Urban Area Security Initiative Effectiveness Report August 2011

Created in 2003 in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States by al-Qaeda, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) is the only federal homeland security grant program that requires regional governance, strategic planning and investing involving all disciplines – law enforcement, fire service, public health and medical, public works, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and emergency management – in order to acquire the necessary plans, equipment, training and exercises to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from threats and acts of terrorism and other major hazards. From FY 2003 to FY 2011, approximately $6.5 billion has been appropriated for this program.

EU Leaders Pushing For Centralized Treasury, Greater “Economic Convergence”

The proposal, put forward by Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, would be the clearest sign yet of a new “United States of Europe” — with Britain left on the sidelines. The plan comes as European governments desperately trying to save the euro from collapse last night faced a new bombshell, with sources at the International Monetary Fund saying it would not pay for a second Greek bail-out. It was also disclosed last night that British businesses are turning their back on Brussels regulations to give temporary workers full employment rights, with supermarket chain Tesco leading the charge. Meanwhile, David Cameron is attempting to face down a rebellion tomorrow by Tory MPs in a vote over staging a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. Ministers expect 60 or 70 MPs to defy the party’s high command and back the call for a referendum, while some rebels claim the final toll could be up to 100 — about a third of the parliamentary party.

(U//FOUO) DHS Terrorist Backpressure Contamination of Water Systems

Backpressure, the reverse flow of contaminated water into a potable water distribution system, has the potential to affect the public health of a community by using residential, commercial, or industrial connections in water distribution systems as a pathway for contamination. A water contamination incident using an effective contaminant and delivery method would cause immediate public health effects, require costly cleanup, and cause lasting economic and psychological impact. The amount of toxicity depends on many factors, including the type of contaminant, dilution and solubility of the contaminant, and the proximity of the consumer to the point of entry.

Google Investigated by IRS for Using Transfer Pricing to Evade $3 Billion in Taxes

The US Internal Revenue Service is auditing how Google avoided federal income taxes by shifting profit into offshore subsidiaries, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The agency is bringing more than typical scrutiny to how the company valued software rights and other intellectual property it licensed abroad, said the person, who requested anonymity because the audit isn’t public. The IRS has requested information from Google about its offshore deals after three acquisitions, including its $US1.65 billion purchase of YouTube, the person said. The transfer overseas of these kinds of rights rights has enabled Google to attribute earnings to foreign units that pay lower taxes, Bloomberg News reported a year ago. Last year Bloomberg said Google had cut its taxes by $US3.1 billion ($3 billion) in the three years prior using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

IMF, EU, European Central Bank “Troika” Greece Debt Sustainability Analysis October 21, 2011

Since the fourth review, the situation in Greece has taken a turn for the worse, with the economy increasingly adjusting through recession and related wage-price channels, rather than through structural reform driven increases in productivity. The authorities have also struggled to meet their policy commitments against these headwinds. For the purpose of the debt sustainability assessment, a revised baseline has been specified, which takes into account the implications of these developments for future growth and for likely policy outcomes. It has been extended through 2030 to fully capture long term growth dynamics, and possible financing implications.

Network of 147 Companies Controls Nearly 40% of Global Economic Value of Transnational Corporations

As protests against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy. The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable. The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere. But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).

Dead Gaddafi Photos

The following photos reportedly depict former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi before and after his execution by rebel fighters. You can also see the video that many of the screenshots are taken from, showing Gaddafi alive, as well as a video…

Federal Reserve Board Has Serious Conflicts of Interest

The makeup of the Federal Reserve’s board of directors poses a conflict of interest and there is concern that several financial firms and corporations could have reaped monetary benefits from their executives’ close ties to the Fed, according to a new report released today by the Government Accountability Office. In one case, the Federal Reserve consulted with General Electric on the creation of a commercial paper funding facility and then provided $16 billion in financing to the company while its chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, served as a director on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Immelt is now President Obama’s “jobs czar.” JP Morgan Chase could also have benefited from its chief executive Jamie Dimon’s position on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to the GAO. The bank received emergency loans from the Federal Reserve at the same time it served as the clearinghouse for the Fed’s emergency lending program. The Federal Reserve gave JP Morgan Chase an 18-month exemption from risk-based leverage and capital requirements in 2008, the same year that the Fed gave it $29 billion to acquire Bear Stearns, according to the GAO.

GAO Report: Federal Reserve Directors and Potential Conflicts of Interest

The Federal Reserve Act requires each Reserve Bank to be governed by a nine-member board—three Class A directors elected by member banks to represent their interests, three Class B directors elected by member banks to represent the public, and three Class C directors that are appointed by the Federal Reserve Board to represent the public. The diversity of Reserve Bank boards was limited from 2006 to 2010. For example, in 2006 minorities accounted for 13 of 108 director positions, and in 2010 they accounted for 15 of 108 director positions. Specifically, in 2010 Reserve Bank directors included 78 white men, 15 white women, 12 minority men, and 3 minority women. According to the Federal Reserve Act, Class B and C directors are to be elected with due but not exclusive consideration to the interests of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor, and consumer representation.

Think Like the Enemy: The U.S. Military’s Terrorist Training Exercise

A U.S. military training program designed to enhance soldiers’ abilities to operate in irregular conflicts includes exercises which encourage soldiers to think like terrorists in order to examine opposing ideologies. The exercises are part of a course designed to help trainees with practical decision-making skills in “irregular conflicts” and counterinsurgency called Combat Observation and Decision-making in Irregular and Ambiguous Conflicts (CODIAC). The course was initially created in 2010 as a way of enhancing the “ability of individuals and small teams to address irregular challenges by training enhanced observation, battlefield sensemaking, human terrain pattern recognition, and environmental analysis (including knowledge of combat tracking).” The CODIAC course incorporates curriculum from a number of other military programs, including the U.S. Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter program, and it is designed to primarily for military personnel as well as “interagency paramilitary personnel, such as Border Patrol or Police Officers, as well as multinational allies.” The course focuses on a number of core subject areas related to decision making, intelligence and observation, physical tracking and “human terrain” analysis.

(U//FOUO) USJFCOM Combat Observation and Decision-Making in Irregular and Ambiguous Conflicts (CODIAC)

This curriculum was directly inspired by the US Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter program. Created in 2007, in response to a dramatic increase in precision fire causalities in Baghdad, Combat Hunter is systematic training designed to improve cognitive skills, showing personnel how to read the human terrain, establish a baseline, detect an anomaly, and make decisions “left of bang.” In other words, Combat Hunter was designed to train personnel to anticipate danger and meet it proactively. In an irregular conflict, this enables personnel to be the “hunters”—not the “hunted.” CODIAC integrates the USMC Combat Hunter principles, along with proven battlefield decision-making and irregular warfare instruction from across the Joint services. The goal of CODIAC is to enhance the ability of individuals and small teams to address irregular challenges by training enhanced observation, battlefield sensemaking, human terrain pattern recognition, and environmental analysis (including knowledge of combat tracking).

(U//FOUO) U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Handbook

Being a drill sergeant may be the most challenging and rewarding assignment a noncommissioned officer will ever experience during his military career. While training initial entry Soldiers to fight and win in today’s Global War on Terrorism, drill sergeants must embody and reflect the Army’s values and standards. This handbook is designed to help new drill sergeants conquer the many challenges of their assignment and succeed in their mission of training Soldiers.

Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase Report Billions in Profit

Bank of America reported net income of $6.2 billion, or 56 cents per share, for the third quarter of 2011, compared with a net loss of $7.3 billion, or 77 cents per share a year-ago period. The nation’s largest bank reported total revenue of $28.5 billion, a 6% increase. Analysts’ consensus forecast for earnings per share of 20 cents on revenue of $25.9 billion. BofA shares were down more than 4% in pre-market trading. The quarter’s results were heavily affected by accounting gains and on asset sales. The three-month period ending in September included pretax gain of $4.5 billion (pretax) in positive fair value adjustments on structured liabilities, a pretax gain of $3.6 billion from the sale of shares of China Construction Bank (CCB), $1.7 billion pretax gain in trading Debit Valuation Adjustments (DVA), and a pretax loss of $2.2 billion related to private equity and strategic investments, excluding CCB.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Army Afghanistan Route Clearance Handbook

Route clearance (RC) operations for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan are much different from RC operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom in terms of the terrain, seasonal weather, level of infrastructure, volume of insurgent threats, sources of improvised explosive device (IED) components, and motivation for IED emplacement. The purpose of this supplement is to focus on RC in Afghanistan.

(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: Anonymous Hacktivist Threat to Industrial Control Systems (ICS)

The loosely organized hacking collective known as Anonymous has recently expressed an interest in targeting industrial control systems (ICS). This product characterizes Anonymous’ capabilities and intent in this area, based on expert input from DHS’s Control Systems Security Program/Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) in coordination with the other NCCIC components.

Former Detective Testifies NYPD Routinely Plants Evidence, Frames People to Reach Arrest Quotas

A corrupt ex-undercover cop says NYPD supervisors paid detectives extra overtime for hard-drug busts, creating a covert reward system for cocaine and heroin arrests. Undercovers taking down smack or crack suspects routinely got two or three hours of overtime as payback, ex-cop Stephen Anderson testified in a Brooklyn courtroom. “So giving you overtime for a crack cocaine arrest is a reward for the nature of the crime … would that be a fair statement?” asked Justice Gustin Reichbach. “Yes, that’s fair to say,” Anderson testified last week at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.