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Archive for the ‘DHS’ Category

A legal lynching: the murder of Anastasio Hernández-Rojas by DHS

Posted by Charles II on April 24, 2012

From DemocracyNow

AMY GOODMAN: …In May 2010, 32-year-old Anastasio Hernández-Rojas was caught trying to enter the United States from Mexico near San Diego. Hernández-Rojas had previously lived in the United States for 25 years, from the age of 15. He was the father of five U.S. born-children.

But instead of deportation, Hernández-Rojas’s detention ended in his death. A number of officers were seen beating him, before one tasered him at least five times. During the incident, Hernández-Rojas was handcuffed and hogtied. He died shortly after. The agents say they confronted Hernández-Rojas because he became hostile and resisted arrest. But new video recorded by eyewitnesses on their cell phones show a different story. The footage was obtained by reporter John Carlos Frey and aired in a national special Friday night as part of a joint investigation by the PBS broadcast Need to Know and the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute.

JOHN CARLOS FREY: … The Border Patrol agents, via their own press release and documents, say that he was combative, Hernández-Rojas was combative. They removed his handcuffs—this is actually the document—they removed his handcuffs and applied the use of a taser. He fell to the ground, suffered a heart attack and subsequently died. That is what is actually in the police report.

What the video shows is about 25 agents standing around a man on the ground. The man is handcuffed and hogtied, not resisting at all. He is Tasered repeatedly, kicked and beaten. At one point, after he has gone into convulsions, an officer kneels on his neck.

Who is in charge of the Department of Homeland Security? No one, it turns out. Since they have decided to accept the obviously fraudulent report of the San Diego Police Department and because the Department of Justice has declined to interview any witnesses, there is no accountability whatsoever. Indeed, DHS has been asked to release their guidelines for when Tasers may be used. Evidently, there are none. And there are other cases in which agents of the federal government have shot to death unarmed Mexicans on Mexican soil.

This is a case far worse than the Trayvon Martin case, as horrific as that was. There, a small police department was remarkably incurious about the violence committed by one individual against another. In this case, a metropolitan police department has covered up a murder committed by their officers in collusion with perhaps 25 agents of a completely unaccountable federal agency. The pinnacle of the federal justice system, the Department of Justice, has averted its eyes. This is corruption from the bottom of the system all the way to the top.

It should be noted that, at least as of fairly recently (and I think still), unlawful presence in the US is not a crime, though unlawful entry is a misdemeanor. So Hernandez-Rojas had done the equivalent of, say, shoplifting. If he had come in on a tourist visa and overstayed it, it would not have been a crime.

The full PBS program can be seen here.

Posted in DHS, immigration, impunity, Latin America, Mexico | 7 Comments »

Release The Report!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 12, 2009

As you all know, the Department of Homeland Security was on the verge of releasing a report, requested during the Bush administration, that dared discuss the dangerous role of right-wing terrorist groups in America.

Upon well-orchestrated squawking by various right-wing entities, the report was officially suppressed — just as a wave of right-wing violence hit the nation. PFAW has a petition out calling for DHS head Janet Napolitano to release the report. You know what to do.

Posted in DHS, rightwing moral cripples, terrorism | Comments Off on Release The Report!

But But But There’s No Such Thing As Right-Wing Extremism!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 20, 2009

I find it amusing that the same right-wing newspaper that saw fit to publish Jonah (son of Lucianne) Goldberg’s attack on DHS for a Bush-ordered probe of domestic (and right-wing) terrorism, also published the story of a guy from Jacksonville, North Carolina caught at Logan International Airport with bombmaking materials:

A U.S. Marine was arrested yesterday morning at Logan International Airport for allegedly trying to slip a 9 mm gun, several hundred rounds of military ammunition and bomb-making materials onto a U.S. Airways flight, according to federal and state authorities.

Cpl. Justin W. Reed of Jacksonville, N.C., arrived on a flight from Las Vegas and was bound for Charlotte, N.C., on US Airways flight 877 yesterday morning, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Ann Davis.

Reed is currently being held at the Logan airport police barracks on $50,000 bail pending a court appearance on Tuesday. They wouldn’t be doing that if they thought this was just a simple “oopsie!” on his part.

UPDATE: John Cole shows Special Ed getting it wrong, as usual.

Posted in DHS, security theater, terrorism | 1 Comment »

“Border Wall” Preserves Rich Texans’ Property, Protects Crony Corporations’ Profits

Posted by MEC on February 19, 2008

We already knew that the 18-foot-high wall DHS wants to build along the Texas-Mexico border is useless for security. The Texas Observer reports that it will have gaps in it: gaps corresponding, by some strange coincidence, with the locations of rich people’s property.

As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security marches down the Texas border serving condemnation lawsuits to frightened landowners, Brownsville resident Eloisa Tamez, 72, has one simple question. She would like to know why her land is being targeted for destruction by a border wall, while a nearby golf course and resort remain untouched.
 […]
 

Just 69 miles north, Daniel Garza, 76, faces a similar situation with a neighbor who has political connections that reach the White House. In the small town of Granjeno, population 313, Garza points to a field across the street where a segment of the proposed 18-foot high border wall would abruptly end after passing through his brick home and a small, yellow house he gave his son. “All that land over there is owned by the Hunts,” he says, waving a hand toward the horizon. “The wall doesn’t go there.” In this area everyone knows the Hunts. Dallas billionaire Ray L. Hunt and his relatives are one of the wealthiest oil and gas dynasties in the world. Hunt, a close friend of President George W. Bush, recently donated $35 million to Southern Methodist University to help build Bush’s presidential library.

The Observer also reports that the “wall” project is completely privatized. There is no oversight whatever for the project:

In a February 2007 hearing, Congressman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat and the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had more scathing remarks for Giddens and the SBInet project. “As of December, the Department of Homeland Security had hired a staff of 98 to oversee the new SBInet contract. This may seem like progress until you ask who these overseers are. More than half are private contractors. Some of these private contractors even work for companies that are business partners of Boeing, the company they are supposed to be overseeing. And from what we are now learning from the department, this may be just the tip of the iceberg.”

There is also no spending limit. Oh, what a surprise.

This is worse than Security Theater. It’s another Bushevik scam to drive unrich people from their homes and pour taxpayers’ money into corporate coffers.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, DHS, Homeland Security | 1 Comment »

The DHS Henhouse

Posted by MEC on October 17, 2007

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The Department of Homeland Security has so many contractors that the contractors are even deciding which contractors to hire.

Across several of DHS’s most troubled projects, including delayed programs to replace the Coast Guard’s fleet and to issue secure credentials to port workers, contractors are so enmeshed in DHS’s work that they oversee other contractors. Some are assigned work that involves awarding future business, setting policy or drawing up plans and reorganizations, according to the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s audit arm.

[…]

In their study, GAO investigators found that of 117 contracts issued by three large DHS agencies, the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and the Office of Procurement Operations, more than half called for outside firms to support inherently governmental work.

This quotation from John Jaeger, president of Your Recruiting, one of the contract firms running the DHS, reveals the underlying problem:

Citing decisions since the 1990s to shrink the federal workforce, Jaeger said, “Don’t blame contractors for stepping in and filling a void that cannot be filled by government employees because there aren’t enough of them.”

The government didn’t shrink. There are obviously just as many jobs to do as ever, but government responsibilities have been shifted from the Civil Service to contractors.

Which is good for the contractors, not so good for the country. The purpose of government is to govern, not to generate profit. And when the contractors are deciding whether to hire contractors and which contracts to award, who’s going to prevent profiteering and corruption?

Contrary to claims of the privatization zealots, outsourcing government jobs does not lower the cost:

The average annual cost of a contract employee is $250,000, almost twice that of a federal employee, according to an estimate recently cited by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

As Paul Krugman tells us,

The Times reports that “fewer than half of all ‘contract actions’ — new contracts and payments against existing contracts — are now subject to full and open competition,” down from 79 percent in 2001. And many contractors are paid far more than it would cost to do the job with government employees: those CACI workers processing claims against other contractors cost the government $104 an hour.

And as our own Phoenix Woman has said elsewhere, “outsourcing and privatizing government functions actually leads to their being done worse, slower, and pricier than before, and makes them easy prey for corrupt persons.”

The real reasons for outsourcing are insidious: breaking the federal employee unions by replacing federal employees’ jobs with outsourced jobs, hiding the true cost of government, funneling money from the U.S. Treasury to political cronies. It’s long past time to get the profiteers out of our government.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, capitalism as cancer, corruption, DHS, our tax dollars at work, outsourcing, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The DHS Henhouse

 
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