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  • When Will Congress Wake Up on Homeland Security?

    It’s been 9 years since the 9/11 attacks. America is still being attacked—the Times Square and Christmas Day plots are the most recent examples.  Congress, however, continues to act like it is still September 10, 2001.  For instance:

    • It continues to ignore key 9/11 Commission recommendations—the Commission emphasized that Congress needed to reform its oversight process for homeland security.  Instead of doing so, the problem just got worse.  Now 108 committees, subcommittees and commissions have oversight over the Department of Homeland Security—creating a big headache for homeland security and a major impediment to security policy.
    • Internal politics have prevented it from enacting a much-needed DHS authorization bill that would lay out Department structure and set priorities for homeland security.  The lack of an authorization bill decreases morale and DHS success—acting as a roadblock to creating a homeland security enterprise capable of responding adequately to security threats.
    • Money continues to rule disaster response.  $30 billion in taxpayer dollars have been spent on grant funding that hasn’t produced much in terms of security.  While at the same time, federal disaster declarations increase as states and localities are increasingly less in charge of their own disaster response—a problem that will undoubtedly put lives and property in jeopardy during the next catastrophic disaster.
    • The White House continues to play politics with terrorist detention policies—while letting the Supreme Court make policy where none exists.  Efforts to shut down Gitmo and treat terrorists like common criminals have failed to spark much effort in Congress to give necessary guidance on terrorist detention—decreasing the amount of valuable intelligence information and putting American lives in jeopardy.
    • Finally, Congress has watched as the Administration has demonized Arizona’s attempts to enforce immigration laws, decreased federal enforcement of the law, and pressed for amnesty for the 10.8 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.  There are solutions to fix America’s immigration problems without going down the costly and irrational path of amnesty—yet nothing has surfaced on the legislative agenda.

    Dumb legislative initiatives that do not make Americans safer, waste taxpayer dollars and erode the rule of law should not form the homeland security agenda of Congress.  This failure of leadership is inexcusable.  Americans deserve better and the lack of a sensible security agenda puts all Americans at risk.  When will Congress finally wake up? The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks should be a sounding alarm.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to When Will Congress Wake Up on Homeland Security?

    1. Chicago says:

      Is the “Contract with America” legally binding? What does the Contact says? Let’s sue our selves.

    2. Octavian, Toronto says:

      A real conservative movement would move away from a central police force/security authority. Military is one thing, Big Brother watching over everyone because of supposed "terrorists" is another. Federal power over policing and security should be set to a minimum, and the Dept. of Homeland Security should be exposed as the statist organization that it is, and closed down. States should handle their own security and police forces.

      With that being said, states like Arizona should be able to be as harsh as they like to immigrants if the population of Arizona sees these individuals as unfavorable. This is what the Swiss do, and they seem to be the real leaders of running a true democracy.

      There are bigger problems than terrorism in America. A few thousand people died on 9/11. However millions more have died due to being unable to afford health-care due to poverty. Dragging the nation into further debt and letting wall-street gangsters, neo-cons, and socialists run your country won't solve anything.

      Long live the Tea Party.

    3. Barb AZ says:

      It has been estimated that close to 1 million illegals may have crossed into Arizona last year, into the United States. 1 million! We have NO idea who these people are.

      DHS=Department of Homeland Surrender!

      Wake up, America!

    4. Sandi K, Greenwood, says:

      Shamefully enough, Bennie Thompson, head of Homeland Security Committee, is the representative for my district. With my own ears, in a local Townhall Meeting, I heard him respond to a question about illegal immigration by saying that it is 'mean' to send those who sneak across our borders back to their own homelands. He further stated that 'no one wanted the jobs they took anyway.'

      This man is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas (excuse me Holiday) tree. His appointment is political payback and he has neither the motivation nor the character to protect our country. We hope to replace him, but after 18 yrs and his building of an enormous war chest of mystery funds (he was involved in some of the same violations Charlie Rangel got into trouble over) you never know. But you may take it to the bank, so long as he heads this committee the Homeland Security Department will NEVER progress.

    5. HawkWatcher, Mi. says:

      There is so much to take apart in our Canadian friend Octavians post, where do I begin? Thoughts on security and "terrorism" from a self-titled American T.E.A. Party conservative:

      A real conservative movement works to enforce the Constitution, specifically Article IV, Section 4, which speaks to protecting the States from invasion. If this is deemed "harsh", so be it. There are ways to change the law if enough Americans think it should be changed. So far, most don't. Arizona should not have to pick up the slack for Washingtons' lameness at enforcing our laws, and certainly shouldn't be sued for doing so.

      No conservatives are advocating a central police force, we want the federal government to perform its lawful duties concerning security. I'm not particularly fond of the word "homeland" being used, but there is a great need to coordinate national security intelligence effectively. That is not big brother, it is a lawful response to clear and present danger.

      "Supposed terrorists"? Remove your head from the sand. The radical fundamentalist wing of Islam grows and grows. Sharia creeps forward where it can. Jihadi attacks continue escalating worldwide. We don't dismiss these events and the deaths of "A few thousand people" as easily as you do.

      We don't dismiss the truly needy either. Is there a link that supports this inane, rambling statement: "millions more have died due to being unable to afford health-care due to poverty"? American hospitals do not turn away millions of uninsured poor people on their deathbeds. Hospitals treat those who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. It's the law.

      We are not who you make us out to be.

    6. George Colgrove. VA says:

      Octavian, I could not agree more. All of what the HDS does can be and is likely being done at the local level. Coordination can be done in an open democratic and transparent way with a governing body led by the states.

      I do not feel safe with our national security in the hands of federal government employees. They represent a very high-class citizenry who are no longer reflective to the trials of normal working class people. They represent a single mindset, which is proving to be ineffective. National disasters take much ,longer to solve under federal solutions than under local and private supplied solutions. What we pay top dollar for federal employees to do, we get far more out of volunteers, and free services provided by private companies. Moreover, it takes 108 committee to oversee it because NO ONE has confidence in the DHS feds.

      Government can only provide rolls and rolls of red tape, restrictions and blockages. One can get help from the feds if they want to wait several years as they are buried deep in backlog – backlog they need to stay employed. As failure mounts, one federal department begins fighting with other federal departments. Feds start to point fingers of blame to anyone other than themselves, meanwhile entire communities (like in New Orleans) go completely unattended and left to waste. Why? Because we relied on feds to solve our problems. Feds are led by politics and depending on the party in control, they can either become marginally effective for that politicians pet project or become a dismal failure due to no interest. Of which these failures and successes can be swapped on a dime at the turn of the party in control. We the people cannot keep on hoping feds will deliver when they in their inherently governmental positions behave inherently governmental. Federal solutions have consistently proven to not work and actually become hindrances to problem solving.

      I prefer the idea of 50 states and a few territories having autonomy in how they structure their domestic policies and defenses. One inherent governmental property is they do not adhere to competition, and thus do not have the benefit of improved efficiency and const control competition offers. With state led initiatives, we as a nation benefit from up to 50 different solutions to compete with one another for such efficiencies. States can then compete in the arena of ideas with the best ideas bubbling to the top. A cooperative organization made up by ALL concerned people can act as a single coordinating body for all the state security organizations. This body would act as the single oversight body of the entire organization without the ineffective congress needing to bud its nose in. Moreover, this body would be employed by very few people – with the vast majority of members being employed by the state governments or companies that volunteer the membership. These organizations would be funded by the states; they would be open and fully transparent. Fraud and corruption that exists within the walls of any federal office would be practically eliminated. Because this body would be made up by the people and not self serving feds and because this body will be transparent by design and not by promise, confidence and assurance will be far higher.

      One such example on how this can be implemented is by realigning the FBI. Most fed obfuscation suggests that the FBI in its current form is vital. No one wants to see criminals go unpunished. However, how effective is the FBI on solving crimes? It takes federal investigators FOUR YEARS to investigate crimes conducted by fellow feds! And what happens when the party in control wishes not to pursuit certain crimes or certain individuals? Recent Black Panthers and the lack of desire of the Department of Justice to support and demand the cleaning out of town and city voter lists comes to mind. Again, we have a politically lead federal body that bends to its political leaders.

      My argument here is that federal crimes need not be investigated by some aloof organization in DC. Rather than have ANOTHER layer of police, develop Federal Crimes Units (FCU) in each state police office. Rather than having to educate FBI agents when they come into town, local police would already be on the beat investigating the crime and bringing the criminals to justice. When these officers are not working on federal crimes, they can be available for local duties. FBI agents can be idle if there are no crimes being investigated at the time. This is efficient, and again you have multiple mindsets with competing ideas to constantly challenge policies and procedures – through a national private/public organization.

      Government sympathists' arguments can always be structures such that their solutions sound simple. Through obfuscations, they can even sound vital. However, through implementation, holes are often found and subsequently filled with more governmental layers requiring countless more feds. Feds rarely look at the "do nothing" approach to problem solving, nor would they ever consider simplification. Cost benefit ratios are never considered in problem solving and even when a solution provides marginal improvement at a massive increase in costs, feds will never consider an alternative. Moreover, there is an opinion that permeates DC, that no matter the cost, if we stop crime, terror, etc. it is worth every penny. Well we are broke as a nation. Where we used billions of dollars bankrupting Russia in Reagan's era, the Taliban, Al-Qaida, etc have used mere millions to bankrupt us. In this sense, feds have done far more damage to America (measured in trillions of dollars) in their incessant spending then any terrorist could ever dream of. I would not be surprised to learn that they are laughing at up for what they "made us do." According to DoD Gen. Mullens and Sec of State Clinton, the national debt created by the feds is so large it has become the predominant threat on national securtiy. When we rely on a single city on the edge of a continent to protect all its citizenry, we get little in return except for huge government spending, waste and a growing and dangerous national deficit.

      Without the Taliban, Al-Qaida, Nuclear War and all the other global perils our government seems to have its hand in, our founders had great wisdom in putting domestic duties in the hands of the states and not the feds. They fought against an all-powerful king who did not serve his people well. Today, we can witness as the feds become ever more powerful, they are approximating the king only more. They do so as a body of self-preservationist with a single mindset. A king can die and things can change with the next king, but without causing change, our federal government body will never die – it will persists generation after generation.- If not removed in its entirety, it will continue to exist and grow like a cancer. And it has. As much as we want DHS to provide security, it in itself as well as the entire federal government is a real and present danger on national security by its pure existence, and if it cannot be brought under control, it will be them who will bring America down and not our enemies.

      Obama has provided proof what the founders of this nation feared the most with an all-powerful central government. When put under control of a dictator, the only efficient thing a government can do is to subdue and suppress its people. This appears to be happening right now with the simple implementation of a national healthcare initiative. Obama has exposed and proven the dangers of a strong central government. The importance of the Divide and Conquer approach against government power by separating the powers of governances by requiring the multitudes of states to settle the domestic matters separately and leaving the federal government to settle the international affairs made it nearly impossible for any errant leader to take control of the country. The federal system we have now completely reverses that intent. If we want security, we need to take it out of the hands of the feds, and put it in the hands of the people.

    7. Bobbie says:

      “When Will Congress Wake Up on Homeland Security?”

      Tomorrow… when Obama releases his Union Warriors in neighborhoods across the country… far fetched? hmm

      the president IS THE ONE who mentioned it in his own way. Bigger, better, stronger than the United States military. hmm scary…

    8. Pancha Alabama says:

      @Barb and Sandi, if you are truly worried about immigrants, then you should support Comprehensive Immigration Reform. CIR will ensure that those you do not know are here are accounted for by the Feds. Additionally, CIR can ensure that mroe tax dollars are acrued through the wage fees earned by immigrants.

    9. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Pancha Alabama on September 14th, 2010 at 12:26pm said:

      "if you are truly worried about immigrants, then you should support Comprehensive Immigration Reform. CIR will ensure that those you do not know are here are accounted for by the Feds. Additionally, CIR can ensure that mroe tax dollars are acrued through the wage fees earned by immigrants."

      #1 I am not concerned about giving the federal government more money to waste. I would like to see them get less revenue.

      #2 CIR as you call it is not the way to solve the imegration problem. There are volumes of laws that make becoming a citizen possible. Just encourage imigrants to begin the process! It may take years, but so be it – everyone else who became a citizen follwed thatprocess successfully. CIR is just avehicle to make it all happen before November so immigrants will vote for democrats "just in time". Upholding citizen requirments for employment and sending those who abuse the laws back home is the onoy way to get people accounted for. Illegals who commit crimes shoud be sent back home.

      We do not need new laws (I.e. CIR) we need to enforce the oneswe have. Since the feds do not seem to be there to do it. I suggest we eliminate those federal branches sittin on their hands and look to the states to do the job. So far they are the only ones who look to want to do the job!

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