Thursday, October 16, 2008

How to fix the Department of Homeland Security | Salon:

While the nation's attention is on the largest financial bailout in U.S. history, there is another bequest of the Bush administration to the next president that is a hallmark of government expansion and big spending: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

DHS was created in the aftermath of Sept. 11 to protect America from terrorism and in the process created a ball of bureaucracy that cannot be easily untangled. The establishment of DHS, the most important civilian agency for ensuring the nation's security, represented the largest reorganization of the federal government since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Within DHS are the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the Secret Service and 12 other components in charge of critical government functions including immigration and nuclear detection. The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security oversees all of this and is the public face for raising and lowering the National Threat Advisory (currently, yellow), making this appointment one of the most important facing the president. Eighty-six congressional committees have oversight of DHS.

When the presidential candidates talk about big government, it doesn't get any bigger than the Department of Homeland Security. So why then are John McCain and Barack Obama silent on DHS?

4:24 AM