Last Moments Caught on Tape

Dr. Robert O'Block learned of a video released Thursday showing  the moment that a mother of 12 from Brooklyn was shot as she picked up her daughter from school. Zurana Horton, 34 was caught in a shootout between two gangs on October 21, 2011. Andrew Lopez, 20 and his half-brother, Jonathan Carrasquillo, 24, are both on trial for her murder. Lopez is accused of firing at rival gang members from a nearby rooftop. Carrasquillo allegedly told Lopez to "take care of their enemies." Read the full story here.

 

 

Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/video-shows-moments-brooklyn-mom-12-article-1.1314511

Robert O’Block | ACFEI Founder Supports Dr. Internet Safety

Dr. Internet Safety is announcing his availability free to all offline & online media outlets (a.k.a., N.Y.S. licensed psychologist & iPredator author, Dr. Michael Nuccitelli). Given iPredator Inc.’s mission is to increase awareness of technological predation, Dr. Internet Safety is volunteering his time to educate the public. Although Dr. Internet Safety can educate all age ranges, he specializes in educating parents, educators, children and adolescents.

Robert O’Block Supports Dr. Internet Safety

Children of the 21st century are enamored by the novelty of the Information Revolution. Adults, parents & educators are equally intrigued, as well as, unprepared for this societal paradigm shift centralized around Information and Communications Technology (ICT). To slow the harm to children and all ICT users, Dr. Internet Safety is announcing his availability free to all offline & online media sources (a.k.a., N.Y.S. licensed psychologist & iPredator author, Dr. Michael Nuccitelli).

Given iPredator Inc.’s mission is to increase awareness of technological predation, Dr. Internet Safety is volunteering his time to educate the public. The moniker, Dr. Internet Safety, educates all age ranges, but specializes in educating parents, children and adolescents using “net lingo”, Information Age developmental psychology and family dynamics.

As ICT continues to become a growing thread in the fabric of all nations, the people using these billions of electronic and digital devices must learn to identify, at a minimum, the iPredator. The veil of anonymity afforded to all ICT users is taken for granted when used by those engaging in malevolent and nefarious activities. It is for this reason that diligent caution must be practiced. A brief definition of iPredator is as follows:

iPredatorA 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 ICT. Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cybercriminal, 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 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 ICT in an abstract electronic universe.

Child abuse, whether perpetrated by a child or adult, is detrimental to all aspects of their development following them into adulthood. Stated by Dr. Nuccitelli, “Dr. Internet Safety was developed to hinder the natural instincts of children to rebel against adults attempting to teach them a cautious approach to ICT. Instead of Dr. Nuccitelli educating the community on iPredator dynamics and tech. predator profiling, Dr. Internet Safety discusses how “uncool” & “immature” it is to tweet or post how fat, ugly or stupid a fellow student is in their Facebook profile.

Topics Dr. Internet Safety is adept at discussing include: cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cyber harassment, cybercrime, online sexual predation, internet culture, mobile device safety, ICT relationship dynamics, cyber psychology & regional/national criminal news involving all forms of ICT.

Dr. Nuccitelli has created a variety of creative templates to use by broadcast & internet radio and online & offline print media including “Ask Dr. Internet Safety”, “Dr. Internet Safety’s Top 10 List” and “On the Cyber Couch with Dr. Internet Safety” to name a few. In return for Dr. Internet Safety’s volunteer time and services, Dr. Nuccitelli requests that the host media outlet encourage their readers, listeners or viewers to contact them with stories, news and ideas that focus on Internet Safety.

About Robert O’Block & Dr. Michael Nuccitelli:

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.

Dr. Michael Nuccitelli is a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He is also an ACFEI member and working with Dr. O’Block to introduce to his members the realm of iPredator. In addition to his iPredator construct, Dr. Nuccitelli is also the author of a new theoretical construct defining human criminal & deviant behavior he has termed, Dark Psychology. As part of Dr. O’Block’s mission to present his members and forensic & criminal themed information, Dr. Nuccitelli’s construct will be introduced here in a series of blog entries.

Contact:

PROTECT, PREVENT & PREVAIL OVER IPREDATORS!

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Robert O’Block | Dark Psychology, A Brief Introduction

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Robert O’Block, founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International examines a new theoretical criminology construct. Developed by a forensic psychologist & ACFEI member, Dr. Michael Nuccitelli, presented for the reader is a new theoretical construct of criminal and deviant behavior called Dark Psychology. Dark Psychology is the study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of people to prey upon others. All of humanity has this potential to victimize other humans & living creatures. While many restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses.

Dark Psychology seeks to understand those thoughts, feelings and perceptions that lead to predatory behavior. Dark Psychology assumes that this production is purposive and has some rational, goal-oriented motivation 99% of the time with the remaining 1% of victimization of others without purposive intent or reasonably defined by evolutionary science or religious dogma.

The serial arsonist may not assault other people or find gratification from being a human predator as does the serial killer, but he actually experiences joy and elation from his fire setting. In addition to joy, he feels a sense of accomplishment from the devastation he has caused. His episodes of fire setting are extremely dangerous given he can cause harm to others, but the goal of inflicting pain or bodily harm is not his modus operandi.

For the serial arsonist, the big payoff is his sense of pride and distorted perception of accomplishing a brilliant feat of genius. His perverted sense of achievement will at times lead him to become sexually aroused and masturbation ensues. The arsonist's behavior is reprehensible, illegal and dangerous, but typically does not involve premeditated murder. They live within an abyss of infernal obsession.

Although the Necrophile is not causing pain to another person or victimizing others, his actions are extraordinarily bizarre and absent of any sense of logic. The Necrophilia's need for perceived control is so insidious that he actually develops a sexual attraction to a corpse. Imagine what the experience must be for him. He is sexually aroused by a lifeless body that is expressionless and absent of warmth. Most people yearn for connection during sexual intimacy, but the Necrophile does not require this. He becomes aroused by the experience of a total and complete disconnect. Clearly, his mind has entered a very dark realm.

The serial killer is one of the most despotic characters that manifests from the dark side. In films, court cases and news coverage, the serial killer is frequently a subject of intrigue. The essence of this deviant evil echoes a part of the human psyche that only the serial killer himself can realistically experience. Just as an alcoholic craves his next drink or an opiate addict yearns for his next fix, the serial killer becomes addicted to murder.

The serial killer speaks of the gratification and elevated sense of release once his murder has come to fruition. Unlike the Necrophile or serial arsonist, the serial killer's sole endeavor is to extinguish life. For many of these assailants, sexual arousal by torturing their victims is a common theme.

These four examples are illustrations of the extent to which humans will go for the experience of power, pleasure and/or goal attainment. All of the criminal profiles described, involve assailants feeling a sense of gratification from their abusive and/or heinous actions. The reality is that these examples are merely basic profiles of four segments of the population of men and women who participate in criminal, abusive or deviant acts. The extent to which humans will go for sexual gratification, perceived control or financial gain is quite extensive and elaborate.

Before the advent of scientific advancements and the capacity of society to explain deviant human behavior, monsters and demons were the cause of such chaos. Unable to understand how people could commit such atrocities, metaphysical beings were the only logical explanation. Instead of fearing their neighbors, early civilizations concocted legends and tales of demonic beings. Werewolves, Vampires and Ghouls prowled the night stalking their prey.

Although contemporary society deems itself as advanced in its ability to comprehend the potential for humans to commit violent, heinous acts, learning how to reduce and/or prevent bizarre and deadly actions perpetrated by humans remains elusive. Our species is the only group of living organisms that participate in actions antithetical to our survival. Dark Psychology is both the study of criminal & deviant behavior and a conceptual framework for deciphering the potential for evil within all human beings. Dr. Nuccitelli does not claim to have the proverbial "holy grail" of defining deviant human behavior, but rather a framework for inquiry and further investigation.

Ten years ago when Dr. Nuccitelli first became interested in the study of forensic and criminal psychology, he posited that aberrant deviant behaviors were part of a psychiatric illness not yet determined. With the passing of time and research, intrigue followed from the vast array of theories and explanations for why humans maintain a capacity to prey upon other humans.

The idea of Dark Psychology became Dr. Nuccitelli's theoretical exploration, and he began to formalize a set of concepts he believed plausible. The sum of his attempts ended in narrow concepts aimed at trying to explain the psychopath and sexual predator. Six years ago, he experienced his first paradigm shift pertinent to his present theory.

Dark Psychology is the study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of people to prey upon others. All of humanity has this potential to victimize other humans & living creatures. Dark Psychology assumes this dark side is also unpredictable. Unpredictable in the understanding of who acts upon these dangerous impulses, and even more unpredictable of the lengths some will go with their sense of mercy completely negated. There are people who rape, murder, torture, and violate without cause or purpose. Dark Psychology speaks to these actions of acting as a predator seeking out human prey without clearly defined purposes. As humans, we are incredibly dangerous to ourselves and every other living creature. The reasons are many and Dark Psychology attempts to explore those dangerous elements.

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.

Dr. Michael Nuccitelli is a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He is also an ACFEI member and working with Dr. O’Block to introduce to his members the realm of iPredator. In addition to his iPredator construct, Dr. Nuccitelli is also the author of a new theoretical construct defining human criminal & deviant behavior he has termed, Dark Psychology. As part of Dr. O’Block’s mission to present his members and forensic & criminal themed information, Dr. Nuccitelli’s construct will be introduced here in a series of blog entries.

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ACFEI Robert O'Block

 

 

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

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Robert O’Block | The Forensic Examiner

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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

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Robert O’Block | 2012 Executive Summit

Robert O'Block and ES-21

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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

 

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Robert O’Block | The Cost of Defending a Nation

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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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
®

Robert O'Block, Founder and Publisher

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.

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Robert O’Block | Education Helps Against Dementia

ACFEI Robert O'Block

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

Researchers have discovered that education not only delays the early symptoms of dementia, but can also slow down the development of the disease -- a finding that could result in faster diagnosis and treatment of dementia, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Previous studies have shown that education offers some degree of protection against the symptoms of disorders of the brain. "This mechanism has previously been observed at a late stage of the disease, primarily in cases of Alzheimer's, which is a type of dementia," says Sindre Rolstad, researcher at the University of Gothenburg. "We wanted to investigate how education affected the disease in the early stages of dementia, known as mild cognitive impairment."

People with mild cognitive impairment can be affected by a reduction in their ability to think, such as reduced memory and a short attention span. "We wanted to find out whether highly educated patients with mild cognitive impairment differed in terms of tolerance of the disease from patients with intermediate and low levels of education," says Rolstad.

By analyzing the patients' spinal fluid, the researchers were able to examine whether there were signs of dementia in the brain. "Highly educated patients with mild cognitive impairment who went on to develop dementia over the next two years had more signs of disease in their spinal fluid than those with intermediate and low levels of education," says Rolstad. Despite having more disease in the brain, the highly educated patients showed the same symptoms of the disease as their less well educated counterparts. This means that patients with higher levels of education tolerate more disease in the brain.

The researchers also studied patients with mild cognitive impairment who did not go on to develop dementia over the next two years. "We found that the highly educated patients who did not develop dementia during the course of the study showed signs of better nerve function than those with lower levels of education," says Rolstad. "This finding means that the highly educated not only tolerate more disease in the brain but also sustain less nerve damage during the early stages of the disease."

The results indicate that a higher reserve capacity delays the symptoms of dementia and the progress of the disease. This can help the care sector to be more aware of dementia in highly educated patients, and thus increase the chances of the correct treatment being given.

Retrieved June 1, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100531082855.htm

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