Thursday, June 25, 2015

Executive Branch Departments We Don't Really Need, Part 1

There has been a lot of talk lately about the US Government being too big and too wasteful to be effective in governing. I'd like to think some of that is more feature than bug, but there is a lot of fat to be trimmed. I'm going to start with the Executive Branch and hopefully move on to the Legislative Branch sometime before I die.

The very first department I would get rid of is Homeland Security. I know,  I know: OMG 911! The TERROZ! FOR THE CHILDREN! Get over it. To date nearly all of the terror "plots" the FBI or anyone else has managed to "foil" are plots they started with malcontent dupes who wanted to do terrorism but were too stupid to pull it off on their own. With FBI agents acting as agents provocateur on DHS's behalf and giving suspects modeling clay and shoddy bomb casings filled with used pinball machine parts several idiots were arrested and hopefully saved from themselves, but likely no real terror plots were thwarted.

Then of course there were the "terrorists" that didn't actually do anything, they just "conspired" to do stuff. The six men arrested recently in Minnesota and San Diego, according to the linked article, never actually committed any crimes, they just really wanted to. The college student in New York was actually arrested for confronting his tail but will probably end up being charged with a knife violation since NYC has some of the strictest and dumbest knife laws in the country. Also, he didn't acutally do anything. He just ran some Google searches the FBI didn't like. And after watching this guy for thirteen years they finally managed to charge him as a "felon in possession of a firearm" after they, wait for it, sold him a firearm. Technically since they knew he was a felon and sold it anyway they also committed a felony but hey, who's keeping track? All these two did was to say some unpleasant things on Twitter and buy plane tickets to Tel Aviv. At least they actually did something.

The TSA can't seem to find guns or explosives in bags because they are too busy selecting nuns and children for "enhanced screening". One pithy law enforcement officer was heard to quip that he had arrested more TSA employees than the TSA had terrorists. The SPOT program has been ridiculed almost from inception as lacking in anything remotely approaching usefulness.

Despite widespread, wholesale, and illegal hoovering of domestic communications metadata the DHS/FBI combo platter also failed in spectacular fashion to stop the Boston Marathon bombing despite being told by the Russians that the Tsarnaevs were terrorists. Then there's the Garland, TX attack which was stopped by a moonlighting traffic cop with cojones the size of cantaloupes and made of solid brass who advanced on the terrorists while firing despite being out gunned and out numbered.

With the FBI acting as a central clearing house for information, local police would be able to do a much better job evaluating and coordinating the surveillance and arrests of people who might actually be dangerous rather than just lacking in a filter between their brains and keyboards. The DHS has proven itself useless and should be dissolved and the constituent agencies to their original departments or dissolved, as appropriate.

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