Letter to the editor
Following is a response to an FCW.com poll question that asked, "Would the creation of a cabinet-level department strengthen homeland security-related IT initiatives?"
This agency would both usurp existing authorities (e.g., the departments of Defense, Justice, and Health and Human services, etc.) without addressing either the real deficiencies or reducing the real threats. It would compromise the U.S. Constitution and fundamental civil rights on the basis of specious claims and build a huge bureaucracy to add to the existing mix.
The front-line workers didn't fail in our surveillance before Sept. 11. Management and political levels failed. The data and analyses were there. Recommendations had been made. Even the people had been identified. The targets were known. Why concentrate more power among those who screwed it up?
Then there's the fact of agendas. They say this won't cost more, but will it save money? That means they get their cake and eat it too by eliminating all the programs they don't like to feed the new "elephant" (in more than one sense) — the Homeland Security Department. This is a ridiculous, if not tragic idea.
What's to prevent a repeat of the Robert Hanssen situation in this new department? We are our own worst enemy. We conduct racially biased investigations into situations like the Wen Ho Lee affair, but pay no serious attention to the Robert Hanssens who conduct the investigations.
No, a new department will not improve our security. What must be changed are the policies of this country — corrupted by corporations and the greed and power hunger of wealthy elites (be they capitalist, communist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu) — that create global inequities from which terrorism emerges as a human condition. Terrorism is nothing but the shadow of globalization, and that will not be stopped until we seek real planetary democracy, diversity and sustainability for all.
Name withheld by request