How much do you know about the Dept. of Homeland Security? Probably not a lot.
Did you know you can sign up for alerts and other information? Did you know it is one of the most powerful entities in the US Government, having authority even over the US Coast Guard?
Created by Republican George W. Bush in the aftermath of the attacks on the US homeland in 2001, DHS seemed like a good idea at the time. If any shared consensus emerged from the 9/11 Commission Report, it was that law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies needed flexibility in information sharing.
One example some security hawks pointed to was a 1995 buy modafinil online canada—the same Gorelick who buy modafinil online sun pharma despite the fact she and her colleagues were embroiled in a scandal over what amounted to accounting fraud that would have sent most corporate management types to prison.
At any rate, the memo Gorelick penned as Deputy AG expanded limitations on various agencies amid the Clinton Administration’s prosecution of the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 and the investigation of the terrorist we would eventually learn was the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman.
As thebuy modafinil singapore—Gorelick was one, remarkably—analyzed the breakdowns that led to our vulnerability on 9-11-2001, older issues arose as well. Among them was the practice of prosecuting terrorists in civil criminal courts.
At any rate, Bush, whose ideas of government did not run small, chose to combine all those federal entities into the behemoth that is now DHS.
I’ve often said it was his worst idea because I believe it was. Instead of refining and reforming various protocols, Bush 43 chose to create a mammoth federal entity unprecedented in scope and authority. The second Bush to hold the White House may well have been socially conservative, but that was the extent of his “conservatism”, in my opinion.
What was lacking ahead of 9-11-2001 was basic common sense within the bureaucracy. It is still absent today. Our government had numerous warnings as, according to the Commission Report, the system was “blinking red.” Politics, ideology, and inept bureaucrats trumped the few inside government who attempted to do something decisive about terrorists like Osama bin Laden, during both Clinton and Bush 43’s presidency.
Once DHS was created, the process integrated “22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified…Department.” Included in this sphere are US Citizenship and Immigration Services, US Customs and Border Protection, US Secret Service, US Transportation Security Administration, US Coast Guard, and many others.
Nothing has politicized national security, especially on policies regarding foreign nationals, on the level the current DHS structure does. It should be a target for reform of any president who truly cares about our national security.
Meanwhile, if you don’t feel secure, you are not alone, and that is a sign our enemy has grown stronger as a result of policies dating to presidents past and present. All we regular Americans can do is be vigilant and hope for the best.
There is a passage in former CIA director George Tenet’s book At the Center of the Storm that continues to haunt me, and it is worth pondering now [emphasis added]:
“The al-Qa’ida operatives who killed three thousand people on September 11 understood that the United States had never thought how to protect itself within its borders. Policies had never been put in place to address just how disconnected our airline security, watchlisting, border control, and visa policies were at the time…We, the entire government, owed the families of 9/11 better than they got from us. All of us.” [pg. 205, print ed.]
That remains true in the current climate as well. The “system was blinking red” is also a quote from Tenet, and it is doing the same today in my opinion.
Featured Photo: Photo of exterior of Pentagon, FBI vault 9-11-2001.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Nov. 19, 2015)
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