The joke about the Department of Homeland Security used to be that is was like a roll of lifesavers -- lots of pretty colors with a great big hole in the middle. After the recent (continuing) airline threats, it's not so humorous anymore.
Can somebody explain what the massive, expensive Department of Homeland Security actually does? We don't even get to see the pretty charts anymore. In the panic and confusion following 9-11, the Bush Crime Family moved into hyper-drive to implement a far-reaching (and possibly premeditated) plan to clamp down on our individual rights and freedoms (USA Patriot Act, TIPS, FISA amendments, FOIA denials, indefinite detention, etc.) and centralize and strengthen their surveillance and phony counter terrorism efforts under one big, new, fascist tent.
We forfeited our privacy rights and ability to carry more than a teaspoonful of liquid onto airplanes for the promise that Big Brother Bush & Co. would smoke out those swarthy heathens who were hiding in our playgrounds, rose bushes, and transportation hubs. We cracked the government surplus safe left by Clinton and dumped all our tax dollars on Cheney's kitchen table and allowed him to design (and it was Cheney's plan) this ginormous new government entity that was -- allegedly -- our only protection against Osama and his advancing hoards.
The Department of Homeland Security cost billions to form, billions to
sustain, and apart from the once-mildly-entertaining candy-color-coded terror
charts blank-eyed Tom "Rainbow" Ridge trotted out to let us know when it was
safe to go to Target without first donning our Kevlar vests, what have they
accomplished? What mysterious dots are being connected to make us safer? The
"terrorists" are still infiltrating our airports with their exploding shoes and
underwear. It's like a nonstop Hogan's Hero's marathon, with bumbling
US security officials replacing the uber-stupid Nazis. So, we head to the
terminals and endure privacy-robbing full body scanners, uncomfortable and
time-consuming shoe searches, confiscations of baby formula and nail clippers .
. .and it turns out we're being protected by idiots that make Larry the
Cable Guy look like a Rhodes Scholar.
Deadeye Dick Cheney would have us believe that the Obama administration is responsible for the near-Christmas tragedy in Detroit because it is too soft on terror and isn't responding rapidly enough (to. . .what?).Guess he hoped for a nuclear response.Spokesmodels for the Bush Crime Family like Dana Perino even have the dim-witted temerity to state -- unchallenged -- that there was no terrorist attack during the Bush administration's eight (illegal) years in office. Either they all suffer from collective amnesia and exist in some psychic fugue state, or hope that we do and will forget that the most devastating terror attack in the last 50 years occurred on their watch. Or better still, that we'll blame Clinton. Or Jimmy Carter. And despite the incredible centralization of security efforts and forfeiture of civil liberties they demanded, we're no safer today than we were on 9-10-2001. Worse, actually, since the Bush Crime Family's anti-Muslim crusades have turned the U.S.into one giant al Quaeda recruiting poster.
The real cost of Homeland Security hits us harder in our psyches than our bank accounts. It institutionalizes fear, plays on our anxiety about vaguely-defined "others," and allows the Glenn Becks of the world to run rampant with white boards and maniacal ravings about syphilis and the Rockefeller Center in NYC without being immediately sedated and carted to a well-padded room in a secure location.Government has increased our collective mental insecurity while doing nothing to promote our actual physical security.
Tell me, Dick, how is that making us safer? Seems to me, that's exactly how the terrorists "win."