Thursday, October 02, 2014

A conspiracy against Obama?

Heretofore, I've not paid much attention to the stories about the Secret Service's strange lapses, but this brouhaha can no longer be ignored. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, the first woman to hold that post, has resigned. Some commentators are making the sexist argument that she attained that position not because she had the proper qualifications but because the political "optics" were right. As you may recall, the Secret Service's reputation had been tarnished by a sexual scandal.

The most astounding recent incident was, of course, that epic intrusion into the White House, accomplished by one Omar Gonzalez. What a name! Omar Gonzalez. It's as though a group of "wag the dog" schemers sat around a conference table and came up with a monicker designed to make every right-wing crackpot in the country go apeshit. (I suppose "Mustafa Rodriguez" would have worked even better, but that's harder to spell.)
The furor stemmed from revelations that an intruder, identified as Omar Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Army veteran, managed to get deep inside the White House after scaling the fence on the north side of the building on Sept. 19 shortly after Obama had taken off in a helicopter.

While the service initially said Gonzalez was unarmed and was apprehended after entering the doors of the North Portico, court documents showed he had a folding knife in his pocket and Pierson acknowledged at a congressional hearing yesterday that he was able to cross two large halls and get across the East Room before being apprehended.

In court today, Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to federal charges of illegal entry to a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon.
The key point here: The initial reports coming out of the White House were deceptive. Why?

I still don't understand how a thing like this could have happened. I've walked all around the exterior of the White House grounds -- outside the fence, obviously. I've made this peregrination both during they day and late at night. I can assure you that the president's guardians watch everyone like a hawk. Last time I was in DC, they wouldn't let me photograph the White House using a camera with a tripod, even though I stood a good distance away from the building.

Nowadays, there are scary-looking dudes on the roof of the building at all times. I'm not sure what kind of equipment they are using in the photo to your right, but it looks expensive and intimidating. Why didn't those guys spot the intruder?

After we learned about Omar's odyssey, we got the news about President's infamous elevator ride.

While visiting the Center for Disease Control, Obama shared an elevator with a gun-toting "private security contractor" who happened to have a significant criminal record. This was a huge breach: If you're "carrying," you are not allowed to get close to the president unless you are a sworn law-enforcement officer.

This "private security contractor" has not been identified by name yet. Interestingly, he filmed the president in the elevator and continued to do so even after the Secret Service told him to stop.

Not only that. This fellow supposedly had three prior convictions for assault and battery. That's worrisome for reasons that have nothing to do with the President. We're talking about the CDC here, folks -- the place where they keep all sorts of really nasty virii and germs and whatnot.

California's infamous "three strikes" law put people behind bars for life for committing three acts of minor theft. It seems odd that someone with three convictions for assault and battery could get work at any security firm -- never mind a firm hired to protect the world's most dangerous biological materials. Someone with malign intent could do a lot of damage in a place like that.

The CDC's website gives one the impression that they run a very tight ship:
When you enter the CDC campus, veer right to proceed to the security checkpoint. Identify yourself as a visitor to the David J. Sencer CDC Museum. Security officers will ask to see your picture ID (driver’s license or passport) and will do a quick scan of the undercarriage of your car, van, or bus. Security officers will then ask you to open both the trunk and the hood of your car for inspection. You will then be directed to the visitor parking deck (straight ahead). When you walk into the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center from the parking deck (ground level), you are entering the David J. Sencer CDC Museum lobby. Once inside, you will be asked to show your picture ID again. Security officers will have badges waiting for large groups. For smaller groups (who did not schedule a tour) or individuals, security officers will create a security badge that will give you access to the museum.

This process will take at least 15 minutes.
Yow. Even I might not be able to get into the place -- and my record is clean!

Nevertheless, a couple of years ago, there was a quickly-forgotten mini-scandal involving security at the CDC's bio-terror labs:
A federal bioterror laboratory already under investigation by Congress for safety issues has had repeated incidents of security doors left unlocked to an area where experiments occur with dangerous germs, according to internal agency e-mails obtained by USA TODAY. In one incident, an unauthorized employee was discovered inside a restricted area.
Wouldn't it be cool if that guy were the same guy who took an elevator ride with Obama?

Yeah, I know: Ridiculous. But scenarios of this sort keep popping into my head. You can take the blogger out of Hollywood, but you can't take Hollywood out of the blogger.

Let's return to our main point: A guy with one conviction on his record can't even get a license to cut hair in New York state -- yet it seems that someone with three convictions in his background was allowed to work security in a facility filled with hideous bio-weapons. Does that situation make sense to you?

At this point, you're probably asking the same question I'm asking: Just which private security firm landed this CDC gig? This pdf describes the duties of the Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness. It confirms that the Office does use private guards, but does not name the company. If anyone out there knows the name, please share with the rest of the class.

(I spent about ten minutes trying to discover the name via Google. It belatedly occurred to me that my search may have triggered alarm bells somewhere in Fort Meade...)

A final thought. If you are of a sufficiently paranoid turn of mind, you are probably asking yourself: Is someone trying to send a message to Barack Obama? "Your personal protection is more easily compromised than you know, Mr. President. Be warned."

Am I letting my "Hollywood" side show again? Or is that a legitimate concern?

I don't think you are out of line with this hypothesis, nor are you letting Hollywoodisation fuck with your mind. It is a legit concern you have here.

One of the most popular obsessions and infatuations in the country is the hatred, often intense and psychotic, of Barack Obama (who derogatorily is sometimes called Barry the African King among other titles). Hell, I don't even like Obama, neither politically nor personally. I will remember him as another 'do-nothing president', as a president who accomplished absolutely nothing while in office except exerting military muscle (gloating muscle and might is equivalent to doing nothing, as far as I'm concerned).

I mean, look at his non-response to the Ferguson issue, it was as embarrassing as his constant evoking of 'god almighty'. I chuckle to think of the reaction if he began saying 'Allah Al-Qādir' rather than 'God Almighty'. Americans would drive him out of office, even though 'Allah Al-Qadir' literally means 'God Almighty'.
This theory sort of reminds me of something Bill Hicks once said about how presidents are co-opted. Basically, he said that immediately after winning an election a new president would be shuffled off to a dimly-lit room with dark wood panels and a bunch of cigar-smoking old white men sitting around a table. Without saying a word they would lower a screen and show the president a never-before-seen recording of the JFK assassination from an angle no one had ever seen before. After that, they'd say to the new president "Any questions?", to which he'd reply "Yes. What's my agenda?"
Obama's defenders of the "I know he's really a good guy but he's afraid to do anything because he's being threatened" ilk pointed to that incident years ago when a couple crashed an Obama party. They said that was implicit notice from the Secret Service that they were not going to protect the president.
The National Security State is more powerful than any one President.
They are clearly sending Obama a signal.
He lost control of the State Dept. to the Nuland/Kagan/Kerry-Skull and Bones humanitarian bomber faction.
He bucked them on Syrian gas weapons, negotiated with Putin and that had to be stopped. He had back-channel negotiations with Iran. That had to be stopped. He balked at ISIS, calling it "the Junior Varsity".

He fired McChrystal and Petraeus. The right wing may be correct about the number of flag officers Obama has kicked out. I say there is a slow-motion "Seven Days in September" occuring.

Obama is owned, but the Wall Street trader group does not agree with the Pentagon Prussians.

A "gun-toting private security guard" was directly behind Robert Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel in 1968.
Well, it seems a little late in the game to be trying to assassinate the President, but intimidation seems possible based on the info we have so far. Again though, he's not going to be in office much longer, and certainly is in "lame duck" territory now, so I'm not sure I see the point in any conspiracy to threaten him (let alone off him). Still, very disturbing that such incidents were possible at all.
The Latin word virus ("slime", "poison") has no plural form. Since this is the case (no grammatical pun intended), the English plural should be "viruses".

If it did have a Latin plural, it would be viri (only one "i") since it's a second declension noun. This would engender a certain amount of confusion, since viri is the plural of vir ("man").

Didn't the nuns teach you anything, Joseph?
Don't forget the faux 'translator' who stood a few feet from Obama, who was apparently certifiably insane, in the list of security failures.

@Gus: There are still many secrets to be kept, and perps to protect, and agendas awaiting fulfillment, and if Obama is wavering or showing less than full commitment, these may be actions intended to foster his more reliable compliance to those ends.

posted by Blogger James : 9:33 AM

Here you go it's along those lines.
Let''s see... Omar Gonzalez of Texas tries to assasinate the President and/or family. Meanwhile President is again threatened by someone in elevator from CDC. While CDC is wrestling with a disease outbreak of Ebola in Texas.. Nothing to see here.
I'm reminded of the story of the Muslim "journalists" who approached George Bush's Florida hotel early on the morning of 9/11. They claimed they had an interview scheduled but they were turned away and then disappeared from the subsequent 9/11 narrative.

I never knew what to make of them or the incident. Whether it was a reprise of the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud or just an optional propaganda exercise by the 9/11 strategists with which to embellish the events of 9/11. Or was Cheney really planning a hit on Bush on that day?

It was a lot of fun. I wish I knew what it all meant.
That guy with the gun in the lift (elevator) - was he employed by an Israeli security firm by any chance?

Such as Magal S3?

Magal does security for US nukes, both civil and military. They also do it for the Argonne National Laboratory. I wouldn't be surprised if they're at the CDC too.

Is there any piece of the US WMD/CBRW capability where Magal doesn't have a piece of the action?
XI, good point. I just feel like he's done the bidding of his masters exceedingly well, so why threaten him now? I guess there are possible signs that he want to pull away, if ever so slightly (backing down from a full on invasion of Syria, for one).

Fred, I had almost forgotten about that "incident". Does make you wonder if these things are arranged for other purposes, or are really foiled attempts at offing the President.
b, my understanding is that Magal provides robotics and electronics and such. I've not seen anything that indicates that they hire actual guards, the way (say) Wackenhut does.
Woah! That remark about Wackenhut prompted a bit of Googling, and now I think I have the answer. The CDC probably uses a firm called G4S Government Solutions, which is based in Atlanta, and which used to be known as...Wackenhut.

What's weird is that G4S straddles the line between private enterprise and a government service.
So Magal or their subcontractors don't maintain their equipment? They certainly install it.

I'm not convinced this guy is a guard. He's described in some reports as a security contractor.

The security 'industry' (as they like to call themselves) in the US is chockful of Israelis, both musclemen and techies.

As for G4S...

...the G4S group HQ is in Britain, a country where they run several prisons.

They also do work reading electricity and gas meters for energy companies. I've thought of refusing to let them read my meters, given their involvement with the Israelis in Palestine, where they run services in a number of prisons, including on the West Bank. They also do security at some of the Zionist settlements in that same area. More details here, here and here.

They are all over the part of occupied Palestine to the west of the '67 line too.

They've met a lot of opposition from supporters of the Palestinians:

"In April 2012, thousands of Palestinian detainees went on hunger strike calling for more access to their families and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention. Twelve Palestinian civil society organisations signed a callout urging the global solidarity movement to take action 'to hold to account G4S, the world’s largest international security corporation, which helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system, for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.'"

So even if the firm isn't Magal...
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