Friday, February 10, 2012

Homeland Security Happy Daze - 2

On this date several years ago a Dredd Blog post focused on the incredibly expensive Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

DHS legislation was created by a Republican controlled congress, then signed into law by a republican president, who now complain incessantly about the size of government and deficits.

The conservative columnist George F. Will, evidently more aware than current republican politicians who are spewing out that hypocritical rhetoric, says that those republicans should have more to say about defense than raw unsubstantiated rhetoric (Washington Post, Republicans Need More Than Rhetoric On Defense, George F. Will).

Mr. Will points out that the bare bones "defense budget" is "about 43 percent of the world’s total military spending — more than the combined defense spending of the next 17 nations".

But he leaves out other great chunks of budget spending in the costly, ghostly, and ghastly "war on terror", such as the DHS.

Nor do his low figures cover the other domestic spy agencies that are also springing up across the nation, while congress feigns the notion of not liking big government:
The Washington Post has begun a block buster series following a couple of years of research.

They expose some of MOMCOM's excesses in the field of spying ("intelligence"), showing that American spying, like the military, is out of control:
The investigation's other findings include:

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.

* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year - a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.

(Washington Post). That only scratches the surface, the story is also that no one knows all about it or how much it costs, hence, it is out of control.
(The Keystone Complex To The Rescue). That story reveals a shocking anti-American development on its own, but the story is all the more egregious in the context of the republicans wanting to cut education, health care, social security, etc., but not those senseless republican behemoths.

Anyway, the Dredd Blog article of several years ago, mentioned at the top of this post, points out the impacts of the obscene costs of DHS incurred in the phantom war on terror.

The text of that post follows:

It used to be when we thought of homeland we were looking at a building lot or some acreage to construct a house upon.

But in all the terror and propaganda generated these past 8 years, "homeland" has taken on a new meaning now that we have a Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Last year the DHS budget was $61,300,000,000 (sixty one billion, 300 million dollars).

That is the cost for only one year (it equals the cost of 408,667 homes valued at $150,000 each).

One wonders if that cost to taxpayers, who need to spend it on food and shelter, would go down if we stopped those expensive activities (wars, etc.) that make it easy to recruit terrorists who want to harm us.

DHS has 218,501 employees, 81% of which are civilian and 19% are military.

Thus, it is another fusion or confusion of the military with the civilian, which would have Eisenhower turning over in his grave.

By the way, have you taken the duct tape and plastic covering off of your windows yet?

This infamous department has made two great failings in the four or so years it has existed.

The first was "doin' a heckuva job" during Katrina, and the second was not protecting us from Bush and Cheney.

The republican controlled congress and the republican president created this monstrosity, but they now want to call certain expenditures "pork" when we talk about helping millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and homes.

Brazen blindness is the mother of DHS, necessity is not its mother. Time for a paternity test too?

Links to Critiques: Homeland PorkSecurity Against Homeland Pork.

NSA Director Lt. General William Odom , since leaving that post, has commented on U.S. terrorism:
“The hypocrisy is deeper than this. By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism- in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.”
(Hammer News). Mainstream media sources have commented on Israel using terrorism recently:
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.
(Brian Williams, NBC). The republican neoCons, whom George F. Will criticizes, sound like Tweens doing a cheerleader skit led by Sarah Palin yelling "go fight team, go fight team".

Except, this is not a high school football game Sarah, because even paying for your morning coffee with cash, is a suspected terrorist act (Flier PDF).

An artist, who is also studying political science at a local community college, did the following artwork to represent his interpretation of the success of DHS at helping American Democracy:

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