Ranking Democrat favorite supported CISPA spying bill, NDAA indefinite detention
July 17, 2013
A congressional pick for new head of the Department of Homeland Security has a track record of supporting mass surveillance initiatives similar to the NSA PRISM program.
Next Gov.com is reporting that ranking House Homeland Security Committee Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Tenn, has recommended Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif. in a letter to the president.
According to minority committee aides, Thompson wants Sanchez to replace the current DHS head, Janet Napolitano, who announced recently that she is to step down in September after five years at the federal agency, in favor of a senior position at the University of California.
Sanchez is a DHS committee member who supported the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, (CISPA), a “cybersecurity” bill which would allow the intelligence community to monitor the metadata of private emails, in order to supposedly weed out malicious software and threat signatures.
The NSA PRISM program works in a similar way, scouring metadata on communications of millions of everyday Americans. The Department of Justice has argued that the process is legal under the PATRIOT Act.
Sanchez recently said that she believed that the NSA spying revelations were just “the tip of the iceberg”.
Sanchez successfully introduced into the CISPA House bill, an amendment to have DHS officials report directly to Congress on the impact of the legislation.
According to Bennie Thompson, this classifies Sanchez as someone with “a demonstrated record of respecting privacy and civil rights.”
However, as well as supporting CISPA, Sanchez also voted in favour of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes the indefinite military detention of civilians, including U.S. citizens.
Were Sanchez to take up the position at the DHS, she would instantly inherit the moniker ‘Big Sis’, bestowed upon Napolitano by The Drudge Report, one of the most visited news websites in the world.
Drudge coined the term to describe Napolitano’s disregard for privacy and civil liberties in favor of Orwellian schemes such as the DHS “See something, say something” campaign.
The name has stuck, and Napolitano herself even joked in 2011 that “I knew I’d actually made it when I had my own name in the Drudge Report. You know, that’s the standard.”
Will Loretta Sanchez become ‘Big Sis 2.0’?
Sanchez would also inherit an agency mired in controversy over a slew of discrimination lawsuits, most notably involving allegations of sexual harassment.
Other Congressional recommendations for DHS head, according to Next Gov’s sources, include New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who has long advocated the rollout of surveillance cameras, and the mass collection of data in an attempt to predict crime before it happens. Kelly is also a huge fan of draconian stop and frisk policies, as well as strict gun control.
According to reports, Barack Obama thinks Kelly has done an “extraordinary job” as NYC police commissioner, and would consider him as a candidate.
Another Thompson pick is reportedly Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who defended “federal information sharing practices” or increased domestic spying to you and me, in the aftermath of the Boston bombings.
It must be comforting to federal spy-masters to know that whoever does get the job will continue to prioritise their power to circumnavigate the law over the privacy and freedom of Americans.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.