How I see it as of November, 2002
I was recently sent this page called Capitol Hill Blue by Doug Thompson, critisizing the Homeland Security Agency, and accused of "burying my head in the sand". There are many other writings and views on this issue as well. It is quite obvious that this page was written by an extreme left wing liberal who probably disagrees with everything that the Bush administration does. This is just the impression I got from this page, I haven't read his other articles.
Let me first clarify my position. I am neither a liberal or a conservative. I am not a Democrat or a Republican and do not agree with the policies of either major party, I am politically, an independent thinker. I believe the best thing that could ever happen to this country would be the elimination of both major political parties and the power of government be returned to the people.
On the subject of Homeland Security, we have to look at both sides of the coin. I have not buried my head in the sand and ignored the liberal viewpoint on this issue. I am well aware of the comparisons with Nazi Germany and our current changes in government but I also recognize that times have changed and we face new threats to our security here at home. The article posted by Doug Thompson is a left wing spin and not entirely accurate in it's viewpoint. He is spinning the new Homeland Security policies to appear that the changes are motivated by our government's intent to spy on the average American citizen and control our every move. Not once does he suggest that it may have motives in locating terrorists living in this country and waiting to strike with more terrorist attacks on us.
I agree that our freedoms are not now what they were before 911 and may be even more restricted before all this is over. The FBI and CIA now have the authority to wire tap and engage in surveillance on citizens who are considered to be possible threats and to do it without the approval of a federal judge. I for one consider this an improvement considering the decessions judges have been making lately on other issues, I no longer trust their judgement on anything and think most of them should be kicked off the bench. Do you like what you've been seeing in the federal courts lately? I sure don't want them making decisions that will effect my life and security. Evidence of reason to suspect terrorism must be presented to higher authorities for these surveillances, just not to a federal judge and that's fine with me.
Both sides of the coin have to be considered now with Homeland Security. Our government has the responsibility and obligation to protect it's citizens from enemy agents, and we are facing a different kind of war than we have ever faced before. The majority of American citizens have chosen to give up some of their rights to privacy in order to allow our government to protect us. Terrorists will use our freedoms against us to hide in society and attack without warning and can do it because of the freedoms we have enjoyed in this country. The Homeland Security Agency is not interested in spying on the average American citizen, they don't have time or the manpower for that. Their efforts are focused on locating terrorists living in this country and abroad who may be planing attacks on us. Sure, sometimes mistakes will be made and the wrong people will be singled out for investigation, but allot of mistakes are made in the courts too. O.J. Simpson is still a free man.
We have all lost some of our freedoms because of the events since 911 but consider the alternative. Suppose these necessary changes were not made and the government was left with the same responsibility to protect us, but with all our old rights to privacy still in place. They would be faced with legal roadblocks with every investigation of suspected terrorists and before long, we may very well be having the same problems here that we see in Israel with the Palestinean bombers, is that what you want? We are living in drastic times and drastic measures are needed to defend ourselves. Times have changed and our priorities have to change with them. Without these new Homeland Security rules, terrorist investigations could get nowhere and the American public would be screaming at the government and asking why we are not being protected when more attacks occur. You see, our government is in the position now of being damned if they do and damned if they don't. The voters have chosen protection at the cost of some freedoms, according to the last election results.
I know there is a fine line between the recent changes in Homeland Security and "totalitarianism" and it's pretty much "6 of one, and a half dozen of the other" in how you choose to view these changes. If you choose to see this as intent by our government to spy on and control it's citizens, that is your right. In my opinion, these changes are necessary and motivated by the governments interest in protecting it's citizens in the new age. I for one, do not want to see investigations of suspected terrorists hampered by legalities intended to protect the freedom of the same terrorists. After 911, I don't want to see terrorists using our American freedoms against us to attack us again and believe that is the motivation behind the Homeland Security Agency.
It is true that some illegal activities unrelated to terrorism will be uncovered by these investigations and prosecuted, so what? If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear. Maybe this will even help to clean out some the corruption that has been running rampid in this country in the past decade.