A dangerous step backward

I believe the Department of Homeland Security, born of the fraudulent premise of 911 and the need for expanded government, should not exist, but it certainly shouldn’t be staffed by those people who are responsible for the lies and myths of the war on terror.  That said, I was happy the DHS got off to an interesting start when they declared the biggest threat to the security of the “homeland” was our own violent rightwing extremist groups fuelled by recession, the return of disgruntled army veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, and hostility over the election of the first black president.  The shooting death of Dr. George Tiller, a doctor who performed abortions in the state of Kansas was an endorsement of that warning issued earlier this year. I don’t like the idea that President Obama is staffing this very department with Bush political appointees who are responsible for the illegal activity the US has participated in over the last 8 years in our name.

President Barack Obama has nominated Philip Mudd, who was deputy director of the Office of Terrorism Analysis at the CIA during the Bush administration  to be under secretary of intelligence and analysis at Homeland Security.  Mudd is into ethnic cleansing/targetting.

Philip Mudd, who had just joined the bureau from the rival Central Intelligence Agency, was pitching a program called Domain Management, designed to get agents to move beyond chasing criminal cases and start gathering intelligence.

Drawing on things like commercial marketing software and the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping without warrants, the program is supposed to identify threats. Mr. Mudd displayed a map of the San Francisco area, pocked with data showing where Iranian immigrants were clustered — and where, he said, an F.B.I. squad was “hunting.”

Some F.B.I. officials found Mr. Mudd’s concept vague and the implied ethnic targeting troubling. How were they supposed to go “hunting” without colliding with the Constitution? Would the C.I.A. man, whom some mocked privately as Rasputin, take the bureau back to the domestic spying scandals of the 1960’s? And why neglect promising cases to, in Mr. Mudd’s words, “search for the unknown”?

I am troubled by Mr. Obama’s appointments who use methods against American citizens and others we have already come to associate as illegal.  Where is the change we were promised and the return to the rule of law? Moreover, what signal does this nomination send to a country Obama has pledged to work with to resolve differences with it when Mudd has been known to go after and try to prove terrorism on the part of Iranian expatriates in America? Unfortunately, the Mudd nomination hasn’t raised the ire that Charles Freeman’s did, who subsequently had to withdraw from consideration to a top intelligence post because of AIPAC pressure, and most likely the Mudd nomination will go through after an appearance of resistance from the Republican party to their own one time appointee. It’s all very macabre, the delicate dance that goes on between the two political parties. Were it not so serious with ramifications for the entire country it would be entertaining to watch. As it is, it’s nothing more than the shuffling of the same players on a game board.