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Obama wants to expand DHS into an American Gestapo

By Doug Thompson
February 2, 2010

American GestapoThe Obama administration is working to expand the controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) beyond its traditional role of fighting terrorism, giving the enforcement agency broad powers over cybercrime, disease control, immigration enforcement and other areas of American life.

The proposed changes could turn DHS into a powerful national police agency with broad control — a move that some civil libertarians worry could become an “American Gestapo.”

White House officials outlined the proposed changes in a document called the “Quadrennial Homeland Security Review,” delivered to Congress recently but embargoed for public release.

The review expands the DHS role from enforcing four areas of terrorism-related activities to 14 areas that extend beyond terror threats and allows the department to become the primary federal agency when dealing with disaster relief, computer crime, “transnational crime,” border control, pandemics and other non-terror activities.

“Homeland security will only be optimized when we fully leverage the
distributed and decentralized nature of the entire enterprise in the
pursuit of our common goals,” homeland security Janet Napolitano writes in the cover letter that accompanied the report to Congress.

Former President George W. Bush created DHS in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the agency quickly grew into the nation’s largest federal bureaucracy. DHS quickly came under scrutiny for its broad powers that circumvented Constitutional safeguards of individual liberty.

As a candidate for President, Obama criticized the many excesses of the Bush administration in the so-called “war on terror” but at President Obama has expanded the role of agencies like DHS and the use of “warrantless wiretaps” to snoop into the lives of ordinary Americans. The President also backed away from promises to curtail abuses under the USA Patriot Act and now supports expanded the Constitutional threats posed by the controversial laws.

Civil libertarians have filed numerous lawsuits against DHS, seeking access to records on the agency’s intrusive questioning and search of U.S. travelers and for intruding more and more into the privacy of Americans.

“When the government searches your books, peers into your computer, and
demands to know your political views, it sends the message that free
expression and privacy disappear at our nation’s doorstep,” says Sharin Sinnar, a staff attorney for the Asian Law Caucus, a San Francisco-based group that joined in one lawsuit..

But Obama’s proposed expansion of powers of DHS is already drawing praise from the right wing. James Jay Califano, homeland security expert for the conservative Heritage Foundation, calls the proposals “an incredible achievement.”

30 Responses to Obama wants to expand DHS into an American Gestapo

  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    February 3, 2010 at 5:10 am

    I don’t post that often but I always read your comments fellow CHB’ers and the one of many tidbits I remember from quite a while back was our Governator in Kalifornia wanted to use Blackwater to supplement the national guard here and that absolutely gives me the creeps thinking about that in the event of the ‘big one’ meaning the big quake that is due here in my state in the next 3o years. The thought of those Blackwater thugs from Iraq roaming around here in the event of disaster is frightening. Thank you all for the links and great commentary you all posit on this post.

    The Fourth Reich is alive und well…in Washington.

  2. hologram5

    February 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Hey, when do we stand together and fight this tyranny? When does the rage kick in that I know we all harbor against this type of dictatorship that we all know is wrong but sit and take it anyways? When do we say, “ENOUGH”!? Where will we draw the line and stand firm in our convictions?

  3. griff

    February 3, 2010 at 10:22 am

    As soon as we overcome the fear, or when things get so bad there’s no other options.

  4. woody188

    February 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I’ve seen some sites calling for national general strike April 15-18, 2010. They are saying pull all your money out of the banks and stay home with your family on those days. Plan ahead and don’t spend a dime those days. They say at 4 days the banks will have to freeze every account that has money left to cover their losses and it could force major pain on banks and Wall Street possibly triggering another collapse.

    Since another collapse is inevitable as the TARP/bail-out bubble bursts, at least this time it’s the people choosing the timing instead of the bankers. It would force the plutocracy to take notice.

  5. dockside

    February 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Who wrote this column? Who decided on the accompanying photo? Obviously, they didn’t have the cojones to sign their name. How do we know any of this is true since it has been “embargoed”? And the spin put on this is truly high up in the ranks of conspiracy theories.

    This article is not worthy of the name “journalism”. After five years of reading and posting on CHB, I can no longer return. The article is in the same ranks as Red State and Glen Beck.

    I didn’t vote for Obama and don’t like much of what he has or has not done since becoming president. But, this takes the cake in being over the top.

    And those posting above surely have lots of stock in tin foil hat companies.

    Good-bye.

  6. Warren

    February 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    The FAQ should get you started. If you then follow Doug’s ramblings over the years you will get some better picture of the man and what this site are about. This is a unique virtual place in cyberspace and it should not be dismissed lightly, even when you disagree with some of the content.

    By the way, thanks for the wonderfully entrepreneurial idea – a tinfoil had company – think I’ll look into it.

    —W—

  7. Carl Nemo

    February 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Yo Dockside,

    I’m supplying a link and some background concerning the overdue release of the QHSR. Supposedly the Department of Justice has put a hold on it relative to release to the public. No doubt they are having their “jailhouse” level lawyers comb it for it’s soundness relative to creating a more perfect “police state” in lieu of a “more perfect union”…no?!

    A link from “Homeland Security Watch” has a comment as to where and when is the current release of the QHSR? which is seemingly overdue and should have been released by January 15, 2010.

    http://www.hlswatch.com/2010/01/14/where-is-the-quadrennial-homeland-security-review/

    ***

    There is a certain sense in that, especially since in Presidential Study Directive 1, the president (or someone who works for the president) wrote:

    “I believe that Homeland Security is indistinguishable from National Security — conceptually and functionally, they should be thought of together rather than separately. Instead of separating these issues, we must create an integrated, effective, and efficient approach to enhance the national security of the United States.”

    ***

    The above quote shows there are adviser/operatives in the White House who evidently believe Homeland Security and National Security are one and the same. Possibly so in simple terminology, but not so in terms of their respective missions.

    Another rumor said the Department of Justice wanted a hold placed on the QHSR. I have no clue why other than my above comment concerning their lawyers seeing how far they can push the envelope relative to evermore incremental destruction of protections provided under the “Bill of Rights” and the Constitution itself.

    I hope this helps. Although I don’t recall your handle as to posting before on the site there’s no reason to bolt and run in a “huff” as one of our loyal readers.

    Doug Thompson posts these articles as I’ve learned recently; I’m sure he’s used solid resources for having done so.

    As far as the supplied art photo is concerned, I think it’s excellent in that it portrays the intensity of “Gestapo” era mentality. I believe it’s from a collection which I’ve seen before concerning Nazi era art or possibly post era to convey the dark, menacing side of the National Socialist state.

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. Carl Nemo

    February 4, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Hi Dockside et al. …

    The QHSR was released yesterday February 2, 2010.

    I surely didn’t catch it on C-Span maybe some other site members did so?

    Anyway here’s three links concerning both the source and the .pdf version of QHSR.

    Indeed they are now in the business of overreaching and expanding their tentacles into areas heretofore not within their domain.

    http://www.hlswatch.com/2010/02/02/qhsr-released/

    http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/gc_1208534155450.shtm

    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/qhsr_report.pdf

    Enjoy and weep at the same time. No good will ever come from our so-called ‘Homeland Security’ efforts. All this crap is uber expensive and in spite of all their ‘trained’ personnel and technology still failed this nation on Christmas day 2009 and there will be even more horrifying events in the future where the administrators of this “Orwellian nightmare” will simply burp, fart, scratch their privates and go to sleep during the routine, followup investigative hearings…no?!

    I.E., …Business as Usual! X-(

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. Time for another tuneful round of “AmeriKa over all”.

  9. griff

    February 4, 2010 at 6:18 am

    The New York Times is reporting that 2010 federal emplyment is the largest in history at 2.15 million.

  10. Carl Nemo

    February 14, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Griff,

    Somewhat a stale post, but when I thought about your referenced number; then it hit me that it takes a little over 2 million goverment shepherds to manage the remaining flock of 298 million plus tax slaves/sheep for the benefit of the shadowy oligarchs that own our nation lock, stock and barrel… / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  11. Sandra Price

    February 2, 2010 at 7:27 am

    This is a rerun of an Executive Order written in President Clinton’s first term. Reader Rant did a long discussion about giving the Federal Government this much control over the Citizens. It was accepted as it went diametrically opposed to the Bill of Rights. In 2000 after the the Election of President Bush 43 he pulled Attorney General John Ashcroft into position after 911 and plans for this Gestapo action was planned and included abortions and birth control.

    This amount of government control comes with the mindset found in Washington D.C. and it is a growth of Gestapo action to allow the federal government to take all of us from the crib to the grave in a strong Christian set of rules.

    One of the first actions A.G. Ashcroft tried to enforce was the stop of the morning after pill. He wanted all prescriptions for any meds involved in reproduction actions to be sent to him for his data base. This is nothing but an Inquisition and the destruction of our freedoms.

    Forcing government action on the American people is the only way for complete control. Once this is done under Department of Homeland Security, it will only a few steps into complete control.

    I am often shocked at how many people even here at CHB would rather give in to federal control than find a way to stop it. Too many people have no fear of Christian rule and many have come after me for warning about this horrendous control.

    President Clinton both Bush Presidents and now President Obama are looking at short cuts to control the people.

    This subject of abusing our freedoms under some jerk who feels he has the authority has gotten me in trouble for 14 years. I will not mention this control move again as the guys who run CHB blogs here dislike my attitude. Scratch the surface of Palin’s attitude and she would do this without a single regret. It’s all about control.

    You cannot whine this stuff away. Attacking me will do nothing!

  12. Carl Nemo

    February 3, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Ms Price,

    “I am often shocked at how many people even here at CHB would rather give in to federal control than find a way to stop it. Too many people have no fear of Christian rule and many have come after me for warning about this horrendous control.” …extract from post

    “There you go again” in the words of the late Ronald Reagan.

    Concerning folks at CHB giving in to Federal control, what would you have us do within the law? Contacting reps doesn’t work, I know so. The voting process has been corrupted by fraud too.

    I know what I’m going to do when the balloon goes up; ie., physically resist til my last breath issues from my body.

    You’ve also made reference to these Christian’s as being the root cause with your final typical wrap up of…”You cannot whine this stuff away. Attacking me will do nothing!”

    I suggest you read your material aloud to yourself several times before posting or record it and then listen back to the content concerning your posts and you’ll soon realize you are phase locked in projecting seemingly all the ills of our Republic on Christians 24/7/365 while also doing a “catty” driveby indictment of your fellow posters on this site. It’s always the same. Sad, but true. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  13. OldFart

    February 2, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Agreed, attacking you will do nothing, but joining you can begin a ground swell of opposition to this change.

  14. griff

    February 2, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Another campaign promise that Obama has unfortunately decided to keep.

    Notice the rousing round of applause from the sheeple.

  15. Warren

    February 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    As a young man, among the puzzles of recent history was how the citizens of Germany could have condoned the rise of the Third Reich. This wasn’t some peculiarity of the German people. The rise of totalitarian regimes, welcomed by their populace, seems all too common. But I’ve never fully understood it.

    Until now. Watching it happen again, first-hand, right here in the U.S.A. Like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

    —W—

  16. woody188

    February 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I hear you. I often wondered the same thing and swore as a child that I’d never falter in the face of tyranny. So here I am spurring open and honest debate but not only do people not listen to what we are saying, they attack us for pointing out what is actually going on and claim we are crazy. No good deed ever goes unpunished.

  17. Zengine

    February 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I have to admit: I knew Obama was a corporatist tool, but I had no idea he was in it up to his eyeballs.

    I guess the reasons this can actually happen are many, but when I went to a YouTube link provided to see him tell how he wanted a civilian force that is ‘just as powerful and just as well funded’ as the military, several things went through my head.

    First thing was ‘they can’t afford that’. But in the land where deficits don’t matter, I guess they can fake affording it until the big crash comes. Then they’ll have mega-goons to keep the unruly ones in line.

    Second thing that went through my head came when I read a comment posted there. The thrust of it was that this proposed force has something to do with the ‘progressives taking over’.

    Now, I’ve heard a lot of things defined a lot of different ways, but I’ve yet to see a police state be defined as ‘progressive’.

    Maybe when people become so brainwashed, so ignorant, and so head-stuck-up-their-own-arse that they can’t even use simple definitions accurately, it’s the beginning of the end. Orwell’s nightmare made real.

    Man, I’m glad I moved to Canada. I’ll be applying for citizenship now, no question.

  18. woody188

    February 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Canada is as much a part of the plan as the United States. They have big plans for Canadian natural gas and oil. And the US Military is in charge of Canadian air space and national security. I’m afraid the only safe place might be Antarctica.

  19. Carl Nemo

    February 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    “delivered to Congress recently but embargoed for public release.” …extract from article

    This pretty much wraps it up in a nutshell; ie, Congress, the Executive and SCOTUS are all enemies of the people…period!

    Our “silver-tongued” leader continues to portray himself as a standup populist guy and simply a victim of D.C.’s politics as usual. He has a bully pulpit and surely has the opportunity any day of the week to stand up and protest this incremental destruction of our liberty and the document for which it stands; ie., the Constitution of the United States of America. They claim he’s a Constitutional ‘scholar’…my a**!

    We’ve been had a by a con artist who was specifically groomed to be the relief “preznit” between “rethug” administrations. Even with a single term he’s set for life. Too bad there isn’t a rule unless you get relected you don’t get a full Presidential pension, but only a 50 percent settlement for a single four year term.

    I used to recommend that folks should contact their reps. I’ve got one better simply don’t reelect them regardless of their performance. Nationally we need to adopt an unwritten voting policy that no one gets reelected ever…! This would be simple guerilla tactics waged at the ballot box. Of course this wouldn’t work because the average voter citizen has the attention span of a chicken or less… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  20. byreen

    February 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    If our justice department wants inner strife to break us down further, and to turn neighbors against one another with snitches round every corner I think they will be surprised to find not a cur dog to be kicked and starved but an enraged, armed, and clearly focused population.

    That was the olde America.

    I wonder, does she still exist?

  21. Warren

    February 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Two big issues here. The first is creeping incremental-ism. There’s one little usurpation of individual liberty every other day. We’ve become numb to them. Just which straw is it that will break the camel’s back? Does the camel’s back break all at once, or does the camel just gradually succumb to the weight?

    Second problem is, if there is some straw that breaks the camel’s back, some usurpation that sends several million angry people into the streets, what then? Where are the new George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams that can lead a reformation without it becoming anarchy?

    Just wondering.

    —W—

  22. byreen

    February 2, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I’ve a third issue and that is young students of Constitutional law have a clear view of this warp effect on our basic tenets, and many end up in office in high places. The second coming of our founders would have to in part, come from this group where individualism is frowned upon.
    Good luck with that eh?

  23. Zengine

    February 2, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Damnit. I managed to forget about that for a few weeks.

    Back to square one.

  24. Carl Nemo

    February 3, 2010 at 1:37 am

    People won’t wake up to the fact that something bad has happened to them until they see black Delta Force helicopters landing in their neighborhoods with citizens, black bags over their heads, hands cuffed behind them along with leg chains being frog-marched to their “Nacht und nebel” demise.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nacht_und_Nebel

    The empty homes will have yellow police line tape around them. If one asks what happened to the Smith family anywhere USA they will simply be told they are being investigated as enemies of the state (terrorists) to ‘their Homeland’. : |

    I think it’s time for tuneful round of “Deutschland uber alles”…no?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEdoLKknCi0

    Listen to the enthusiasm of a people united for the “Fatherland”. It can be the same anywhere anytime in history, either actively or passively and is happening here too, in a passive fashion no…?

    My wife being German; ie., a citizen of many years, I have the ability to understand the words to this national anthem of another time; ie., only 65 years ago. It’s truly a stirring tune even if one doesn’t understand the language and it quickens the pulse.

    Our national demise will be the direct result of “We the people” having lost our “sense of nation” as a “free people” living under the safety net of our Constitution which seemingly now is simply a “g-damned piece of paper” as G.W. Bush referenced it… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  25. hologram5

    February 3, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Carl, I am third generation on this soil from Germany. I know, if my grandparents were alive today, would be very fearful of what is going on. This is wrong beyond belief. This is a total travesty of our constitution and the so-called elected officials shred said document at every vote, every decision. There will come a point in time where the people WILL have to stand and fight or die on their knees. We all have to make choices in life to protect our children and youth of society, or just keep on keeping on and watch it all unravel around us. I am not afraid. I don’t care who reads these posts. My grandfather went down on the Yorktown as it sunk in the Midway. My father in law retired from naval intelligence at the Pentagon. We need to draw the line as a people and say enough is enough. We have the right, no the duty to fight tyranny in ANY form in our federal gov’t.

  26. Warren

    February 3, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Just a ‘by the way’ reminder: No one who posts here should be under any delusion that they are doing so anonymously or that these conversations are ‘just among us’. Every syllable that is typed here is known to some computer at NSA or similar agency. Internet content is filtered for potential ‘threats’. You might type words here that will have the authorities breaking down your front door within an hour of typing them.

    First, every bit of internet communication goes through government security hubs installed at the major nodes on the backbone. This I know. Real-time content is filtered and analyzed.

    After that, the government agencies have ‘web crawlers’, just like Google and Yahoo, that look at web content in more detail after the fact.

    My point here is that everything that you type and post is analyzed by the government. *YOU* are graded according to your perceived level of ‘threat’. You might get no mention, or you might find ourself graded as a minor threat, or a medium threat, or as a major threat. Or, you might have some computer decide your words are an imminent threat ­– in which case the black cars will roll immediately.

    Just, be careful of your words, my friends.

    —W—

  27. Carl Nemo

    February 3, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Warren, I’m privileged in that I have a pipeline back to the analysts that monitor such sites as ours and rest assured, many are enthused with our CHB patriotism… :D

    Most, if not many of those that are tasked to analyze citizens have had a bellyful of the program too.

    You sound fearful. Why is it a Muslim will sacrifice his or her life for Jihad, but an American consumer will sell out for just a few more years of a boring existence ratting around a mall for a deal on whatever…?

    I’m not fearful are you?

    Nemo **==

  28. Warren

    February 3, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Fearful, no. Concerned, yes. The very presence of this level of monitoring and recording and analysis of individual opinions is a big damper on exchange of ideas (so-called free speech). Just that I felt that I had to remind this group of the risk is prima facie.

    Try making a joke about a bomb, or knife, or gun while in the security line at an airport and see how that works. I don’t see that the NSA should have much better sense of humor than the TSA.

    “That I am paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.” Wish I could remember the source of that quote.

    —W—

  29. griff

    February 3, 2010 at 10:29 am

    During this last campaign I had a conversation with a friend’s mom, who escaped Nazi-occupied Poland during WWII as a young girl. Her husband, also from Poland, joined the Air Force as a tail-gunner. He lived a tortuous life because of the eternal ringing in his ears, until he passed on about five years ago.

    She told me that this country is going down the same road that Germany did during the 1930’s.

  30. Carl Nemo

    February 3, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    “There will come a point in time where the people WILL have to stand and fight or die on their knees.” …extract from reply

    Thanks hologram5. Never before have more thought-provoking words been written as a reply to one of my posts…period!

    As said by many orators before, not just FDR, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” which will cripple one from summary, appropriate action when the time should come to summarily resist the long shadow of tyranny now stalking this land.

    I suggest folks read the content of my first blogpost to CHB; ie., “Do you have a plan?!” dtd September 19, 2008. Those that are well prepared will not need any relief from the government which will allow them to steer clear of harms way as things begin to unravel.

    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/11316

    “To be forewarned is to be forearmed”…Miguel de Cervantes late 16th century writer

    Carl Nemo **==