recovers Over 5,000 High-Risk Nuclear Sources
The Department of Energy (DOE) proudly announced that it had recovered and secured 5,529 high-risk radioactive sources that could have been used in making so-called "dirty bombs." All of the high-risk sources were recovered right here in the United States over just an 18 month period.
VA Reaches Out to Newest Combat Veterans
Responding to a lesson from the Gulf War, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched a massive effort to reach out to Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans to make sure they are aware of benefits they have earned.
What Terrorist Threat Colors Mean
The American Red Cross has attempted to answer the questions of many Americans about the Homeland Security Advisory System, a color-coded system that depicts the current risk of terrorist activity. Questions like, what specific steps should we take at each of the five terrorist attack threat levels?
National Cyber Alert System Debuts
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has just launched the National Cyber Alert System, a Web-based system designed to provide Americans with timely and actionable information to better secure their computer systems.
America's First Ever Homeland Security Budget
On October 1, 2003, President Bush signed into law the nation's very first spending bill dedicated to ensuring and enhancing homeland security. The following White House fact sheet provides highlights of exactly how $37.6 billion dedicated to the Department of Homeland Security will be spent during Fiscal Year 2004.
Security Tips to Speed Summer Flying
Even dirt on your golf clubs can trigger airport security devices. Learn how prudent packing can save you plenty of travel time this summer.
Prepare for terrorism at Ready.gov
The Department of Homeland Security has launched a new Website to educate and empower American citizens to prepare for and respond to potential future terrorist attacks.
"Why We Know Iraq is Lying" by Condoleezza Rice
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice explains why the Bush White House is sure Saddam Hussein is lying about Iraq’s intentions to dismantle its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.
FEMA Provides Disaster Preparedness Guide
Do you know how to build a disaster supply kit, or how to locate and evacuate to a shelter? This great new guide from FEMA helps families prepare to survive just about any manmade or natural disaster. Learn to make the U.S. 'A Nation Prepared.'
How to Support US Troops
With the holidays approaching, here are several programs and Web sites through which Americans can show their support for U.S. servicemembers, especially those serving overseas in this time of war.
Terrorists: The 'Other' Illegal Immigrants
Not all illegal aliens crossing our borders are looking to take advantage of the American way of life; some are looking to destroy it.
Violent Crime and Arizona's Immigration Law
"Arizona Immigration Law and Violent Crime:" Find out more about claims made about violent crime in the Arizona immigration law debate
Posse Comitatus Act: The Military on the Border
Learn about the Posse Comitatus Act and how it limits the duties of National Guard troops deployed along the Mexican border.
New Naturalization Certificate Enhances Security
A falsified Certificate of Naturalization can be a dangerous thing when fraudulently used as a form of identification. Now the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a new Certificate of Naturalization loaded with security features intended to reduce fraud.
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks (9-11 Commission)
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation in late 2002, is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.