...after 9/11, in response to a terrorist threat from a flexible, decentralized, tactically innovative Al Qaeda, the United State responded by creating the largest, most wasteful, lethargic bureaucracy in American history.
Must have had to be there for it to make sense.
Now, the incoming DHS chief is promising a thorough review:
WASHINGTON (AFP) – New US Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano told lawmakers on Wednesday she had launched a sweeping review of her department, under pressure to reform amid allegations of mismanagement.
Napolitano told the House of Representatives? Homeland Security Committee she had initiated policy reviews in eight areas and would soon report to President Barack Obama about the future of the body, which some have said should be dissolved.
Napolitano said she was "kicking the tires," looking at policies afresh.
"It will not be one of those two-year study jobs," she promised lawmakers.
The Department of Homeland Security was set up six years ago in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, but has struggled to define its role within Washington?s power structures.
Bringing together 22 government agencies, the department has a range of tasks, from preventing terror attacks to dealing with natural disasters.
But it has faced a string of allegations of mismanagement over its role in leading the response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans, of duplicating the resources of other government agencies and of bureaucratic waste.
Napolitano on Wednesday stressed the civilian management role of the agency more than her two predecessors -- who had focused on terror threats from the Al-Qaeda network and other groups in their maiden remarks to Congress.
The former Arizona governor, who earned a reputation for sound management while in Phoenix, focused her remarks more on natural disaster recovery, defending infrastructure and administrative reform.
Here's a thought, given that there is absolutely no evidence that the supervisory bureaucracy has either made us safer or more efficient at disaster relief:
Let's dismantle the damn thing, and go back to allowing 22 specialized agencies to do their own jobs....
Of course, people will scream that I'm soft on terrorism (hello, Eric!), but when they do, here's my challenge:
Show me how the existence of DHS, the cumbersome and irrational mechanism for disbursing HS grants to states and localities, the Constitution-shredding Patriot Act, and the Director of National Intelligence has actually made us safer.
Facts and data, please. Spare me the jingoistic rhetoric.