Skip to comments.Has the Dept. of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?
Posted on 06/16/2014 2:21:47 PM PDT by Perseverando
A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.James Madison
Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant
If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared mosta standing army on American soil.
The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHSwith its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)has been aptly dubbed a runaway train.
In the 12 years since it was established to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.
A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.
To Kennys list, I will add the following: The menace of a national police force, a.k.a. a standing army, vested with so much power cannot be overstated, nor can its danger be ignored. Indeed, as the following list shows, just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to police agencies in the form of grants.
Militarizing police and SWAT teams. The DHS routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms. This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams. The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at warand the citizenry are the enemy combatants.
Spying on activists, dissidents and veterans. In 2009, DHS released three infamous reports on Rightwing and Leftwing Extremism, and another entitled Operation Vigilant Eagle, outlining a surveillance program targeting veterans. The reports collectively and broadly define extremists as individuals and groups that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. In 2013, it was revealed that DHS, the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies, and the private sector were working together to conduct nationwide surveillance on protesters First Amendment activities.
Stockpiling ammunition. DHS, along with other government agencies, has been stockpiling an alarming amount of ammunition in recent years, which only adds to the discomfort of those already leery of the government. As of 2013, DHS had 260 million rounds of ammo in stock, which averages out to between 1,300 to 1,600 rounds per officer. The US Army, in contrast, has roughly 350 rounds per soldier. DHS has since requisitioned more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, enough, concludes Forbes magazine, to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.
Distributing license plate readers. DHS has already distributed more than $50 million in grants to enable local police agencies to acquire license plate readers, which rely on mobile cameras to photograph and identify cars, match them against a national database, and track their movements. Relying on private contractors to maintain a license plate database allows the DHS and its affiliates to access millions of records without much in the way of oversight.
Contracting to build detention camps. In 2006, DHS awarded a $385 million contract to a Halliburton subsidiary to build detention centers on American soil. Although the government and Halliburton were not forthcoming about where or when these domestic detention centers would be built, they rationalized the need for them in case of an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs in the event of other emergencies such as natural disasters. Viewed in conjunction with the NDAA provision allowing the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone, including 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 agencies as a result of grants from the DHS, these Stingray devices enable police to track individuals cell phonesand their ownerswithout a court warrant or court order. The amount of information conveyed by these devices about ones activities, whereabouts and interactions is considerable. As one attorney explained: Because we carry our cellphones with us virtually everywhere we go, stingrays can paint a precise picture of where we are and who we spend time with, including our location in a lovers house, in a psychologists office or at a political protest.
Carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities. Each year, DHS funds military-style training drills in cities across the country. These Urban Shield exercises, elaborately staged with their own set of professionally trained Crisis Actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims, fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers, bystanders and the media into thinking its a real crisis.
Using the TSA as an advance guard. The TSA now searches a variety of government and private databases, including things like car registrations and employment information, in order to track travelers before they ever get near an airport. Other information collected includes tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information.
Conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners. Under the direction of the TSA, American travelers have been subjected to all manner of searches ranging from whole-body scanners and enhanced patdowns at airports to bag searches in train stations. In response to public outrage over what amounted to a virtual strip search, the TSA has begun replacing the scanners with equally costly yet less detailed models. The old scanners will be used by prisons for now.
Carrying out soft target checkpoints. 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 governments effort to secure so-called soft targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, etc. Some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established at all soft targets, such as department stores, restaurants, and schools. DHS Operation Shield, a program which seeks to check up on security protocols around the country with unannounced visits, conducted a surprise security exercise at the Social Security Administration building in Leesburg, Fla., when they subjected people who went to pick up their checks to random ID checks by federal agents armed with semi-automatic weapons.
Directing government workers to spy on Americans. Terrorism Liaison Officers are firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees who have received training to spy on and report back to government entities on the day-to-day activities of their fellow citizens. These individuals are authorized to report suspicious activity which can include such innocuous activities as taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs, and buying items in bulk.
Conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers. Data collecting agencies spread throughout the country, aided by the National Security Agency, fusions centersof which there are at least 78 scattered around the U.S. constantly monitor our communications, collecting and cataloguing everything from our internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails. This data is then fed to government agencies, which are now interconnected: the CIA to the FBI, the FBI to local police. Despite a budget estimated to be somewhere between $289 million and $1.4 billion, these fusion centers have proven to be exercises in incompetence, often producing irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence, while spending millions of dollars on flat-screen televisions, sport utility vehicles, hidden cameras and other gadgets.
Carrying out Constitution-free border control searches. On orders from the DHS, the governments efforts along the border have become little more than an exercise in police state power, ranging from aggressive checkpoints to the widespread use of drone technology, often used against American citizens traveling within the country. Border patrol operations occur within 100 miles of an international crossing, putting some 200 million Americans within the bounds of aggressive border patrol searches and seizures, as well as increasingly expansive drone surveillance. With 71 checkpoints found along the southwest border of the United States alone, suspicionless search and seizures on the border are rampant. Border patrol agents also search the personal electronic devices of people crossing the border without a warrant.
Funding city-wide surveillance cameras. As Charlie Savage reports for the Boston Globe, the DHS has funneled millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a surveillance society in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost. These camera systems, installed on city streets, in parks and transit systems, operating 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, create a vast surveillance network that can target millions of innocent individuals.
Utilizing drones and other spybots. The DHS has been at the forefront of funding and deploying surveillance robots and drones for land, sea and air, including robots that resemble fish and tunnel-bots that can travel underground. Despite repeated concerns over the danger surveillance drones used domestically pose to Americans privacy rights, the DHS has continued to expand its fleet of Predator drones, which come equipped with video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. DHS also loans its drones out to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for a variety of tasks, although the agency refuses to divulge any details as to how, why and in what capacity these drones are being used by police. Incredibly, the DHS has also been handing out millions of dollars in grants to local police agencies to accelerate the adoption of drones in their localities.
Its not difficult to see why the DHS has been described as a wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast. If it is a beast, however, it is a beast that is accelerating our nations transformation into a police state through its establishment of a standing army, a.k.a. national police force.
This, too, is nothing new. Historically, as I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the establishment of a national police force has served as a fundamental and final building block for every totalitarian regime that has ever wreaked havoc on humanity, from Hitlers all-too-real Nazi Germany to George Orwells fictional Oceania. Whether fictional or historical, however, the calling cards of these national police agencies remain the same: brutality, inhumanity, corruption, intolerance, rigidity, and bureaucracyin other words, evil.
Are the drug gang members getting DHS uniforms as they cross the border into the USA (yet)?
And you think we're not in "the last days?"
What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
A huge duh for this one, for those who haven’t figured out how USG/Obama are fullfilling their goal to create a homeland force as powerful as the US military, to control USA. All those MRAP Armored Cars and SWAT teams _are_ it; militarized police, Federally funded and overseen.
In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.
It's difficult to stop a police state once incentives and personnel are in place. But, God Willing, there's still time to stop this one...
Forgot to add shrinking US Military, growing USG/police changes the ratio towards USG/police > US/military, day by day.
Yes, as it was always intended to be since the day it was conceived.
This was one of several areas I was totally opposed to bush for doing. there was absolutely no good that was going to come from it and I am vindicated.
Never mind, just keep all eyes focused on granny and grandpa. They are members of the most vicious terrorist organization ever to walk the face of the earth - THE TEA PARTY! </sarc>
The question is are you paranoid ENOUGH? And just because you are paranoid does not mean no one is out do get you.
Seriously, though, the men that created the DHS knew exactly what they were doing. For Gods sake, they brought in Markus Wolfe, the former head of the East German STASI, to help design the damn thing.
And people wonder why the rapid rise in fatalities among LEOs. I certainly don’t condone violence against those sworn to protect us against the worst element of society, but I do understand a citizenry that increasingly refuses to accept police thuggery as the lesser of two evils.
The Standing army is the large U.S. Army standing sense world War 2.
The Department of Homeland Security would be more accurately described as an occupying army. They do not simply stand ready to assault our rights, they actively do so.
Yup. Been preaching this for years now and it is amazing how ignorant so many Americans are. As long a the Feds fed and give them money to play with we never recover. Remember Romney's 47 percent?
By the way, miss Romney yet? Come on hard noses, pass along some more of your horse stuff.
No it’s nothing of the sort. It is a massive welfare program populated by useful idiots that can produce some of the most mind blowing cluster f***so you have ever seen.
This article was written by an ignoramus.
Barack Hussein Obama, Colorado Springs, CO 7/2/2008
“By the way, miss Romney yet?”
Please elaborate. (I'll be out of the CP for awhile while you collect your thoughts.)
I’ll provide a response in just a bit
They’ll run like the Iraqis when they are faced with millions of patriotic citizens armed to the teeth.
Wow! Never heard that before. Can you cite your source? I couldn't find anything in a brief on-line check.. Thanks, Count.
DHS, not so much.
Well I think Bam thinks they are his Civilian National Defense Force. But look how well the BLM performed agains’t some combat vets at the Bundy Ranch. They are not military and all the tactical gear in the world won’t make them military.
This was awhile ago. Wolf died in 2006. I couldn’t find any links to a Corporate Media source and you know that they would never coverup anything.
Wait tell you run into one of these ass hats on personal level. Had a talk with one a year and half ago and it was a hoot. They don’t like being told go away and leave you alone and you won’t tell them a thing. Kind of looked like that puffer fish you see on N.G. show. Turned red in the face and threated all kinds of bad stuff would happen to me. I just walked away laughing and that was the last I seen of that fool.
“For Gods sake, they brought in Markus Wolfe, the former head of the East German STASI, to help design the damn thing. “
They also brought in a KGB general. I stated that several times here but no one seemed to be alarmed.
Please provide bona fides on this. link is to canned Wikipedia bio of Wolfe.
Speaking of "running" and can you say? - "Welcome to America, comrade!"
To kill a snake you take off its head!
I never thought I'd be reduced to tin-foil hat thinking, but here I am.
I don't have a Corporate Media source but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, its a duck.
Google DHS “Marcus Wolf” and see for yourself
We were warned of the formation of a National Police Force back in 1970.
Those who warned us were considered right wing “nuts”.
They were right after all.
Take a walk through any DHS office. Then ask yourself this: If I were a general, would I want to lead these fat, 70 IQ slobs onto a battlefield?
They did? I don’t see that in the Wiki bio...(something which they would have LOVED to point out there).
But, you’re probably right, I’m not paranoid enough.... time to stock up more “provisions”....
An army, at least how I am familiar with the term is an entity that forces it’s will upon others through enough violence to break the enemies will.
DHS is largely a welfare program whose members are allowed by a compliant and submissive populace to violate the constitution.
Why would I miss that political-clone of Obama?
Seriously, he's indistinguishable from Obama and there's absolutely no proof that the congress would
hold his feet to the fire like the Romneyites suggest.
There was some speculation that the BLM forces were there to be sacrificial pawns — I don't put it past the government to "set up" an incident; in fact, I would place money on a false-flag coming up.
Yes I agree.
One of the militia leaders posted a youtube video where he said that at the last minute they realized the govt had deliberately left those 20 BLM guys cowering behing their SUV’s as pawns to be slaughtered. He also said you could tell that they realized it and they were terrified. The BLM guys were surrounded by about 500 militia in a kill zone. That’s why they turned tail and ran as fast as their legs would carry them when they got the chance.
OStumbles was praying for a blood bath so he could start CWII and try to take over.
people have got to start drawing lines where bad ideas turn into monstrous ones....Bush may have thought a DHS was a good idea....bammey has made it into a total dictatorial Nazi organization....
Pentagon Preparing for Mass Civil Unrest
The Pentagon is pictured December 26, 2011
A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands.”
Launched in 2008 the year of the global banking crisis the DoD ‘Minerva Research Initiative’ partners with universities “to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US.”
Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model “of the dynamics of social movement mobilisation and contagions.” The project will determine the “critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagions by studying their “digital traces” in the cases of “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey.”
Twitter posts and conversations will be examined “to identify individuals mobilised in a social contagion and when they become mobilised.”
Another project awarded this year to the University of Washington “seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate,” along with their “characteristics and consequences.” The project, managed by the US Army Research Office, focuses on “large-scale movements involving more than 1,000 participants in enduring activity,” and will cover 58 countries in total.
Last year, the DoD’s Minerva Initiative funded a project to determine ‘Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?’ which, however, conflates peaceful activists with “supporters of political violence” who are different from terrorists only in that they do not embark on “armed militancy” themselves. The project explicitly sets out to study non-violent activists:
“In every context we find many individuals who share the demographic, family, cultural, and/or socioeconomic background of those who decided to engage in terrorism, and yet refrained themselves from taking up armed militancy, even though they were sympathetic to the end goals of armed groups. The field of terrorism studies has not, until recently, attempted to look at this control group. This project is not about terrorists, but about supporters of political violence.”
The project’s 14 case studies each “involve extensive interviews with ten or more activists and militants in parties and NGOs who, though sympathetic to radical causes, have chosen a path of non-violence.”
I contacted the project’s principal investigator, Prof Maria Rasmussen of the US Naval Postgraduate School, asking why non-violent activists working for NGOs should be equated to supporters of political violence and which “parties and NGOs” were being investigated but received no response.
Similarly, Minerva programme staff refused to answer a series of similar questions I put to them, including asking how “radical causes” promoted by peaceful NGOs constituted a potential national security threat of interest to the DoD.
Among my questions, I asked:
“Does the US Department of Defense see protest movements and social activism in different parts of the world as a threat to US national security? If so, why? Does the US Department of Defense consider political movements aiming for large scale political and economic change as a national security matter? If so, why? Activism, protest, ‘political movements’ and of course NGOs are a vital element of a healthy civil society and democracy - why is it that the DoD is funding research to investigate such issues?”