Regular readers know my complete and total disdain for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). An organization that is quite clearly gearing itself up for confrontation with the American public, rather than offering any meaningful protection from foreign “terrorists.” These folks think that because they have a big budget and a badge they do not have to abide by the Constitution. They have such little respect for the supreme law of the land that they claim they can search through travelers’ electronic items, and even confiscate them, based on a “hunch.” No, really.
Terrorists don’t take away freedoms. Governments take away freedoms…and ours is doing a damn good job of it.
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — U.S. border agents should continue to be allowed to search a traveler’s laptop, cellphone or other electronic device and keep copies of any data on them based on no more than a hunch, according to an internal Homeland Security Department study. It contends limiting such searches would prevent the U.S. from detecting child pornographers or terrorists and expose the government to lawsuits.
The 23-page report, obtained by The Associated Press and the American Civil Liberties Union under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, provides a rare glimpse of the Obama administration’s thinking on the long-standing but controversial practice of border agents and immigration officers searching and in some cases holding for weeks or months the digital devices of anyone trying to enter the U.S.
This sounds like a bad idea. Like a really, really bad idea. While I understand the concept of allies, I don’t see the need to place a foreign citizen in such a high position of power within the U.S. Armed Forces. At the end of the day, where do this person’s loyalties ultimately lie? With the American citizenry or with the Australian government? Has he even read the U.S. Constitution? How cozy is he with the Queen of England? In his bio we see: “In a key representational appointment, Major General Burr was privileged to be the Equerry to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the 2000 Royal Visit to Australia. How cute.
From the Associated Press:
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (AP) — Maj. Gen. Richard Burr salutes with his palm facing out, like he’s shielding his eyes from the sun. He wears a wide-brimmed felt “slouch hat” with a brown and green camouflage uniform.
The two-star general in the Australian Defence Force stands out amid the American soldiers donning berets and green and beige fatigues at the U.S. Army’s headquarters for the Pacific. But he’s responsible for directing their training and exercises as U.S. Army Pacific’s deputy commander for operations.
Burr’s appointment — it’s the first time a non-American has served in such a high-ranking position at a command like this— symbolizes the Army’s push to connect more with allies and friendly nations in the Pacific as it implements the Obama administration’s policy to “rebalance” national defense strategy toward the region.