reply to post by ScienceDada
A good chunk of this money was already allocated before the department was formed. In fact, that was a large criticism of the Bush
administration, that DHS was formed, then almost no money was allocated to make it go. Initially it was only reorganizational.
That may have been initially, but in 2005 DHS received $23,979,900,000, in 2006 it received $54,639,400,000. Regardless of whether or not it was
funded when, that is how much they received as an operating budget, again according to www.census.gov...
Another very important factor is that FEMA is under DHS, as is the Coast Guard. The 2007 numbers reflect that these agencies have blank checks
for hurricane relief which is still being spent for Katrina. And this year, it will reflect Ike. So, it is not cut-and-dry.
Since FEMA and the Coast Guard are not listed as separate entities on that report, I would hazard to say you are probably correct. But the budgets are
still over half of the total expenditures for the security budgets for all three years. That is not 'underfunded'.
I am not an expert on that case. My initial response is two-fold: my heart goes out to those guys and they should get a pardon. On the
flip-side, nobody is above the law. Isn't that the argument here?
According to Johnny Sutton, the Prosecuting Attorney in the case, apparently the drug dealer who was shot is above the law. To wit:
- The two agents claimed to be shooting at an armed suspect who had turned and was pointing something 'shiny' at them. The encounter started while
they were on patrol with several other agents and at least two supervisors. No one in the party indicated any wrong-doing by the two agents
- The drug smuggler was given freedom from prosecution and paid travel across the border with no restrictions on the number of crossings in return
- The drug smuggler stayed at the guest house of Johnny Sutton before and during the trial of the border agents.
- Johnny Sutton was allowed to take the bullet supposedly recovered from the drug smuggler home overnight during the trial. This is a heinous breach
of court procedures, especially given the fact the drug smuggler was staying in his guest house.
- The drug smuggler was arrested again for running drugs while the court case was proceeding. That fact was argued by Sutton himself to be
withheld from the jury.
- The chief complaint against Ramos and Compean was that they had supposedly made racial comments earlier that day and they tried to 'cover up the
scene' by recovering their brass. No one in their department was able to verify the alleged racist comments, and picking up their brass was listed as
the proper procedure when supervisors were present, or when no one had been injured. Both agents testified they did not think they had hit the
smuggler, and supervisors were present.
- A congressional hearing was held after the trial in order to expose any irregularities in the trial (thanks to public outcry). Congressmen were
blatantly lied to about the evidence, on multiple occasions, finally admitted to by Johnny Sutton himself.
- There have been many forensics experts who have stated that there was no possible way the drug smuggler could have been shot in the way he was
shot, according to both his testimony and that of the two agents.
Sounds to me like the only one above the law was the drug smuggler from Mexico and Johnny Sutton, representing the DHS.
Most of the people involved with DHS are either ex-military or they push for local control and limiting government
I have no doubt many of them are. But as you can see from the expanded example above, not all of them are concerned with protecting liberty, and it
appears those are in the higher ranks.
I do not like the PATRIOT Act, and I think it is a travesty. But Abortion is more of a travesty. The PATRIOT Act has precedent in American
history, and worse things have been tolerated, such as the so-called "Civil War" where States' rights were trampled by a bunch of liberals. So, I
am cynical about such matters, to say the least.
the Civil War was indeed a very trying time, and IMO produced some of the worst 'war-criminals' (unprosecuted, of course) in the history of mankind.
Sherman's little bonfire party in Atlanta comes to mind. But make no mistake the Patriot Act is much more far-reaching and much more intrusive than
any policies of that era. It violates freedom of speech (by declaring certain individuals to be 'suspected terrorists' based only on their speech),
the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure (by allowing unlimited searches and detention, both of property and of person, without a
proper search warrant), freedom of assembly (by the same mechanism; contact with persons of interest make one a 'suspected terrorist'), and the
right to be secure in one's own home (again, through the absence of a proper search warrant requirement).
And remember that the majority of what DHS has become is because of the Patriot Act. That one single document gives DHS the authority to arrest and
detain anyone they deem to be that 'suspected terrorist' without any regard to Miranda rights, without knowledge of why they are being arrested,
without legal counsel, and without even the right to contact someone to inform them of their whereabouts. It effectively dodges the requirement that
such a person must be either charged or released after 24 hours. It also gives DHS unlimited ability to gather information on anyone they choose,
whether by surveillance, wiretapping, or release of records that otherwise would require one of those nasty search warrants. This even extends to
library records of which books a suspect had checked out.
So while I share your disdain of 'liberals' (although I prefer to use different terms like socialists or progressives, as they are more accurate), I
also submit to you that such threats can come conveniently dressed in conservative clothing. And that is even more dangerous, because you cannot see
your enemy until they have you by your liberties.
In response to your last paragraph, I salute, appreciate, and admire anyone who has served this country in the military. But just because they served
in the military does not mean they are capable of leading domestically. The two are not mutually inclusive. Hero does not necessarily equal Leader.