WikiLeaks doing too much for you to follow? CBS has got your back with this dandy little compilation: How WikiLeaks Enlightened Us in 2010. Highlights: Obama worked with GOP to kill torture probe. U.S. authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers. China was behind the online attack of Google. The Obama administration shipped arms to Yemen even as it denied any role in the conflict. Pope Benedict impeded an investigation into alleged child sex abuse. McDonald’s tried to delay US legislation in order to help fight a lawsuit in El Salvador.
In a rather astounding example of burying the lede, the Washington Post writes today about how many airports are considering using private contractors, instead of the TSA, to handle airport security. Then the Post interviews the incoming House Transportation chairman, who trashes the TSA and is pushing airports to switch to the private contractors.
Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), the incoming chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has written to 200 of the nation’s largest airports, urging them to consider switching to private companies.
The TSA was “never intended to be an army of 67,000 employees,” he said.
“If you look at [the TSA's] performance, have they ever stopped a terrorist? Anyone can get through,” Mica said in an interview. “We’ve been very lucky, very fortunate. TSA should focus on its mission: setting up the protocol, adapting to the changing threats and gathering intelligence.”
What the Post doesn’t tell you, until the end of the story, is that one of the big private contractors is in the House Transportation chairman’s own district.
Covenant, based in Mica’s home district in northeastern coastal Florida, has airport screening contracts in Sioux Falls, S.D., Tupelo, Miss., and seven small airports in northern and eastern Montana. Its deal at San Francisco International is by far its largest. Covenant employs nearly 1,100 people in the bay area, who make up nearly all of its 1,150 workers. The last four-year contract, from 2006 to 2010, totaled $314 million. A new contract has been put out for competitive bids. Meanwhile, Covenant is operating on a two-month contract ending in February.
Um, kind of a relevant fact that deserves to be highlighted a tad earlier.
Civil servants were asked to encourage their family and friends to sign up for a now-defunct ID cards amid Whitehall fears the scheme would flop, confidential documents have revealed.
The documents, reported today by the Daily Telegraph following a Freedom of Information Act request, show how senior officials were urged to act as cheerleaders for ID cards by emailing personal contacts.
I’ve once been asked by an employer to do the same: promote a product to friends and family.
If that ever happens to you: run. The product is already dead and gone, and whoever is making it is in denial.
The world has already begun to welcome 2011, as the New Year has been entered by people living on some Pacific islands, Australia and Asia. As the Earth revolves today, bringing the rest of us into the year 2011, I’ll be updating this entry, to show people all over as they ready themselves, celebrate and welcome the New Year. 2011 will be observed as the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, a year with attributes of gentleness, persistence and luck. Happy New Year everyone! (50 photos so far)
A Taiwanese performer plays a drum during the New Year’s eve ceremony, Friday, Dec. 31, 2010, in Taipei, Taiwan. The events marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name, after a revolution led by Sun Yat-sen toppled China’s last Qing dynasty. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying) #
And here is how the Netherlands will welcome the new year later this morning…
Police in Delaware may soon be unable to use global positioning systems (GPS) to keep tabs on a suspect unless they have a court-signed warrant, thanks to a recent ruling by a superior court judge who cited famed author George Orwell in her decision.
In striking down evidence obtained through warrantless GPS tracking, Delaware Judge Jan R. Jurden wrote that "an Orwellian state is now technologically feasible," adding that "without adequate judicial preservation of privacy, there is nothing to protect our citizens from being tracked 24/7."