Thomas Paine once said that: “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” In order to exist, government must necessarily take away some rights from some people in order to protect the remaining rights of all. I have heard this called the “social contract.” For
The legacy of the Central Intelligence Agency is one not simply of an omnipotent spy agency which can learn anything from anyone and pull off covert operations with ease. The true legacy of the CIA, according to a new book, is its sheer incompetence. Even today, most people think of the CIA as a well-oiled
Several people walked into Albany International Airport in Colonie, N.Y., in late June, carry-on bags stuffed full of bomb parts, and strolled to the security checkpoint. Transportation Security Administration screeners seized every bottle of water from all of them. Fortunately, it was only a test. In the surprise inspection, conducted in June, screeners failed five
Before you decide that, what with all those senior management positions open, a move into the Department of Homeland Security is good for your career, you should know that many people don’t last long there. A government audit released Monday found that attrition rates among senior management at DHS were higher than the average of
The more than 40 local and regional intelligence fusion centers created after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to improve information sharing between the federal government and state, local and tribal law enforcement, are failing to accomplish their mission of protecting the homeland.
One-fourth of top management positions at the Department of Homeland Security remain vacant as of May 1, according to a congressional report released this week. The report, (PDF) prepared by the majority staff of the House Homeland Security committee, found that 138 of 575 top decision-making positions within DHS remain unfilled, and the department is
Updates to stories previously covered at Homeland Stupidity include spying, spying and more spying. The National Security Agency has run out of power, causing it to implement severe power-saving measures across the Fort Meade, Md., complex from which it runs acres of computing equipment to collect and process signals intelligence. Now, the NSA has implemented
This day the rain moved in early in the afternoon, and continued well into the night, and yet people still set off their fireworks here in a city where it’s, as far as I know, perfectly legal to do so. But while the star-spangled banner yet waves, the freedom it represents is a distant memory.
Preservationists are questioning plans by the Department of Homeland Security to move into the west campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital, a former lunatic asylum. DHS plans to spend $3 billion restoring the 176-acre, 61-building campus, which at its peak held 7,000 mental patients, and completing its move in 2013. But local historic preservationists plan to
Getting security right is a challenge for the best of us. But when you put security in the hands of government, getting it right is a virtually insurmountable obstacle. Here are a few ways government made you less secure and wasted your money over the last couple of weeks. At Orlando (Fla.) International Airport, the