George W. Bush proposed a special White House office shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Its purpose was to "coordinate the executive branch's efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States."
Soon, President Bush had bigger things in mind for the Office of Homeland Security. He recommended the Office for Cabinet status (known as DHS). This mammoth department lumped in 22 agencies from other departments. The ONLY thing they had in common was that they MAY have some role in terrorism prevention or response. The rationale was to improve coordination and efficiency. Several members of Congress feared "unnecessary bureaucracy, duplication of effort, and wasteful spending." Yet it quickly passed, anyway.
The skeptics were proven right. Moreover, the Department has evolved into something worse than they imagined.
The DHS budget jumped from $19.5 billion in 2002 to $44.1 billion in 2010. What do we get for our money?
The DHS serves only one purpose. It shows the American people the Feds are "doing something" about terrorism. But that is a lie . . .
As if that's not bad enough, taxpayers are defrauded too. Only 25% of DHS anti-terrorism "grants" to local governments goes to actual terrorism prevention and response. DHS is a definitional example of pork-barrel politics — a Department of Porkland Security.
The crimes of the DHS's Transportation Security Agency (TSA) are well-known. DownsizeDC.org already has a campaign against this heinous agency.
But there are even more ominous developments which threaten your civil liberties.
For instance, the DHS is funding a "pre-crime" program called FAST. This "Minority Report" styled boondoggle conducts experiments to "predict whether a person will commit a crime."
DHS is betting on algorithms: it’s building a 'prototype screening facility' that it hopes will use factors such as ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to 'detect cues indicative of mal-intent.'
It gets worse.
The DHS provides funding for unaccountable "fusion centers." These are state, local, and regional intelligence information centers created to help share information between law enforcement agencies. There's little or no actual coordination or sharing of information between fusion centers and the FBI. Fusion centers can actually undermine FBI anti-terrorism efforts because they duplicate the work of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces.
Fusion centers have issued politically-charged "threat reports." The DHS itself has also issued its own threat assessments. Among these various reports, we find that potential terrorists can be recruited from . . .
That is to say, ANYONE who dissents or is dissatisfied with the Status Quo might be a terrorist. Such assessments reflect the paranoid minds of Statist bureaucrats and their political bosses, rather than reality.
Will the combination of pre-crime boondoggles and "fusion" assessments provide the basis for infiltration into the private lives and activities of ALL peaceful people?
One last point: the word "homeland" is offensive. It evokes the "blood and soil" patriotism of European-style nationalism or totalitarianism rather than the American patriotism traditionally understood as devotion to republican liberty. One has to wonder, was the initial use of the word "homeland" intentional? . . . is it conditioning us for the collar of tyrannical rule?
The DHS was has no real reason for existence. Some of its agencies should go back to the Departments they belonged to before 2002. Others should be abolished together, as should the DHS itself. No Presidential candidate has proposed doing so, so you and I must build the constituency. Then our "champion" may arrive.
Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy!
We provide the first few words of the letter so that Congressional offices will see the most important point right at the start, and so that no one can hijack our system for another purpose. Here's the part we provide . . .