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I’m sorry I missed a July 24th James Bamford interview on Boston University radio station WBUR last week—prior to my publishing, “Denver Post: Holmes' Psychiatrist Warned University's 'Threat Assessment Team' In June," here at DKos on Thursday--but, apparently, almost everyone else on the planet missed Bamford’s radio commentary, too.

The interview was a piece comparing the case of Aurora shooter James Holmes with the case of Rezwan Ferdaus, a Muslim, “…who’d just plead guilty to attempting to fly remote-controlled planes into federal buildings. The public had never been in danger from that plot because undercover FBI employees had funded and facilitated Ferdaus from the start.” (More about this in a moment.)

I had most recently published a post here about a Bamford article that appeared in Wired Magazine in mid-March, entitled: “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say).

He is, inarguably (IMHO), the leading credible/public source when it comes to truly transparent commentary about our country’s National Security Agency (NSA).

Bamford and others had some highly noteworthy things to say on BU radio about the Aurora shootings, particularly about the shooter, himself. From Bamford…

“I think the situation is absurd…”

…“The NSA and the FBI have enormous capabilities to eavesdrop on communications, not just targeted people, but on information such as data mining,” Bamford said. “But it doesn’t seem they focus on people who purchase large quantities of ammunition.”

 “I think if [Aurora shooter James] Holmes had a Muslim name he would have come into a great deal of attention with a lot less purchases,” Bamford said.

In case you’re unaware of James Bamford and his background, again, here’s the LINK (it’s also in the first paragraph, above) to his Wiki page. And, here’s an excerpt from it…
James Bamford is an expert on the highly secretive National Security Agency. His recent book, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to The Eavesdropping on America, on which NOVA's "The Spy Factory" was based became a New York Times best-seller and was named by The Washington Post as one of "The Best Books of 2008." It is third in a trilogy by Bamford on the NSA, following The Puzzle Palace (1982) and Body of Secrets (2002), also a New York Times bestseller. Bamford has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley as a distinguished visiting professor and has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Harpers, and many other publications. In 2006, he won the National Magazine Award for Reporting for his piece "The Man Who Sold The War," published in Rolling Stone.

He published Body of Secrets, (also about the NSA, 2001), and A Pretext for War (2004). Bamford lectures nationally and was a distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent nearly a decade as the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News Tonight. In 2006, he received the National Magazine Award for Reporting, the top prize in magazine writing. Most recently, he published his new book The Shadow Factory, once again about the NSA, but about its involvement in the 9/11 investigations and intelligence failures. The PBS show "The Spy Factory" was based on this book.[7]

Back to the WBUR interview (from which I extracted the Bamford quote, up above) and the stunning comparisons between the Ferdus’ and Holmes’ cases.
Comparing ‘Lone Wolves’: Holmes And Ferdaus
WBUR
By David Boeri July 24, 2012

One defendant is charged with the murder of 12 people in Colorado. Another, here in Massachusetts, is charged with attempting to blow up the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.
One of them was never on any law enforcement radar. The other was accompanied the whole way by undercover agents. And some counter-terrorism experts say comparisons of the two cases raise troubling questions…

...Back in Massachusetts, the Joint Terrorism Task Force spent nearly a year creating the opportunity for Ferdaus to commit a crime. But sting operations create the danger that real criminals will slip by because agents are concentrating on potential criminals who may never do anything on their own, says terrorism expert Carlo Boccia.

I ask Boccia: “If Rezwan Ferdaus had tried to buy 6,000 rounds of ammunition, would he have been able to do it without law enforcement being all over him?”

“That’s a good question,” Boccia said. And he doesn’t have a quick answer. But Bamford does…

…But Boccia says the Colorado case underlines the need for more intelligent intelligence-gathering and priorities that extend beyond stings.

In closing out this post, if for nothing else than for the sake of emphasis, I thought I’d republish part of Bamford’s quote one more time…
National security expert James Bamford told WBUR reporter David Boeri, “I think if Holmes had a Muslim name he would have come into a great deal of attention with a lot less purchases.”
Again, if for no other reason than to obtain some context with regard to the massive amount of government surveillance that’s already occurring in the U.S., here’s the link to my post from Thursday: “Denver Post: Holmes' Psychiatrist Warned University's "Threat Assessment Team" In June.”
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:34:07 AM PDT

  •  The NSA is not law enforcement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunny skies, maybeeso in michigan, FG

    This is where people get very confused when understanding intelligence agencies.

    The NSA analyzes signals intelligence, then compiles a report which is passed up.  They don't pass specifics up, and they don't aid in prosecutions.

    It is easy to demonize intelligence agencies, because they exist behind closed doors.  But the NSA doesn't actually do anything or make any decisions.  It simply advises the decision makers on possible threats.

    The NSA is also limited to foreign signals (though this was violated per executive order).  They can also get a special FICA ruling to decrypt domestic signals.

    In this case it would be the responsibility of the ATF, who are actually tasked with managing firearms regulation.

    The FBI is completely wrong, as they don't investigate threats of crimes.  They investigate crimes.

    Perhaps you want to live in a nations where these agencies have more proactive authority, but I really really don't.

    We need sane gun regulation, which the ATF can enforce.  No agency should act without legal authority.

    •  I think you should read... (9+ / 0-)

      ...my post from this past Thursday, linked above.

      The NSA has files on virtually every U.S. citizen, as you read this. This isn't some "conspiracy theory." It's fact, per Bill Binney and James Bamford. They're both quite credible sources, with firsthand knowledge, as well.

      There is nothing to "demonize" here. We live in a surveillance state.  You seem to be ingnoring the facts and/or contradicting yourself in your comment, and on multiple occasions, tool.

      The NSA analyzes signals intelligence, then compiles a report which is passed up.  They don't pass specifics up, and they don't aid in prosecutions.
      The blockquote, above, is just one of many pieces of misinformation you state in the comment above, as well.

      Here are some links for you to checkout (from my post, from Thursday)...

      ...I’d suggest you read THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, and especially THIS.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:02:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The NSA doesn't have open files on everyone (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sunny skies, FG

        You really don't understand what the NSA actually does and doesn't do.

        The DHS is a whole other animal.

        The purpose of signals intelligence us to extract needles from haystacks.  It isn't to find more haystacks.  The NSA is attempting to filter out data more than it is attempting to collect it.

        •  So Your Point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, triv33

          is to point out you are smarter than bobswern??

          or are you seriously interested in resolving this problem?

          "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:19:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No I am not (7+ / 1-)
            or are you seriously interested in resolving this problem?
            If you can get a law passed, which alerts the ATF when large amounts of ammo are purchased, I'm all for it.

            But if the solution involves bringing intelligence assets and some sort of predictive modeling against American citizens, I would rather live with  shooting spree here and there.

            There are governments, who embrace these solutions, but I doubt you want to live under one.  Hunting down any odd behavior imposes a justification of normality, which scares the hell out of me.

            •  How is this worthy of an HR? Uprated to counter HR (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PeterHug, Joieau, happy camper
            •  WTF is with the HR?? nt (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PeterHug, Joieau, happy camper
              •  Probably (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LaEscapee, triv33

                The endorsement of a "shooting spree here and there".  Advocating violence is HRable.  

                I actually agree with the principle behind the op, but after the events of the last couple of weeks, I don't think people are very tolerant of this type of rhetoric.  

                ‎"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." --Frederick Douglass

                by Nada Lemming on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 07:28:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Uprate a shooting spree (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  triv33

                  woohoo welcome to the new DK and the inhabitants that preside within.

                  pfft

                  There are no sacred cows.

                  by LaEscapee on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 08:18:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Give me a break. This is not "endorsing" a (0+ / 0-)

                  shooting spree now and then.  It's saying that if the only alternative is to live in a surveillance state, that alternative is NOT acceptable.

                  I've said on occasion that if the only way we can be totally safe from terrorist attacks is to give up our civil liberties, they we have to endure the casualties of the attacks we can't avoid.  Because giving up our civil liberties is just not acceptable.  

                  Same thing.  Do you seriously think that means I want terrorists attacks, or endorse them?  It means I want the US to remain a democracy.  That's all.  Same for this commenter.

                  Another uprate, to counter HR abuse.

                  --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                  by Fiona West on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:58:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You didn't read my response (0+ / 0-)

                    Did you?  I endorsed the idea, but I certainly understand why people are touchy. Have some empathy.

                    ‎"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." --Frederick Douglass

                    by Nada Lemming on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 10:58:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Recc'd to offset HR abuse. n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PeterHug, happy camper
            •  Sorry to break it to you (4+ / 0-)

              but we do live under a government that not only knows who talks about large caches of weapons and ammo but monitors every word uttered. They do profiling daily. It wouldn't surprise me at all that when I mentioned the fact it wasn't flagged. Your and my DHS have made an industry of tracking what we say, when we say it,where we say it and who we might say it to.

              Stupid story about the Olympics, notice where they came from, they perfected the art not on their own but with the help of our "friends".

              Big Bro

              ‘The contradiction that we wanted to remove was between civil liberties and fighting terrorism,’ a Palantir co-founder said of his creation.

              And what a creation it is. The software processes large quantities of information from an almost endless range of data, including surveillance images, drone footage, electronic communications and health records.

              The CIA, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security are but a few of the software’s biggest fans. In the USA at least, Palantir is being touted as a powerful tool in tackling scourges from terrestrial terrorism, drug trafficking and cyber hacking.

              They know, they don't care unless you threaten the status quo.

              There are no sacred cows.

              by LaEscapee on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:06:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I just re-read your post (5+ / 0-)

              That's a slippery slope on which you are treading. Wouldn't the correct response be that we demand accountability AND civil liberties protections? Why now should that be to much to ask?

              There are no sacred cows.

              by LaEscapee on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:20:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  are you kidding? (5+ / 0-)

              we do live under one, they just aren't all that worried about ammo. Try going online and ordering a large amount of hydroponic equipment~

              I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

              by triv33 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:56:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  bob: prepare for the flack (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        wait... you are prepared!

        it's bizarre, really. I mean, we the sappy taxpayers are paying $50-$100 Billion per year-- that's just for the Department of Homeland Security-- and we're not supposed to ask:

        "Where's the Security?!"

        when the sad history of our time is written, one header could be: Never was so much money spent, with so little to actually show for it.

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:16:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I Believe bobswerrn is aware of this (7+ / 0-)

      so it's more or less insulting for you to imply he isn't.

      have you read the Mission Statement of the DHS?

      It's in my recent diary:

      FALSE Premise: We Cannot Preempt Rampage Killers in the U.S.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      In this diary, I briefly examine four recent rampage killings in our nation and readily point out ten commonalities or "markers" common to the killers.

      most of these markers are strong enough to come up in any sort of surveillance- IF the effort is made.

      Mr Bamford is correct; the surveillance lens is currently pointed at the wrong people. whether that is being done intentionally is hard to know. It does seem obvious there is considerable denial regarding our domestic terrorism problem-- which has actually been going on for some time now, with the terrorism committed against Planned Parenthood clinics, abortion providers-- to the point doctors have been murdered, not by al Qaeda, but by "normal" Americans.

      it's time to take a hard look at all of this and start asking WHY is more not being done in the preemption efforts-- given the massive amount of money we spend on law enforcement, the DHS, etc.

      "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:06:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gov't ignores a myriad of laws when it comes... (8+ / 0-)

        ...to surveillance and detention, as it is. Ignoring a piece of NRA-backed legislation (required reporting, etc.) to cross-reference volume ammunition/gun purchases is quite MILD when compared to various other inconvenient facts related to what's done in the name of "national security" in our country these days

        See my link the the NYT's "6,000 Bullets" editorial, in my post from Thursday, linked in this post.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:11:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about everyone else? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sunny skies

        I have no doubt you can find commonalities between certain criminals.

        But what about the people, who trip those flags, despite not being criminals themselves?

        Are you willing to survey 10 thousand people to catch 1 criminal?

        •  YES. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Teeth, gooderservice

          can you imagine the reason why?

          BTW, we're not talking about petty crimes here... like selling pot or check kiting. we're talking about finally doing something about mass murder.

          "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:26:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that isn't constitutional (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sunny skies, We Won, Joieau

            You can't violate the rights of thousands of people without having probable cause.

            You are suggesting a highly improbable cause is enough to go on.

            That is of course the way the Bush administration viewed things.

            •  Not True. You MAY Not Violate Rights. But You Can. (5+ / 0-)

              We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

              by Gooserock on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:46:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I Guess I need (0+ / 0-)

                to construct a diary with the following poll:

                Are you in favor of saving lives in the U.S.?

                Yes

                No

                "Ironic" that the bush admin and others told us after 9/11 that "sacrfices regarding our liberty were going to have to be made in order to surveil "terrorists"-- those being of the Islamic extremist type-- as correctly pointed out by Mr Bamford and others-- but not related to rampage killers/domestic terror?

                wow

                "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

                by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 08:09:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Those who (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Nada Lemming, Superpole

                  sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                  A pertinent Ben Franklin quote. Though it's okay with me - and fully within the boundaries of personal choices on what liberties they're willing to sacrifice to their fears - for people to choose to avoid places and situations where some nut job might go off. What is NOT within the boundaries of personal choice is the blanket abrogation of my liberties just so the fearful can feel safer.

                  "Saving lives" is a grotesquely overused self-justification for all kinds of nefarious policies in a world where the 100% certain result of being alive is to end up dead. There are quite a lot of people in this country who value their liberties and do not live in fear. Everything we do (or don't do) in our mundane lives carries an element of risk.

                  A clear example of how the "saving lives" excuse can be entirely spurious can be found in the health care debates. We are told that more than 40,000 Americans die every year from not having access to timely medical care - something the ACA (which I support) is intended to address. For the oft-cited 'purpose' of saving lives.

                  What inevitably goes unsaid in the statistical justifications is that ~200,000 Americans die every year of medical errors in hospitals. Not including people who die outside of hospitals from the same lousy medical care - figure three or four times as many, at least. You'd have to quantify those stats a bit farther to come up with an accurate read on how many lives actually might be saved (if any) versus the number of lives lost to shamefully lousy medical care, and that is never done. Because the statistics might indicate that people are generally better off without.

            •  Problem (0+ / 0-)

              my constiutional rights are being violated every day by the banksters... are you OK with that?

              "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

              by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 08:06:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  LINK Correction: (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        This for my diary yesterday regarding preempting rampage killers

        bob and others, sorry for the error

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:51:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dr Teeth must have forgot about Watergate (4+ / 0-)

      and the subsequent investigations that exposed US intelligence agencies breaking their charters to spy on US citizens. To think this still does not going on is a bit naive or just silly, IMO.

      It is easy to demonize intelligence agencies because they have earned it.

      If anything has changed, it is their ability to get away with it.

      Cheers

      "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

      by Farkletoo on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:16:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't without directives (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sunny skies, Nada Lemming

        This is where politicians try to hide, and leave all the blame with intelligence agencies.

        Intelligence agencies function is to provide assessments to decision makers.  When those decision makers start adding operations to their task, things get very very fucked.

        Politicians do this because they don't want to absorb the political responsibility for the operations, so they hide them in black funding.

        Quite often the leaks, which blow these stories open come from inside the agencies themselves.  Trust me when I say the Obama administration will have some negative press in a decade or so, because he's used the CIA as another branch of the military.

      •  There appear to be numerous Contrarians (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        who immediately go OFF topic, and want to scrutinize the diarist's "mistake", instead of focusing on the main points of the diary

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:28:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sunny skies, happy camper

          I am addressing this diary specifically.

          Do you want federal agencies looking for aberrant behaviors among Americans, and advising law enforcement based on these perceived aberrations?

          Do you think they are that accurate to justify such actions?

          •  I say the government has already and will (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Teeth, Superpole

            continue to do so.

            And if you think the purchase of 6000 rounds of ammunition was not flagged when the transaction was  completed regardless of the persons ethnic sounding name then I guess I am worried about the patriot act for nothing.

            My Bad

            Cheers

            "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

            by Farkletoo on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:52:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Law (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sunny skies

              People have pretty grim view of our nation.  Federal agencies do actually want to avoid being dragged into court.

              There is no authority given to any federal agency to track ammunition sales.  Hence ammunition sellers aren't required to report to any ATF database.

              That is stupid.  There should be that database.  There should be that law.

              The answer isn't to hope some shadow wing of the government swoops in.  We need our elected officials to pass sane gun legislation.

              Because they are 90% political hacks, they are unable to do so.

              You won't find one law enforcement organization that doesn't want a ban on assault weapons, but they don't have the ability to make laws.

    •  It doesn't make sense to try to regulate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Teeth, Superpole, happy camper

      human behavior by hiding the tools. Indeed, I think the habit of indirection, of trying to influence one thing by influencing something else, is fundamentally wrong. While it does work to effect action, it is ineffective when something is to be stopped.

      Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

      by hannah on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:30:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rest easy you freaks (0+ / 0-)
      The NSA analyzes signals intelligence, then compiles a report which is passed up.  They don't pass specifics up, and they don't aid in prosecutions
      I hope this gets passed up the line without comment, somehow I think not.

      There are no sacred cows.

      by LaEscapee on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:28:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My take on this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth, Superpole, bobswern, Joieau

    It really is of no significance to the federal government if someone wants to kill from 1 to however many in some random act of violence.  However, an act of violence that could possibly be traced from outside the US is anathema to the federal government; that would mean their surveillance from the  "outside" is damaged, thus creating a political problem.  The US culture is quite amenable to random acts of violence by our "own" people; it is the violence of a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 that we will not condone.

  •  6000 rounds... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth, Joieau, rockhound

    is not a huge amount of ammunition. Most non shooters don't realize it, but recreational shooters who buy bulk ammo as a cost saving measure often purchase by the thousands. It's not unusual.

    If they looked at every purchaser who bought a few thousand rounds they'd spend a lot of time chasing down competitive sport shooters and hobbyists.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:00:21 AM PDT

    •  They could still have a database (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunny skies, happy camper
      If they looked at every purchaser who bought a few thousand rounds they'd spend a lot of time chasing down competitive sport shooters and hobbyists.
      All it would mean is that the seller reports the sale to an ATF database.  That doesn't mean the ATF would be able to act, but at least other law enforcement agencies could cross reference that database.

      Of course you can't really act without a credible threat in place.

      •  They could. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Teeth

        But there would be many, many more names on that list than most people think. I question whether they might end up making yet another haystack, rather than finding the needle.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:45:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So what's the magic number? If 6,000 is not huge, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superpole, Nada Lemming

      what number is huge?

      10,000?

      50,000?

      100,000?

      500,000?

      How many rounds of ammunition does one person need?

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Teeth, Nada Lemming

      But isn't it more than a bit odd that a braniac college student like Holmes over a four month period purchases not just 6,000 rounds of ammo, but also severl guns, body armor, a gas mask, and gunpowder for the devices he planted in his apartment??

      does this sound like a "normal" weekend hunter or target shooter to you?

      the owner of the gun range he applied to certainly did not think so-- the prob is, there has to be a path to DHS for people seeing red flags to make a phone call to - to report suspicious actions/people

      the last time I was at the range, I sure didn't see any fellow shooter wearing body armor.

      let's please be clear regarding the totality of Holmes' effort to arm himself-- it goes beyond the 6,000 rounds of ammo

      "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:21:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They can't track that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper
        But isn't it more than a bit odd that a braniac college student like Holmes over a four month period purchases not just 6,000 rounds of ammo, but also severl guns, body armor, a gas mask, and gunpowder for the devices he planted in his apartment??
        You have the benefit of seeing everything now.  You can see all he purchased.

        There are 320 million Americans.  Everyday there are literally millions of transactions.

        Unless you are monitoring a person's bank account and credit cards (which you need a warrant for) you can't know what they are buying.

        No judge will issue a warrant based on something as circumstantial as an ammunition purchase.

        •  How about the report to the university (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Teeth, Superpole

          threat assessment team combined with the accumulation of over 6000 rounds of ammo?

          If those two things, the report to the threat team and the accumulation of legally purchased ammo had been tracked and brought into a single report, do you think that should have triggered a search into his other purchases?

          I do believe we track sales of a certain fertilizer without stepping on anyone's toes.

          It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.-Chris Hedges

          by Burned on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:44:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  She could have had him committed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            diffrntdrummr

            If she had, then he could have been unable to own guns.  She didn't.

            Reporting something to a university board doesn't mean anything to the ATF.

            We do keep a registered database of all fertilizer purchases, but it isn't like they can search someones farm just because they write a blog critical of the government and they bought fertilizer.

            If she believed him to be a danger to himself or others, she should have had him committed.  That can cost a people there license if they commit people wrongly though.

            If anyone knew this would happen, they would have taken different actions.  People aren't psychic.

            •  The point of this diary, I believe.. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nada Lemming, bobswern, aliasalias

              I've gotten a little lost reading your commentary, is that the focus of our government security force is for some reason placed on infiltrating and setting up brown men that the government says are thinking about blowing things up with underwear, instead of on the white men that have repeatedly committed mass killing by means of easily tracked purchases of legal guns and ammo.

              The only reason those sales are not tracked, publicly or with any result, is because it would set off a shitstorm from the NRA.

              It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.-Chris Hedges

              by Burned on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 07:07:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was WAITING for somebody to state this! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Burned

                I thought it was self-evident in the headline. Thanks!

                "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                by bobswern on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:35:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Institutionalized racism anyone?!? n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                  by bobswern on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:36:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well that for sure.. (0+ / 0-)

                    And an idiotic concern for the NRA and the people they get all riled up with their smack talk about "They're going to take away all your guns!" taking precedent over dead people.
                    It's really unhealthy all round.

                    It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.-Chris Hedges

                    by Burned on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 01:58:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  BEENGO! (0+ / 0-)

            tracking fertilizer sales.. great point.

            I think it's fair to expect the university staff to take this seriously, too.. and conduct interviews with people like Mr Holmes who are taking actions like dropping out of school.

            a few basic questions might have raised further red flags.. keep in mind there was four months to work with here

            "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

            by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 07:04:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You're Underestimating the Technology (0+ / 0-)

          and the significant intelligence of people already doing this sort of surveillance

          pls read my diary; there are at least nine other markers related to the rampage killers. the weapons purchae is just one-- and IMHO it's a strong one.

          people smarter than me can come up with additional markers... I have ten.

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:56:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They may not be tracking this (0+ / 0-)

          But there is nothing stopping them from changing that.

    •  I wrote a similar (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper, Dr Teeth

      response above, then canceled it because it's pointless to anyone who is so frightened of random violence in public places that they'd demand our already out of control spy agencies to do MORE unconstitutional intruding on Americans.

      Thanks for saying it, though.

  •  Rampage Killer Loughner to Plead Guilty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth, gooderservice

    Tuesday.

    I'm not sure how this sad guy can be declared "legally/mentally competent" given the whatever quantities of LSD and other psychotropic drugs he consumed-- but glad to see this moving forward, and it serves to remind us of the work needed to make our nation safer.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:01:32 AM PDT

    •  I fear for the mentally ill (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunny skies, We Won

      People suffering from mental illness suffer a wide range of discrimination in this country.

      Taking these isolated cases, and making them poster children for mental illness could do serious damage.

      •  Understood (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Teeth

        however, our nation is supposed to be about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

        being shot at by armed madmen while doing something as basic as going to a movie is a total joke. we're floundering as a nation.

        what other civilized nations allow this to happen on a frequent basis?

        Japan? Australia?

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:59:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing I've said deserved a HR (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunny skies, We Won, Joieau, PeterHug

    I really hate this site sometimes.  It can be extremely intolerant to other view points.

  •  Policing would be easier in a police state. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    Authoritarianism is not just a danger from the right. The left can get in on it too.

  •  Just like what happened before 911... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, MKSinSA

    With all of the information being there, but not acted upon.We have the same old same old with the university threat assesment team.With all of the un-employed out there,you'd think that someone who knows what the f#ck  they're doing could replace those that don't.As far as I can tell, niether the DHS nor NSA were even contacted, so it's silly to blame them for not acting on info they didn't have.

    •  Taxpayers are spending $100-$200 billion... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice

      ...per year for security in our "security state," and the primary "security" we're getting for this is:

      a.) institutionalized racism,

      b.) individuals being provided with the means, funding, logistics, etc. (entrapped) to commit crimes (Taibbi and many others, including Bamford, et al, are now pointing this inconvenient truth out), in many instances in situations where they wouldn't have done anything without "assistance," and,

      c.) a total loss of privacy via our brand-spankin'-new surveillance state; but, it's so "Catch-22," it's to the point where existing infrastructure (i.e.: university-related "threat assessment teams," and supposedly transparent ONLINE gun/ammunition sales, etc., along with required registration of same being a states' rights issues, as opposed to being federally mandated, etc. are totally contorting the end result of undermining any "good" that may be accomplished here)

      (To all readers: I really didn't think I had to spell this out.)  

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:44:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  correction... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        "c.) a total loss of privacy via our brand-spankin'-new surveillance state; but, it's so "Catch-22," it's to the point where existing infrastructure..." ...should be: "c.) a total loss of privacy via our brand-spankin'-new surveillance state; but, it's so 'Catch-22,' it's to the point where existing infrastructure and administration of same has contorted these truths for the benefit of the status quo, only."

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:48:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mental Illness vs Terrorism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth, bobswern

    I suspect that a big part of the problem is that people who are likely to be interested in actions motivated by "terrorism" are likely to be targeted for surveillance because of things they say.

    I can imagine someone eavesdropping on a schizophrenic.  It would be difficult to understand what the heck.  

    The point about amassing weapons might be interesting.  I don't know that the Tucson shooter or the Virginia Tech shooter really had outstanding arsenals.  The Aurora guy was certainly spectacular in his weapons purchasing.  

    I would like to see a thorough analysis of the mass killing sprees in terms of the arsenal involved to see if any theories we might come up with through desperate speculation might begin to show a useful pattern.  

    I don't like the idea that everyone should always be under surveillance that focuses on some kind of profiling.  

    If we focus too much on preventing all possible mayhem that people who have become mentally unhinged could come up with, we will pretty much prevent an open society.

    Where is the balance?  Why do people manufacture insanely effective mass killing weapons?  Who would you need target practice?  Shooting a deer with a hundred rounds a minute doesn't seem like sportsmanship.  

    Possibily, the only purpose is to market to crazy people.  At least we could move to ban the most insane weapons.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:43:43 AM PDT

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