Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
It has been a while since I posted an new material, mostly I stuck to revised and edited versions of a older stories. This was in mostly due to my need to complete my book “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory! Racism, Religion, Ideology and Politics from the Civil War Era to Today and Why they Matter Now.”
I can now thankfully say that it is in the hands of my agent. However, in the last few weeks I have began to what a state sanctioned and militarized Secret Police might look like, and it looks an awfully like the Department of Homeland Security. The Department, was established as a cabinet level agency in 2002 following the 9-11-2011 attacks and the passage of the Patriot Act, in order to better coordinate response to foreign (read Islamic) terrorist attacks. The idea was not bad, in a changing era where terrorist could kill 3,000 people in a day using highjacked airliners as modern Kamikazes.
The attacks proved that better airport security was needed, as well as coordination with other Federal and State agencies. That was not a bad idea but it grew into an organization that controlled border and internal security with its own Navy and Organic air units. It is organized for operational purposes with civilian named directorates that correspond to a military staff. Its operational agencies include:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Coast Guard
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Secret Service
Transportation Security Agency
It also has its own Intelligence and Analysis Unit, a Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. It also absorbed a good number of other agencies from different Federal Departments. These include the Federal Protective Service, the National Strategic Stockpile National Disaster Medical System, Nuclear Incident Response Team, Domestic Emergency Response Team, Center for Domestic Preparedness, CBRN Countermeasures Programs, National Biological Warfare Response Center, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Nation Computer Incident Response Center, National Communications Center, National Infrastructure Protection Center, and the Energy Security and Assistance Center. All had previously been part of the FBI, the Justice Department, Department of Energy, GAO, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Transportation, Treasury, and the Department of Defense. It was the most massive take over of government agencies in the history of the United States.
All of these agencies have wide ranging law enforcement authority in the United States and sometimes outside of it. Under normal circumstances most of these agencies missions are supportive of the protection of the rights of Americans, resident aliens, and immigrants. But politicized in the hands of a racist and authoritarian President they can be weaponized as quickly as the Nazis weaponized the German and Prussian Interior Ministries and their federal and state police organizations. These were augmented by and then taken over by the Nazi Party’s SS and SD security departments. Interestingly, the Customs and Border Protection Service has began a six week weapons and defense program to provide a ready reserve force of civilian auxiliaries. It reminds me of how the Nazi SS and SA were deputized by the Prussian Interior Ministry under the command of Herman Goering, Hitler’s Second in Command, following the Reichstag Fire.
All together the staff and operational units of DHS comprise some 240,000 employees and law enforcement personnel. To put that in proper perspective the DHS has more personnel that the U.S. Marine Corps, and their authority extends across the United States, its territories, and in some cases worldwide. In the hands of an authoritarian leader and willing allies such an organization can become a weapon of domestic terror. Already, U.S. Marshall’s, and Customs and Border Patrol Agents have been used by the Trump Administration against U.S. Citizens exercising their First Amendment Rights to free speech and freedom of assembly and protest. These attacks occurred outside of their assigned jurisdictions, and included seizing people off the street in rented vehicles with no identification as to which agency they belonged.
My friends, this is a prelude to dictatorship, especially if the Republican Senate does nothing to reign the Administration and the acting Director of DHS and the Attorney General in. These organizations are now being joined by self-named and appointed militias that are neither Constitutional or legal to intervene in legal protests, largely in support of the legal rights of American Blacks, in a grotesque reenactment of the brutality of state forces and racist paramilitaries such as the Ku Klux Klan, Red Shirts, White Leagues, and White Liners, during Reconstruction and after. Thousands of Blacks and their White supporters were lynched by these paramilitaries supported by state and local law enforcement, in defiance of the Constitution and law for decades.
Such criminal behavior in the name of law are disgusting repetitions and reminders of some of the worst instances of race hatred and genocide in history. To this we must all rise in defiance and demand that such actions stop, or we too will be condemned by history and any just God.
This isn’t history confined to the past, it is happening now. We must say NEVER AGAIN! And with our lives prevent it from happening again. Yehuda Bauer said:
“The horror of the Holocaust is not that it deviated from human norms; the horror is that it didn’t. What happened may happen again, to others not necessarily Jews, perpetrated by others, not necessarily Germans. We are all possible victims, possible perpetrators, possible bystanders.”
Bauer also wrote: “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”
I refuse to be a perpetrator or bystander. What will you do?
So until tomorrow,