Robert O’Block: Parade Shooting

Robert O'Block reports that 12 people were injured during a shooting at a Mother's Day parade today. The police are searching for three suspects. Police were at the parade and saw two to three suspects running away from the scene after the shooting in the 7th ward. Police Chief Serpas reported that the youngest victim is believed to be a 10-year-old girl. It isn't believed that she was seriously hurt and just suffered a graze wound.

There were about 300 that were in attendance at the jazz band parade when the shots were fired. The police aren't sure what triggered the attack. There were 11 people admitted to Interim LSU Public Hospital. It is believed that none of the injuries were life threatening.

The parade was a second-line parade. This type of parade is one in which people form a loose procession and dance down the street as they follow a brass band. Sometimes this type of brand is impromptu and sometimes they are planned. Today's event was organized by a social club called The Original Big 7.

Published by Robert O'Block, founder of American College of Forensics Examiners Institute.

 
Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/12/as-many-as-12-shot-in-new-orleans-mother-day-parade/#ixzz2T7KgzkPk

Robert O’Block | ACFEI Founder Interviews iPredator Author

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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Robert O'Block, founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International, interviewed Dr. Michael Nuccitelli, NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, on his theoretical construct he has coined, iPredator. Dr. Nuccitelli’s construct was the feature article in the 2011 winter issue of the Forensic Examiner published by the American College of Forensic Examiners International. iPredator is a child, adult or group who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT.)

ACFEI & Dr. O’Block’s goal is to educate readers in the forensic sciences and the experts who presently work in those fields. Dr. O’Block’s interview with Dr. Nuccitelli is as follows:

Robert O’Block: Thank you for participating in our ACFEI member & Forensic Sciences Education spotlight interview. The purpose of this interview is to educate readers on the science of forensics, justice and the Information Age related term I call Cyber Justice. Can you tell us about yourself, what you do and iPredator?

Dr. Michael Nuccitelli: Thank you Dr. O’Block. I’m a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. I earned my C.F.C. in 2006 and have been an active member of the American College of Forensic Examiners International. I am also honored that ACFEI published my Technological Predator construct in the winter issue of the 2011 Forensic Examiner. My definition of iPredator is as follows and will continue to be amended given the rapid development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) living in the Information Age:

iPredator: A child, adult or group who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age, either gender and not bound by economic status, race or national heritage.

iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, deviant or abusive behaviors using Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cyber criminal, online sexual predator, internet troll or cyber terrorist, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:

I. A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT. II. The intermittent to frequent usage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to obtain, exchange and deliver harmful information. III. A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.

Unlike human predators prior to the Information Age, iPredators rely on the multitude of benefits offered by Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) These assistances include exchange of information over long distances, rapidity of information exchanged and the seemingly infinite access to data available. Malevolent in intent, iPredators rely on their capacity to deceive others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in an abstract electronic universe.

Robert O’Block: Given you have created iPredator, what do you feel are the most important advancements in Technological Predator forensics, education and awareness?

Dr. Michael Nuccitelli: I wish I could offer you a list of advancements, but unfortunately society has yet to consistently address the nefarious and malevolent activities that occur in cyberspace using ICT. Even though the Internet celebrated its 20th birthday in 2011, society appears to be 19 years behind in regard to being aware of the dangers that lurk in cyberspace. I am glad the United States has the United States Cyber Command and honored Dr. O’Block and ACFEI are beginning to educate its members on the forensic sciences in relationship to ICT. I just wish communities across America would do the same. Cyberbullying, cybercrime, cyber stalking and online sexual predation are real and growing.

Robert O’Block: In the forensic sciences field in relationship to iPredator, what colleges, universities or organizations do you recommend to research for those interested in Technological Predators?

Dr. Nuccitelli: As of November 2012, ACFEI seems to be the only professional forensic education organization actively educating its members on iPredator and what Dr. O’Block calls cyber justice. There are many websites and small organizations which address the typologies of iPredator and can easily be found by entering the following iPredator typologies in Google or any search engine. The typologies & behavioral patterns of iPredator include: Cyber Bullying, Cyber Harassment, Cyber Stalking, Cyber Crime, Online Sexual Predation, Internet Defamation and Cyber Terrorism.

Robert O’Block: Thank you for taking the time to help educate those interested in the forensic sciences and iPredator. Can you share with readers any blogs, websites or social media profiles they can visit with questions or additional research?

Dr. Nuccitelli: Anyone is welcomed to visit my website, www.iPredator.co. In addition to assisting citizens, iPredator Inc.’s mission is to initiate a national educational & awareness campaign with the help of private, state, and federal agencies. Our cyber criminal, criminal psychology & forensics blog can be viewed at www.DarkPsychology.co, and our website offers site visitors an enormous database on Cyber Criminal Psychology, Internet Safety and iPredators. Although iPredator has joined a multitude of social networking sites, feel free to visit the social sites planned to be our major information and announcement vehicles.

Robert O’Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Dr. O’Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

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Robert O’Block | Hard Work Leads to Success

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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Robert O'Block has been working hard since he was a child. At the age of thirteen, while other boys were spending their time playing, O'Block was working at a driving range, where he retrieved golf balls. While other boys did sports, Dr. Robert O'Block was busing restaurant tables. Other children joined clubs; Dr. O'Block worked with nursery stock. He even financed his own Catholic school education by cleaning department store floors.

Dr. O'Block even worked late-nights as a law enforcement dispatcher to pay for his advanced studies in criminology. During his time in the force, he overcame another kind of challenge – an officer and good friend of his was killed while reprimanding a mentally unstable crime suspect. The incident was incredibly traumatic for everyone involved, and Dr. O'Block survived it by putting his energy into supporting local charities. As a way to pay respect to his lost friend, he helped found the Greene County 100 Club in Springfield, Missouri.

Robert O'Block accelerated all of his studies and officially became Doctor O'Block after earning his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, EdS and PhD in only six and a half years, all the while continuing to work full-time as a law enforcement officer. At the young age of twenty-five, O'Block managed to take on the responsibility of assistant professorship at a university and even wrote a textbook about criminal justice. For two years, he tackled the challenging and critical job of educating students.

On top of his teaching responsibilities, O'Block even had to face a sociopolitical battle: he discovered that he was being discriminated against within the school system, and that his teaching evaluations had been altered. While others may have accepted the course of events and not stood up against the system, Dr. O'Block took a stand. He brought the issues to the university’s attention, even though this put his professional reputation, career, and everything else that he had worked for on the line. His commitment to justice caused him to have to overcome another major hurdle as those threatened by the truth of his accusations retaliated by making false allegations against him. He was wrongly accused of plagiarism when in reality, he had only been working to help English as a Second Language students improve their academic work. Meanwhile, his father’s health deteriorated, and Dr. O'Block watched him suffer through diabetes, amputations, and finally, die of cancer.

None of these obstacles, however, were enough to slow Dr. O'Block down. He had triumphed over a modest upbringing, worked hard to put himself through school – earning multiple degrees by a young age – and had made it through the death of a close friend, attacks to his professional and academic career, and even the failing health of his father. None of these struggles had defeated his spirit. In fact, when he recognized a strong need for a particular kind of scientific organization to exist, he set about creating one from scratch. And that – using money from his own personal savings and a spare bedroom – is how Dr. O'Block took his first step to forming what would eventually blossom into the American College of Forensic Examiners International. This is the largest and fastest-growing forensic association in the world today.

Robert O’Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. As all humanity now thrives in the Information Age, Dr. O’Block & ACFEI continues to investigate development of forensic educational services that incorporate Information and Communications Technology. Plans have been made to one day offer the forensic field educational services focused on Cyber Justice, iPredator, Cyber Criminal/Forensic Psychology and Digital Forensics.       

Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Dr. O’Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

SCIENCE, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE & CYBER JUSTICE

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Robert O’Block | ACFEI Fulfills Forensic Sciences Educational Needs

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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Late in the 20th century, the field of forensic science exploded with new discoveries due to the advancements in technology and specialization. While numerous forensic associations were in place, many were unprepared for the abundant developments that were taking place in the field. In 1992, however, the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute (ACFEI) formed and filled the desperate need in forensic science. Beginning as a brainchild, ACFEI founder Dr. Robert O'Block was discouraged that existing forensic associations operated like closed, secret societies. He realized that many well-qualified professionals and their ideas were being shut out. In response to the problem, Dr. O'Block started his own association which was catered to handwriting experts, but soon other experts joined from areas such as psychology and physiology. Growing at an incredible speed, Dr. O'Block's brainchild is now one of the world's largest associations of forensic professionals.

20,000 members strong, ACFEI and its sister associations have experts that represent fields of forensic science, homeland security, psychotherapy, integrative medicine, and behavioral science. ACFEI provides an impressive number of certifications including, but not limited to, the following: Certified Forensic Consultant, Certified Forensic Accountant, Certified Medical Investigator, Certified Forensic Nurse, Certified Forensic Physician, Certified in Disaster Preparedness, Certified Master Forensic Social Worker, and the list goes on and on. ACFEI also publishes the world's foremost peer-reviewed forensic science journal, The Forensic Examiner, which is circulated worldwide and is on bookshelves nationwide. In addition to this printed magazine, the organization offers online, interactive content such as multimedia forensics courses provided by members with a goal to advance the frontiers of the field.

Dr. O'Block had a vision to bring the work of qualified professionals, who were previously being disregarded by forensic organizations, to the community of fellow enthusiasts in the field. Such has been accomplished and Dr. O'Block's efforts have been widely recognized and appreciated by the world's top forensic experts. Many of these experts have shown their support for the association by serving as keynote speakers at the national ACFEI meetings. Some of these renowned guests include famed defense attorney Barry Scheck, FBI criminal profiler John Douglas, forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, and the first Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge. The increasing success of the organization is awarded each year with the respect of professionals in forensic science and the pleasure of giving such experts an outlet in which to present their work.

Dr. O'Block has encouraged others in the field with their own apparitions, and numerous organizations have been created as a result of the development of ACFEI. Some of these associations include the American Psychotherapy Association, which arose from ACFEI members specializing in forensic psychology; The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, formed in response to the attacks of 9/11; the International College of the Behavioral Sciences, founded by Dr. O'Block; and The American Association of Integrative Medicine, which was cofounded by Dr. O'Block. ACFEI and its various sister organizations have filled the void once present in the forensic science field and answered a calling that previous associations were unable to fulfill.

Robert O’Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. As all humanity now thrives in the Information Age, Dr. O’Block & ACFEI continues to investigate development of forensic educational services that incorporate Information and Communications Technology. Plans have been made to one day offer the forensic field educational services focused on Cyber Justice, iPredator, Cyber Criminal/Forensic Psychology and Digital Forensics.       

Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Dr. O’Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

SCIENCE, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE & CYBER JUSTICE

 

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Robert O’Block | The American Association of Integrative Medicine

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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Many people are unaware of the benefits of integrating traditional or Western medicine with Eastern medicine, to their own detriment. Integrating the different types of medicine can increase one’s chances of recovering from an illness or injury. Fortunately, Dr. Robert O’Block is not one of these people. In 2000, Dr. O’Block founded The American Association of Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Robert O’Block’s goal in starting this organization is supporting and spreading the idea of integrating traditional medical practices with alternative Eastern medicine. Dr. Robert O’Block firmly believes that using the two together increases a patient’s well-being.

To fulfill these goals, the American Association of Integrative Medicine (AAIM) helps both consumers (patients) and health care providers. For consumers, AAIM provides education about the benefits of integrative medicine. It also provides a list of trusted health care providers, something all patients should be concerned about. For health care providers, AAIM provides high standards for members to strive to, and gives a place for supporters of integrative medicine to gather and support one another.

Dr. Robert O’Block and the American Association of Integrative Medicine are also doing all they can to support Integrative Medicine as a field. They are working to scientifically prove as well as preserve indigenous medical practices. Once these methods are proven, perhaps more people will benefit from them. They also support the development of new therapeutic methods for various mind/body conditions.

Dr. Robert O’Block is, as always, pushing further to expand the field. His work with the American Association of Integrative Medicine is helping preserve the field and improve patients’ long-term outlooks.

Robert O’Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. As all humanity now thrives in the Information Age, Dr. O’Block & ACFEI continues to investigate development of forensic educational services that incorporate Information and Communications Technology. Plans have been made to one day offer the forensic field educational services focused on Cyber Justice, iPredator, Cyber Criminal/Forensic Psychology and Digital Forensics.       

Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Dr. O’Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

SCIENCE, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE & CYBER JUSTICE

robert o'block, american college of forensic examiners international, acfei, forensics, forensic sciences education

Robert O’Block | The Forensic Examiner

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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The Forensic Examiner, the world’s foremost forensic science journal, has come from humble yet auspicious beginnings, and has served to create something much larger than itself.

In 1992, Dr. Robert O’Block, a professor and department head in the Department of Administration of Justice at College of the Ozarks, decided to begin a forensic science association with a sincere focus on advancing forensic science after being shut out of similar organizations. Though this later changed, the focus was initially on handwriting analysis. The organization was first known as the American Board of Forensic Handwriting Analysts, and was run out of Dr. O’Block’s spare bedroom.

As the organization grew, Dr. O’Block faced a need to communicate widely with the organizations members. Most members had been frustrated with the limitations created by other associations in the profession; they were hungry for more information and the chance to advance their field. Offering a newsletter to share the information he knew seemed to be a good solution. He created the first newsletter (which, at the time, was unnamed). It was released in August of 1992, and was merely two typed pages informing members of the happenings within the organization. By the second newsletter, it had a name: Handwriting Examiner.

Within a year, the newsletter was announcing and promoting the first national conference of the association. After the conference’s unmitigated success, Dr. O’Block gave his newsletter a new name: the American Board’s Forensic Examiner. This was an intelligent move, as it opened up the organization to all within forensic science rather than just handwriting analysts.

Soon after this, Dr. O’Block left his teaching position at College of the Ozarks to work for the association full time. At the same time, The Forensic Examiner, was gaining more and more success. The organization began offering certifications, a fact advertised in The Forensic Examiner. This spurned the organizations success even further, and with this success more changes were to come. The association’s name changed to the American College of Forensic Examiners (ACFEI).

In the year after this, The Forensic Examiner, made the major changes into the professional journal we see today. It had already grown form the two-page newsletter Dr. Block wrote in 1992 into nearly a full magazine. In 1994, the newsletter took on a more professional appearance and articles were being peer-reviewed before being published. Some of these articles were full-length journal articles. Over the next year, the journal had again jumped up to 34 pages in length.

This kind of success in a journal less than 3 years old was unprecedented. Today, this journal is the world’s foremost academic journal on forensic science. The success of The Forensic Examiner brought on the success of ACFEI and Dr. O’Block by allowing those hungry for more information and the expansion of forensic science to share their knowledge with others.

Robert O’Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. As all humanity now thrives in the Information Age, Dr. O’Block & ACFEI continues to investigate development of forensic educational services that incorporate Information and Communications Technology. Plans have been made to one day offer the forensic field educational services focused on Cyber Justice, iPredator, Cyber Criminal/Forensic Psychology and Digital Forensics.

Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Dr. O’Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

SCIENCE, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE & CYBER JUSTICE

robert o'block, robert oblock, dr. robert o’block, american college of forensic examiners international, acfei

Robert O’Block | Formation of Business Owners Supporting Sheriffs

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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Law enforcement has been a lifelong passion for Robert O’Block, as he began his duties as an officer at the young age of 19, and continues to support numerous sheriff departments throughout the nation today. Dr. O’Block’s service started as simply a way to aid in financing his college education, but has far exceeded such means. In the small town of Frontenac, Kansas, Dr. O’Block took his first job as a police officer, working the graveyard shift and earning his criminology degree during the day. While this depressed mining town was not the most intense locations as far as law enforcement is concerned, it is where Dr. O’Block first realized the financial struggles that small-town departments have to overcome. Also, he came to discover the importance that these under-funded departments have in American society.

A vast majority of these departments have fewer than 10 officers, most of whom have been part of the community in which they serve for their entire lives. His experience in Kansas opened his eyes to discover that these close ties between law enforcement and the community help to prevent crime. Unfortunately, many of these departments are being downsized or have an extreme lack of resources compared to departments in urban areas. This is a problem that Dr. O’Block has recently set out to solve.

While Dr. O’Block has immensely contributed to forensics and law enforcement throughout his career and development of ACFEI, his recent endeavor, Business Owners Supporting Sheriffs (B.O.S.S.) got its kick-start in 2008. It was during this year that he was invited to attend the FBI’s Citizens’ Academy in Quantico, Virginia. This academy is designed to build trust and understanding about law enforcement, instill civic responsibility among community leaders, and ultimately create safer communities. For 10 weeks, Dr. O’Block made constant commutes between Springfield, MO and Quantico, and successfully completed the training, obtaining certification in 2008. But Dr. O’Block was only in the beginning stages of what he was to accomplish in regards to constructing secure communities.

Shortly after graduating from the FBI’s Citizens’ Academy, he was invited to join InfraGard, a large national alliance between the FBI and private sectors whose goal is to protect critical infrastructures. Part of the responsibilities of InfaGard is to share information that could assist in exposing criminals and terrorists. As if all this wasn’t enough to fulfill his duties to the community, Dr. O’Block would soon seek further measures to help protect his community and country.

November 22, 2010 marks the date of Dr. O’Block’s graduation from the 700 Hour Basic Law Enforcement Training Course conducted by the Missouri Sheriff’s Association. It was throughout this training course in which Dr. O’Block was reminded of the struggles small-town departments face due to budget cuts. Having experienced similar frustrations when working as a police officer in Frontenac, he decided that someone needed to solve the problem. Who better to tackle the task than heavily trained and deeply involved, Dr. Robert O’Block? He decided to create B.O.S.S, a national organization that encourages business owners and civic leaders nationwide to help support their local sheriff’s department.

Each local independent chapter of B.O.S.S is committed to ensure that their local department has the essential equipment and training to provide appropriate emergency response for the community. Dr. O’Block also manages a Web site, www.BOSSheriffs.org, which assists communities in starting a local chapter of their own. From his beginnings in law enforcement as a young man, to his most recent B.O.S.S project, Dr. O’Block has more than proven his dedication to creating safe communities. His willingness to complete any and all of the necessary steps to succeed in this goal has made an incredible difference for numerous departments and communities across the country.

Robert O’Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. As all humanity now thrives in the Information Age, Dr. O’Block & ACFEI continues to investigate development of forensic educational services that incorporate Information and Communications Technology. Plans have been made to one day offer the forensic field educational services focused on Cyber Justice, iPredator, Cyber Criminal/Forensic Psychology and Digital Forensics.       

Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Dr. O’Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

SCIENCE, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE & CYBER JUSTICE

Robert O’Block | 2012 Executive Summit

Robert O'Block and ES-21

robert o'block, american college of forensic examiners international, acfei, forensics, forensic sciences education

Robert O'Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. As all humanity now thrives in the Information Age, Robert O'Block & ACFEI continues to investigate development of forensic educational services that incorporate Information and Communications Technology. Plans have been made to one day offer the forensic field educational services focused on Cyber Justice, iPredator, Cyber Criminal/Forensic Psychology and Digital Forensics.

Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Robert O'Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

SCIENCE, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE & CYBER JUSTICE

Many people may not know why I started the American College of Forensic Examiners International. The reason is my belief in justice. Justice for all and the safety of Americans. And now that we live in the Information Age, ACFEI will help educate Americans on the forensic sciences, justice and cyber justice.” Robert O'Block Ph.D., Psy.D., Founder, American College of Forensic Examiners International, (2012)   

Robert O’Block

Robert O'Block is the founder of the world’s largest forensic science association, the American College of Forensic Examiners. Founding this organization and building it up into the empire it is today did not come easy to Robert O'Block. Like all who have become successes, Robert O’Block had to work for it. Robert O’Block had to work harder than others, however. He had many obstacles that others live without.

Robert O’Block comes from a long line of those who struggled to survive. His grandfather, William O’Block, came to America and, having no other prospects, accepted a position as a coal miner. This position required them to live away from other civilizations, relying completely on the mining company for housing and supplies. These supplies cost more than the wages coal miners made.  Robert O’Block’sfather, Louis, found work on the railroad. He was fired shortly before he was eligible to receive a retirement pension (a shameful yet common practice at the time).  Without a proper education, Louis had difficulty finding a good job. The family lived in a small shack.

The young Robert O’Block grew up in this poverty. Seeing the disparity between what his family had and the excesses of others, he determined that he would not remain in this poverty. The only difference he could see between what his father and grandfather had done and other, more successful men, was whether or not they had an education. Robert O’Block was determined to get one for himself.

Young Robert O’Block began working at the age of 13 to put himself through Catholic high school. Beyond providing for his education, this instilled Robert O’Block with a good work ethic and an understanding of the value of a dollar. After graduation, he enrolled in the Kansas State College of Pittsburg. To provide for his education, he worked full time at night as a dispatcher for the security office at Kansas State College. Throughout his education he would work full time as well.

Within three-and-a-half years, Robert O’Block received his bachelor’s degree. Shortly thereafter, he earned a master’s degree and an EdS. Two years later, he received his PhD, at only 24 years of age. His sheer determination that helped him succeed in his education continued into his career, and it was only a matter of time before Robert O’Block would become the founder of ACFEI. Robert O’Block is a great example of what hard work and determination can bring.

 

Robert O’Block | American College of Forensic Examiners Institute

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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Dr. Robert O'Block got his start in criminology while attending Pittsburg State University. The textbook that inspired him to a career in criminal justice, a decision that would enable him to change the face of forensic science forever, was Sociology of Deviant Behavior by Marshall Clinard. Upon completion of the course that required this text, he began working as a dispatcher. The rest is history!

To see the cutting edge of forensic science for yourself, look at what the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute is up to. Go to http://www.acfei.com/ for more information!

Robert O’Block is founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). ACFEI is the largest professional forensic education organization in the world and honored to have as its advisory board members many of the top forensic experts of the 21st century. As all humanity now thrives in the Information Age, Dr. O’Block & ACFEI continues to investigate development of forensic educational services that incorporate Information and Communications Technology. Plans have been made to one day offer the forensic field educational services focused on Cyber Justice, iPredator, Cyber Criminal/Forensic Psychology and Digital Forensics.       

Feel free to visit their website at www.acfei.com. If interested in contacting Dr. O’Block or ACFEI, their phone number is (800) 423-9737.

SCIENCE, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE & CYBER JUSTICE

 

robert o'block, american college of forensic examiners international, acfei, forensics, forensic sciences education

 

Robert O’Block | The Cost of Defending a Nation

ACFEI Robert O'Block

 robert o'block, american college of forensic examiners international, acfei, forensics, forensic sciences education

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”–Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Introduction

The War on Terror has filled the residual void left behind after the Cold War came to an end in December 1991. Our ambiguous enemy, better known as the Global Salafi Jihad Movement or what noted psychologist and independent researcher on terrorism, Dr. Marc Sageman (2008), has coined as the “al-Qaeda Social Movement,” became the primary focus of the United States and other Western governments after Usama bin Laden issued two illegal fatwas (religious edicts) in 1996 and again in 1998, culminating in a sequence of aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. These concurrent attacks left the most powerful nation in the world on its heels and reeling from the audacity of a terrorist organization in the form of al-Qaeda (the Base) to successfully launch its surprise jihad inside our borders. Subsequently, those asymmetric attacks have redefined how we as a nation must revisit our strategies to secure our homeland from attacks initiated by our terrorist enemies and their irregular warfare tactics (Clancy & Crossett, 2007).

After sustaining a tremendous amount of infrastructure damage and loss of innocent lives from terrorist attacks such as those sustained in Oklahoma City, New York City, and Washington D.C., Americans quickly discovered a renewed sense of mortality as they sat silently and watched mass chaos and destruction erupt in their own backyard. Their lives were affected forever as fear began to take hold and the realization of a very legitimate and plausible threat proved substantial. Personal, political, and economic sanctuaries were violated, and the vulnerability of America’s underbelly was clearly exposed, leaving many in awe and questioning those charged with the safety and security of their nation. According to Stephen Flynn (2004-2005), a former adviser on homeland security for the U.S. Commission on National Security (Hart-Rudman Commission),

[t]he reason that catastrophic terrorism holds out such potential as a means to wage war on the United States is not simply because these attacks can inflict damages to systems we depend on; it is because our enemies have good reason to believe that a successful act of terror on American soil will trigger a reaction in which the U.S. government exacerbates localized destruction with substantial self-inflicted and even global costs. (pp. 8-9)

Historically, the United States has depended heavily on its geographic location as a natural defense against foreign intruders, and,

…we were able to treat national security as essentially an out-of-body experience. When confronted by threats, we dealt with them on the turf of our allies or our adversaries. Aside from the occasional disaster and heinous crime, civilian life at home has been virtually terror-free. (Flynn, 2004-2005, pp. 2-3)

This axiom has proven a successful strategy since the completion of the American Revolutionary War in 1783; that is, until the 9/11 attacks. With these attacks came the necessity to reevaluate the United States’ defensive posture within its borders, while simultaneously launching a counter-offensive against al-Qaeda’s central location in Afghanistan since Kandahar was believed to be the location of Usama bin Laden at the time the United States launched Operation “ENDURING FREEDOM.”

The initial military attack proved successful against both al-Qaeda and the Taliban as the U.S. and other allied military forces decisively captured or eliminated multiple key leaders in the al-Qaeda hierarchy, but the government’s plans to prevent future attacks within its borders have confirmed the incongruous fact that with increased security follows abated freedoms. Within this irony lies the concerns of policymakers, because the people of this great nation fully expect their democratic government to protect them from future terrorist attacks while simultaneously sustaining the constitutional freedoms they have come to expect and enjoy as free Americans. Furthermore, an unpredictable variable added to the goal of balancing security with freedom is the systemic fear in the minds of the government and citizens alike. This fear is generated by terrorist attacks and compounded by repetitive media exposure.

The Impact of Fear

The 17th-century English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, once opined

…that all phenomena in the universe, including political institutions, could be understood using principles of geometry. In 1651, Hobbes printed his most famous book, Leviathan, in which he argued that all humans are driven by two and only two impulses: fear of death and desire for power. If left unchecked, human beings would act on these impulses and live violent, brutish, inhumane, and solitary lives. In order to keep these impulses in check, human beings… drew up a social contract among themselves; the people ceded all authority and sovereignty to a single person in exchange for security from each other and from foreign invaders. The single ruler would control the violent and selfish impulses of individual members in a society through brute force; individuals would lose their liberty, but they would gain security and community. (as cited in Hooker, 1996)

Through this “absolute power,” the fear of death can be minimized proportionately to the level of power demonstrated by our government to better secure against future terrorist attacks committed by the al-Qaeda social movement. Fear is a psychologically normal reaction to terrorist attacks and exactly the effect they seek. It is how that fear specifically motivates people and governments to respond to this emotional apprehension that should cause alarm within a society. The decision to either cower to these, and future, terrorist attacks or take an offensive stance to actively seek out the aggressors are courses of action, when determining the political posture of a nation, known as the fight or flight reflex. The fight or flight response is described as a,

…fundamental physiologic response [that] forms the foundation of modern day stress medicine. The ‘fight or flight response’ is our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to ‘fight’ or ‘flee’ from [a] perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival. …[T]his response is hard-wired into our brains and represents a genetic wisdom designed to protect us from bodily harm. (Neimark, n.d.)

Although this reaction is theorized for particular responses as they directly relate to certain individual stressful situations, it is not hard to draw a correlation in how a nation and its government will react as individual or collective entities to the terrorist attacks that have aggressively taken an entire country without warning. Nationally noted expert on the prediction and management of violence, Gavin de Becker (2002), comments that, “After the terrible events of September 11, many people mistook our enemies for superhuman, when they were merely antihuman. Occasionally effective, to be sure, but our enemies are not powerful or ubiquitous.” He goes on to say, “It is sobering to acknowledge that we cannot protect all possible targets, but it is also true that our enemies cannot attack all possible targets.”

Not knowing which targets are next and who the attackers are and where they will originate from clearly establishes an inevitable amount of caution and uncertainty in the minds of everyone involved. As this fear of the unknown continues to resonate among those who expect protection in the form of governmental support, various laws and other security measures —such as the USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001 and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002—have been put in place to mitigate or even prevent further terrorist attacks. In an interview conducted with Dr. John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University, Dr. Mueller commented on the potential for long-term fear effects:

Even if fears of terrorism do begin to decline, they can probably be very substantially rejiggered if a lone fanatical nut somewhere shoots up a bus, bank, or beauty salon while shouting “God is great!” The experience suggests, then, that we are hardly likely to relax any time soon. Eventually, fears of terrorism will perhaps begin to fade. But the experience with lingering concerns about the dangers supposedly presented by domestic Communism—internalized after dramatic first impressions—suggests it may be a long wait, perhaps one of decades. (Tierney, 2008)

To help alleviate some of the fears that come as a result of not knowing if or when the next attack will occur, the government has enacted multiple antiterrorism security measures. However, the various physical security measures established to protect innocent lives in an uncertain world have inevitably created a perceived burden in the minds of citizens who have grown secure in their “inalienable rights” of freedom that have been enjoyed by all Americans for over two centuries.

As internationally renowned security technologist Bruce Schneier (2003) has properly observed, “Security is all about trade-offs, but when the stakes are considered infinitely high, the whole equation gets thrown out of kilter.” These “trade-offs” have begun to receive serious criticisms by the very citizens that terrorism has targeted; thus, placing the government and its various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in a demanding position of protecting almost 300 million people against future terrorist attacks while simultaneously striving to protect and maintain their constitutional rights. This extremely difficult position is only made more arduous in accomplishing because placing fear and uncertainty in the minds of the general populace are clearly two of the objectives any terrorist organization has in its grand scheme of overthrowing a government along with spreading Islam throughout the lands of the infidels or kafir (referring to a person who does not recognize God (Allah) or the prophet Muhammad).

Assessing Democracy

Politicians are elected government officials that must “…be seen by the public as doing something to improve security” while ensuring the same freedoms they are attempting to protect are in fact maintained together. Generally, politicians have been quick to draft up new, toothless legislation in response to a man-made catastrophic event in an “alpha display” of validating who is in charge instead of insisting that existing laws be enforced. The 18th-century Western philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, believed “…the people [agree] to cede authority to some group in order to gain the benefits of community and safety. If those in power [refuse] to guarantee community and safety, the governed [are] free to disobey and establish a new political contract” (Hooker, 1996). This apparent challenge to “guarantee community and safety” poses multiple issues as the practices of physical security are designed to limit one’s freedom in an effort to protect a valued asset (e.g., critical infrastructure, economic resources, and human lives). Therefore, as increased security measures continue to limit freedoms, legitimacy in the eyes of the general populace becomes a greater challenge with every passing day. The legitimacy of a government, as viewed by those it represents, is essential should a nation face terrorist activity and possible subsequent attacks.

As terrorist cells continue to carefully plan and execute various terroristic guerilla warfare operations within the United States, they not only destroy their practical targets, but they also strike at the hearts of those touched, directly and indirectly, by the incident (Hughbank & Hughbank, 2007). Initially, the attack is seen as a threat to the collective nation; however, as time passes and rigid security measures are maintained at a level of fidelity conducive to preventing future attacks, people tend to develop short-term memories and begin to see the government and its enforcers as the new enemy. Ironically, both terrorist organizations and the government are limiting freedoms, but only those who enact and enforce the most recent restrictions become the immediate target of objection and contempt. Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Mike German (2007) identifies the following questions as critical elements in determining true legitimacy in a governing body:

Who legitimately represents the will of the people?

If anyone can legitimize an attack against the government simply by claiming to represent the will of the people, how could a government ever establish domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense?

Who gets to speak for the people?

In carefully analyzing these three questions, a person could deduce that the emotional manipulation of the “people,” and their desires plays a critical role in the overall purpose of a terrorist attack. That is, the terrorist attack in and of itself is not necessarily the end state. Although the initial impact of a homicide attack not only kills and destroys, it also creates long-term and severe traumatic stress for all those involved in an experience involving martyrdom (Hughbank, 2007). However, this stressful situation is eventually forgotten and quickly replaced by more prevailing concerns as they directly relate to the restriction of personal liberties, a byproduct of our societal protectors through their efforts to guard against future attacks. Through this innate desire and necessity to protect its citizens against future Salafist jihadi attacks within the United States, the government is forced to step up and find various methods of security that might prove equal to the challenge of homeland defense. In doing so, the government and all of its enforcement agents become vulnerable to criticism and ridicule by the very people they have sworn to protect and serve. The goal of the various security policies is not necessarily to prevent every potential terrorist attack; they are to stop terrorist cells from evolving into a terrorist movement (German, 2007).

Defending Against Terrorism

Although there are several courses of action available to prevent and counter future terrorist attacks, it is almost impossible to avert all of those attacks as “…terrorists rarely execute their operations as a direct result of their doctrines” (Sagerman, 2008, p. 40). With the use of terroristic guerilla warfare by both domestic and international terrorist organizations, antiterrorism and counterterrorism measures become a critical facet in the common operating picture of a homeland defense policy. As terrorism analyst Richard Hughbank (2007) has observed,

The forms of asymmetric warfare adopted by domestic and international terrorist groups alike [are] no longer intended to gain simple media exposure or governmental manipulation; they want to make an overpowering impact by causing massive loss of life and severe damage to infrastructure and are often motivated by religious imperatives and political goals (p. 236).

Security procedures are extremely difficult to enact and enforce without creating some form of an inconvenience to the general populace. Bruce Schneier (2003), internationally renowned security technologist, believes, “One of the reasons security is so hard to get right is that it inevitably involves different parties … each with his or her subjective perceptions of risk, tolerances for living with risk, and willingness to make various trade-offs” (p. 33).

As long as Americans continue to exhibit short-term memories and fail to truly comprehend and accept the threat terrorism and its rational actors create, security measures and constitutional rights will continue to conflict with each other, causing one to eventually overwhelm the other by virtue of priority and necessity. To substantiate the value added to mandated security measures, governmental and law enforcement agencies must find a way to communicate an honest depiction of the vicious aggressors that threaten the United States of America and its citizens. They must also provide subtle reminders of the dangers that have breached their cultural boundaries in an effort to carry out a jihad—or holy war—on the far enemy as identified by Usama bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa “…against Jews and Crusaders.”

Dr. Sageman (2008) believes the terrorist threat no longer comes from overseas (al-Qaeda central), but from within the United States,

…from ‘homegrown’ terrorists, most of whom have never traveled abroad for training or indoctrination. The threat is no longer ‘foreign fanatics,’ but people who grew up in the West and became radicalized there. When the threat came from the outside, a reasonable defense against it was to harden national borders against the intruders. Now that the threat comes from inside, the only way to defend against it is to understand the process of radicalization and devise strategies to prevent its reaching the point of violence. (p. 71)

While this poses a different perspective to the ongoing threat currently presented by the al-Qaeda social network, there is still tremendous concern for domestic terrorists and their abilities to cause harm from within the United States. As Sageman notes, “homegrown” terrorism has become the newest threat in North America as al-Qaeda transcends international borders, and the ability to identify potential targets, educate the average citizen about the threat, and execute effective antiterrorism and counterterrorism measures will continue to pose unique challenges over the course of the next few years. Failing to educate the general populace on the local threat possibilities and the potential to perform terroristic acts against them in the form of martyrdom, the government will eventually create a perpetual resistance among its citizenry as a direct result of limiting the very freedoms it is attempting to protect. According to Richard J. and David L. Hughbank (2008), one method to help characterize terrorism, its actors, and a modus operandi and to educate others is through the use of terrorology.

Although innocent civilians become the victims of homicide bombers, they are not necessarily the only objective targets. Terrorists believe that the general public is not always innocent, because they support the government the jihad is attempting to overthrow. Furthermore, “…Americans’ fundamental wariness of government makes it easier to terrorize them; citizens have little faith in the government’s ability to minimize fatalities in case of an attack. People who don’t trust their government to protect them are more susceptible to panic, and panic may lead to loss of life” (Stern, 1999). It is this perpetual wavering of faith in the government that ultimately makes the most powerful nation in the world such a target-rich environment and just might prove the most extensive challenge facing the United States in defending against modern terrorism.

Final Thoughts

The apparent tragedy for Americans living under the blanket of security provided by a free society is their own false sense of entitlement and delusional view of the real world because of their insulated position within their commonly perceived fictitious reality. For those who have never fallen victim to a direct terrorist attack, who have never been made to suffer at the hands of an individual who believes infidels must die in the name of Allah, or who have never had to concern themselves with the reality of living in pure, unadulterated fear, security efforts become more of a hindrance over time rather than a safety blanket designed to protect them from potential terroristic threats. Citizens have grown to expect almost complete freedom while residing in the United States. With this cultural expectation comes a rationale involving security and safety.

The government is now pinned with the proverbial rose by its constituents as it is continuously forced to search for and create a democratic judicial system capable of protecting while, at the same time, ensuring freedom. This balancing act is always susceptible to ongoing criticism, and terrorist organizations are well aware of this systemic relationship. German (2007) believes, “The government’s goal in responding to terrorism should be to expose as publicly as possible the behavior terrorists engage in … Terrorist groups rule their communities through fear and intimidation … Focusing our enforcement efforts on these behaviors rather than on the ideologies reduces the risk of offending [citizens]” (p. 127). Although all criminals are not terrorists, all terrorists are criminals. Through the continued use of public education in understanding the threat, terrorism could eventually become as readily known and as common as the garden-variety criminal act. Law enforcement and news agencies ensure everyone is aware of local criminal acts and subsequent security concerns such as murders, rape, arson, and child molestation, but fail to report the various terrorist cell activities within a given community. Although it is irresponsible to report on an ongoing investigation or counterterrorism operation, it is necessary to educate everyone concerned on both criminal and terrorist activity whenever the opportunity presents itself. Furthermore, the education of antiterrorism measures to the general public will also help in heightening daily situational awareness and provide a much needed perspective on the very real daily threat that will continue to combine the need for security with maintaining a democratic nation nested in constitutional freedoms.

Thomas Paine was absolutely correct in his thoughts back in 1777. In modern times, his words have been restated similarly in that it is better to sweat more during peacetime in order to bleed less during war. Additionally, Thomas Hobbes’ and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s social contract theories still exist today in the 21st century, and “[i]f those in power refuse to guarantee community and safety, the governed [will feel] free to disobey and establish a new political contract” (Hooker, 1996). Freedom has always come at a cost, and Americans must acknowledge that everyone becomes a potential victim when the war is fought in their own backyards. Subsequently, it is the inherent responsibility of the leaders of this great country to create a safe haven for its citizens by exacting some measure of security, while maintaining a balance of freedom everyone has come to expect. But, should our safety continue to be threatened through the al-Qaeda social movement, freedoms will be sacrificed through a general erosion process as a byproduct of increased security for the common good if we are to survive future attacks and eventually win the war on terror. This is the cost of defending a nation.

I am most grateful to Bob Hughbank and David Mitchell for their professional assistance and acumen throughout the editorial process of this paper.

References

Al Qaeda. (1998). World Islamic front for jihad against Jews and Crusaders. Retrieved January 19, 2009, from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1998.html

Clancy, J., & Crossett, C. (2007). Measuring effectiveness in irregular warfare. Parameters, 37(2), 88-100.

deBecker, G. (2002). Fear less: Real truth about risk, safety, and security in a time of terrorism. Boston: Little Brown & Company.

Flynn, S. E. (2004-05). America the vulnerable: How our government is failing to protect us from terrorism. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

German, M. (2007). Thinking like a terrorist: Insights of a former FBI undercover agent. Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc.

Hooker, R. (1996). Social Contract: Hobbess; Rousseau. The European Enlightenment Glossary. Retrieved January 19, 2009, from http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/SOCCON.HTM

Hughbank, R.J. (2007). Guerilla warfare and law enforcement: Combating the twenty-first century terrorist cell within the United States. Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the Twenty-first Century: International Perspectives, 2. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International.

Hughbank, R. J. (2007). Target psychology: Understanding the threat. Homeland Defense Journal, 5(9), 26-29.

Hughbank, R. J., & Hughbank, R. D. (2007). Terrorism: What is it? Are we prepared? American Cop Magazine.

Hughbank, R. J., & Hughbank, D. L. (2008). The application of the social learning theory to domestic terrorist recruitment. SWATdigest.com. Retrieved from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdf-filed1/nij/222187.pdf

Neimark, N.F. (n.d.). The fight or flight response. Mind/Body Education Center. Retrieved January 19, 2009, from www.thebodysoulconnection.com/EducationCenter/fight.html

Sagerman, M. (2008). Leaderless jihad: Terror networks in the twenty-first century. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Schneier, B. (2003). Beyond fear: Thinking about security in an uncertain world. New York: Copernicus Books.

Stern, J. (1999). The ultimate terrorists. Cambridge, Massassachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Tierney, J. (2008). The endless fear of terrorism. The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2009, from http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/the-endless-fear-of-terrorism/

Article written by Richard J. Hughbank, MA, MS, CMAS, CHS-IV
Published in Inside Homeland Security
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