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(Talking Points Memo)   Homeland Security spent $430 million on radios no one knows how to use   (tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 82
    More: Fail, The Secret Service, employee surveys  
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3675 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Nov 2012 at 10:26 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-21 04:32:03 PM
Hey! That's 860 life saving surgical procedures in some commie sh*thole! We spend ours on FREEDOM™!!1!1!!!

www.exactrix.com
 
2012-11-21 04:39:05 PM
That sounds like a training issue, not a spending issue.

The radios work, just no one knows how to access the secure channel.
 
2012-11-21 04:48:34 PM

Ambivalence: That sounds like a training issue, not a spending issue.

The radios work, just no one knows how to access the secure channel.


I guess we got our money's worth on the "secure" part.
 
2012-11-21 05:18:37 PM
How the hell do you spend a radio?
 
2012-11-21 05:37:03 PM
assets.meanwhilein.org
 
2012-11-21 05:40:43 PM
to provide radios tuned to a common, secure channel to 123,000 employees

It would be really funny if they were two-way.

i3.ytimg.com
 
2012-11-21 06:32:46 PM

kmmontandon: How the hell do you spend a radio?


Carefully?
 
2012-11-21 08:08:19 PM
Is this the point where we get to complain how corrupt and useless the homeland security grant process is, and how it farks over departments who REALLY need new equipment to protect their responders and serve the public better versus large departments who are good at grant writing, but use it to get shiny toys rather than what they need to serve the public?

Kind of like how a rural rescue squad can't get a grant to buy new extrication tools - Jaws of Life - that work on modern ultra-high tensile metal cars or new turnouts, but a Fire Department in Philly, with less than 20 members, can get a 1.4 Million Dollar Fire/Tactical patrol boat which costs more to maintain than the department's entire yearly budget, and they manage to sink?

The problem with radios are that the nation's emergency communication infrastructure is severely lacking once you get outside of large cities. It sucks to get into an area of your district, need help, and have no ability to call out on the radio for it. In addition, on the EMS Side, the ability to have secure, unevesdroppable conversation is important for HIPAA compliance and operational security.
 
2012-11-21 08:08:40 PM
The sooner the redundant money pit DHS, and the TSA are disbanded, the better.
They were an unnecessary creation from the start.
 
2012-11-21 08:10:43 PM

TommyymmoT: The sooner the redundant money pit DHS, and the TSA are disbanded, the better.
They were an unnecessary creation from the start.


You realize that the DHS does far more than the TSA and Border Patrol right? DHS was necessary to bring multiple, redundant agencies under one umbrella of leadership and accountability. The problem is that we decided to create the TSA, and it's epic chain of fail.
 
2012-11-21 08:11:35 PM

PreMortem: to provide radios tuned to a common, secure channel to 123,000 employees

It would be really funny if they were two-way.

[i3.ytimg.com image 320x180]


Who is this is?
 
2012-11-21 08:16:14 PM
Honestly, if you put a $430 million radio in front of me, I might not know how to use it.
 
2012-11-21 08:33:04 PM
Have they read the owner's manual?
 
2012-11-21 08:45:37 PM

Krymson Tyde: Have they read the owner's manual?


Hmmm...let's see..."La Radio"??? What the fark is that?!?!?!
 
2012-11-21 08:48:41 PM

Triumph: Honestly, if you put a $430 million radio in front of me, I might not know how to use it.


Me either, but I would damned well find out.

The obvious solution is to hire the manufacturer to send out an army of "factory trainers" at $1000/day each to teach the Homeboys which button to push.

/// Or read the manual, but who does that?
//// Or hire somebody other than dumbsh*ts and require reading of the manual.
 
2012-11-21 08:54:18 PM

Lionel Mandrake: PreMortem: to provide radios tuned to a common, secure channel to 123,000 employees

It would be really funny if they were two-way.

[i3.ytimg.com image 320x180]

Who is this is?


I hope you're not kidding...
 
2012-11-21 08:54:55 PM

snuff3r: I hope you're not kidding...


/damnit
 
2012-11-21 08:55:37 PM
Waitaminnit. Nobody knows what the "common" channel is for?

FTFA: "DHS has spent $430 million over the past nine years to provide radios tuned to a common, secure channel to 123,000 employees across the country. "

Just how helpful would it be to put in a call to 123,000 employees at once? This isn't a "users don't understand" problem, it's an institutional "it sounded good at the time" problem.
 
2012-11-21 09:02:32 PM
Subby went potato
 
2012-11-21 09:04:10 PM
Let me guess, they didn't want to give the guy at Radio Shack their zip code....
 
2012-11-21 09:44:23 PM

BronyMedic: TommyymmoT: The sooner the redundant money pit DHS, and the TSA are disbanded, the better.
They were an unnecessary creation from the start.

You realize that the DHS does far more than the TSA and Border Patrol right? DHS was necessary to bring multiple, redundant agencies under one umbrella of leadership and accountability. The problem is that we decided to create the TSA, and it's epic chain of fail.


But they improved nothing. They haven't kept us safer, and they haven't saved us a penny.
Their wasteful spending is legendary.
 
2012-11-21 09:56:38 PM
Any time something really bad happens and there's a brand new agency to deal with it, ready to roll - 1,000 page manual and all - in about a week, three things are certain.

It was designed about a decade before the bad thing that happened.

It ain't going away.

It's gonna suck up money like a f*cking hole in a space capsule.

Is that a burning Reichstag in your pocket or do you just have a 430,000,000.00 wad of my money in there?

Anybody who doesn't realize they're watching a rerun is gonna wish that money was the only problem.

Bad ideas. Don't hit shuffle and repeat at the same time.
 
2012-11-21 10:04:50 PM
There's this entire new wive's tale of malarkey semiotics that, when any huge, ostensibly necessary security agency or jive assed federal agency empties the cookie jar, trips over their dicks or otherwise shiats where we eat that it's "Well, you know probably necessary, but it sure looks like shenanigans, albeit NECESSARY shenanigans cause, you know, like people in power and, um, 9/11 and, like you , heavy stuff so they have to, like, I guess do whatever and we just have to trust whatever they do."

No, the f*ck it isn't.

No, the f*ck they're not.

No, the f*ck we shouldn't.
 
2012-11-21 10:18:21 PM

TommyymmoT: But they improved nothing. They haven't kept us safer, and they haven't saved us a penny.
Their wasteful spending is legendary.


Homeland's done nothing, huh?

Nothing at all, you say?

Nothing?
 
2012-11-21 10:25:52 PM

BronyMedic: TommyymmoT: But they improved nothing. They haven't kept us safer, and they haven't saved us a penny.
Their wasteful spending is legendary.

Homeland's done nothing, huh?

Nothing at all, you say?

Nothing?


The sh*t hit the fan and some people in the sub agencies that already existed who are in the sh*t hitting the fan business went to work. I go to work. Next.
 
2012-11-21 10:31:38 PM
They're to make sure the DHS Ninja Death Squads get their orders direct from Gauleiter Limbaugh.
 
2012-11-21 10:32:53 PM
Man, "global warming climate change" strikes again.
 
2012-11-21 10:35:43 PM

BronyMedic: TommyymmoT: But they improved nothing. They haven't kept us safer, and they haven't saved us a penny.
Their wasteful spending is legendary.

Homeland's done nothing, huh?

Nothing at all, you say?

Nothing?


That's FEMA, which was there long before the Homeboys.

That's the United States Coast Guard which was there long before the Homeboys.

That's FEMA again. Are you running out of straw men?

What we have from the Homeboys is the smooth cooperation among the FBI, the CIA, all of the various law enforcement agencies, and the Capitol. That is, we would have it if there weren't any empire builders in any of those places. Homeland Security is yet another empire, but with a more sinister moniker. To the extent that it all does work together, it spells the end of our individual privacy, anonymity, and free will.
 
2012-11-21 10:36:23 PM
img114.exs.cx
 
2012-11-21 10:46:02 PM
Leave to the GOP types to support an inept fascist organization, yet helping the elderly is out of the question.
 
2012-11-21 10:47:36 PM
123,000 people need to access it and it's called a "secure channel"?
 
2012-11-21 10:50:26 PM
All we hear is Radio ka ka
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Radio what's new?
Radio, someone still loves you!
 
2012-11-21 10:54:23 PM
And yet, here I am supposed to be outraged, OUTRAGED that some companies defaulted on their loans given by the Department of Energy.
 
2012-11-21 10:59:21 PM

BronyMedic: Is this the point where we get to complain how corrupt and useless the homeland security grant process is, and how it farks over departments who REALLY need new equipment to protect their responders and serve the public better versus large departments who are good at grant writing, but use it to get shiny toys rather than what they need to serve the public?

Kind of like how a rural rescue squad can't get a grant to buy new extrication tools - Jaws of Life - that work on modern ultra-high tensile metal cars or new turnouts, but a Fire Department in Philly, with less than 20 members, can get a 1.4 Million Dollar Fire/Tactical patrol boat which costs more to maintain than the department's entire yearly budget, and they manage to sink?

The problem with radios are that the nation's emergency communication infrastructure is severely lacking once you get outside of large cities. It sucks to get into an area of your district, need help, and have no ability to call out on the radio for it. In addition, on the EMS Side, the ability to have secure, unevesdroppable conversation is important for HIPAA compliance and operational security.


Yeah, pretty much.

And it's going to be about how nobody understands the other reason that DHS was theoretically put together was to avoid the intelligence clusterf*ck which led to 9/11 (cf the Phoenix Memo, among others), and still hasn't addressed that problem either. The two issues are actually related in that they're attempting to bring together huge and wildly disparate agencies that have nothing in common and typically don't talk to each other and yet which legislators and the public at large think somehow need to be brought together under some kind of umbrella JUST IN CASE some kind of crisis of 9/11 proportions were to occur again.

There's really no reason that DHS needs to have this kind of national common-channel radio system; in the first place, it would never work anyway; and in the second, if there were such an overarching emergency we'd need in-the-clear communication that the military could handle just fine (and they'd be the ones doing it, most likely, not DHS responders). I can't imagine a situation where ICE and the FBI and FEMA and TSA would need to communicate where the Army wouldn't be involved, you know?

The money isn't going where it's most needed, while DHS pretends it's a fully functional and separate organization. That was never intended--or shouldn't have been--to be it's purpose. Somebody needs to rethink the whole need of a Department of Homeland Security. But what do I know, I just told Apollo I was busy that night.
 
2012-11-21 11:01:33 PM

BronyMedic: TommyymmoT: The sooner the redundant money pit DHS, and the TSA are disbanded, the better.
They were an unnecessary creation from the start.

You realize that the DHS does far more than the TSA and Border Patrol right? DHS was necessary to bring multiple, redundant agencies under one umbrella of leadership and accountability. The problem is that we decided to create the TSA, and it's epic chain of fail.


The agency you seem to be referring to is the Central Intelligence Agency, at the head of which was the Director of Central Intelligence. George Bush Junior really didn't like the CIA because they wouldn't compromise their judgment or ethics to suit his loco-crazy chickenhawk plans. So he used his power to strip the Director of Central Intelligence of his authority to coordinate the analysis of data collected by all other intelligence agencies, and made the position just Director of the CIA going forward. And then he fabricated yet another organization (DHS) and put a puppet in charge of it, so that he could control it.

DHS is just an unnecessary piece of red tape.
 
2012-11-21 11:15:32 PM

Ambivalence: That sounds like a training issue, not a spending issue.

The radios work, just no one knows how to access the secure channel.


FTA, which you obviously didn't read:

The investigators also found that more than half of the radios did not have the settings for the common channel programmed into them. Only 20 percent of radios tested had all the correct settings.
 
2012-11-21 11:18:58 PM
A $430 million radio? That seems like a little much even for a government radio.
 
2012-11-21 11:21:14 PM
That headline should be taken out back and shot.
 
2012-11-21 11:21:21 PM

Krymson Tyde: Have they read the owner's manual?


Hmmm. "For make happy waveband, knob wash lever must come turned over left side."
 
2012-11-21 11:25:23 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Ambivalence: That sounds like a training issue, not a spending issue.

The radios work, just no one knows how to access the secure channel.

FTA, which you obviously didn't read:

The investigators also found that more than half of the radios did not have the settings for the common channel programmed into them. Only 20 percent of radios tested had all the correct settings.


That doesn't mean the radios don't work. It just means that they haven't been properly set up. Just like after they are set up, they still won't be able to access the secure channel unless they are turned on. Apparently it was more important to award a contract for the purchase of the radios than it was to actually use them.
 
2012-11-21 11:36:23 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-21 11:37:35 PM

bunner: Hey! That's 860 life saving surgical procedures in some commie sh*thole! We spend ours on FREEDOM™!!1!1!!!

[www.exactrix.com image 450x358]


I get that this is snark, I really do. However, what the high hell is this picture about?
 
2012-11-21 11:37:47 PM

BronyMedic: TommyymmoT: The sooner the redundant money pit DHS, and the TSA are disbanded, the better.
They were an unnecessary creation from the start.

You realize that the DHS does far more than the TSA and Border Patrol right? DHS was necessary to bring multiple, redundant agencies under one umbrella of leadership and accountability. The problem is that we decided to create the TSA, and it's epic chain of fail.


This.

And the article (welcome to fark) wasn't much like subby made it out to be.

Dhs isn't a bad idea, and not being an employee I couldn't say whether they are communicating as intended or not. I'd also say I doubt anyone outside of the supervisors within the various agencies can claim that knowledge either.

And ya, tsa is security theater. Planes are crap targets to a terrorist if the pilots are secure. Trains or power plants would be much better choices for major destruction.
Or any piece of infrastructure really.

Maybe we can learn not to go off the deep end next time a terrorist gets lucky. I doubt it though.
 
2012-11-21 11:40:25 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Ambivalence: That sounds like a training issue, not a spending issue.

The radios work, just no one knows how to access the secure channel.

FTA, which you obviously didn't read:

The investigators also found that more than half of the radios did not have the settings for the common channel programmed into them. Only 20 percent of radios tested had all the correct settings.


I actually know a little about these radios because I received some training (a couple years ago) to support them (in my last job I did tech support for DHS). They're complex as fark. It's not just the handset radios, it's a whole farking nationwide radio network. After being trained on them 1-2 years ago I haven't gotten a single call about them since. Maybe they weren't properly rolled out. But the radios themselves were VERY sophisticated. Rotating encryption, local and regional channels, a silent alarm to alert of an agent in danger. I can totally see it costing that much and being a valuable asset. So I guess I have a little inside context when I say that perhaps it wasn't a spending issue, but a training/rollout issue.
 
2012-11-22 12:02:02 AM
i199.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-22 12:07:56 AM
DHS has spent $430 million over the past nine years to provide radios tuned to a common, secure channel to 123,000 employees across the country. Problem is, no one seems to know how to use them.


Ignore the money. Lets focus on who ever thought that getting 123k people using a common, secure channel was a) probable and b) a good idea.

/in an emergency
//train them how to use twitter - its more effective
 
2012-11-22 12:10:47 AM

BronyMedic: Is this the point where we get to complain how corrupt and useless the homeland security grant process is, and how it farks over departments who REALLY need new equipment to protect their responders and serve the public better versus large departments who are good at grant writing, but use it to get shiny toys rather than what they need to serve the public?


Sure, why not.

"Republicans: breaking government to prove that government is broken."
 
2012-11-22 12:11:07 AM

Richard Saunders: [i199.photobucket.com image 500x334]


LOL.
 
2012-11-22 12:16:49 AM

BronyMedic: important for HIPAA compliance


HIPAA doesn't apply to state/fed fire/law/ems. Convenient, no? Operational Security, sure, and it would be a good idea, but they're excluded from HIPAA. Now, some agencies, especially EMS and hospitals, have policies that restrict what goes out in-the-clear, but that's a corporate compliance CYA.

Gyrfalcon: There's really no reason that DHS needs to have this kind of national common-channel radio system; in the first place, it would never work anyway; and in the second, if there were such an overarching emergency we'd need in-the-clear communication that the military could handle just fine (and they'd be the ones doing it, most likely, not DHS responders). I can't imagine a situation where ICE and the FBI and FEMA and TSA would need to communicate where the Army wouldn't be involved, you know?


Bzzzzt- wrong. Interop. Interoperability. Having feds (insert three-letter-agency here, task force, strike team, unit, subunit) able to 1) talk to other federal-level agencies and strike teams, and then 2) be able to talk to their state and local partners is the goal. Because some blockheads couldn't find the right talk-group in their radio (and, granted, it's a complex radio- more a portable computer with a radio wrapped around it) and understand the concept of how the talk groups work, doesn't mean the system is bad. Frankly, the system is awesome, if the users are trained right. Here in Michigan, it works slick as shiat, even up here in the pine trees. We can communicate with our mutual-aid counties, the region, state and all the way up to the federal regional coordinator as needed, and do so with regular testing and exercising.
 
2012-11-22 12:16:51 AM

Ambivalence: BarkingUnicorn: Ambivalence: That sounds like a training issue, not a spending issue.

The radios work, just no one knows how to access the secure channel.

FTA, which you obviously didn't read:

The investigators also found that more than half of the radios did not have the settings for the common channel programmed into them. Only 20 percent of radios tested had all the correct settings.

I actually know a little about these radios because I received some training (a couple years ago) to support them (in my last job I did tech support for DHS). They're complex as fark. It's not just the handset radios, it's a whole farking nationwide radio network. After being trained on them 1-2 years ago I haven't gotten a single call about them since. Maybe they weren't properly rolled out. But the radios themselves were VERY sophisticated. Rotating encryption, local and regional channels, a silent alarm to alert of an agent in danger. I can totally see it costing that much and being a valuable asset. So I guess I have a little inside context when I say that perhaps it wasn't a spending issue, but a training/rollout issue.


I've played around with my buddy's xt-something or other with all those bells. It wasn't rocket science to go between menus, set up scanning, etc.

I wonder which organization is being lazy about setting the channels properly for their agents. I'm guessin... Wait for it.. Tsa.

But their radios, as best I can tell, aren't the fancy secure digital ones.

/shrug
 
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