Truth to Power

Security for sale, and a pervert too

Security for Sale

The Department of Homeland Security has a section on its Web site labeled “Open for Business.” It certainly is.

By Sarah Posner

Amid the political and cultural upheaval that followed the September 11 terror attacks, Americans were warned repeatedly that everything would be different because a vulnerable nation could no longer afford to remain complacent, careless, and profligate. Politicians of both parties vowed discipline, self-sacrifice, and diligence. Perhaps the most ostentatious symbol of this shared national commitment was the creation of the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003.

Less than three years later, the brief but uninspiring history of DHS proves how little has actually changed in Washington, where the institutional cultivation of influence peddling, cronyism, and waste continues to thrive unimpeded. At the bureaucracy that is supposed to protect us, Republican lobbyists bustle through the revolving door, carrying millions in contracts for their corporate clients, with all the predictable failures and cost overruns; Congressional committee chairmen collect their campaign contributions from contractors and lobbying firms, just like their counterparts on the defense committees; and even the son-in-law of the vice president benefits from a patronage appointment that leaves him overseeing his former lobbying clients. </i>

And who was, up until like yesterday, a very public face of DHS?

MIAMI – The deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was charged with using a computer to seduce a child after authorities said he struck up sexual conversations with an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Nice. Guess they forgot the “Do you abuse yourself to pictures of little girls?” question on the job application. Oopsie.

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