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."

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