Category Archive 'Department of Homeland Security'

24 Mar 2015

Papieren, Bitte!

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PapersPlease
Your Papers, Please!

Benjamin Preston, at Car & Driver, reports on a little more bad news for Americans, thanks to George W. Bush’s Department of Heimat Sekuritat.

If you live in Arizona, Louisiana, New York, or one of more than a dozen other states, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has bad news for you. Come January 19, your driver’s license will no longer allow you access to certain federal facilities. Unless DHS changes its mind. Again.

In 2005, Congress passed a bill called the Real ID Act, based upon recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. Whether or not you’ve heard of the law depends largely upon how in tune you are with conspiracy theories. Where you live matters, too, because nearly a decade after the law’s passage, only 19 states actually comply with its standards.

Real ID’s stated intent is to ensure that all jurisdictions issuing driver’s licenses and other identification meet federal stand­ards, “which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.” Basically, the government is upping the ante on what it will accept as valid forms of ID at federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and—here’s the biggie—federally regulated airline flights (i.e., most of them).

Opponents fear that Real ID will lead to a national identity card like those issued by “totalitarian” governments and that its requirement that states share data from their department of motor vehicle databases is an invasion of privacy.

23 Feb 2015

“The Plight of Muslims Living in this Country”

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JehJohnson
Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security

Mark Steyn takes note of a recent new Obama Administration cabinet department priority.

I opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security on the basic Thatcherite principle that if you create a government bureaucracy in order to deal with a problem you’ll never be rid of the problem. But I underestimated the creativity of our rulers: The DHS was set up because 19 Muslims flew planes into skyscrapers and killed thousands of people. Thirteen years later, the head of the DHS thinks his department’s priority should be to “give voice to the plight of Muslims” who have the misfortune to live in America.

10 Sep 2009

Ground Broken for New $3.4 Billion Homeland Security Campus

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Ezra Pound at St. Elizabeth’s

Politicians gloated as ground was broken and a great river of federal dollars began flowing for the construction of the home of yet another massive federal bureaucracy on the 176 acre hilltop site of what used to be Washington, D.C.’s insane asylum.

What could be more appropriate? The next directive requiring the confiscation of pocket combs and cavity searches of blue-haired grannies can be written in the same location that not so long ago used to be a padded cell.

The federal government locked Ezra Pound away in the same asylum in lieu of prosecuting him for treason for siding with Benito Mussolini during WWII. Perhaps the unruly spirit of the modernist poet will continue to preside over Homeland Security’s new cubicles, resulting in the Canto replacing the memorandum and translations from the Chinese or Occitan filling out the press releases.

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Washington Post
:

Councilman Marion Barry was late, and Mayor Adrian Fenty even later, but both arrived in time to grab a golden shovel and turn a little earth on the lush green lawn of St. Elizabeths Hospital. And with that, ground was officially broken for the $3.4 billion headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security, a vast new federal complex that will be built on the quiet hilltop with spectacular views where once stood the city’s main hospital for the mentally ill. …

Barry thanked Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who helped create the grab-bag department of security-related agencies after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. …

Lieberman hailed the largest federal project built in the region since the Pentagon. And Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the new campus, which will be home to 14,000 employees when finished in 2016, will help her fledgling agency grow into a more cohesive entity with a unified culture.

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Doug Powers puts the cost into perspective.

It wasn’t long ago that the Department of Homeland Security was just a fascist glimmer in George W. Bush’s eye that subsequently went on to become a symbol of one rogue and illegitimate administration’s gross abuse of civil liberties.

But now a new sheriff is in town, and a new enemy is in the cross-hairs that needs to be aggressively confronted, so it’s worth an even heavier investment of taxpayer dollars.

That and they needed the meeting space.

Assuming Napolitano holds a meeting every single weekday over the next 10 years, this new complex is only costing $1.3 million per meeting. Not bad by government standards — but we’ll round that up to $2 million per meeting on the assumption that they’ll buy bagels.


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