By Mr. Curmudgeon:
“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government,” said a memorandum to Executive Office departments issued by President Obama shortly after he took office, “We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” Apparently, that “openness” does not apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The mother ship of America’s growing, transcontinental, militarized network of secret police agencies has yet to explain its purchase of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition and over three thousand armored vehicles in 2012. There are, however, a few in Congress who take their oversight responsibilities (and oaths to protect the U.S. Constitution) somewhat seriously.
At a recent news conference, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) said, “I think that Congress should ask the department [DHS] about both of those issues. And I would like a full explanation as to why that has been done. And I have every confidence that the [House] Oversight Committee or, perhaps, the Intelligence Committee … should ask those questions. And I do not tonight have an answer as to why they did what they did, but I certainly share a belief that Congress has a responsibility to ask [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary [Janet] Napolitano as to exactly why these have occurred … I think we have to make sure we continue to live in a country based on freedom, a country based upon individual rights, and I hope that we in Congress get the answers to these questions.”
When Luke Rudkowski at We Are Change asked Rep. Timothy Huelscamp (R-KS) about DHS’s military buildup, the Congressman said, “They [the Obama Administration] have no answer for that question. They refuse that. I’ve got a list of questions of various agencies about multiple things … far from being the most transparent Administration in the world, they are the most closed-natured, opaque, and they refuse to let us know what is going on.”
And here is where Rep. Huelscamp got to the crux of the issue: “During the budget process, during the appropriations process, are we willing to hold DHS’s feet to the fire? We are going to find out.”
The Republican leadership gave Huelscamp their answer. Thursday, in a 318 to 109 vote, the House passed a $984 billion spending bill to avert a government shutdown. “Passing this measure allows us to keep our focus where it belongs,” said GOP House Speaker John Boehner, “replacing the president’s sequester with smarter cuts that help balance the budget, fixing our broken tax code to create jobs and increase wages, protecting priorities like Medicare, and expanding opportunity for all Americans,” The Hill reported.
“This legislation provides funding for essential federal programs and services, it maintains our national security, and takes potential government shutdown off the table,” said the House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) to The Hill.
And there you have it. The budget for DHS, which funds its domestic military buildup, is protected from Congressional scrutiny in Washington’s panicked attempt to save nanny-state entitlement programs. Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries are, in effect, human shields for America’s expanding security state.
When the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) service released over 2,000 illegal alien detainees last February, ICE Director John Morton told the press it was for “solely budgetary reasons.” Some of the freed illegals were “Level 1” offenders: those charged with multiple drunk-driving or petty-theft offenses. The bulk of ICE detainee releases occurred in Texas; home of two former Republican Presidents.
A statement released by Texas Governor Rick Perry’s office said the Obama Administration failed “to provide state and local law enforcement with information regarding the release of criminal aliens into Texas communities.”
“Aside from allowing the federally sponsored jailbreak to occur,” added Gov. Perry in the statement, “ICE has also failed to provide any information regarding the number of detainees released, their countries of origin, locations where these individuals have been released, and the reasons they were detained – despite repeated requests from my office.”
Ah yes, there’s that Obama Administration “transparency.”
Gov. Perry and Republican members of Congress miss the point. The release of criminal aliens into American society was a clear and unmistakable message: “Cut appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security and we’ll cut our minimal security of America’s southern border – so we may continue our purchases of bullets and armored vehicles.”
By passing an Obama-friendly budget, preventing a government shutdown, the hapless, bumbling John Boehner believes he has deprived Democrats political ammunition with which to attack Republicans. In doing so, he has given Janet Napolitano all the ammunition she needs … quite literally.