Latest Posts

Homeland Security
  • This Week on The Colbert Report: Tom Ridge & Werner Herzog

    By Margaret Shin

    On the Colbert Report tonight, Stephen talks artsy shmartsy with Werner Herzog, renowned filmmaker and director of Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a documentary about art found in a remote cave in France. Antiques Roadshow, step aside s'il vous plait.

    Then tomorrow, Stephen talks sweet with Sugar Ray Leonard, partially because Mr. Ray has a new book out called The Big Fight, and because Mr. Ray is a rather large pugilist.

    Then Wednesday night, Stephen talks invention with Bre Pettis, founder of Makerbot, a company that makes robots that makes things. Robot style dance-off to follow.

    Lastly on Thursday night, Stephen talks seriously with Tom Ridge, former director of Homeland Security. Serious robot style dance-off to follow. Here's Ridge from his last visit to the set of The Daily Show…

    The Daily Show and Colbert Report air Monday through Thursday starting at 11/10c.

    Tags: Books, Homeland Security, Jon Stewart, Movies, Pennsylvania, Robots Are Dope!, Science & Technology, Sports, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, Tom Ridge, Video
  • Tworld News: Week of May 2, 2011

    Some say Twitter was originally called 'The website for immediate, brief, sometimes-funny news updates' until Justin Timberlake told them to drop the 'The'.

    Even a terrorist mastermind like Osama couldn't have seen through this rouse: Just type in your home address and phone number and instantly receive 1000 free trial minutes of AOL. Too good to be true,  too sweet to resist

    Read More »

    Tags: Birthers, Homeland Security, Osama bin Laden, Ron Paul, Royalty, Tworld News
  • The Killing of Bin Laden Proves the Value of Torture Except for the Fact That It Doesn't Really

    There are just so many reasons for people to happy about the news of U.S. military's successful raid on Osama bin Laden's suburban compound, but probably the best reason is that it gives us all a good reason to finally embrace torture as the effective piece of apple pie Americana it actually is

    The head of the House of Representative’s homeland security committee could barely contain himself when asked on Fox News to tell viewers about how the US found Osama bin Laden.

    "You mentioned the fact that we obtained vital information several years ago about the courier for Osama — we obtained that information through waterboarding," said Peter King, a New York Republican. For those who say that waterboarding does not work, Mr King concluded with the answer to end all questions: the practice gave the US "vital information that directly led us to bin Laden."

    Yep! That seems pretty cut and dry. Not only does torturing prisoners feel good, it's also clearly the right thing to do.

    The only problem with this line of reasoning that might mitigate our excitement over adding a waterboarding device to the U.S. Seal is that torture probably didn't have anything to do with the information we received that ultimately led us to bin Laden. I know that's a very minor point, but you know

    More and more evidence suggests a key piece of intelligence — the first link in the chain of information that led U.S. intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden — wasn't tortured out of its source. And, indeed, that torture failed to produce it.

    "To the best of our knowledge, based on a look, none of it came as a result of harsh interrogation practices," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a wide-ranging press conference.

    But, hey. Baseball and quickie handjobs in the janitors' closet over by the school gymnasium also didn't lead to the capture of bin Laden. We're not planning on getting rid of those American traditions, too, are we?

    (Photo via Getty Images)

    Tags: Dianne Feinstein, Homeland Security, House of Representatives, Osama bin Laden, Peter King, Senate, Terrorism, Torture
  • The Nicolas Cage Terror Alert System

    Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was bidding a fond adieu to the much-beloved and not-at-all-worthless color-coded terror alert system. We were all devastated, but they promised to begin rolling out the new system soon.

    Conan O'Brien apparently has an in in the DoHS…

    I like this. Reminds me a little of the William Shatner Pinko Alert System they had in place back in the '60s.

    Tags: Conan O'Brien, Homeland Security, Movies, Terrorism
  • Severe Risk of Terror Alert System Being Thrown in the Garbage

    Oh no! The terror alert system that I don't think I even realized that we were still using is being phased out

    By the end of April, terror threats to the U.S. will no longer be described in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange and red, The Associated Press has learned.

    The nation's color-coded terror warning system will be phased out beginning this week, according to government officials familiar with the plan. The officials requested anonymity to speak ahead of an announcement scheduled Thursday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

    This is a travesty! No! No!!! How will I know when to be confused and vaguely concerned about menacing abstractions?

    The Obama administration will take the next three months to roll out a replacement, which will be called the National Terrorism Advisory System. The new plan calls for notifying specific audiences about specific threats. In some cases, it might be a one-page threat description sent to law enforcement officials describing the threat, what law enforcement needs to do about it and what the federal government is doing, one of the officials said.

    When agency officials think there is a threat the public should know about, they will issue an announcement and rely on news organizations and social media outlets to get the word out.

    That's not actually a bad idea. If "news organizations and social media outlets" can "get the word out" about a bomb threat in Times Square as fast as they get the word out about secret footage of Barack Obama pledging allegiance to the Kenyan flag or a homeless lady who juggles real good, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, Terrorism