Friday, July 15, 2016

NEW BOOK PUBLISHED


            My new book, A Handbook For Intelligence And Crime Analysis, was published July 14th.

            It was a long time in the making but was worth it. There are 18 chapters in the book, but it contains two important chapters I am especially proud of—one on the Corruption of Intelligence and the other on Deception Analysis.

            The first should be of interest to everyone because the attempts to manipulate and distort intelligence by our elected officials have reached epidemic proportions. Unfortunately, a significant number of elected Republicans, Democrats, and Tea Party members do not think twice about trying to skew intelligence. I believe the objectivity, integrity, and honesty of intelligence products are vital keys to the preservation of our form of representative government.

            Indeed, perhaps the most valuable service intelligence analysts can perform is to tell policymakers what they don’t want to hear—analysis that differs from their bias, prejudices and, in some cases, their policies.

            The second should also be of interest to a large number of readers because it looks at deception in all its forms as developed and practiced by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Terrorists, human and drug traffickers, and a wide variety of enemies of this country have adopted the principles of Soviet-style deception. And remember, Vladimir Putin is a former KGB intelligence officer, so I am sure deception is a major tool in the arsenal. 

Deception comes in many forms and is an every day problem intelligence and crime analysts face. Most texts on deception concentrate on deception as carried out in a military or political context, failing to recognize self-deception is a major cause of intelligence failures. A friend of mine, with over 40 years experience in intelligence, tells his classes that no analyst can come to a problem or situation with a clean slate. He or she will always have preconceptions or assumptions.  The assumptions may be correct, but the analyst often does not step back and reevaluate when dealing with a new problem. Judgments, he says, tend to get firmer in analysts minds and they rarely revisit them.

Sometimes self-deception and deceptive practices of the opposition come together and result in devastating consequences. This textbook reminds, and in some cases, alerts analysts (and interested non-professionals) to the pitfalls of deception in all forms.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

PROGRESS: NEW FIREARMS LAWS IN VIRGINIA



            On July 1, 2016, two new firearms laws went into effect in Virginia making some progress toward keeping weapons out of criminals’ hands. The new laws are a minor step forward despite lifting restrictions on reciprocity involving concealed-weapons permits from other states.
            The first law states the holder of a valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state may carry a concealed weapon in Virginia. The Virginia law, however, requires that:
1.    The holder of such a non-Virginia license or permit must be at least 21 years old.
2.    The permit or license holder must carry a photo identification issued by a government agency of any state or the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Department of State.
3.    The permit or license holder must show that identification to law enforcement officers upon demand.
4.    The permit or license holder reciprocity does not extend to persons who previously have had a Virginia concealed handgun permit revoked.
The new law does not require other states recognize Virginia permits in order to have a state’s permits recognized in Virginia.
The second law requires the Virginia State Police to be available at all gun shows to do background checks. The law stops short of making the background checks mandatory but is a step forward in ensuring that guns are transferred only to people who are lawfully eligible to possess weapons.
            Private citizen’s participation in these background checks is strictly voluntary. There is an incentive for sellers to have the check done, however, because it documents the seller’s diligence in trying to prevent the illegal transfer of guns.
           


Sunday, June 19, 2016

RETHINK OUR FREEDOMS AND THEN ACT



            In the wake of the Orlando rampage, all of us need to rethink our freedoms in order to protect innocent Americans from being slaughtered in theaters, nightclubs, restaurants, schools, and homes. All places once thought to be safe.

The balance between collective security and individual rights needs a thorough re-examination. We begin this examination by acknowledging there are restrictions on all the amendments to the Constitution. We do not use the First Amendment to guarantee newspapers and media companies a profit. Why should we use the Second Amendment to guarantee gun manufactures make money?

            The Second Amendment should not be an exception to restrictions. Untethered access to automatic, rapid-fire weapons designed to kill people should not be allowed. If someone is suspected of terrorism, he or she is on the No Fly List. Yet that same individual can go into any gun store, almost anywhere and buy arms and ammunitions—no questions asked.

            We must not support any politician or candidate running for a U.S. elected office whether it is the Presidency, Senator, Representative, Governor, state or local official who will not help or work with others to support gun safety.

            Do not vote for any one running for office who will not pledge to work toward ending gun violence. Do not allow these individuals to hold the honored position of representing U.S. citizens.

All of us can begin to curb the violence today by calling our senators and urging them to vote in favor of pending legislation that would block people on the No Fly List from buying guns. Make it clear if your senator does not support the legislation, he or she will lose your vote.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

GENTLEMEN: WE ARE THE PROBLEM: WE NEED TO FIX IT


            Approximately 97% of mass murderers are males; they invariably signal their intent to commit violence through a variety of traits: most notably, their problems with women.

The Orlando killer, Omar Mateen, beat his first wife and a friend quoted him as saying he “hated women because you have to be nice to them to get sex.” Seung Sui Cho stalked and harassed women at Virginia Tech before he went on his rampage; Peter Odighizwa, the killer at the Appalachian School of Law, was also a wife beater and at one point took control of a class, ranting about the evils of women; and Isla Vista, California murder Elliot Roger, threw things at women who did not pay attention to him and lamented he was still a virgin and had never even kissed a girl.

How many more examples of threatening traits are needed before we take action to keep guns out of the hands of these monsters?

How about starting with laws prohibiting men who stalk, harass, or beat women from owning any gun at all. And let’s not stop there. Any man who drags an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and rapes her, is an out-of-control low-life who should never be allowed to own a weapon.

Does it ever occur to these sick men that these are mothers, daughters, wives, and aunts: the women we love.

Gentlemen you can do something about these shootings. Your manhood is not measured by the size of your gun; it is measured by the size of your backbone and your willingness to speak up.


If you want to be a man, don’t buy a gun, speak up and demand laws to put an end to this violence.

Monday, June 13, 2016

NOW ORLANDO


Terrorism, mental illness, lax gun laws, and hatred of people with non-traditional life styles came together on June 12, 2016 in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The results were horrific; the worst mass shooting in this nation’s history.

At least 49 people are dead and another 53 are wounded because the American political system, on the national level, is paralyzed. This paralysis stands in sharp contrast to countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom, both of whom, when confronted with mass shootings, adopted laws to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, those who are a threat to themselves and others, and terrorists.

To say that nothing can be done is simply not true. And those who hide behind the Second Amendment never mention when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, the cutting edge weaponry was a musket. A lone shooter cannot carry out a mass murder with a musket.

The weapon used by Omar Mateen was an AR-15, the same style automatic weapon used by the killer at Sandy Hook. A simple step forward would be to ban ammunition clips of more than five rounds. Having to reload gives law enforcement more time to respond and potential victims to get away.

AR-15s were designed for the military. They are meant to kill people. Yet anyone can buy such a weapon—often with no background check. The AR-15 is not used for hunting. You can defend your home with a pistol or rifle. When someone wants an automatic weapon such as an AR-15, why not ask him or her to explain why? Australia does and self-defense is not acceptable.


If the federal government will not take action, then we need to move at the local level.