Profiting from Tragedy

Hi all! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Now that I'm back, the “DaySide” blog returns to action!

The tsunami continues to make news, although some of the stories are shifting. We're getting reports of thieves preying on victims even in the hospitals, and worse, that some people may actually be trafficking in the sale of children orphaned by the disaster. We're investigating these reports for Tuesday's broadcast.

I mentioned on the air Monday that our Navy has rushed more than 6,000 sailors and Marines to Asia to help — they are from the USS Abraham Lincoln (search) carrier battle group. The commander of the entire carrier group has agreed to talk with me live on “DaySide” Tuesday. If you have any questions for him, please e-mail me at and I'll ask your question on the air.

I'm working on some other stories too, including that of a Muslim cleric who was quietly deported from the U.S. during the holidays, while the media were all focused on the tsunami. His name is Wagdy Ghoneim (search), and my sources tell me there is videotape of him preaching (in a Southern California mosque, no less) to Muslims to kill more Christians and Jews and stage more suicide attacks. However, a number of Islamic groups in this county are reportedly complaining to our government, calling Ghoneim a "man of peace" who wouldn't hurt a soul. Let's see where the truth lies.

I'm also tracking Clark Kent Irvin (search), the former inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security. He left the job last month under somewhat confusing circumstances. Now Irvin is giving interviews detailing the serious holes that he says still are gaping in our nation's security net.

Irvin points to some specific vulnerabilities in airport security and other forms of mass transit, as well as our port system. When asked what's wrong with DHS, he said, "It's difficult to figure out where to start." If you have questions or comments for Mr. Irvin, send them to me at the above address.

See you on the air. Once again, Happy New Year!

And thanks for all of your kind e-mails about the Christmas special. It truly was a labor of love.


Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET

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