Wattree on Mandela: Homeward Bound
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Ramona On Martin Bashir
The news here is only preliminary and, of course, much might be redacted, but a Freedom of Information Act request from Gawker shows that the civil rights and liberties leadership at the Department of Homeland Security, seems to have taken its job seriously with regards to Occupy Wall Street.
Count me as stunned that any DHS employees were actually pulling back on the reigns and reminding people, both within DHS and within interested government agencies that:
"Arrests being made at these protests are a criminal matter and the protesters are engaged in constitutionally protected activity.... DHS should not report on activities where the basis for reporting is political speech."
Of course you can choose to believe that this is all the result of selective disclosure and that DHS is pulling the wool over the eyes of the American sheeple. But it also kind of makes sense to me that somebody who would take on a thankless job like internally monitoring DHS to make sure it is not abusing peoples rights and liberties might actually take the job seriously.
Our problems, in that case, may have less to do with DHS or the rest of the nation's intelligence apparatus and more to do with the laws that we allow them to operate under. After all, if there are good people working at these agencies, then we can at least hope that they will police their own behavior if we give them the proper boundaries.
I'm pleased by this news and since I'd be the first one howling if the FOIA request had resulted in revelations of systematic abuses, I figure I should share this with you all. Also, I'm curious as heck to know what you all think.