A Roll Of The Dice

Two stories of late highlight the simple fact that despite spending billions and billions, the TSA/DHS/the military put on a pretty good show wrt to security and protecting us, but it is mostly for appearances.

Leading off, we have a Russian nuclear submarine, armed with the latest and greatest, doing a bit of site seeing off the gulf coast (I wonder if that sub captain has a girl in every port):

A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

——

The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

Where is Curtis Lemay when you need him?

Cuts in the military, the smallest amount of working Navy vessels since WW1? no problem, because you know, Russia is our friend.

The other has to do with a stranded jet skier who defied a hundred million dollar security system, “Can anyone spare a gallon of gas”?

A jet-skier who became stranded in Jamaica Bay easily breached JFK’s security system by walking undetected through two runways and into a terminal.

Daniel Castillo of Queens swam to shore and then walked past motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras of the airport’s state-of–the art Perimeter Intrusion Detection System.

The $100 million system is meant to safeguard against terrorists.

Castillo climbed an eight-foot-tall perimeter fence and made his way to Terminal 3, according to The New York Post. He approached a Delta Airlines worker, who alerted authorities, the paper said.

The breach raised a host of troubling questions about safety.

Ya think? If you have seen pictures of this guy, broad daylight, sashying in a bright yellow vest, bright enough that Curiousity on the far side of the red planet could see him, later spotted arguing with a Delta worker who wanted to charge him baggage fees for his empty gas can.

Raytheon is trying to determine what went wrong, what didn’t work, but it appears that nothing worked.

Yeah, boy, safety is their top priority.

Face it, there by the grace of God is anyone really safe. It appears that blind luck is the a better bet then Raytheon, or any ham fisted groper wearing a TSA uniform. Inconvenience folks, put them through the drills, shoes off shoes on, take off that belt, empty your pockets, as long as I feel safe, what could possibly happen?

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  1. Poosh

    The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

    *raises eyebrow

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  2. Mississippi Yankee

    We have sniffed around foreign shore just as Russia, GB and Fwance have sniffed around ours. Hell there was a movie about it, a comedy no less, in the 70’s “The Russians are Coming” was the name. If was being viewed as a national security threat ‘we’ wouldn’t have known about episode.

    I, for one, am much more concerned about why the National Weather Service needs to purchase large quantities of powerful ammo? A hail of bullets it seems.

    “A solicitation which appears on the FedBizOpps website asks for 16,000 rounds of .40 S&W jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets, noted for their strength, to be delivered to locations in Ellsworth, Maine, and New Bedford, Mass.

    A further 6,000 rounds of S&W JHP will be sent to Wall, New Jersey, with another 24,000 rounds of the same bullets heading to the weather station in St. Petersburg, Florida.”

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  3. hist_ed

    I, for one, am much more concerned about why the National Weather Service needs to purchase large quantities of powerful ammo?

    Dude, you sound like a CNN reporter or Hollywood celebutard talking about Ar-15s: “Why do we allow these powerful [.223] weapons?”

    .40 S&W is, I suppose, on the high end for pistol ammo. But would it have been more alarming to you if they were buying .357 magnum? Less alarming if it was 9mm or .380?

    Obviously they probably have a security/cop force. If they do so it would be irresponsible for that security to not train with their weapons. If they do train, they need to train with the ammo that they normally use, hence they should buy that scary powerful ammo.

    Now, if you wanted to ask why the national weather service (and apparently, every other federal agency) has its own security force, that is something else, but leave off the silly editorializing about ammo strength. Makes you sound like you don’t know shit about guns (which I know is not true).

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  4. CM

    That’s hilarious!

    Looks like just a good old mix-up though….

    UPDATE, 1:07 p.m.: NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen emailed the following statement, clarifying the ammunition order is for fisheries law enforcement, as we suspected:

    Due to a clerical error in the federal business vendor process, a solicitation for ammunition and targets for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement mistakenly identified NOAA’s National Weather Service as the requesting office. The error is being fixed and will soon appear correctly in the electronic federal bidding system. The ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement agents in their twice annual target qualifications and training.

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  5. hist_ed

    I should add that I agree with this:

    We have sniffed around foreign shore just as Russia, GB and Fwance have sniffed around ours. Hell there was a movie about it, a comedy no less, in the 70′s “The Russians are Coming” was the name. If was being viewed as a national security threat ‘we’ wouldn’t have known about episode.

    A Russian sub running around the GUlf of Mexico isnt’ a big deal. I bet they do it a few times a year (and I bet if they had a better navy they’d do it a lot more). Betcha at any given time there is at least one US sub (and probably more than one) either in or close to Russian territorial waters.

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  6. CM

    Due to a clerical error in the federal business vendor process, a solicitation for ammunition and targets for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement mistakenly identified NOAA’s National Weather Service as the requesting office.

    Q: How easy is it to make fun of Government screw-ups?
    A: Like shooting fish in a barrel.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    but leave off the silly editorializing about ammo strength. Makes you sound like you don’t know shit about guns (which I know is not true).

    hist_ed,
    The bullet critique wasn’t mine it was quoted from the article. I had forgotten to italicize the quote so I just put quotation marks around the article.
    Here’s a bit more from the piece:

    The NWS is following its federal counterpart the DHS in securing large quantities of ammo. Back in March,Homeland Security purchased 450 million rounds of .40-caliber hollow point bullets that are designed to expand upon entry and cause maximum organ damage, prompting questions as to why the DHS needed such a large amount of powerful bullets merely for training purposes.

    As the Business Insider notes, hollow point bullets have been “illegal in international warfare since 1899.”

    The DHS is also planning to purchase a further 750 million rounds of different types of ammo in a separate solicitation that also expires on August 20, including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.

    CM
    Was it a Government screw-up or did they not adhere to the First Rule of Holes?
    There are in fact a NOAA weather stations at Ellsworth Maine, New Bedford MA, Wall, New Jersey and St. Petersburg, Florida. In fact the last three are coastal communities.

    But for the life of me I can’t figure out why NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement would need 46,000 rounds of ammunition.
    From your WaPo article:

    NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement protects fish stocks from depletion and marine mammals from extinction. We also protect the livelihoods of commercial fishers, the hobbies of recreational fishers, and the health of seafood consumers

    And also:

    The ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement agents in their twice annual target qualifications and training.

    At the very least using hollow points for ” target qualifications and training” is a waste of MY (pun) tax dollars.
    Or I might mention that Barack Milhous Mugabe said in early 2009 that “we” need a civilian national security force just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded”

    Is it still a conspiracy when they flat out tell these things?

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  8. TxAg94

    The Russian submarine thing is most likely a hyped up story to highlight why we simply cannot cut a single penny form the defense budget (rolls eyes). The “incident” is impossible to prove or disprove so it’s convenient to use to get everyone excited. Maybe we do have some weaknesses and you can be sure that defense contractors and congresmen with them or a Navy presence in their district will be screaming bloody murder. And in the end we will continue to sink billions of dollars into new defense contracts and probably not get much for our investment.

    Which brings me to the jet skier story. I would like ot see how we will hold Rayhteon accountable for their fancy system being less effective than string and cans with rocks in them. I won’t be surprised if we give them a NEW contract to look into the system built unde rthe OLD contract and then more money to “fix” it. Hell, I suspect they knew it never worked to begin with but they didn’t figure it would ever get used. They know most of this DHS stuff is overhyped like we do. I hate that my government has made me so cycnical but I see both of these stories as nothing more than evidence of pure waste and/or an attempt to waste more of our money.

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  9. Xetrov

    But for the life of me I can’t figure out why NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement would need 46,000 rounds of ammunition.

    That’s an excellent question considering

    How many agents and officers does NOAA have?
    As of August 3, 2012, we have 108 agents and 26 officers on board. Our Workforce Analysis and Staffing Allocation Plan finalized in May 2012 calls for a future workforce of 73 agents and 116 officers, which, along with other changes, will improve our ability to ensure compliance with the law by combining focused and effective criminal enforcement with more extensive compliance assistance activities, monitoring, patrols and inspections.

    That’s 343 bullets per agent.

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  10. hist_ed

    That’s 343 bullets per agent.

    You know, thinking about it, the amount of ammo is disturbing. That federal police can get away with only firing 343 rounds in training in a year is a disgrace. They should be training with that amount every month.

    At the very least using hollow points for ” target qualifications and training” is a waste of MY (pun) tax dollars.

    They should train with what they use on regular duty.

    The NWS is following its federal counterpart the DHS in securing large quantities of ammo. Back in March,Homeland Security purchased 450 million rounds of .40-caliber hollow point bullets that are designed to expand upon entry and cause maximum organ damage, prompting questions as to why the DHS needed such a large amount of powerful bullets merely for training purposes.

    As the Business Insider notes, hollow point bullets have been “illegal in international warfare since 1899.”

    Jesus Christ, MY, I know that you know that hollow points are standard for almost every law enforcement agency in the country from the FBI to Podunk County’s 5 man cop shop. The fact that they are banned by treaty for military forces is irrelevant. You know why they use ammo that “expand upon entry and cause maximum organ damage” right? Because if a cop is going to shoot someone they need to drop them fast. Would you rather they used .22s to minimize organ
    damage? Maybe they should switch to BB guns?

    The DHS is also planning to purchase a further 750 million rounds of different types of ammo in a separate solicitation that also expires on August 20, including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.

    Ooooooh they are buying scary .357 mag rounds that can pentrate walls. You know what else can penetrate walls? Every other fucking caliber of pistol and rifle ammo on earth. Really, this article was either written by an idiot who knows almost nothing about firearms or was written with deliberate deception.

    Again, I am concerned about hte proliferation of federal police-why the fuck does the department of education need a SWAT team?-but if we are going to have them, I want them to know how to use their weapons. Training twice year is not good enough. They should be on the range at least a couple of times a month firing a couple of hundred rounds each time.

    PS: I just checked around the house. I have about 1000 rounds of 9mm (300 of them are scary hollowpoints) and 300 12 gauge-about half and half birdshot and buckshot. (I also found a box of .45 Colt even though I haven’t had a gun in that caliber for a decade). That seems a little low to me and I will probably start checking deals to stock up. If I had the time, I would run through that amount of ammo every few months. Alas the kids mean far less range time that past years.

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  11. Miguelito

    What really sucks about the Jet Skier at JFK is how he was apparently initially arrested. WTF is up with that? The guy was just looking for help, and it seemed to be like it was done because he embarrassed the hell out of them. There seems to be a huge lack of allowing any thought by law enforcement as to the specifics of any situation and they must always assume the absolute worst case by arresting/detaining/whatever even when it’s blatantly obvious there was a simple mistake made. The TSA is probably one of the worst at this right now too.

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  12. HARLEY

    I guess ill jump into this.
    Teh Russian Hunter-killer operating in the gulf is not as a big of a deal as some make it out to be, however, the fact the the Russians feel confident enough to do a extended range operation, well out side the traditional operating areas, says a lot as to the new posture the Russians have been taking.
    It has been a long time since the RuNavy had done this.
    What surprises me or would surprise me, is that the sub in question did this without surface support ships or a port call. You see, even Akula’s are not equipped for a real long haul, sailing to the Gulf, doing a patrol and returning to its port.. Even more evidence that this was a demonstration mission, and given the shallowness of the gulf, and the underwater net work of hydrophones.. this was real risky.
    Oh the USN operates a underwater warfare range for subs just off NASSAU. OR this could be a indictment of how poor the operations and surveillance of our own net work really is. The Boeing P-8 is entering service, and pretty damm expensive and troubled replacement for the venerable P-3 Orion. The Navy ASuW budget has taken a huge hit since the end of the cold war. This will most certainly give the navy Ad’s some more leverage when approbations come up again for more Anti-sub gear. such as the new P-8’s…
    a for the political meaning behind this…. Well the fucking “reset buttons” was if anything a invitation for Russian to screw over the gullible Americans.. once again.

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  13. HARLEY

    Hist_ed, ditto on the Ammo orders, and 343 rnds is a pathetic amount to keep training and qualification, i can burn that up in a weekend, much to my wife’s dismay.
    what bothers me more is the fact that every alphabet soup agency seems to have heavy armed SWAT TEAMS……

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  14. InsipiD

    Hist_ed, ditto on the Ammo orders, and 343 rnds is a pathetic amount to keep training and qualification, i can burn that up in a weekend, much to my wife’s dismay.

    It’d take you a weekend? I’m disappointed. I’ve burned nearly twice that in one day before.

    what bothers me more is the fact that every alphabet soup agency seems to have heavy armed SWAT TEAMS……

    Every bit of this. I would love to see the elite officers of the Department of Education or Housing and Urban Development. Come to think of it, HUD probably needs SWAT worse than the tiny town where I live does…

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  15. HARLEY

    It’d take you a weekend? I’m disappointed. I’ve burned nearly twice that in one day before.

    well, ammo is expensive and i do not have that deep of pockets…
    I burned up 180 rnds in my Sig556 Saturday alone…oh well i need more ammo…

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  16. Mississippi Yankee

    “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    This utterance of BamBam’s during his campaign back in ’07, has
    stunned and amazed me ever since, that he would ever say something
    like that to the American people. Also many other things he’s said!
    Finally last week, I think I figured out this campaign tactic.
    The 1st part is to see what they can get away with, especially with
    the MSM covering for them. I think the Soros/leftist gang found out
    that their audiences will welcome anything OBamBam says and cheer.

    Then I think the next objective was to see how much and how extreme
    were the lies that they could get away with. Well we’ve kinda found
    that out. I think another part of this carefully managed ‘campaign’
    was to find out how the repubs, patriots and ‘right wing clingers’ would
    respond! I think this is why the evolution of the Tea Party has caused
    so much extreme response. It’s prolly the biggest threat they’ve
    gotten up to when Paul Ryan got the VP pick! FWIW!

    Y’all keep whistling past the graveyard. Because that’s always work before.

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  17. Mississippi Yankee

    SSA: 174,000 rounds
    NOAA: 46,000 rounds
    DHS: 750 million rounds
    FBI: 100 million
    USFS: 320,000
    USFW: 13,500
    DoE: ?
    HHS: ??
    IRS: ???
    EPA: ????

    A govt bailout of the ammo industry?
    Pre-emptive purchasing?
    -OR-
    90 days away from a big government incumbent losing a national election?

    The 3 worst curses:
    “May you live in interesting times”
    “May you come to the attention of those in authority”
    “May you find what you are looking for.”

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  18. Section8

    I, for one, am much more concerned about why the National Weather Service needs to purchase large quantities of powerful ammo? A hail of bullets it seems.

    Agreed.

    As for the Russian sub, Rich, when we finally do start cutting the budget, cuts in defense is going to have to go along with it. Personally, I think we would save money for defense by bailing out of Afghanistan now and instead of worrying about building that nation and put the money back in to protecting ours. We got bin Laden already, and there is no way to wipe out terrorism, only to get the key targets, and then to be vigilant.

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  19. Tool

    “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    This utterance of Obama always confused me. America already has a, “national civilian police force”. It is called the U.S. Marshals Service. U.S. Marshals have been “national civilian law enforcement officers” since 1789 when they were first established by the judiciary act of 1789. The USMS functions in manner roughly comparable to sheriff’s departments (albeit without a patrol function). Although how Obama ever expected one police agency to have a 400 Billion Dollar budget is a complete mystery to me.

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  20. Mississippi Yankee

    This utterance of Obama always confused me. America already has a, “national civilian police force”. It is called the U.S. Marshals Service.

    Perhaps it comes down to semantic but Obama did not say “national civilian police force” he said “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set.
    For me this is a difference with a distinction. But here’s an interesting question:

    What exactly is a “civilian national security force”? And how do you make such a group “just as powerful as our military”? Does this mean that this CNSF will have nuclear weapons, bombers, tanks, and artillery? How else do civilians get as powerful as the military if not with military equipment?
    -from comments on entire 27:00 speech-

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