Tuesday, November 29, 2005


According to Walter Pincus of the Washington Post (vis a vis William Arkin):

On May 2, 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz signed a
memorandum (large pdf) directing the military to collect and report "non-validated threat information" relating to U.S. military forces, installations or missions. His memorandum followed from the establishment of the Domestic Threat Working Group after 9/11, the intent of which was to create a mechanism to share low-level domestic "threat information" between the military and intelligence agencies.

It is the military's equivalent of the FBI and intelligence community's post 9/11 shift, and Wolfowitz directed the sharing of reports on ambiguous activity. This new reporting mechanism -- called TALON for Threat and Local Observation Notice -- applies to seven reporting categories:

  • Non-specific threats
  • Surveillance
  • Elicitation
  • Test of security
  • Unusual repetitive activity
  • Bomb threats
  • Other suspicious activity

I myself have engaged in some of these domestic activities recently:

Non-specific threats: "Goddamn Taxi Drivers, they should all be thrown in the lake"
Surveillance: "I've been keeping a close eye on this shifty looking figure who keeps appearing in the Music Garden on my walks with Monty - he never seems to have a dog and he is too well dressed to be a homeless person"
Elicitation: "Uhmm."
Test of security: "The neighbour's security alarm kept going off. I thumped on the wall we share and the alarm stopped. 30 seconds later it went off again."
Unusual repetitive activity: "Does biting my nails count?"
Bomb threats: "They haven't managed to track it back to me so... no."
Other suspicious activity: "No, that seemed perfectly normal to me."

Got nothin' else to write about - too frickin' busy.