[DHS Has Declared War On The US]
The Department of Homeland Security has often been assailed from the right, with Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions calling it "the most mismanaged department in the federal government."
Now a fresh attack on the DHS comes from the left-leaning Undernews, the online report of the Progressive Review, which castigates the department in an article headlined "Homeland Security Department Out of Control."
Excerpting an article from the Albuquerque Journal, Undernews reports: "Today, in addition to protecting America's borders and airports, [the department] is interrogating people suspected of pirating movies at Ohio theaters, seizing counterfeit NBA merchandise in San Antonio, and working pickpocket cases alongside police in Albuquerque.
"Some government watchdogs and civil liberties advocates — and even the nation's first Department of Homeland Security secretary — question how those actions serve the purpose set forth in the 2002 law" establishing the department.
That former secretary, Tom Ridge, told the Journal: "They've kind of lost their way."
In its first year of existence, DHS had 180,000 full-time workers, and its budget was $29 billion in 2003. Today the department has 250,000 workers, making it the third largest federal agency after the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and its budget this year is $61 billion.
A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service last year disclosed: "The U.S. government does not have a single definition for 'homeland security.' Multiple definitions, missions and an absence of prioritization results in consequences to the nation's security.
"There is no clarity in the national strategies of federal, state, and local roles and responsibilities, and potentially, funding is driving priorities rather than priorities driving the funding."
Ridge said: "Someone needs to explain to me how critical all these new people are to the nation. Are they getting so big, they're actually making work?"
And Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and Harvard Extension School, calls the DHS "a colossal and inefficient boondoggle."