Words of Advice:

“Stand back and stand by.”— Trump’s orders to American Nazis, 9/29/2020

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Dismantle DHS

To the DHS, the First Amendment is just a goddamned piece of paper, right?
The Department of Homeland Security has compiled “intelligence reports” about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Ore., in what current and former officials called an alarming use of a government system meant to share information about suspected terrorists and violent actors.

Over the past week, the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis has disseminated three Open Source Intelligence Reports to federal law enforcement agencies and others, summarizing tweets written by two journalists — a reporter for the New York Times and the editor in chief of the blog Lawfare — and noting they had published leaked, unclassified documents about DHS operations in Portland. The intelligence reports, obtained by The Washington Post, include written descriptions and images of the tweets and the number of times they had been liked or retweeted by others.
Oh sure, after the story broke, DHS did the usual ritual reassignment of a functionary, but that means zip -point-shit.

DHS has also been spying on peaceful protesters, again, because the First Amendment doesn't matter a fuck to DHS.
The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Operations Coordination, indicate that the department frequently collects information, including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful. The reports confirm social media surveillance of the protest movement and ostensibly related events in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York.

They also show the department watching over gatherings that seem benign and even mundane. For example, DHS circulated information on a nationwide series of silent vigils and a DHS-funded agency planned to monitor a funk music parade and a walk to end breast cancer in the nation’s capital.
You read right, the DHS was monitoring a fundraising walk to end breast cancer, because why? Breast cancer patients and their families are prone to rioting?

DHS has become an Orwellian agency whose main function has been to suppress the rights of American citizens, at least, those of color and of a different political persuasion than the GOP. This has been going on for decades and across three administrations. Every time the threat of far-right extremism is pointed out, their fellow-traveler politicians squelch any attempts to investigate them.

Creating DHS was a knee-jerk overreaction by a bunch of jerks to a terrorist attack. DHS's structure, if not its very existence, should be re-examined with an eye to its complete dismantling.


JustMusing said...

But, but it's just situational awareness, not monitoring. And we don't really get any funding to support this activity.

I guess all the money went to camo, flash bangs, automatic weapons, and Enterprise car rentals.

They are spying 24/7 nationally and sharing lists of breast cancer fighting miscreants. Wolfie, you're doing a heck of a job!

dinthebeast said...

Even Sensenbrenner, the prick who authored the parts of the goddamn PATRIOT act that are being used to assert the legality of mass surveillance said that "no fair reading of the text" he authored would show such collection to be legal.
Molly Ivins said it best: We make the same mistake again and again: we think we can make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free. Let me tell you something: when you make yourself less free all that happens afterward is that you are less free, you are not safer.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

JustMusing said...

Doug, that is one of my favorite Molly Ivins quotes along with this one:

So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce.

Molly Ivins

John Gall said...

To the two Molly Ivins quotes: WORD!