DHS is Our Standing Army? John W. Whitehead Goes All XBRAD at Rutherford Institute


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“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

Constitutional lawyer John W. Whitehead pens a very chilling summation of the growth of the American Police State.

In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.

With that premise, Whitehead summarizes the most disturbing of the erosion of privacy and liberty as DHS becomes the “national police force” and proceeds to shred the Constitution.  It is worth the read.

I am going to be ordering Whitehead’s book, too.

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “DHS is Our Standing Army? John W. Whitehead Goes All XBRAD at Rutherford Institute

  1. scottthebadger

    I believe that the Obama Administration would very much like to turn the DHS into their own Schutzstaffel, an armed force dedicated to the Party. The DHS gives me the Heebie Jeebies, with the direction it has gone from the start, with all ahead Bendix since 2009.

  2. someoldguy

    Just after 9/11 I recall Lou Dobbs talking with some representative of the government, don’t recall who. Dobbs was complaining about executive overreach. The rep said something like “You just have to trust us.” Dobbs replied “That’s just it. We don’t trust you.”

    Dobbs was also the only person I know of to interview the committee appointed by Bush in the summer of 2004 to research procedures for postponing the November election should there be terrorist activity at the time.

    And let us not forget who invented DHS. Neither should we forget that vocal opponents of the war in Iraq were liable to find themselves on the No Fly list. This happened several times to Senator Ted Kennedy. The excuse given was that a T. Kennedy was on the list. We may note that his Senate ID (!!!) said Edward Kennedy, his actual name.

    It is not a matter of Party. It is a matter of Power. A Republican can be a dictator just as easily as a Democrat. It seems to me that it is quickly coming down to whether one is required to Sieg Heil with the right arm or the left. Ideology is simply a way to get into office. Once in, anything goes.

    • ultimaratioregis

      All that is true, SOG. But I never got the impression that GW Bush had such expansion of Federal power as his primary goal. Read PATRIOT. While I was not a fan, the document is loaded with safeguards to prevent exactly what PRISM is INTENDED to do.

      While it is not a matter of Party (forget not that it was GHWB whose AG expanded the seizure provisions of RICO in a way that was patently unconstitutional), I do believe this Administration to be far more malignant than GW Bush, or even that of Clinton.

    • What we are seeing is what Thatcher called the “socialist ratchet.” It doesn’t matter who puts it in, or their intentions, it grows to become malignant. Dubya was warned, but he was too stupid to keep himself from doing what he did. Dubya is as much to blame for what we have as Zer0 is. Government is too predictable when it comes to such things.

      The founders did not trust government, and for very good reason.

    • someoldguy

      xbradtc

      I misspoke. It was the focus that shifted not the troops. Forces that IMO should have gone to Afghanistan went instead to Iraq. By the summer of 2003 there were 15 times as many US troops in Iraq as in Afghanistan and it stayed pretty much that way for years. Was that really appropriate?

    • someoldguy

      ultimaratioregis

      Let’s get the DNI story straight. The office of Director of National Intelligence was not created until 2005. James Clapper, who made the ‘WMDs went to Syria’ claim, did not become head of the DNI until 2010. Previously he was Director of Defense Intelligence within the DNI. Before that he was director of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Clapper held that office when he made the Syria claim in 2003 after, repeat, after no WMDs were found in Iraq. At that time David Burpee, Public Affairs Officer for that agency, stated that this was Clapper’s personal opinion and that no information existed supporting the claim. So the DNI did not believe any such thing. Only James Clapper did and he was not even in the DNI at the time. BTW this is the same James Clapper who told Congress that the NSA does not collect data on Americans. Perhaps Clapper is in the habit of saying what his boss might like to hear.

      The Iraq Survey Group was formed in 2003 to find the WMDs in Iraq. This was a joint US-British-Australian effort, primarily the US headed up by the CIA and DIA. After a couple of years of research, they came to the conclusion that Saddam’s existing WMD stocks were destroyed in the early 1990s and further efforts in that area abandoned at least until UN sanctions might be lifted. One particular conclusion was that it was highly unlikely that any WMDs had been sent to Syria, as had been claimed.

      Of the 21 Democratic Senators who voted against AUMF 2002, only 4 were up for re-election. And these had little to worry about.

      Dick Durbin had already been elected to the Senate four times, the last time by a 15 point margin.

      Carl Levin was also a four time winner and had a political novice opponent, who he defeated by almost 23 points.

      Paul Wellstone was a leading voice for progressives and would probably have voted the way he did regardless of consequences. As it was he was the odds on favorite for re-election but died in a plane crash shortly before the election. His last minute replacement – old-timer Walter Mondale who had not been elected to any office since 1976 – still only lost by 2 points.

      Incumbent Jack Reed’s opponent was a casino pit manager. Reed won 78% to 22%.

      Concerning the House, we may note that 60% of the Democrats voted against AUMF 2002 despite all of them being up for re-election.

  3. someoldguy

    W’s bait and switch with Iraq replacing Afghanistan was a clever way to guarantee Republican victories in the 2002 Congressional elections, ensuring W’s continuing control. A large scale war in Afghanistan would proceed slowly and poorly (just ask the Russians) and make for very bad press. On the other hand a war in Iraq had much more favorable potential. Answer: make up excuses for going to war with Iraq and shift most of the forces out of Afghanistan.

    Yes Obama is much worse. That does not mean W was a saint. Remember John Yoo?

    • ultimaratioregis

      I think your assessment of Iraq is wildly inaccurate. Just count up the number of Democrats who favored AUMF. Nobody said GWB was a saint. But he wasn’t a statist Communist who despised American liberty and flouted the law worse than Nixon ever dreamed of.

    • But we *didn’t* shift most of the forces out of A-stan to Iraq. Force levels in A-stan stayed remarkably similar. If you include allies, they actually went up. Of course, placing those forces under NATO control, with national caveats that effectively rendered them non-combatants, allowed the Taliban and AQ infection to fester in several regions.

    • I was against going into Iraq, and I think the results we are seeing justify that opposition. What we are seeing now was predicted before we went in. It isn’t just Zer0’s fault, no matter how malignant the man is.

    • ultimaratioregis

      No, sorry QM. This could have been “predicted” had Truman cut and run from Germany in 1946 with the Soviets breathing down their necks, too. Or in Korea, had Eisenhower done the same in 1955. This current situation is entirely the making of Barack Obama and his willful squandering of the gains of eight years.

    • someoldguy

      ultimaratioregis

      By AMUF I presume you are referring to the 2002 resolution authorizing military action against Iraq and not the 2001 resolution authorizing military action against terrorists (and of course not the 1991 AMUF). Almost every Republican in both House and Senate voted for AMUF 2002. Most Democrats in the House and close to half of the Democrats in the Senate voted against it. The resolution was introduced and passed in October 2002, just before the Congressional elections. In that election, Republicans achieved a majority in the Senate and expanded their majority in the House. Did the Democrats who voted for AUMF really favor it or were they just trying to save their asses?

      The justifications given for AMUF were:

      Iraq’s non-compliance with the 1991 ceasefire conditions. This had been going on for a decade. Why was it so important to address it with military action now when there was already another war being fought?

      The specter of WMDs in Iraq. The UN inspectors turned up several violations of the restrictions, including SCUDs Iraq was trying to hide and even a 122mm rocket capable of carrying a chemical warhead lying in an abandoned bunker. The inspectors reported that they did not believe there were any WMDs in Iraq but wanted another 30 days to make sure. France agreed with that, blocking immediate UN sanctioned action and Bush went ballistic, loudly and paradoxically blaming the delay on Saddam and inspiring such flag waving activities as Freedom Fries. This is when I knew that Bush knew that there were no WMDs in Iraq. If there were, they would be scattered to the winds in the fog of war and end up in the hands of terrorists. We may also recall Colin Powell’s less than convincing UN presentation. We may also recall that Powell later stated that there was even less convincing ‘evidence’ that he simply refused to present. And finally we may recall that there were in fact no WMDs in Iraq.

      Iraq’s brutal suppression of its population. Again, this had been going on for a long time including when we considered Iraq an ally because they were at war with Iran. Why now when there was already another war going on?

      The attempt to kill Bush 41 in 1993. Why did this suddenly become so important in 2002 when there was already another war going on?

      There were al-Qaeda members in Iraq. Yes, and they were trying to unseat Saddam Hussein and replace his Sunni dominated secular government with a Shiite controlled Islamist state, with the help of Iran.

      Iraq supported other terrorists including paying rewards to suicide bombers, all in actions against Israel. True, and done very publicly. Much more privately was the support for this same people and al-Qaeda as well coming out of Saudi Arabia, including personal friends of the Bush family.

      Wildly inaccurate? I don’t think so. Neither, as it turns out, was my prediction of October 2002, which aroused serious anger in several friends, that Iraq after Saddam would be like Yugoslavia after Tito. When you open a can of worms it always takes a bigger can to put them back. There are enough cans opening themselves. Why unnecessarily add to the total?

      My point is not that Obama is a great guy – he is an evil tyrant bent on imposing a communist-style dictatorship by eliminating or neutralizing any opposition – but that the ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality is easily exploited by the power hungry. We are in no danger from George W. Bush these days. But as the political environment becomes more and more radicalized we could be in danger from any quarter if we simply react to ‘Them’ rather than think realistically.

    • ultimaratioregis

      Yes, wildly inaccurate. Our own DNI believed those chemical weapons were in Iraq, and were moved across the border while Hans Blix dithered and UN officials filled their pockets with oil for food money. AQ was in Iraq, but were hardly trying to unseat Saddam. They were looking to buy VX. We chased Zarqawi around more than once upon his return in 03-04, when he was sniffing around Rutbah. (Why Rutbah, you ask?)

      MORE THAN HALF of Democratic Senators voted for the 2002 AUMF. 82 Democratic Representatives did so. Juxtapose that with Obamacare being passed on the last day of a lame-duck Congress without a single Republican vote in either house, and called a “mandate”.

      I am not challenging your assertions on the dangers of overreach and expansion of government power. Not at all. But GW Bush never had an autocratic statism as a goal. This one does. Unequivocally.

    • someoldguy

      ultimaratioregis

      I got confused and posted my reply to you in the wrong place. Please scroll up to see it. If you wish, reply any place you want. I will find it.

    • Sorry URR, but your analogy in Germany fails. Germany was a society more like ours than a lot of people wish to admit. I lived there for 6 years, was proficient in German and got to know many of the men who had fought the allies. There is simply no comparison between them and the Arabs.

      Korea doesn’t even fall in the same category as a state of war still exists there, and that’s why we are there.

      I, and many others were against going into Iraq because the country simply did not have the ability to rearrange the entire Arab culture of the place. The culture is ancient and still follows the lines of what you read in the book of Genesis. Just add in Islam in place of the religion of Abraham, you will get the drift. Family and tribe are everything. It would have taken the better part of a century to rearrange things to approximate the western way, and even then there would have been a very high likelihood of reversion.

      What has happened was predictable simply because we were not going to be able to do what had to be done to remake the country. It has nothing to do with Germany, and certainly nothing to do with Korea. The situations were/are completely different. What is happening now was completely predictable. The only thing that was not predictable was the timing. But none of what is going on there is the least bit surprising to anyone who has even a halfway understanding of the region.

  4. ultimaratioregis

    Yes, Clapper was NGIA at the time. Let’s also be forthright about the ISG. The CIA had been heavily politicized during the Clinton Admin, as with the end of the Cold War the “old guard” of non-politicals retired. It was an open secret that many in the CIA were quite hostile to GWB, including Plame and her husband.

    To believe Saddam did not possess chemical weapons and did not offer them for sale is extremely naive. And such ignores so many glaring questions. Why did Putin send MAKSIM to Iraq in 2002-3? He wasn’t a diplomat. He was a KGB Officer, one responsible for Soviet and then Russian assistance with the Iraqi and Syrian chemical weapons programs.

    Where did the Syrians get their VX? Russia? Iraq? If Russia, is it not much more plausible that they also supplied Iraq? After all, it was the same man who managed both programs for the Russians, the very one sent to Baghdad.

    I have personally listen to debriefs of a number if Iraqis describing the heavily guarded convoys of trucks loaded with barrels headed into Syria in late 2002 and early 2003. Remarkably consistent with what other Marines and Soldiers heard in debriefs in 2003. There were several hundred warheads from artillery and rocket ammunition discovered in Anbar Province, many with the agent removed. Some were VX, other GB and GF. The munitions may not have been employable, but the agent was still viable.

    Bush’s supposed “lie” about British intelligence in his SOTU in 2003 was, in fact, true. They DID uncover an attempt by the Iraqis to buy yellowcake. British intelligence still believes Saddam had chemical weapons for sale for hard cash to restart his nuclear program. So does Israeli intelligence. And, though they won’t say so very loudly, so does the UN.

    Please. Spare me the “no WMD” stuff. Our mistake was not going into Iraq earlier, in October 2002, instead of letting Hans Blix dither and shuffle his way across the country while Saddam moved what remained of his stockpiles elsewhere.

    • someoldguy

      ultimaratioregis

      So in your opinion the CIA lied in their report (and the DIA and the Brits and the Aussies cooperated with that lie), And Hans Blix somehow missed the WMDs even though he found those missiles Iraq really wanted kept secret, but Clapper told the truth even though he could not back it up. Did Curveball maybe really tell the truth even though he later admitted lying and Iraqi records later also showed he was lying? And if the CIA did hate Bush so much, why did they offer Bush the justification he needed from someone that they already knew at the time was a liar, hence his nickname?

      Let me see if I got this straight. CIA agents hated Bush because of something Clinton did so they what? Told the truth both before and after the invasion about the lack of evidence for WMDs in Iraq, something Bush and Powell both later admitted was actually the case? And unless you come up with solid evidence that the CIA in general, and Plame and Wilson in particular, hated Bush before the fact I am throwing the BS flag. Much too convenient an excuse for dismissing evidence you do not like.

      And was George Bush also lying when he later said the intelligence about WMDs that led to the invasion was wrong?
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/apr/6/20060406-112119-5897r/
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/dec/02/george-bush-iraq-interview

      Bush based this later opinion that there were in fact no WMD threat from Iraq on the report of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction that he personally appointed. This Commission concluded that the intelligence on Iraqi WMDs was just plain wrong. Among other things they found that the yellowcake documents were obvious forgeries.
      http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/wmd_report.pdf

      The hundreds of chemical weapons found were old and degraded and apparently dated to even prior to the first Gulf War in 1991. They were useless militarily.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction#Chemical_Weapons_Recovered

      There are numerous theories about what happened to Saddam’s alleged WMDs. These include that they went by truck or maybe aircraft to Syria or Libya or Iran or Lebanon, including one theory that they were buried in the desert and moved AFTER the invasion. Another one says that they are still buried someplace in the sand.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMD_conjecture_in_the_aftermath_of_the_2003_Iraq_War

      The theory proposed by John A. Shaw was that Russians moved the WMDs from Iraq to Syria and/or Lebanon to prevent anyone discovering that Russia sold them to Iraq. Yet the ‘evidence’ that led to the invasion was that Iraq had developed or was developing WMDs, not that he had bought them. The detailed WMD timeline established by the CIA shows clearly that Saddam queried his own scientists on whether they could make WMDs in the event that UN sanctions were ever lifted. Why, if he could buy them and already had?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Shaw#Russia_and_Iraq_WMD
      https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/WMD_Timeline_Events.html

      Lots of conspiracy theories around. Here’s one I heard back in 2002. Saddam had tried to kill Bush’s father and Saddam’s nose thumbing at the US was a continuing embarrassment to Bush Sr. Then Bush Jr. gets elected President and has as VP the Secretary of Defense during a war with Iraq, as Secretary of State the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs during a war with Iraq and a Secretary of Defense who had twice before held that office during a war. The US gets attacked by an organization based in Afghanistan so Bush exploits the paranoid atmosphere and uses questionable evidence to invade Iraq and depose Saddam, investing vastly more resources in that effort than in Afghanistan. And that is not the craziest one I heard either.

      Which wild theory one believes generally depends on what one already wants to believe. Me, I like to see evidence before forming a conclusion. The most likely conclusion I get out of the evidence is that Bush saw political advantage for his Party in doing what he did, paving the way for him doing what he wanted afterwards. Most likely he expected a short war just like his father’s.

      Oh, one more thing…
      (Any Columbo fans out there?)

      Here is a claim that rather than the CIA hating Clinton, they were in bed with each other. Conspiracy theories never cease…to amaze me!

  5. ultimaratioregis

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/05/06/valerie-plame-and-joe-wilson-to-host-ready-for-hillary-fundraiser/

    “Wilson endorsed then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) in her 2008 Democratic primary campaign against then-Sen. Barack Obama (Ill). He has supported past Democrats, including then-Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) in his 2004 campaign against then-President George W. Bush.”

    The Kabul CIA station chief could not be reached for comment.

    Who is MAKSIM? What is the significance of Rutbah? Why were Iraqi attempts to manufacture VX unsuccessful until 1998? Why were they successful after that?

    As for Clapper and the “no evidence”, he cited satellite imagery, US and Israeli intelligence. The Israelis laughed openly at our media for the claim that Saddam had no chemical weapons. They knew better, and they knew we did, too.

    • someoldguy

      Wilson, a retired diplomat and security advisor, was asked by the CIA to investigate the claims that Nigeria was going to sell uranium to Iraq. Wilson did so and found that this never happened. Iraq had tried to contact Nigeria about some unknown matter but was rebuffed. (Subsequent investigations found that the alleged contractual documents for the sale were forged.) Wilson filed a report and it apparently went nowhere. Bush had made this claim in his SOTU speech and possibly someone thought it was best not to contradict him. A few days after Wilson spoke out in the NY Times about it, Wilson’s wife was publicly identified as a deep cover CIA agent, destroying her career. This information came from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, as he later admitted. Lewis Libby, VP Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff, was later sentenced to several years in prison on charges related to blocking investigation into the matter, but President Bush commuted the sentence.

      Wilson later worked on John Kerry’s campaign against Bush. Of course this proves that both Wilson and Plame hated Bush so much PRIOR to 2003 that they falsified reports. Oh wait! They did not falsify anything. Wilson’s report WAS the truth as Colin Powell himself admitted as soon as it became public. So it does not matter what their feelings about Bush were. You got to try better than that.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_C._Wilson#.22What_I_Didn.27t_Find_in_Africa.22
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_affair
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_affair

      Who is John Galt? Who is Darkman? If you have a point, make it with supporting documentation.

      And while you are at it, provide documentation that Iraq produced weapons quality VX in 1998. Everything I can find says that no such thing ever happened.

      Clapper cited satellite imagery that a bunch of trucks moved around. He insisted that these necessarily contained WMDs. Proof? None offered. Satellite photos? None offered. Public Affairs officer, who worked for Clapper? No supporting documentation to offer. Evidence provided to Bush who would have welcomed it? None. Post invasion investigations? The WMDs were never there. As Bush himself admitted when presented with the evidence.

      Of course you realize that if this ‘WMDs went to Syria’ scenario were true, it would be Bush’s fault that Syria has WMDs.

      Israel says all kinds of things in public against their neighbors. But I doubt that they ever tell anyone outside their own inner circle what they really know unless it serves their own purposes. If they were in fact sure about Iraq’s WMDs it would probably have come from locating them. Otherwise how would they really know? In that case it would certainly have been to their advantage to give the US those locations so they could at least have been kept under surveillance.

    • The claims about Wilson were bunk, frankly. Wilson was a liar. Period.

      OTOH, It is pretty strongly believed that Saddam got his nuke program into Syria just as we were coming in. A short period reading what Bill Tuttle was shown way back when is instructive,

      http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2011/06/historical_revi.html
      http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2011/06/historical_revi_1.html
      http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2011/06/historical_revi_1.html

      Frankly, anyone that is pushing the myth that Saddam was not after nukes is either willfully obtuse, or is simply taking things at face value from people that no one has any business trusting. Wilson, for example, was a leftist shill and was more than happy to lie for his leftist handlers. His investigation was less than nothing having spent the overwhelming majority of his time in his hotel, or drinking and schmoozing.

    • someoldguy

      QM

      The yellowcake referenced in the article you linked dated from before the 1991 war. It was found and stored safely in a known location by UN inspectors following that war. This is documented in the very article referenced in the links you provided. (BTW your third link is incorrect. It should point to ‘3’ not ‘2’.)

      “Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam’s nuclear efforts.

      Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.”

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25546334/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/secret-us-mission-hauls-uranium-iraq/#.U6S6PTog_IU

      Wilson did not lie. The yellowcake was not any recent acquisition from Nigeria. It was very old. If the author had bothered reading the very source he cited he would have known that. Since my spidey-sense was set atingle by the shrilly aggressive tone of the article, I did bother to read it.

      FYI – for anyone who thinks yellowcake has something to do with birthdays

      Yellowcake is uranium ore, of which less than ½ percent is radioactive U-235, the potential basis for weapons grade plutonium, although that is not easy. In fact extracting the radioactive U-235 from the radioactivity damping U-238 is a big deal.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowcake
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriched_uranium
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons-grade#Weapons-grade_plutonium

    • someoldguy

      Oops, my correction needs correcting. Here is what QM’s third link should look like.
      http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2011/06/historical_revi_2.html

    • URR and QM are spot on correct on this.

  6. Dear Troll, have you done any research on these topics? Or are you just making stuff up from your basement?