The Scam Of Homeland Security

There's a rule of bureaucracy that says: When confused, reorganize.

The Bushites and the Congress have just resorted to this timeworn bureaucratic dodge in a big way. Clueless about how to deal with the threat of terrorist attacks at home, they've reorganized the federal bureaucracy. They've taken 22 existing agencies with 170,000 employees and jammed them into a brand spanking new super-agency they call the Department of Homeland Security, glomming the whole mess together with a $35 billion annual budget. This is supposed to make us safer?

In fact, even the White House acknowledges that this newly-conglomerated monstrosity will take years to get itself together. From moving furniture to battling over turf, DHS officials are going to be so focused on their shuffling organizational charts that they can't be focused on tracking terrorist threats.

But you'll be glad to know that the Republican leadership quietly slipped some very useful amendments into the DHS bill. Useful to their corporate campaign contributors, that is. For example, GOP majority leader Dick Armey attached a provision that gives blanket immunity to corporations that make faulty bomb detectors, gas masks, and other antiterrorism equipment. Thanks to Dick, victims won't be allowed to sue for injury or death even if the manufacturers intentionally make defective devices. Hey Dick, how does this help our security?

Dick also used the DHS bill to undo an earlier corporate reform passed by the house. This reform prohibited giving government contracts to runaway corporations -- those cheaters that reincorporate as foreign companies by setting up phony off-shore addresses so they can avoid paying their U.S. taxes. Without a vote, Armey simply inserted a provision in the DHS bill reversing this reform.

Homeland Security might be a new agency, but it's the product of the same old corrupt politics.

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