Sunday, February 04, 2007  


This is funny and scary at the same time. Slate has gotten ahold of a nifty little pdf from the DHS folks - that's Department of Homeland Security to you and me, in which said DHS has gathered a bunch of internal suggestions for improvement. Apparently the nice folks at DHS who so enthusiastically and with such dedication raise the terror alert at oppportune times (like the Superbowl- I'm sorry, but why on earth would somone blow up such a sorry example of cultuah, and in Florida of all places?), are, get this, unhappy.

Here is one suggestion:
Build Trust, by:
-Clearly defining the DHS mission to the American People.
- Publically and internally establishing Homeland Security goals and performance metrics so all can objectively see and measure Homeland Security success.

Oh, please...

But this is the scary part (what, you didn't find the above remotely disturbing?)

Recommendation 5: Engage the State, Local, Tribal and private Sector in an "Outside the Beltway-Focused" Collaborative Process:

Note the use of "tribal" and "private sector."

The private sector thing is actually already in place, although you have yet to receive your secret decoder ring, complete with one serving of fallafel and Rumsfeld's Field Guide to Terrorists. Remember the exhortation to keep your eyes open and to be aware of and report any suspicious activity? Did you know that America's Most Wanted was behind a tip line (called TIPS, so original) to help you do just that? Ever wonder why we don't hear too much about it these days? Americans have an interesting definition of anything suspicious and unusual. Remind them enough and they'll report their neighbor, the paperboy and the nun down the street in a heartbeat- because, with the phrase better safe than sorry ringing in their ears, you never know...
Why no one has reported Gonzales for impersonating a real lawyer is beyond me.

But it's the tribal that is becoming an issue. Much of this "tribal" we're talking about lies on the borders, and more specifically, the US/Mexico border, especially the California and Arizona borders. DHS money is being dangled in front of First Nation governments on tribal lands where poverty is rampant and unemployement exceeds 40%. Like No Child Left Behind, this is no Reservation on the border left Unfenced, Should a tribe not cooperate, there is the suggestion that other funding and services will be cut. A Good Indian is a DHS Indian. And the fences will start going up- the very same fences that cut through tribal land and sacred sites, the ones with the stakes being driven into the ground and the wildlife from the area, the ones where plants and the natural habitats are being trampled along with centuries of tradition.
Never mind that the Border Patrol has yet to apprehend a single Middle Eastern OTM in non-border checkpoint crossings in the last five years. (my interview with the BP/2006). No, DHS money talks and walks, and now, thanks to them, the Tribal sector is finally wearing the White Hats and defending the US, even while the DHS has them over a barrel.

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