Department of Homeland What?

Worldview Item of the Day

Michael Yon has up a scathing piece on the treatment of a Thai fried by an officer of the Department of Homeland Security who traveled to visit Yon over Christmas. Yon’s story fits with a growing body of stories about the Department of Homeland Security that continue to demonstrate that said agency appears to be incapable of performing its actual primary task of securing the homeland.

In my view, the problem with DHS is twofold:

First, DHS is too large and fractured to accomplish its task well. It contains too many organizations with too many overlapping claims of jurisdiction, some of which are funded by mechanisms outside the DHS, which questions how the department’s secretary can effectively manage them. If DHS is ever going to be able to fulfill its primary role, then it must be reorganized in a way that makes sense and is actually targeted at accomplishing its primary role.

Second, American homeland security is itself a joke because it is held hostage to the will of the lawyers of a thousand different groups who specifically seek to prevent the United States from being able to use common sense when defending itself. The reason that Yon’s Thai friend was targeted was because DHS cannot create a truly accurate profile of visiting foreign nationals that would probably catch 99 percent of the bad guys (as an example, most of them are, in fact, male) without targeting ” 90-pound, 40-year-old Thai women”. These restrictions apply not only to profiling but to intelligence gathering and enforcement activities as well.

These two issues almost guarantee that people like Yon’s friend will continue to be harassed while actual bad guys get into the country without notice. The continued success of the bad guys to enter the United States legally or otherwise almost guarantees we will be attacked again on our own soil.

I, for one, hope that Yon’s story incites an investigation and proceedings that lead to reform at DHS. I know that it is a long shot, but we need something to happen before DHS agents are interrogating innocent people while terrorists kill us.


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