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Entries in Homeland Security (40)


AUFC - TV Ad Throws Cold Water on Jeb Bush's Claim His Brother George "Kept Us Safe"




Watch “Safe?”:


Washington DC – In response to Jeb Bush’s delusional statement at the latest Republican presidential debate that his brother President George W. Bush “kept us safe”, which he doubled down on a day later, Americans United for Change unveiled a new TV ad “Safe?”, airing next week nationally on cable news stations.


Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “It’s as if Jeb Bush believes his brother’s presidency began on September 12th, 2001. But we’re not letting Jeb rewrite history. It’s convenient but not honest to ignore the facts that the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor happened on George W. Bush’s watch after dismissing warnings from U.S. intelligence officials weeks before 9/11 that Osama bin Laden was ‘determined to strike in US’ and that his terrorist network might hijack American planes. Terrorism was a low priority for Bush before 9/11, and just six months after 9/11, catching the mastermind behind it wasn’t one either, stating “I truly am not that concerned about him.” By that time, the Bush administration was too busy cherry-picking intelligence to mislead the nation into a senseless, $3 trillion war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 -- a war that cost over 4,000 Americans their lives, left tens of thousands more injured and served as a major recruitment tool for terrorists. In what was the exact opposite of ‘keeping us safe’, a 2006 intelligence report concluded the Iraq war in fact "made the overall terrorism problem worse.”  Jeb surrounding himself with many of his brother’s old advisors that helped sell the disastrous war in Iraq may well explain his rosy revisionism today. But if Jeb Bush really believes his brother kept us safe, then Jeb Bush is the last person Americans should entrust their safety to.”


It wasn’t just George W. Bush’s dangerous defense policies that left Americans less secure. His trickle-down policies severely compromised millions of Americans’ health, economic and retirement security.  Bush presided over the worst presidential job record in recorded U.S. history.  On his watch, a subprime mortgage crisis rocked Wall Street, left the economy hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs a month and wiped out $2 trillion in retirement savings. Bush doled out reckless tax breaks for the rich and outsourcers that helped turn a record budget surplus into a record deficit while exploding income inequality. He didn’t lift a finger to address the broken health care system as 8 million more Americans joined the ranks of the uninsured – and even vetoed a modest expansion of children’s health care. He sped up climate change by watering down critical environmental regulations and letting Big Oil write his energy policy chapter and verse. And who could forget the tragically inept response to Hurricane Katrina? Kept us safe? Mission NOT accomplished.


Bush on Bin Laden, March 13, 2002 – 6 months after 9/11:  “I just don't spend that much time on him... we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.”




NH House Members Petition Governor Hassan to Rescind Policy Prohibiting 

Concord—More the sixty members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives are calling upon Governor Maggie Hassan to allow members of the New Hampshire National Guard to carry firearms openly or concealed, except under specific direction.


In their letter to the governor delivered today, the lawmakers pointed out that current standing orders, regulations, or policies denies members of the Guard the right of self-protection enjoyed by all citizens of New Hampshire.  “Due to the multi-dimensional threat posed to our nation and our state by various terror groups, including radical Islamic Jihadists, it is our firm opinion that it is imprudent to continue to refuse New Hampshire National Guard personnel their right to arm themselves at their own discretion.”


The letter comes on the heels of the recent military reserve and recruiting stations assassinations in Chattanooga, TN.  Several other states have already implemented a similar policy.


“Therefore, we the undersigned, as current members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, are urging you to immediately rescind any and all standing orders, regulations, policies and practices that would prohibit New Hampshire National Guard personnel in good standing from carrying personal firearms at their own discretion, either openly or concealed.  We need to allow New Hampshire’s military guardians the best and most effective way to counter the threat to our state and their safety.”


The letter was also sent to Major General William N. Reddell III, the Adjutant General of the New Hampshire National Guard.


Jindal For President - Gov. Jindal: Shrinking Army Will Have Dangerous Consequences 

Jindal for President


BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor Jindal issued the following statement:

Governor Jindal said, "One day after President Obama said ISIS cannot be defeated with guns, but instead with 'better ideas,' he announced his intention to shrink the Army by 40,000 troops. This is gravely concerning. 

"The hollowing out of our military has been happening for years, but President Obama is exacerbating the problem at a fragile time. 

"The forces behind Radical Islam are looking at an America today with a President who is projecting weakness on the world stage. He's projecting weakness by depleting the tools of hard power and using rhetoric more fit for a college classroom than a battlefield. 

"The Pentagon has made it clear that these cuts will effect nearly every Army command.  This downsizing will have dangerous real world consequences.  This will take the Army down to the lowest troop levels since just before World War Two, and will make it highly unlikely that we can meet multiple threats in multiple theaters at the same time. Even a very casual look at current world affairs shows the folly of this action. 

"We have the finest military in the world and we need to give them the tools to defeat our enemies. We need to take the political handcuffs off the military. It's time we send a message to Radical Islam that we are not here to coddle them, but here to eliminate them.

"Peace through strength is not just a slogan, it's a strategy. When our military is feared and respected, there is less need to use it."




NRSC - UL: Ayotte: TSA Vetting 'Mind-Boggling' 



NOTE: Ayotte questioned John Roth, Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, regarding a report that the TSA’s vetting process failed to identify 73 aviation workers found to have had terrorism-related links. ... Ayotte, as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said it was inexplicable why the TSA was not vetting workers against the FBI database. “I think all of us are quite shocked by this in terms of basic common sense,” she said.

Ayotte: TSA Vetting 'Mind-Boggling'
New Hampshire Union Leader
Dan Tuohy
June 9, 2015

Holes in the Transportation Security Administration’s vetting process for workers are simply “mind-boggling,” U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, said in an oversight hearing Tuesday.

Ayotte questioned John Roth, Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, regarding a report that the TSA’s vetting process failed to identify 73 aviation workers found to have had terrorism-related links.

An Inspector General investigation, designed to test airport screening, also saw undercover auditors smuggle simulated explosives or weapons past security checkpoints 95 percent of the time, according to media reports of classified information.

Ayotte, as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said it was inexplicable why the TSA was not vetting workers against the FBI database.

“I think all of us are quite shocked by this in terms of basic common sense,” she said.

Ayotte pointed to the Inspector General report, released June 4, which stated that current law and FBI policy does not authorize the TSA “to perform recurrent criminal checks of aviation workers because aviation worker vetting is considered to be for non-criminal justice purposes.”

Ayotte said that bureaucratic steps should be taken post-haste to fix or update what the TSA refers to as the “interagency watchlisting policy.”

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NHDP - US Sen. Kelly Ayotte Sides with D.C. Republican Leadership

GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Introduces Bill to Extend NSA’s Bulk Data Collection Authorities, Ayotte Immediately Throws Her Support Behind D.C. GOP Leadership

Concord, N.H. – Following Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s introduction of a bill to extend the NSA’s bulk data collection program, which has come under fire from both sides ofthe aisle, Kelly Ayotte wasted no time in throwing her support behind her party’s Washington leadership and against the privacy of New Hampshire citizens.
When asked about reigning in the NSA’s bulk data collection program, Kelly Ayotte told Politico yesterday, “I don’t think eliminating this type of program is the right direction for us to go right now.”

“As Republican leadership pushes to extend the NSA’s authority to collect bulk data on Granite Staters without oversight or accountability, Kelly Ayotte is once again focused on following her party’s Washington leadership and advancing her national interests, not representing the people of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Granite Staters value our privacy and it’s time for Ayotte to stop siding with her party’s leadership against the interests of New Hampshire.”
Ayotte’s comments fit a pattern of siding with her party’s leadership against the privacy rights of New Hampshire’s citizens, including her vote against the bipartisan USA Freedom Act that would have ended NSA’s bulk collection of domestic telephone and Internet metadata. 
Ayotte has also voted repeatedly against measures to increase disclosure and congressional oversight of government surveillance programs, even opposing one amendment that simply would have required the Director Of National Intelligence to report to Congress the number of domestic communications obtained under the 2008 foreign surveillance law.
Ayotte Voted Against Bipartisan USA Freedom Act That Would Have Ended NSA’s Bulk Collection Of Domestic Telephone And Internet Metadata. In November 2014, Ayotte voted against a: “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would prohibit the bulk collection of domestic telephone and Internet metadata by intelligence agencies. It would allow intelligence agencies to query data held by telephone companies if the government can demonstrate the search is needed to fight terrorism. Under the bill, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would be required to authorize data collection, except in defined emergencies, and appoint a special panel to oversee individual privacy and civil liberties. It also would increase the amount of information service providers can report to the public.” The motion was rejected 58-42. [S.2685, Vote 282, 11/18/14]
Ayotte Voted Against Three Amendments To Increase Disclosure And Congressional Oversight Of Government Surveillance Programs:
  • Ayotte Voted Against Requiring Director Of National Intelligence To Report To Congress Number Of Domestic Communications Obtained Under 2008 Foreign Surveillance Law. [S.Amdt. 3439 to H.R. 5949, Vote 235, 12/28/12]
  • Ayotte Voted Against Requiring The Government To Disclose FISA Court Decisions, Orders, Or Opinions On Surveillance Requests Unless Disclosure Was Not In U.S. National Security Interests.  [S.Amdt. 3435 to H.R. 5949, Vote 233, 12/27/12]
  • Ayotte Voted Against Adding Oversight Protections To FISA Bill And Shortening Reauthorization From Five Years To Three.  [S,Amdt. 3437 to H.R. 5949, Vote 232, 12/27/12]