Sunday, June 18, 2023

FBI = Forever Battling the Interstates

As you may know, the General Services Administration is trying to replace the horrendous FBI headquarters, the Hoover Building, with a new one to be located in either northern Virginia or Maryland. 

Lots of money is at stake with such a large project, and that question of site selection has set up a squalid competition between the governors and legislators of the two states to trash-talk each other while elbowing their way to the top of the trough. 

Well, there are some decisive site selection considerations which are purely objective and empirical, and first among those considerations is location, location, and location. That brings us to the latest twist in the site selection competition. 

This week the FBI released data that documents the obvious: i.e., that the various key locations FBI agents need to frequent are all located in Virginia, not Maryland. Read it here: FBI Provides Data On Trips To Quantico As GSA Considers New HQ Site.

Here's the money quote: 
The new June document, titled “New FBI Headquarters Site Selection Plan: Background Information on FBI Mission Requirement Criteria,” stated that evaluation of site proximity to FBI Quantico has been a key consideration throughout the process of choosing a new headquarters site “because the FBI’s law enforcement and national security operations will always rely on physical responses and in-person interactions.”
Distances matter when surging to a command post, responding to a WMD event, meeting to review evidence and build a case, or driving to Quantico for hands-on training or joint exercises,” the FBI said in the document. “From a time-savings and environmental perspective, it is meaningfully important to limit the need for the FBI workforce to spend several hours in a car commuting back and forth between locations.”

Maryland, give it up. Your proposed sites were never serious contenders. At this point you should drop out in the overall interests of the government and then hit GSA up for some tasty consolation prize.   

Friday, June 9, 2023

Assange Update: UK High Court Found No "Properly Arguable Point" in His Appeal of Extradition


I swear I post these Julian Assange updates more because I like the update theme song than because I care at all about the pallid Assange.

Well, according to CNN today:
A High Court judge in London has denied Julian Assange permission to appeal an order to extradite him to the United States, where he faces criminal charges under the Espionage Act.
The decision was dated Tuesday and is the latest in a years-long legal saga. His camp told CNN on Thursday that they will lodge a new appeal next week.
In a ruling dated June 6, 2023 and seen by CNN, Mr. Justice Swift said Assange’s application had been refused stating that “none of the four grounds of appeal raises any properly arguable point.”

After 12 years of more or less self-engineered confinement, first in the Ecuadorean embassy and then in his present lockup, Assange may be, at least in some theoretical sense, fractionally closer to actually being delivered to the U.S. for trial.