Bush's Bureaucratic Shuffle

Why do I feel an urge to click my boot heels whenever Bush, Ashcroft & Gang bark out the phrase, "Homeland Security?"

This bunch has spent its collective political career warning darkly about the evils of a "Big Brother" government, but now that they're in power, they've become Big-Brother-on-Steroids, rushing to create a massive and menacing new federal police power to monitor all suspicious activity here in the Fatherland...I mean, Homeland.

All of this is a political attempt to cover up the recent disclosures that the administration's top officials missed rather clear signs prior to September 11 that a crashbombing was in the making. Ashcroft's knee-jerk reaction to these embarrassing revelations was, as usual, to grab for more autocratic power and to weaken our Bill of Rights. He has authorized the FBI to engage in more domestic spying and to go on fishing expeditions against innocent people, greatly expanding the federal police's clandestine authority to enter our computers, churches, and political meetings. He barked that homeland agents need to know more about what people are thinking and planning. But wait a minute--the FBI's own field agents had the information it needed prior to September 11, but the top brass refused to act. The agency doesn't need more intelligence, it needs more intellect...and less bureaucratic intraction.

But then came George W himself proposing...what? More bureaucracy! Hoping that Bad Ol' Big Government can save him, He wants to merge 22 agencies into one humongous Homeland Security department that will be Washington's third largest bureaucracy. But while this new agency will bring everyone from customs inspectors to cattle inspectors under one coordinated regime, it will not include the FBI, the agency most responsible for preventing terrorist attacks.

This is Jim Hightower saying...The first rule of bureaucracy is: When criticized, reorganize. But, as Hemingway said, "Never mistake motion for action."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.