Why, exactly, is the Department of Homeland Security important ?

We have a great uproar at the thought that Homeland Security might not be fully funded.

Pressure is building on Republicans to avoid a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department amid an escalating battle over President Obama’s immigration policies.

The GOP leaders are being squeezed from one side by conservatives insisting that legislation funding the agency must include provisions to undo Obama’s executive actions shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. And they’re being pressed from the other by Obama and the Democrats who are demanding a “clean” proposal absent the immigration add-ons.

With the Senate at an impasse – and the clock ticking quickly toward a Feb. 28 shutdown of the agency – some centrist Republicans on and off Capitol Hill are starting to lean more to the Democrats’ side, wary of both the practical effects of a DHS shutdown on national security, and the political harm such an event would do to their party.

So, what does the department do that is important ?

Well, they are constantly on guard against right wing terrorists.

Is this important ?

The department seems to think so: “They’re carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings and reject government authority. A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism. Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.?”

“Sovereign Citizen Groups” are a loose grouping of American litigants, commentators, tax protesters and financial-scheme promoters. Self-described sovereign citizens take the position that they are answerable only to their particular interpretation of the common law and are not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, state or municipal levels or that they do not recognize U.S. currency and that they are “free of any legal constraints.” They especially reject most forms of taxation as illegitimate. Participants in the movement argue this concept in opposition to “federal citizens” who, they say, have unknowingly forfeited their rights by accepting some aspect of federal law.

How many “incidents” have they created ? It looks like there have been 11 incidents in the past 20 years.

Why was this bureaucracy begun ? Some are not very happy about it.

Afflicted with the lowest morale of any large federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security did what comes naturally to many in government.

It decided to study the problem. And then study it some more.

The first study cost about $1 million. When it was finished, it was put in a drawer. The next one cost less but duplicated the first. It also ended up in a drawer.

So last year, still stumped about why the employees charged with safeguarding Americans are so unhappy, the department commissioned two more studies.

How did it begin ? It was after 19 Muslims flew airliners into tall buildings.

What do we know about the Department of Homeland Security? It will be big. It will have a lot of government employees — some new hires, some transferred from existing departments. It will be a major political and budgetary entity, and it will be complicated enough to keep Congress busy all summer.

It will be a lot of things, but what it doesn’t seem to be is much of a weapon against terrorism. The key to stopping terrorists is intelligence: not only the gathering of intelligence, but the analysis and use of intelligence.

The FBI and CIA did a lousy job of that where the Sept. 11 attacks were concerned. It now appears that they had the kind of information that would have tipped them off to the pending attacks — if anyone had been able to connect the dots. But the system broke down there.

So, lets set up another bureaucracy. Who went into this new bureaucracy ?

1. Immigration and Naturalization. They are in charge of finding new homes and jobs for illegal immigrants.

“We’re not talking about whether or not the President is going to enforce certain laws,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday at the daily press briefing. “We’re talking about the Department of Homeland Security using prosecutorial discretion to sharpen the focus of enforcement on those who pose a threat to national security, and those who pose a threat to public safety.”

Another lie.

2. The investigative divisions and intelligence gathering units of the INS and Customs Service were merged forming Homeland Security Investigations. Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS, including the U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Federal Protective Service falls under the National Protection and Programs Directorate.

3. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
U.S. Secret Service (USSS)
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

We all know how important TSA is.

What we have now is an enormous bureaucracy that is redirecting its attention to American citizens who are not accused by anyone else of dangerous activities or intentions. It started by accusing returning veterans of being terrorism risks.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that she was briefed before the release of a controversial intelligence assessment and that she stands by the report, which lists returning veterans among terrorist risks to the U.S.

But the top House Democrat with oversight of the Department of Homeland Security said in a letter to Ms. Napolitano that he was “dumbfounded” that such a report would be issued.

“This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans – including war veterans,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, in his letter sent Tuesday night.

The letter was representative of a public furor over the nine-page document since its existence was reported in The Washington Times on Tuesday.

That was before the fall 2010 elections returned Congress to the Republican control it had lost in 2006.

Now the threat seems to be right wing terrorists again.

In one instance in Louisiana in 2012 a father and son were accused of engaging in a shootout with police after an officer puled them over for a traffic violation. Two offices were killed and several others wounded in the shooting. The two men were sovereign citizen extremists who claimed the police had no authority over them.

The Homeland Security report predicts that most sovereign citizen violence in 2015 will occur during routine law enforcement encounters at a suspect’s home, during enforcement stops and at government offices, CNN reported.

“Law enforcement officers will remain the primary target of (sovereign citizen) violence over the next year due to their role in physically enforcing laws and regulations,” the report states, according to CNN.

These cases, in contrast to Ferguson, Missouri seem to be white people.

Rather than investigate disorder in Ferguson, the Justice Department plans to sue the city that was trashed by rioters.

The Justice Department is preparing to bring a lawsuit against the Ferguson, Missouri, police department over a pattern of racially discriminatory tactics used by officers, if the police department does not agree to make changes on its own, sources tell CNN.

Attorney General Eric Holder said this week he expects to announce the results of the department’s investigation of the shooting death of Michael Brown and a broader probe of the Ferguson Police Department before he leaves office in the coming weeks.

So, on the one hand, domestic terrorists are a threat. On the other, they are victims. What is the difference ?

Michael Brown Sr. holds his wife Cal Brown during a news conference with civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton in Ferguson


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One Response to “Why, exactly, is the Department of Homeland Security important ?”

  1. doombuggy says:

    These bureaucracies are almost entirely crass jobs programs.

    They hang on to their simple tasks, and just CYA the difficult things they get wrong.

    The affirmative action component is debilitating on a grand scale.