Dump the Department of “Homeland Security”
I’m adding my $0.02 to a call that has become prevalent among progressives, lately. Actually, such calls have been around since this monster was created, and rightly so.
I think it’s helpful to start at the beginning. The DHS was created in 2003 as an umbrella organization for 22 existing government agencies, of which the best known to the public are Customs, INS, FEMA, the Coast Guard, and the Secret Service. (I’m getting this from the Wikipedia entry.) The key thing to understand is the motive for that. Terrorists were able to pull off 9/11 because of the atrocious, extreme – indeed, criminal – incompetence of the (profoundly conservative) Bush-Cheney administration. The latter quickly embarked on a series of cover-its-stinking-butt-at-all-costs moves, of which the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars were two, and the creation of the DHS was another.
It’s just a matter of time before most big bureaucracies, private or public, become all about sustaining, growing, and aggrandizing themselves. (That’s especially true of those with any kind of military or “security” basis.) The difference with the DHS is that it’s been that right from the beginning. There’s no good reason for mandates like requiring passports to get back here from Canada or Mexico, or “Real ID.” Crap like that is just the DHS trying to prove it’s doing something.
Using elements of the DHS as a right-wing domestic paramilitary is certainly among the most repugnant, despicable acts of a “presidency” replete – indeed, engorged – with those. Taking away that power, for any president, needs to be a priority.
All that said, certainly plenty of people in various roles at the DHS are competent to more-than-competent, caring individuals, just making a living as best they can like the rest of us. They should be working on stuff like transitioning to a fully green, renewables energy system. And ending hunger and homelessness. Stuff like that. It wouldn’t be so hard, if we can just get the right kinds of people into elective office. And get the wrong kinds of people out, once and for all.
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