18 August 2002

Homeland Spying and Leaking

Thanks to P:

USPS taking photographs of mail under certain conditions


American Trucking Association preemptive TIPS plan...


ATA plan...


Black boxes standardized by IEEE may track where you go...


Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 18:28:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: citizencorps@fema.gov
To: jya@pipeline.com
Subject: Citizen Corps Volunteer Update, August 16, 2002

Citizen Corps E-News Update

August 16, 2002

State Citizen Corps points of contact and other representatives from Citizen Corps programs in 49 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and American Samoa gathered at the first National Citizen Corps Conference in Southbridge, MA, July 30-August 1.  Participants discussed strategies for attracting more citizens to participate in efforts to maketheir communities safer, stronger and better prepared for preventing and handling threats of terrorism, crime and disasters of all kinds. 

The conference opened with a welcome from Special Assistant to the President and USA Freedom Corps Policy Director, Stephen Garrison, who spoke about the President's commitment to and support for the USA Freedom Corps and Citizen Corps efforts. Panel discussions focused on the component programs of Citizen Corps.

The two-day conference left attendees energized to move forward and make every community a Citizen Corps Community.

In This Issue:

News You Can Use: Financial Services Roundtable Launches New Program; Volunteer Summit Held in National Capital; "One-Stop Shopping" at New USA Freedom Corps Website

Ask Citizen Corps: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What's Happening at: Department of Justice, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Health and Human Services

The Financial Services Roundtable Answers the President's Call to Service

August 10 marked the kickoff of  "Financial Services Community Build Day," a commitment to build new houses combining the resources of local financial institutions and volunteer help. The program is a partnership between the Financial Services Roundtable, a group of banking, investment and insurance institutions, and Habitat for Humanity.

Members of the Financial Services Roundtable contributed more than $1 billion to their communities in 2000 alone through direct grants, community fundraising efforts, volunteer work, and direct lending and investing. 

Under the new partnership, houses will be built in 2002 in Baltimore, Birmingham, Charlotte, Columbus, Naples, New Orleans, Portland (OR) and San Antonio. In each city, a member company  "Community Build Team" is coordinating volunteers to make each of these events a success.

National Capital Region Summit Held in Washington

Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, Maryland Governor Parris Glendening and Virginia Governor Mark Warner met earlier this month to discuss and endorse commitments to action that strengthen their coordinated response during emergencies, particularly possible terrorist events. At the end of the summit, held August 5, the mayor and governors signed a joint statement committing themselves and their teams to move forward on integrating and coordinating activities in response to future challenges in the national capital region.

New USA Freedom Corp Website Provides One-Stop Search for Volunteer Opportunities

Finding a volunteer opportunity is only a click away!  Would-be volunteers can connect with more than 50,000 organizations by clicking on www.usafreedomcorps.gov. This new USA Freedom Corps Website and the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network, which were launched July 30, bring together the resources of some of the largest nonprofit and volunteer clearinghouses in the country. Use and pass the word to others looking for ways to serve their communities.

Ask Citizen Corps

I've been reading a lot about the TIPS program, but do not understand just what it is. What is it?

Operation TIPS  (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) is a hotline reporting system. This system is being developed by the Department of Justice in coordination with several other federal agencies. Unlike other Citizen Corps programs, which invite the participation of the general public, only those who work in the trucking, maritime, shipping and mass transit industries will be eligible to participate in this information referral service.

The new initiative is based on existing programs, such as Highway Watch and Coastal Watch,  that allow truckers and ship captains to report dangerous conditions along their routes.  Operation TIPS provides specific industry groups a single phone number for reporting potential terrorist-related activities occurring in public areas.

General information about the program will continue to be available to the public; however, the TIPS hotline number will only be provided to participating industries. An updated program description is available on the Citizen Corps website, www.citizencorps.gov  (click on Operation TIPS). 

Got a question you'd like to see answered in CCE-News? E-mail us at AskCitizenCorps@fema.gov. We cannot answer every e-mail  individually, so  you might want to go to the section of the Citizen Corps Website that answers frequently asked questions, www.citizencorps.gov/faq.html

What's Happening at:

Department of Justice (DOJ)

The Neighborhood Watch program that involves neighborhood and town watch groups from all over the country continues to grow! The August 6th National Night Out event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, attracted watch groups in more than 9,700 communities from all 50 states as well as from U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases. Nationally, over 33 million people participated this year, which was the 19th Annual National Night Out.

In March, when the Neighborhood Watch Citizen Corps effort was launched, there were approximately 7,500 of these groups around the country.  Since then, Thomas Faust, executive director of the National Sheriffs' Association, estimates that approximately 2,100 new watch groups have been formed. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Thousands of people have already checked out the new materials on the CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) program that are available on the Citizen Corps website. Over the last month, the CERT website has had more than 10,000 hits and the new terrorism module has been downloaded more than 1,000 times. (To access the new materials, go to www.citizencorps.gov,  click on CERT, "To Learn More About CERT," then "New  terrorism materials." ) We continue to answer hundreds of e-mail requests for more information on how to start a CERT program to how to obtain materials, and in just that last month, twenty new CERT organizations have been formed.

Department of Health and Human Services

August 23 is the deadline for grants demonstration projects for the Medical Reserve Corps. HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced the availability of $2 million in grants on July 19.  Applications must be prepared using Form PHS 5161-1 (revised July 2000), which is available at www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/forminfo.htm.  Send the forms to Karen Campblee, Grants Management Officer; Division of Management Operations, Office of Minority Health, Office of Public Health and Science,  Rockwell II Bldg., Suite 1000, 5515 Security Lane; Rockville, MD 20852.

More information about the Medical Reserve Corps grant availability is at www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/forminfo.htm

Visit the websites of Citizen Corps partners: Department of Justice (http://www.usdoj.gov), Federal Emergency Management Agency ( http://www.fema.gov ), Department of Health and Human Services ( http://www.hhs.gov ), USA Freedom Corps (http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov ).

Thanks to B:


Leaks Part Of Government's Plan For War, Some Say

By BRAD SMITH bsmith@tampatrib.com

Published: Aug 15, 2002

TAMPA - Officially, Rummy was mad as a hornet. "It's inexcusable, and they ought to be in jail,'' railed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The object of his ire? Whoever leaked to The New York Times a highly classified plan written by war planners at U.S. Central Command in Tampa to invade Iraq on three fronts.

It wasn't the first leak of Pentagon strategy since the Bush administration launched its war on terror. And almost certainly it won't be the last. In a run of leaks not seen since the Kenneth Starr investigation of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, alleged war plans are all over America's top newspapers this summer. Some may emanate from CentCom at MacDill Air Force Base, home of Gen. Tommy Franks, who heads forces in the Middle East and Asia.

The Times alone published three invasion plans in July. Other drafts of Iraq invasion plans leaked in The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Leaking classified information is technically a crime, although one rarely prosecuted. Military brass and their civilian bosses, such as Rumsfeld, say these stories threaten national security and the lives of U.S. soldiers. And the public may be wondering how such sensitive information keeps slipping out so easily. Some think they detect government's hand.

Testing The Waters?

"I think the purpose of these leaks is to see what people think about going to war, and to frighten Saddam Hussein,'' said Faye Filippello, 59, a retired Tampa teacher who said she closely follows C-Span and government news. Filippello doesn't buy the conservative notion that leaks amount to treason or threaten military lives. "I think it's propaganda,'' said Filippello. "I think the administration is putting out a lot of propaganda.''

Since the Vietnam War divided America, the White House has felt compelled to get public opinion on its side before launching major military moves, political scientists say. So, today's spate of leaks may be designed to warm the nation to the idea of a new attack on Iraq to finish what the 1991 Persian Gulf War left undone, some believe.

Jack Shafer, a journalist who writes the "Press Box'' media criticism column for Slate.com, said he could not recall a single instance when a newspaper leak compromised national security. "Of course, how do you define national security?'' Shafer asked. "When a journalist writes that the Star Wars program doesn't work, does he harm national security? I think not, but the right wing might say yes.''

Although said to be classified, the Iraq plans surfacing today may be old stuff, plucked from dusty files at places like CentCom, whose job is to generate one military plan after another. Dan Verton, a former military intelligence officer who covers government security for Computer World magazine, said the leaked invasion material in the Times story wasn't surprising and probably didn't alert Saddam to anything not already widely assumed or known. "Having done intelligence work on those plans, they aren't made up on the spur of the moment,'' Verton said. "That plan was on a shelf for years.'' Verton said real Iraq invasion plans are refined daily at CentCom and the Pentagon. "For years after the Gulf War, the continuing plan existed on the shelf if something goes down in Iraq,'' Verton said.

Moreover, government and some of the nation's media have long engaged in a mutual system whereby sensitive national security stories are vetted before publication. The former executive editor of The Washington Post, Benjamin C. Bradlee, once wrote that national security data was self-censored from at least a dozen Post stories, at government request, in one five- month period in 1986 alone.

Story Viewed Before Publication

The Times acknowledged this week that its war plan story, published July 5, was first run past "proper authorities to ensure we did not inadvertently publish anything damaging to national security.'' So, why the Pentagon's furious investigation of leaking? Even Rumsfeld's memo July 12 to Pentagon brass demanding an end to leaks ended up as a leak to the Los Angeles Times. "A lot of it is intentional,'' former White House press secretary Michael McCurry told The New York Times in a somewhat surreal piece Sunday analyzing the flurry of leaks handed to the Times' own reporters.

Stephen Hess, a former Republican presidential speechwriter and Brookings Institution scholar studying the role of the press in the war on terror, said he favors the theory that most of today's war leaks are deliberate plants by Pentagon factions. "It's usually perfectly capable of keeping secrets,'' Hess said, dismissing leak investigations as shams that won't uncover anything. Hess cannot remember a single case where a leak cost lives or crippled national security. "I don't think the Pentagon can, either, for that matter,'' Hess said. "The reason is that news organizations are also filled with patriots, and they don't want to put Americans in harm's way.''

Reporter Brad Smith can be reached at (813) 259-7365.