John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, wrote “If the U.S. is a police state, then DHS is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’s governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most – a standing army on American soil.” And the only way to control the beast is to cut-off its head.
With an annual budget of over $61 billion, DHS employs over 240,000 full-time workers. Sub-agencies include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration gropers (TSA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to Whitehead, “in the years since it was established to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., DHS has grown from a post 9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life.”
Terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be. As a matter of record, the FBI has stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS which, while wasting exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it, gets a free pass to unconstitutionally infringe upon our civil rights.
Whitehead points out that DHS routinely hands out six figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles and a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms, resulting in the explosive growth of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset that American citizens are the enemy.
Stockpiling ammunition, DHS, along with other federal agencies, has amassed an alarming amount of ammunition which only serves to discomfort those leery of the government. According to an article in Forbes magazine, DHS has amassed enough ammo “to sustain a hot war for 20 years plus.” They have also distributed more than $50 million in grant money to enable local police to acquire license plate scanners, which rely on mobile cameras to photograph and identify cars, match them against a national database, and tract their movement. Relying on private contractors to maintain a license plate database allows DHS and its affiliates to access millions of records without much in the way of oversight.
In 2006 DHS awarded a $385 million contract to a Halliburton subsidiary to build detention centers on American soil, which according to DHS are to be used in case of ‘an emergency influx of immigrants’, or to ‘support disasters.’ Each year, DHS funds military-style drills and lockdowns in American cities, staged with their own set of professionally trained Crisis actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims. This, when viewed in conjunction with an NDAA provision allowing the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens, it would seem the building blocks are already in place for such an eventuality.
Tracking cell phones with Stingray devices distributed to local police allows police and DHS to track individual cell calls and their owners without a court order, painting a precise picture of where we are and who we spend time with, including our location whether at home, at church or at a protest rally.
TSA, no longer content with just groping American citizens before boarding planes, now search a variety of government and private databases, including things like car registrations and employment information, in order to track travelers before they get near the airport. They also check tax identification numbers, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement intelligence information.
VIPR task forces, comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams have laid the groundwork for the government’s effort to secure so-called “soft” targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, restaurants, schools, etc. Some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established as routine at all “soft targets.”
Firefighters, police officers and even corporate employees who have received “spy” training are being used to watch and report on the day-to-day suspicious activities of their fellow citizens, such as taking pictures with no ‘aesthetic value’, taking measurements, sketching, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs, and buying items in bulk.
Seventy-eight (78) data collection fusion centers, aided by the NSA, are spread throughout the U.S., monitoring our communications, collecting, cataloguing everything from our internet activity to text messages, phone calls and emails. Despite a budget estimated to be somewhere between $289 million and $1.4 billion, these fusion centers have been proven to be an exercise in incompetence, often producing irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence, while wasting taxpayer money on flat-screen televisions, sport utility vehicles, and other gadgets.
On order from DHS, border security has become little more than a joke. Instead of protecting our borders against illegals and terrorists, DHS now uses their police state power, ranging from aggressive checkpoints within 100 miles of an international border, to the widespread use of drone technology and the search of personal electronic devices against American citizens traveling within the U.S.
They have funneled money to local governments to purchase high-tech video camera networks for installation on city streets, parks, and transit systems that operate in conjunction with sophisticated computer systems that boast intelligent video analytics, digital biometric identification, military-pedigree software for analyzing and predicting crime and facial recognition software.
Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and Harvard Extension School called the Department of Homeland Security “a colossal and inefficient boondoggle. DHS was put together as one great big organized department, and in fact they’ve became one big disorganized group of stovepipes.”
Source: Has The Department of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?; and Mission Creep: Homeland Security, A Runaway Train