City Safe

Gitmo Detainees May Come to N.Y. Court

April 28, 2009 | City Safe

With the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, the Justice Department is evaluating the cases of the remaining 241 detainees, and there are reports some may end up being tried on U.S. soil, perhaps in Manhattan Federal Court. Prof. Joseph King sees that as a strong possibility. “It’s the logical place,” he says. “The Southern District (court) has been the venue in the past for trials like this … The U.S. Marshal’s office, Police Department and the Bureau of Prisons are all used to it. It’s been the leading federal prosecution district for any number of cases.”
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Counter Terrorism Debate Goes On

April 7, 2009 | City Safe, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Did Bush era anti-terrorism policies prevent another 9/11-style terror attack, as former Vice President Dick Chaney has claimed? President Obama has strongly rejected the Chaney claim, saying the policies did damage by increasing anti-American sentiments. Prof. Joseph Kings agrees. “The Bush administration failed to move forward with a lot of what they were doing,” said Prof. King. “If they could say they processed all of the detainees-and found some guilty or not guilty by a military court-than we would be in a much better position in the eyes of the world.”
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President-elect Barack Obama and National Security

December 4, 2008 | City Safe

In his first post-election interview, Barack Obama told CBS’s “60 Minutes” why national security will be among his top priorities during this transitional time and in the early months of his presidency. Prof. Joseph King explains why this is essential for the safety of the country. “It’s reassuring to see that he has taken national security as a serious issue and understands that in this period of flux our enemies could take it as an opening.” Prof. King also weighs in on the new administration’s pick for the head of the Homeland Security Department, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.
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New 9/11 Study Gives Feds Mixed Grades

October 6, 2008 | City Safe

A new study headed by the chairs of the 9/11 Commission has given the federal government a “D” for its efforts in preventing the spread of weapons and protecting the homeland. The same report awarded a B minus, its highest mark, for government efforts to combat chemical weapons. Prof. Joseph King explains the discrepancy. “I credit that panel — it’s a bipartisan commission — and they have come up with any number of recommendations, most of which the government hasn’t adopted yet.”
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Homeland Security and the Presidential Race

September 17, 2008 | City Safe

As the country marks the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an historic presidential race is rounding the final stretch. Was the issue of homeland security given the attention it deserved by Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain in their battle for the White House? “No,” says Prof. Joseph King. “I don’t think either candidate has addressed it other than in vague generalities.” Prof. King notes that neither campaign has discussed domestic security, including the candidates’ future plans for the Department of Homeland Security, in any detail: “There is a lack of specificity in both camps.”
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Top Security Posts Still Vacant

April 28, 2008 | City Safe

Two top White House counterterrorism posts continue to go unfilled following Frances Townsend’s resignation in January as assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. While Prof. Joseph King calls this a “terrible situation,” he also says he’s not surprised. “This is basically a lame duck administration and it’s hard to get people to come (to serve) when they know they have an expiration date of January 2008.”
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NYPD Beefs Up Security for Pope

April 17, 2008 | City Safe

Pope Benedict’s visit to New York prompted the NYPD to increase security throughout the city, with measures that ranged from inspection checkpoints to police divers with underwater counter-terrorism devices. The extraordinary measures were very much needed, said Prof. Joseph King. “The police, both in D.C. and New York were right because he is such a high-risk target,” says King and points out he is also the head of Vatican City, an independent state. “As head of state, the minute he lands on U.S. soil he’s the problem of the Secret Service.”
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Amtrak Steps Up Security

March 19, 2008 | City Safe

Amtrak announced that passengers will have to submit to random screenings of carry-on bags in a major security push. Professor Joseph King sees this latest measure as a good thing. “There is a benefit, no question. A presence of heavily armed police officers with dogs does give a very vivid portrayal of security to people.” Prof. King also talks about counterfeit goods and why buying a knock-off handbag on Canal Street isn’t as harmless as it seems.
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Next Security Step in Subways

March 10, 2008 | City Safe

The first counterterrorism strategy of its kind in this country began in New York City’s subways this March. Called Operation Torch, it involves roving teams of New York City police officers armed with automatic rifles and accompanied by bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolling the subways on a daily basis. Prof. Joseph King sees this new measure as a plus. “It is an additional layer of security…part of the overall philosophy that a random pattern (of searches) can have an effect as a deterrent.”
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New Enemy: Complacency

February 13, 2008 | City Safe

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told an interviewer for BBC radio that he felt a “certain sense of complacency” about terrorism in the United States and warned that, although we have not suffered a major attack since 9/11, we need to stay ever vigilant. Professor Joseph King is also concerned. “People’s memories fade…If there are no attacks, people forget. The same with the newspapers…Stories about terrorism in the world are buried on page 10.”
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