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Department of Homeland Security a power grab

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Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2002 10:00 pm

President Bush wants Congress to create a new Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.

He expects all Americans to believe that a massive consolidation of power in the executive branch of government is needed because of what happened Sept. 11, and what might occur at the hands of other terrorists.

But the proposal for this new agency was written prior to Sept. 11 by a group of members of the world-government promoting Council on Foreign Relations.

If this new department becomes a reality, one of its frightening provisions will see a dramatic expansion of federal control over local police. America has always been marked by locally controlled police forces serving only the interests of the people who hire them.

Twentieth-century history shows that police powers in the hands of a central government serve mainly to protect the interests of the government - as did the Gestapo in Germany and the KGB in Russia, as does the equivalent agency in China today.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card obviously understands that some Americans already see the potential for tyranny inherent in this proposed new agency. During a June 10 television appearance, he mentioned the issue, but discounted any concern that it would look like "the old Soviet-era Ministry of the Interior."

But what it might look like, of course, isn't as important as what the Department of Homeland Security would be like.

Our nation doesn't need implementation of the president's dangerous proposal to prevent terrorism.

Instead, the federal government should carry out its constitutionally authorized responsibilities, such as closing our borders and reconstituting several congressional intelligence-gathering agencies that have been abolished over the past 30 years.

Americans should be concerned about the frightening grab for power and request their representatives in Congress to vote against the president's proposal at House and Senate level.

Dennis Cochran Lodi

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