The Department of Homeland Security Is Broken and Dangerous

Established in 1995, the Days of panic following the terrorist attack on 9/11 left many feeling helpless.The original mission of the Department of Homeland Security was to protect the border and prevent similar attacks from overseas. The agency has now shifted its focus to potential enemies near home, namely Americans it has identified as possible threats. DHS is regrettable because it has shown poor judgement and a worse understanding of individual liberties throughout its short life. It also shows an incredible inability implement the reforms recommended by watchdogs.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated that “the greatest terrorist threat we face in our homeland comes from domestic violence extremism” TelledThe national ConventionAl Sharpton’s National Action Network, New York City. April 8. “And the greatest threat is the threat from white supremacists.”

Anybody who knows DHS’s political sensibilities is not surprised by the switch from looking out for external threats to searching for them within the country. Similar. Republicans fret over immigrantsDemocrats worried about Radicals Under the Bed. DHS announced that Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020’s presidential election. referring to border wallsFor warnings about “Domestic violent extremists“motivated by “online proliferation of false or misleading stories.” Yet, it is still a plodding bureaucracy that has lots of resources and little in the way of humanity.

Faiza Patel and Rachel Levinson-Waldman warn that “the department has aggressively targeted Muslims and communities of color in the name of security.” Harsha Panduranga and Harsha Pandaranga speak out in a Brennan Center for Justice.  The Department of Homeland Security reportPublished last week. The publication was last week. It often undertakes ventures that violate Americans’ civil rights and privacy.

“These problems have been lingering for a dangerous combination – broad authorities, weak protections, and insufficient supervision,” they say.

The Brennan Center report, which is consistent with DHS’s original focus on radical Islamists and DHS’s earlier emphasis on them, details DHS’s surveillance and mistreatment minorities. The idea that people who are relatively insignificant would be subjected to hostile government attention makes perfect sense. Then again we are still a far cry from the resources, tools, and toys that federal agents have at their disposal. AllIt’s pretty weak. No matter the person who draws government’s attention, there is precedent for official misconduct.

“Infringing upon constitutionally-given freedoms in the name of national security is not limited to the Muslim Americans in the present day; rather, practices including the use of confidential informants, undercover operations, and entrapment are part of the history of surveillance operations conducted by U.S. law enforcement,” Oxford University’s Sara Kamali pointed out in a Article 2017Please see the following: Surveillance and Society. From 1991 to 1993, nearly a decade ago, before the attacks on 9/11, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), was monitoring ‘anti-government and racist, antisemitic, or Christian’ activists that viewed themselves as Patriots.

We’ve all been there before. Each federal agency responds to political pressures and focuses its attention on the current targets. Kamali points out that no matter which person ends up on government radar, providing incentives for informants and pitting members of the community against one another, using egregious trapping tactics and threatening to a multitude of criminal charges, from tax fraud to immigration violations, is a way to make the post-9/11 world a reality.

Kamali suggests that intelligence and counterterrorism agencies take civil liberties seriously. This is also the recommendation of Brennan Center analysts.

“This report identifies five avenues for reform: stronger safeguards against profiling; better protections for privacy and free expression; rigorous evaluations of program efficacy; meaningful transparency about data holdings and the implications DHS programs have for civil rights and civil liberties; and more robust internal oversight,” write Patel, Levinson-Waldman, and Panduranga.

There is little evidence to suggest that DHS would be interested in admitting its mistakes and fixing them. DHS personnel are more focused on protecting DHS from negative consequences than on reducing its malignancy. Even those specifically assigned to watch it seem less concerned about their safety.

Chris Cameron of The New York Times reportedThe information was suppressed earlier in the month. The information was suppressed included descriptions of cash payments to settle claims of sexual harassment without having to go through formal processes. Joseph V. Cuffari (the inspector general) also ordered his staff members to remove portions of another draft report that revealed internal investigations had shown that several officers at the agencies were guilty of domestic violence but had received ‘little or no discipline’.”

They were obtained. PubliziertProject on Government Oversight. Mayorkas later acknowledged their existence in an Internal memo from DHS. Don’t wait for major reforms if history serves as a guide. Charles K. Edwards is a former DHS acting secretary general. Acquitted of stealing confidential software and databasesFrom the federal government. He In January, he pleaded guiltyof the year.

You shouldn’t be optimistic that DHS will increase its respect for individual rights. It is not possible to trust a federal agency that hides information about abusive behavior by employees against family members and colleagues, even if it isn’t pilfering property. This is especially true when these violations seem to be a part of the agency’s justification for existence. DHS, as the Brennan Center warned, is plagued by “a dangerous combination” of wide authorities, weak safeguards, insufficient oversight, and it’s hard to know how to repair what’s so deeply broken.