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The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden 190

blottsie writes: Out of all the U.S. government agencies, the Department of Homeland Security is one of the least transparent. As such, the number of Freedom of Information Act requests it receives have doubled since 2008. But the DHS has only become more adamant about blocking FOIA requests over the years. The problem has become so severe that nothing short of an Edward Snowden-style leak may be needed to increase transparency at the DHS.
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The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden

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  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:58PM (#47517355) Homepage
    this is the do everything forever department created after september 2001 and designed to be an intractable part of the amorphous war on terror. to date its various wings include
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: so bogged down by congress it can barely stock the staplers and ink the stamp pads
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection: charged with manning our immigration checkpoints that exist, paradoxically, nearly 100 miles inside our borders as well as directly upon them. congress pumps money into these guys, who cant seem to go more than a week without accidentally killing someone across the border.
    Federal Emergency Management Agency: home of "secret death camps" for rabid neo-conservatives, and for the rest of us a red flag which completely exposed the bumbling incompetence of the DHS after Hurricane Katrina. their latest campaign has been telling people through billboards about the need to make an emergency plan. As if to tacitly admit theyre just as inept and meaningless as they were 9 years ago
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: packs undocumented immigrants into shanty camps, and really thats about it. Completely neutered after NAFTA for its customs enforcement, and just as paralyzed by congress. Arizona mistakenly began shipping their "illegals" to ICE facilities only to find ICE released them, as it isnt a magic button to get the sheriff re-elected.
    Transportation Security Administration home of the freedom grope, these guys are highschool drop outs and police academy rejects itching for a reason to ruin your summer.
    U.S. Coast Guard there is no conceiveable reason this agency should not be under control of the pentagon, or something more relevant to its mission, but this is the seventh department its been reassigned to since its creation and like the fat kid in gym class, it probably wont be very permanent.
    National Protection and Programs Directorate purportedly does something with "cybersecurity" but its amorphous enough to land firmly in the camp of cabinet level private toilets designed to pitch federal tax dollars into. mostly a 2.5 billion dollar per year dole for government contractors.
    U.S. Secret Service they guard the president and for some mind boggling reason, investigate counterfeit currency.

    TL;DR: the DHS was designed with no one particular in mind. the first thing our president told us after 9/11 was to "go shopping" and in order to bolster that order from the commander in chief, the consumer confidence index in 2001 got its own department into which lands of home would ostensibly become secure as if by magic. its scope is so broadly defined and its mission so incongruent that it cannot possibly function in any meaningful fashion. Its not off-the-map like the NSA, rather, its largesse makes it incapable of escaping scrutiny.
  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @04:22PM (#47517983)

    U.S. Coast Guard there is no conceiveable reason this agency should not be under control of the pentagon ...

    The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the U.S. armed forces from enforcing the law. That is why the National Guard is normally under the command of a State Governor and the Coast Guard is normally under the command of a civilian agency. When under such command they are not considered part of the U.S. armed forces and a Governor can have the state National Guard units enforce the law, for example during natural disasters, riots, etc. Similarly when under civilian command the Coast Guard can enforce maritime law, enforce safety regulations, arrest smugglers, etc.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling