Tag Archives: homeland security

It’s official: Bush was right all along


President Obama’s executive order signed Monday that sets up a system of indefinite detention for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay contains tons of verbiage defining initial reviews, triennial reviews, file reviews, Review Committees, and giving detainees rights to government representatives and private counsel.

Nevertheless, close reading shows there will be a single test used to determine whether a prisoner is deserving of our everlasting hospitality: “if it is necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States.

Who decides? A Periodic Review Board comprised of one rep each from “the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as the Offices of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff”.

Glenn Greenwald exhaustively lays out the case against Obama’s continuation of the Bush/Cheney policies.

Common sense peeking out?

This – from James Fallows at The Atlantic – would make me hopeful that we stand a chance of returning to some sort of sanity in this country had I not seen far more evidence pointing the other way. I’ve just hated this stuff ever since I saw my first New Jersey barrier.


“A reader who works in the main Citibank building in Manhattan writes to report:

  • “My office building is the world headquarters of Citibank. In the wake of 9/11 they decided they needed increased security and so have required all bags and packages to go through an x-ray machine. You could be carrying Dirty Harry’s revolver in a shoulder holster under your jacket,, or ten pounds of plastic explosive taped to your chest, but your attaché case had to be screened. Amazingly, after nearly nine years of doing this, they stopped this week, although the announcement from building management reassuringly told us that the x-ray machines are in storage and can be wheeled out at a moment’s notice. “

“[May we] hope that the broader society will follow this brave beacon? “

My own local county court shares a building with many other county offices and the building is wide open to the public. It has multiple entrances and parking lots on three sides. The courtroom, which is upstairs, has elaborate security set up at the entrance, manned by as many as four deputies at a time (they trip over each other). Getting to the courtroom from elsewhere in the building wouldn’t be difficult, but I assume the fancy pricey security equipment makes everyone feel safer. 

So we hide behind our scanners and let strangers look inside our shoes, while a few hundred thousand young Americans do their jobs under fire, walking across land mines on this 271st day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

When they come home, they’ll probably find us under our beds; we are such sissies.

Thanks for that Patriot Act thing . . .

. . . but we really don’t need it. Not when Americans step up to be real Americans.

According to TPM this morning, “A Louisiana sheriff plans to arm volunteers with shotguns, riot shields, batons, and a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on a “war wagon,” as part of “Operation Exodus,” a program to provide security in the event of a terrorist attack or civic unrest. “It’s a calling,” he says.”

He’s doing this with local guys who – from this picture and the video at the link – appear to have reached military age.

Okay, I know this is harmless and maybe a little sweet, even civic and upright. But Homeland Security it is not.  And I am amused. Which is, after all, the most important thing.

At least he may be leaving Congress

It’s a very good thing for Michigan and this nation that the always-wrong Rep Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) may may be out of office after this year’s election. According to Talking Points Memo, Hoekstra – as they put it – “failed online Politics 101″. The damn fool didn’t bother to register ‘hisname.com’. That’s a new level of carelessness for a guy with his eye on the Statehouse in Michigan. Political opponents snapped it up immediately after he sent out a Dec. 30 fundraiser letter berating Obama for letting Flight 253 happen. Hoekstra was sure sending him money make America safer. I guess Rep.”didn’t-know-the-internet-matters” planned to keep us safe by building walls of dollar bills everyone.