• FOAF Profile
  • BrainStream

    A stream of consciousness from the brain of B.K. DeLong


    Kerry Daughters Steal Hearts

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 9:37:50 pm

    I have to admit - I figured Kerry’s daughters would be silly or try to be cute. But they are both very well-spoken and their speeches very moving. They were certainly perfect for introducing their father and showing the person he is in private. Excellent.

    Carole King Trivia

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 9:12:54 pm

    A bit of Carole King trivia to all of you saying - “Hey! That’s James Taylor’s song!” - as she sings it on tonight’s DNC broadcast.

    According to SongFacts.com, King first sung the song in 1971 and won a Grammy for it as “Song of the Year.

    This was a big hit for King’s friend James Taylor in 1971, going to #1 in the U.S. for him. Taylor played guitar on several of King’s albums.

    Protests Heating Things Up

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 4:09:51 pm

    Through a combo of monitoring SMS messages and the Boston IMC site “live coverage", I’m finding out that several arrests have been made, one woman is in the hospital, effigies burned & an unconfirmed report came in that police are preparing to break out tear gas. Will police keep things calm or will things get out of hand and will a clash ensue?


    The Problem With Bloggers - Fact Checking

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 9:07:22 pm

    I heard this story a few days ago and wrote it off as funny but true. There’s been a few other stories that I’ve had a lot of trouble determining whether they were satire or legit news - and I’ve heard them in sites listed from Dave Winer’s accredited blogger OPML file.

    That’s the problem with bloggers - especially those who completely lack journalist experience. It’s always good to keep a few things in mind - cite your sources, (unless you interview the person first hand - though video and audio are always a good backup), have 2-3 quotes in your article from different people, on different sides if possible - and finally, clearly denote satire, sarcasm and in some cases, the difference between actual news and opinion.

    Sharpton on Fire

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 8:51:31 pm

    Al Sharpton continues to impress me. I’ve never been a fan of his grandstanding and publicity stunts but damn that man can weave some powerful words. That’s going to be the second speech on my CD just after Obama.

    I think it’s hilarious that Sharpton started improvising off track of his speech as it was originally approved. Live reports coming in now.

    DNC Delegates Protest Free Speech Pens

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 4:23:38 pm

    Just caught this post at Boston IMC about 50+ DNC delegates calling, in a press conference, on the DNC organizers to speak out against the outrageous “Free Speech Pens” put up for people to supposedly voice their opinions. It’s been over an hour later - I wonder if anyone will report this.

    Cops Dispatched to BioTerror Demonstration

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 4:12:51 pm

    Just got a beep from the B(l)ack Tea Society SMS pager -

    Schoolbuses of riot cops and 28 cycle cops dispatched to Blackstone Park, Bioterror demo.

    They’re referring to this demonstration against BU’s BioTerrorism Research Lab. Interesting.


    Can Heinz Run for Senator if Kerry Wins?

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 10:39:24 pm

    There’s a question for you - can Mrs. Heinz-Kerry run for her husband’s Senate seat should he win the Presidency? Can she be a Senator and not have been a naturalized citizen? Showing my ignorance there…..

    She is a dynamic, strong woman who speaks her mind. I think she’d be a welcome complement to Senator Kennedy. Thoughts? Information on the legalities?

    Political Kids?

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 10:27:41 pm

    KidsforKerry.org has been Conventionized. Have they even been posted to Slashdot yet?

    I’m not sure what I think of the 12 year old who got up to speak about Kids for Kerry. Maybe I was a late bloomer - but in 1988 I was finishing up middle school, my two cousins were leaving with me and my two brothers & my parents were starting the road to divorce. Politics was the last think on my mind. I didn’t really start getting politically active until mid High School when I met some wonderful friends who inducted me into the wonders of liberal Northampton Massachusetts and Singer-Songwriter, folk music.

    Who knows, maybe because people around my age are starting to educate, (or indoctrinate), their kids earlier about politics that there are Kids for Kerry. I know my son will learn about values as well as politics for as long as I’m politically active.

    Hopefully KidsforKerry.org will come back up and I can read more for myself.


    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 10:17:53 pm

    What can I say that isn’t coursing through the blogsphere right now? Barak Obama will be President of the US some day. He is dynamic and one of the most amazing political speakers I have seen in a while. He mixed specific political positions with personalized stories of real American people. His speech will go on my “frequently watched list” and I’ll probably burn it onto DVD to watch anytime I get jaded with politics. Watch this man - he will do great things.

    DNC Playlist

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 8:08:07 pm

    So is anyone keeping track of the song clips they’re playing at the convention? It would be interesting to compare a playlist from the DNC to whatever the RNC does. For instance, to intro Sen. Kennedy, they just played Coldplay’s “Clocks“.

    Has anyone been tracking this the last few days?

    Mr. Kerry, Tear Down this Wall!

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 12:05:18 am

    My son & wife are home. YAAAAAAAY! So before I depart for the evening I’ll leave you with this gem from Jim Atkinson.

    I was recently able to examine the so called “Free Speech Zone” located near the Fleet Center in Boston, MA at the site of the Democratic National Convention. I walked around the outside perimeter, and I walked around inside of it.

    What I saw was an absolute abomination, not only to the eye, but also to the very spirit of our nation. This cage should never be torn down, and should be preserved with a museum built around it to signify just how low we as a nation have fallen. This area and the surrounding land was once the birth site of democracy, patriotism, and freedom. This sacred ground has now been sullied with this contraption and it’s significance.

    It was mere feet to the South that the Boston Massacre took place, and only a short distance to the North that the Battle of Bunker Hill was waged. To the West of this site we have the Old North Church, where Paul Revere saw the lights that sent him on his ride, and to the East the location where our Colonial forefathers expressed their outrage at King George by dumping his tea into Boston Harbor.

    These locations are not miles, tens of miles, or hundreds of miles from this site, but feet, from where people gave their lives to protect our freedom. The soil directly underneath this so called “Free Speech Zone” contains the blood of those early Americans who had the bravery and faith to stand up for what they believed in, and who were willing to die for it, in turn soaking this very ground with their life’s blood.

    Not far from here are two old Colonial-era graveyards, which contain the mortal remains of those who died fighting for our freedom in the early days of our country. These graves include both rich and poor, sailors and preachers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, both the well-educated and the simple. The markers in this graveyard list patriot after patriot, hero after hero, and yet the United States Government, the Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and City of Boston saw fit to desecrate this holy ground with what has become an embarrassment to our entire country.

    When the City of Boston was summoned into court concerning this abomination the Judge could not believe the description that was given, and had to come out of the courtroom to observe it in person. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock was deeply disturbed and blasted the “Free Speech Zone” in his published decision, and stated that it was “an affront to free expression".

    The “zone” is poorly constructed, no building permit was ever obtained for it; no building inspector every certified it for occupancy. Around the perimeter, this death trap is lined with a highly flammable fabric to hide the protester from public view, and yet no fire extinguishers can be found in the enclosure. Above the “affront to free expression” (as the court has deemed it) the government has positioned soldiers armed with machine guns and chemical weapons to quell any voices that become too unruly, or unmanageable.

    The “Free Speech Zone” does not serve any legitimate security purposes, does not foster “Free Speech", and instead only exists to muzzle the voice of protest, and to try to hide it away under an old decrepit bridge.

    History records that following World War II, the Russian forces began their oppressive occupation of East Germany. Those living on the wrong side of the wall had to suffer under the iron rule of the Communist system, and risked imprisonment or death for speaking out or trying to seek freedom. Between 1949 and 1961 over 2.6 million East Germans escaped to West Berlin. The Communist government could find no way to control this mass exodus. On August 13, 1961 the Soviet Government officially closed the border between East and West Berlin and began building a series of walls through the city. These series of walls came to be known as the “Berlin Wall", and became a black mark in history, noting the Berlin Wall as a structure of oppression. Ironically, the United States considered the Berlin Wall as the centerpiece of the Soviet oppression present in East Germany during the Cold War.

    The Soviet Union permitted three places in this wall where a small number of their “politically correct” citizens could cross into West Berlin, and where diplomats could meet to exchange spies. During the Cold War, the government posted signs at these three checkpoints that said “You are now leaving the American Sector". These same signs, with this same message could now be hung in Boston near the Fleet Center where the DNC convention is taking place.

    On June 12, 1987, the President of the United States of America, the late Ronald Reagan addressed the people of West Berlin, in Germany at the Brandenburg Gate. During this speech, President Reagan called on the leader of the Soviet Union and proclaimed: “Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

    The “Free Speech Zone” is only a few hundred feet from where the DNC candidates will be speaking about freedom, democracy, and the American ethic. This zone can be easily reached from the speakers platform of the convention by walking a few yards to the elevator, going down one floor, take a left though the glass doors to the street level, and then take a right to walk along the media pavilion. Directly ahead, and across the street will be the area in question… it is hard to miss as it stands like some monument to oppression, and demonstrates to the entire world that some Americans, and the nation as a whole can, in fact, be muzzled. Is this a message that we as a democratic society wish to convey to the rest of the world, Mr. President?

    I formally ask that both Mr. Kerry, and Mr. Edwards visit the inside of the “Free Speech Zone", and that while visiting that they take a pair of wire cutters and cut a hole in the fence to demonstrate that they support and are willing to defend the Constitution of the United States. Then Mr. Kerry, during the convention have the ones responsible for erecting this contraption tear it down, this wall, this slap in the face of our Constitutional Rights, to Free Speech, to Gather, to Raise our Voices, in OUR own land. We the people…

    “Come here to this wall! Mr. Kerry, open this gate! Mr. Kerry, tear down this wall!”

    James M. Atkinson, 7/24/04
    Gloucester, MA


    Bloggers Bored - Get the Real Story!

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 6:06:42 pm

    Fellow bloggers, if you’re bored - stop watching from the 7th floor. You’re not at the DNC to blog all the boring speeches, (though someone may want to keep an ear out for anything interesting said), go into the crowd like the press and meet the delegates from your states - chat with delegates who aren’t getting the media attention, or go outside and chat with locals, protesters and other folks about Boston. If you can celebrity-spot before a journalist can & get a candid story - all the more power to you. But blogging the DNC isn’t just about posting faster than the press - it’s about getting and publishing the stories the press will never find.

    Though kudos to the BBC for interviewing Robert Reich - my favorite to run against Mitt Romney for governor a few years back. They’re live down in the BBC booth- bloggers, stalk!

    Be Smart on Boston Transit During DNC

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 6:01:37 pm

    A friend of mine who works in a Chemistry lab on at an East Coast University said today a friend passed him a notice being sent around from another Boston-area University Chemistry lab reminding staff and students not to be stupid enough to bring samples of research along with them on the T, bus or other form of public transportation.

    To those of us who have been paying enormous attention to security matters this week, it’s obvious but to exhausted, jaded students who have been awake for 72 hours on caffeine and munchies….it might not occur to them that while the partially synthesized protein enzyme is harmless - the two burly Boston police searching everyone with a backpack might not be so smart. Who would have thunk?

    Year of the Blog…..sortof

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 4:42:19 pm

    Well, the Year of the Blog at the DNC is getting off to a slow start. So far most of what has been posted has nothing to do with news - it’s mostly touristy, delegate-like musings, discussions of the parties, drinking, celebrity-spotting, and protest-gawking. In addition to that, its taking forever for bloggers to get their posts online due to limited Net access. I figured people would do all they can to extend and access the Internet to blog more real-time. You guys need sidekicks and PocketPC phones!

    Now that the convention has been gavelled to order, hopefully things will change. Despite this, I’ve already spotted two small things that point to some interesting changes on the political front - Electablog speaks with Oakland, CA Mayor Jerry Brown & David Weinberger’s chat with Representative Henry Waxman about the difficulties of investigating the various follies of the Bush administration.

    Is this a fluke of the DNC? Or will politicos realize that the way to get the real issues out to the people….will be to go directly to the peoples’ voice? The people! Hopefully we’ll hear more stories of this nature and our representatives in Washington will soon realize that not only are they representing us, but we can help them in the process of doing that.

    BTS March Hits “Soft Zone", Police Request Search

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 2:53:37 pm

    More Protest Pen Pictures

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 2:29:16 pm

    Weld Pond has updated his pictures of the the Free Speech Pen from this morning’s protest of it.

    Protest March Headed from Common to Fleet

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 12:49:50 pm

    Interesting. Just got a SMS Message stating that the BTS protest march has just left the Common and is heading down Beacon St. to the Fleet Center. How’s THAT for to-the-minute updates?


    Progressive Politics Will Rule

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 4:51:10 pm

    Right now I’m watching C-Span - thank gods for live coverage sans commentary - which has a session in Boston’s Old West Church that is both a Tribute to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone and also a call for more Progressive Politics in the Democratic Party. The panelists are excellent - Rep. Barbara Lee - (D-CA), Al Franken, Arianna Huffington, Leo Gerard, Jeff Blodgett, Anna Burger, Rep. Major Owens - (D-NY), Jim Hightower, Chuck Turner, Frances Fox-Piven.

    I’m TiVoing this and will most likely save it for whenever I doubt the greater force that is the current Democratic Party. I hope the biggest thing I and people watching or attending the event get out of it - is that even if John Kerry is elected to office we, (meaning Progressive politicos), must, Must, MUST stay in front of Kerry’s face letting him know what we want. We mustn’t get complacent just because there’s a Democrat in office.

    Journalistic Chilling Effect

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 4:23:14 pm

    I said to Jim this morning after the radio frequencies from the DNC was posted - “are you TRYING to get arrested?". Jim said to me “Hey, I mean really… if your going to exercise your free speech, why not stand up and speak with a strong voice.” Here, here.

    That’s why it disturbs me to read that journalists are being essentially “threatened” to not report about the poor security of the DNC:

    “The FBI warnings about an unconfirmed threat targeting the media was bogus, and was just a way to get the media to shut-up about, to stop complaining about, and stop reporting on, the weak security at the convention. Essentially the government is trying to convince them that they could save their own butts by being silent. Sadly, by journalists being cowed into not reporting on the problems with bad security, they are allowing the government to get away with ridiculously poor security, which in turn is actually increasing the threat to the journalists’ safety. ”

    He’s referring to the claim I posted earlier in the week that there was an unconfirmed threat by a domestic group that might be targeting media trucks with explosive or incendiary devices.

    DNC Musings

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 2:31:31 pm

    I apologize to friends and family who have been coming to BrainStream to read about what’s going on in my life and only getting DNC news but, hell, that’s what’s on my mind.

    It’s a gorgeous day out today. Barely a cloud in the sky, a soft, cool breeze & just enough sun to offset the breeze. It’s perfect. However I’ve barely been able to turn myself away from CNN Headline news and my laptop watching whats going on DNC-wise.

    I have done everything I can to communicate to journalists and “official” bloggers alike the insecurity of the DNC - and how it’s not hard to for someone to sneak by the massive manpower they have guarding the Fleet Center in Boston. I’ve been denied addition to conventionbloggers.com and not added to BostonOnline.com, probably because I’m in Salem.

    A few of the Bloggers appear to get it. TalkLeft is on top of the discord coming from protesters regarding the “Pen” and as I read various sites like the Bl(a)ck Tea Society & Boston IMC, it’s becomming more and more apparent that if security doesn’t back off from protesters, then we may have another 1968. The protesters aren’t stupid - they are now boycotting the “Free Speech Zone” and no doubt will gather in the nearby “soft zone” - something tells me all it will take is a few charismatic types to send a sea of angry protesters to overwhelm the Fleet.

    Look at this case regarding Seeds of Peace -

    “Shortly there after three fire tucks, EMS, haz-mat, Bomb Squad, and officers from the Secret Service, Homeland security, state police, and the FBI came to investigate the supposedly dangerous kitchen. After four hours of attempted interrogation, dog sniffing and investigation the police left with 4 empty propane tanks and one full one. They also searched the activist’s medical supplies but later determined them harmless.”

    according to this Boston Globe article, they were parked down by Hyde Park.

    “But amid the heightened security, police answered an emergency call in
    Hyde Park yesterday and searched a privately owned school bus with Idaho
    plates that contained two small gasoline containers and a few 130-gallon
    propane tanks, Boston police said.”

    What I want to know is why that amount of Law Enforcement was doing down in Hyde Park harassing a peaceful activist group. What if something happened at Fleet? Jeeze - and they kept coming too.

    On the other hand, Jim Atkinson has sent Cryptome several radio frequencies for the convention and has alerted them that Yahoo, (supposedly under orders from a Federal Law Enforcement Agency), has suspended Jim’s TSCM-L list and deleted the 6 years worth of archives. Outrageous.

    I guess what miffs me the most is the seeming lack of concern of the protesters. The DNC folk, Kerry/Edwards, City of Boston etc….are silent. No one is saying, “We know you want to protest and its your right….and we encourage you to, but we have to take security into account.” No one is acknowledging the right of these groups to protest. Many of these people will probably be voting for Kerry and at this rate, if I wasn’t terrified of another Bush presidency, I’d start considering a 3rd party. If the DNC would wake up and give the protesters a little more acknowledgement and allow them to express their views, they’d win mucho points all around. Instead, they are staying silent and the gestapo nature of the Bush administration DHS along with some pissy Boston police are all twitchy just waiting for an excuse to beak out the CS.

    God, I hope I’m proven wrong.


    DNC (In)Security Update

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 11:16:03 am

    It seems that I am behind the times with various security updates. Cryptome is beating the pants off me in getting Jim Atkinson’s (JMA) reports posted.

    They have updated their DNC Insecurity report to include comments from yesterday’s visit by JMA. Perhaps the most disturbing part of the information is just how poorly-constructed the “Free Speech Pen” is.

    The “Free Speech Zone” is a joke, and it nothing more than a way to intimidate protesters and to keep them locked up and out of site in what is best referred to as “an Ashcoft Monkey Cage". The “zone” is poorly designed, poorly built, and serves no legitimate purpose from a security perspective. The fence posts are not anchored into the Jersey Barriers, and the fence fabric is so poorly attached to the poles that it can be easily torn off. Also, the fence posts can be very simply broken free of the fence fabric due to the small number of poorly installed soft aluminum staples/wires. This would give the protester a very heavy steel pole that can be used as a lethal weapon, a battering ram, and to cause a huge amount of damage. If protesters are not allowed to protest they tend to become violent, and go on a riot, with the Fleet Center being the likely focal point of any riot.

    A cursory look around the Web shows that dissent & protest organizing is happening fast. JMA sez that the Free Speech Pen is going to cause problems -

    …what people are missing here is that neither the Boston Police Department, the City of Boston, the Mayor, the Pope, etc have the authority or power to stop the protestors, from protesting. Now that the judge in the case made the comments about the condition of the “Pen” you can expect the protestors to get violent.

    If the government is stupid enough to try crowd control by caging the protestors they will be most upset when a few cops get stomped on when the protesters use force to protect their right to free speech.

    Not only is the security of the DNCC being handled improperly, but the muzzling of dissent is going to seriously back fire, likely in a violent way.

    By conservative estimates there are going to be over 10,000 coming in to protest the DNC, plus 15-20,000 locals, the size of any protesting group could likely be 25 to 30 thousand people.

    If the protestors are well organized (they are), and they launch parallel actions across the city only a very small number of them (200-300) could sufficiently paralyze the security forces around the convention site, and thus take control of the location.

    I found out today that a number of Doctors and Medical Staff at Shriners, MGH, MEEI, and Spaulding announced that they are refusing to work next week as they feel their safety is at risk, and that as a result the hospitals were calling patients all day today cancelling appointments.

    And here’s some pretty thorough pictures of what the Pen looks like as of yesterday.

    An acquaintance of mine made a very good point about said zone. The protesters told the judge that the pen was unsafe for the expected 4,000. The judge said he’s only allow 1,000 to be sure it’s safe. What’s the problem here? We have a convention in a country of 250m citizens and only 1,000 are allowed to protest?

    What I’d like to know is just how much of this is DNC mandated and supported & how much is from our Republican Presidential administration & Republican Governor’s office? It’s almost like they’re setting up the convention for HUGE amounts of protests - and violent ones at that.

    Cryptome also posted their own look at the “Protest Pen” along with a transcript of the original security discussions surrounding planning for the DNC and a recent announcement from the Coast Guard regarding their security measures.

    As I write this, Reuters reports the FBI Boston Office is investigating a “group’s” possible plans of igniting explosive or incendiary devices against media vehicles at the Convention.

    Next week is going to be one hell of a week.


    DHS Finally Pays Attention?

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 5:06:01 pm

    Well, it’s about time. Someone claiming to be with DHS placed a phone call to John Young at Cryptome asking about Jim Atkinson.

    Is it me or does the whole context of this seem that DHS is pissed Jim didn’t hand over his analysis to them as soon as he found it? He’s just doing what his client asked & paid him to do and then shared his analysis with me via a private mailing list. I asked for permission to post his report and he said “sure".

    Immediately after posting said report - the FIRST time - I emailed two FBI Special Agents, (whom I had previous contact with via the BlackHat conference I worked as PR Manager for), whom I knew had some involvement in anti-terrorist activities at the Bureau. Should I have contacted FPS? DHS? Maybe. But why me? It seems from my posts that the information Mr. Atkinson was providing both me and Cryptome was common knowledge and hopefully something that would be addressed prior to the opening of the convention. Not to mention the fact that I posted links to said articles to every friggin DNC site I could find.

    I’m interested to hear what Jim has to say and whether or not DHS has contacted him first. I’m also very curious as to whether or not DHS will address the issues Jim raised - which was the point for making the posts in the first place.

    I will keep people posted.


    (In)Security at the…..hell, it’s just NOT secure!

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 9:48:01 pm

    I have GOT to find a new title for this thread. It’s getting ridiculous. Anyway, my ‘TSCM friend’ Jim Atkinson outed himself to Cryptome yesterday and gave them a bit more information about the pictures he took. Unfortunately, JYA aggregated all of Jim’s pictures into composites so all of the EXIF metadata got lost in the process. It gives a little bit of insight as to how the pictures were taken - I wonder how many people in law enforcement are using EXIF and realize they can get a heck of a lot of information about an image on a Web site taken by some of the more recent digital cameras.

    Here’s sample EXIF data extracted from this original picture:


    unknown Flash did not fire Hitachi SH-G1000

    From that, we know what camera he used - a Hitachi SH-G1000 Pocket PC Camera Phone - when the picture was taken, and some details about what the camera did or, in this case, did not do - fire off the flash. Normally you could extract a heck of a lot more from EXIF but for some reason the Hitachi doesn’t record other camera information. Here’s one from a friend’s CanonPowerShot G3 and another from one of my Kodaks.

    Today’s Insecurity note from Jim sez:

    Boston Medflight Helicopters to MGH will have normal operations during the DNC and they will have an extra helicopter in service during this time period.

    Spaulding will not be accepting helo flights on their pad, and anything into Shriners will go to Beth Israel roof and then to ground to there. I would be most concerned about “MedFlight 2” as it holds a huge amount of fuel, and can fly at over 200 MPH (with 2,000+ pounds of cargo), and has an extremely high operating ceiling. Also, the French made Dauphin II is a popular military model/variant and would most likely be the target if a terrorist was planning on snatching and using it as a flying bomb (easy to obtain flight training).

    A 7300 pound helicopter, slamming into either the DNCC or nearby building at over 200 MPH would rip a huge hole in the building, plus the resulting fire due to the extended fuel capacity (350 gallons) and the lack of safe egress from the Fleet Center presents some interesting problems. There are no ground level exits from the Fleet Center, and the entire North Face of the building is exposed to incoming high speed air traffic so a hijacked/stolen helicopter attack would be devastating. The Fleet Center is quite literally “built on stilts", and an emergency evacuation is quite impossible.

    The Fleet Center is perhaps one of the worse possible places in they could be having this convention.

    OK - I don’t think the terrorists would try all the stuff Jim has mentioned. I think what bugs me the worst about all this - besides the complete lack of media attention - is that I’m normally a person who chastizes the Bush administration and DHS for their paranoid tendancies. we hear SO MUCH about the security of the convention in Boston but this “series” shows that it’s all lip service and eye candy. Over the next few days I’m going to float more of this to Boston-area media and see if anyone bites. This is getting ridiculous.


    (In)Security at the Fleet Center, part the third

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 6:18:59 pm

    And so it continues. My TSCM friend followed up on part one and part two by taking pictures Friday of the area surrounding the Fleet Center. Cryptome was sweet enough to make my life easier by posting them for me as well as their own look at Fleet Center Security. …..wish the Feds were paying this much attention.


    Update: (In)Security at the DNCC, part deux

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 8:38:53 am

    Well, we have an update from my friend the “TSCM Guy” and apparently Boston has done little to nothing to improve security as the convention nears. What, do I need to send these posts to media outlets? At his request, I’ve cleaned up the piece a bit.

    I visited the site of the DNCC again on today, and poked around a bit more.

    The government has moved around a small number of the Jersey barriers in front of the Tip O’Neil building to partially block one section of the sidewalk, but they have done little else with said barriers. One barrier had a single stake, but not one of the other hundred had any stakes. None of them where linked yet, and none had cables or chains. There were more visible security (FPS weenies), but they seemed more interested in scratching their butts then stopping me to ask why I was lurking around dressed like a homeless bum, and lugging a huge green duffle bag stuffed with 50 pounds of flour. The flour was to harmlessly simulate a “nefarious device or compound” (ie: explosives, chemical, biological, radiological device, etc).

    The Verizon communications trailer is still totally exposed, and STILL unlocked & right at the sidewalk.

    The two HVAC sets right on the sidewalk, (near the Verizon trailer), are totally exposed and have no type of filtration of any kind. If someone popped a smoke bomb, released a noxious gas, or (God forbid) release some anthrax it would get sucked in to the auxiliary HVAC system and dispersed throughout the entire Convention complex. This would be a lot harder to do with roof mounted units, but these smaller street level units are a glaring security hole, and an invitation to mischief. At the minimum these units should have had snorkels installed with one micro-filters.

    I did not see any evidence that the sewer had been snaked yet, (inspected for bombs with a video snake), and it is now going to be impossible to do an inspection as there is absolutely no time left to do it. None of the sewer grates & manholes have been tack welded yet, nor locked down, (you do this as you snake the pipes). It is likely that the government security weenies are just going to do a cursory check on the manholes and tack them closed (which is actually a useless action as the tack weld can be broken with one whack of a chisel, or welders scaling hammer).

    The construction of the roof of the pavilion invites thrown objects due to the low height, and if the Green line (subway) is running passengers on the loading platform could toss nasty things down on to the roof of the pavilion. [Editor’s Note: The good(?) news is that the Green Line stop at Fleet will stop running on Friday, 7/23.]

    There is still nothing in place to prevent a truck from running the light barricades being put up around the area. Essentially any vehicle weight at least 15000 pounds, (medium sized Ryder truck), and moving at 15 mph of more would be unstoppable. If the assailant increases the speed to 35-40 miles, or upsizes the truck to a 25,000 pounder (heavy Ryder truck) mischief could be conducted even though the five “gauntlets” they’re setting up.

    From what I can see the biggest, and most serious vulnerability is from trucks loaded with flammable or explosive materials approaching from the area of the Charlestown Navy Yard, or cutting though Chelsea, crossing the bridge at the power plant and going on an attack vector along the Hood Plant.

    MGH is closing off a big chunk of the hospital and is going to be transferring, (cough, cough), evacuating patients to other facilities starting next early next week so that they have a bare minimum of patients. Several family members of the Al-Saud family that were staying at Blair House (at MGH) are being transferred (at their request) this Friday morning. On a more amusing note, MGH has removed the “We Welcome the DNC” signs, and replaced them with ones with a less ironic message.

    The Heliports will still be open at all three hospitals, and nothing has been done to prevent an ambulance from getting stolen and being used for mischief - they still have access to the DNCC. In fact ambulances are going to have a special “parade route” that loops then around a series of gauntlets to ensure they can get from the hospital to the DNC or local hotels at high speeds.

    There are still major radio coverage shadows in the area, (I double checked today), and there are no new communications towers of booms up yet (or planned to go up) that would help the situation. If there is an incidet at the DNC there will be virtually no radio coverage.

    The primary command center for security is set up in a series on dressing rooms actually in the conference facility, and the FBI/CIA/FPS setting up a redundant command post in three nearby buildings nearby (sounds like the brewing of a turf war). Add to this the military has already mobilized five missile batteries within one mile of the Fleet Center, and the State Police having their own little side show nearby queuing up the SWAT trucks, (they were getting a huge shipment of chemical weapons today - 45,000 pounds of CS and CN hand grenades, shoulder-fired CS pyrotechnic projectiles, stun grenades, pepper foggers, nauseating agents, etc. The shipment came from Armor Holdings/Defense Technology in Florida.). The Navy Yard is making preparation for some serious floating iron as well, so it will be interesting to see what they float in to intercept any airborne threat.

    I could go on, but nobody is listening, nobody cares, yadda-yadda-yadda.

    I see a major clouster-fook brewing.

    Powered by WordPress