STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Fire Homeland's Janet Napolitano?
By Staff News & Analysis - December 30, 2009

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (pictured left) is living proof you can not only take the girl out of New York, but take New York out of the girl as well. Napolitano was born in New York and yet takes so little interest in us that as recently as last April she seemed unaware of some basic facts regarding the attack on the World Trade Center. … She is a disgrace as the secretary of homeland security. That job should be held by somebody who has some working expertise and no agenda other than to keep the innocent as safe as possible. I hate to admit it, but President George W. Bush was right to appoint a cop to head homeland security. He just picked the wrong one when he chose Bernard Kerik, who is also a crook. In making that mistake, Bush was no doubt looking for some of the magic that has transformed New York into America's safest big city, a phenomenon in which Kerik played no significant role. Our new President could get some of that magic from those who really did make it happen. – Daily News

Dominant Social Theme: She's just not good enough.

Free-Market Analysis: So Michael Daly of the NY Daily News wants the Homeland team to become more efficient by firing Secretary Janet Napolitano. He seems to believe that if you find the right technocratic police officer for the job that this blunderbuss of an unconstitutional bureaucratic behemoth will somehow become both manageable and useful. We're not quite so sure that's true. Here's what Congressman Ron Paul had to say about Homeland Security way back in 2002 in his article, "The Homeland Security Monstrosity."

Congress spent just a few short hours last week voting to create the biggest new federal bureaucracy since World War II, not that the media or even most members of Congress paid much attention to the process. Yet our most basic freedoms as Americans – privacy in our homes, persons, and possessions; confidentiality in our financial and medical affairs; openness in our conversations, telephone, and Internet use; unfettered travel; indeed the basic freedom not to be monitored as we go through our daily lives – have been dramatically changed.

The last time Congress attempted a similarly ambitious reorganization of the government was with the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947. Back then, congressional hearings on the matter lasted two years before President Truman finally signed legislation. Even after this lengthy deliberation, however, organizational problems with the new department lasted more than 40 years! What do we expect from a huge bureaucracy conceived virtually overnight, by a Congress that didn't even read the bill that creates it? Surely more deliberation was appropriate before establishing a giant new federal agency with 170,000 employees! …

The list of dangerous and unconstitutional powers granted to the new Homeland Security department is lengthy. Warrantless searches, forced vaccinations of whole communities, federal neighborhood snitch programs, federal information databases, and a sinister new "Information Awareness Office" at the Pentagon that uses military intelligence to spy on domestic citizens are just a few of the troubling aspects of the new legislation. To better understand the potential damage to our liberties, I strongly recommend a November 14th New York Times op-ed piece by William Safire entitled "You Are A Suspect." The article provides a devastating critique of the new Homeland Security bureaucracy and a chilling warning of what the agency could become.

It used to be that reporters for mainstream newspapers like the Daily News stuck up for the little guy. But in this case, it is the little guy that is being targeted by huge and invasive agencies like these with warrantless wiretaps and endless databases. So we think that someone like Daly has it reversed. He shouldn't be campaigning for Homeland Security to become more efficient – he should be writing about how to end it.

After Thoughts

Follow Daly's suggestion through to its logical conclusion. Put someone who is decisive and forceful – and ambitious – at the head of Homeland Security. You'd probably get another agency keeping tabs on everyone in Washington just the way the FBI did (and presumably still does) with its infamous files. No one would be any safer if the Department of Homeland Security were made more efficient – for that's not its real purpose anyway in our opinion. But it would certainly become a more efficient vehicle for the accumulation of power and become even more of a jumping off platform for grabbing wealth and influence. As if DC didn't have enough of those already.

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