Mission Creep


Apparently not busy enough with the War on Terror, the Department of Homeland Security is moving on to other law enforcement endeavors. At TechCentralStation, Glenn Reynolds says this demonstrates, unsurprisingly, that "any powers confided to bureaucrats in the service of vital objectives will quickly be abused in the service of other, less important purposes. "

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  1. striking down one set of tarrifs does not prove that the WTO cultivates free, open and efficient markets any better than bilateral trade agreements.

  2. to agree with lefty and anon @ 1.01 CATO also feels that WTO promotes badness b/c they distort the loan market, lending money to unstable regimes that would otherwise have to adapt to be better to get private investors interested.

  3. Jacob — I think you mean the World Bank, not the WTO.

  4. yeah sorry
    though i think the study i read said both were bad


    yeah fighting protectionism is great but that task can no more be said to be synonomous w/ WTO than fighting for liberty can be said to eb synonomous with american presidents (who, lets rememebr, swore to uphold the constitution)

  5. The only problem is this appears to be in DHS’s purview.

    You see, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is part of DHS, and ICE contains former enforcement units of the INS.

  6. http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB105821991056891800,00.html

    An unusual manifesto is circulating through the e-mail boxes of prominent Washingtonians from an ad hoc group calling itself the “Committee for the Republic.” Its five sponsors include conservative C. Boyden Gray, a White House lawyer in the first Bush administration; Chas. W. Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia; and Stephen Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    The manifesto is a work in progress, its authors say. But the goal is clear: to educate Americans about the dangers of empire.


    The U.S. is operating open-ended protectorates in Afghanistan and Iraq, at a combined cost of $5 billion a month, or $60 billion a year. That’s roughly triple the entire foreign-aid budget, and almost double the federal government’s budget for elementary and secondary education. Meanwhile, intervention in Liberia appears just around the corner. U.S. soldiers reside in nearly 100 different countries. During the president’s trip last week to Africa, there was talk of opening bases elsewhere on that continent.

  7. another cut and paste attack

  8. Anon at 3:37, I’m not saying these operations are a dime a dozen…but, the federal government isn’t supposed to even have an education budget. So if we spent 50 cents on war, that SHOULD be more than we spend, federally, on education. As I recall the founding fathers did leave one or two items up to the individual states.

  9. Creepy Mission, ergo Mission Creep. Makes sense to me.

  10. Like Bush is defying the WTO in the same way as the UN, trying to start a “coalition of trade partners” like he did with the “coalition of the willing.” Buying off countries with bilateral trade agreements as a way to reward those countries who are politically advantageous to us is a lousy way to run foreign policy and is an even lousier way to cultivate free, open and efficient markets. This goes beyond bureaucratic administration. This is the Bush-o-cratic Administration.

  11. ” even lousier way to cultivate free, open and efficient markets”

    if you assume that the WTO does what you imply it does.

  12. I’m assuming you’re implying the WTO doesn’t promote free, open and efficient markets. So why did they strike down US steel tariffs? Because of some sinister political agenda they have against US free trade efforts? Your presumption is ridiculous on the face of it. The burden of proof is on you and yet you have provided no shred of evidence that states otherwise.

  13. It would be helpful if Glenn would provide a link to my discussion of his article, but I guess calling him a “maggot” means no more links for me. Nevertheless, I will soldier on, and I will attempt to inform as well as I can that this and the rest are not necessarily mission creep. The DHS includes other agencies, including immigration enforcement agencies.

    You can complain about those agencies being part of DHS, and you can complain about Tom Ridge running DHS, and you can complain about Tom Ridge doing a photo op with John Walsh For The Children. But, it’s not necessarily out of DHS’s current purview.

  14. http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB105830740177100400,00.html

    Gen. Anthony Zinni. This retired Marine, a Purple Heart recipient and onetime commander of U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf region, was the Bush administration’s special envoy to the Middle East.

    Then, in August, he was speaking to a group in Florida and was asked what he thought of possible war with Iraq. He replied that he considered one unnecessary because there were other ways to contain Saddam Hussein and because battle in Iraq would distract from the broader war against terrorism.

    More to the point today, he gave a speech in October before the Middle East Institute, a Washington think tank, and expressed his worries about a messy aftermath to a war to oust Mr. Hussein. “If we think there is a fast solution to changing the governance of Iraq, then we don’t understand history, the nature of the country, the divisions or the underneath-suppressed passions that could rise up,” he said. “God help us if we think this transition will occur easily.”

    What was the reaction? “I got called a traitor and a turncoat by the Department of Defense and obviously the hierarchy there,” Gen. Zinni says. Annoyed administration officials suggested privately that Gen. Zinni wouldn’t again be asked to lead diplomatic missions. Sure enough, when Mr. Bush decided to make a new push for Middle East peace this spring, Gen. Zinni was gone, his role as special envoy given to John Wolf, a career diplomat.

  15. Jough:

    I’d like to see the day when BOTH the publik skools and the military have to fund their operations with bake sales.

    One of the blessings of Ann Landers’ long-overdue death is avoiding the column she ran every April 15th. It challenged anti-tax curmudgeons to explain how they would have roads or police without being robbed at gunpoint to pay for them. And of course, there was the obligatory quote from Holmes on taxes being the price we pay for civilization (gag). I think Ann Landers was the price we paid for free speech.

    I’m sick of the puke-making term “public service.” It’s a funny kind of “servant” who forces me to pay for and consume his “services” whether I want them or not, and threatens to kill me if I take my business elsewhere.

  16. Judging by the previous comments, Department of Homeland Security mission creep is not much of a concern to the audience. Too bad.
    If you follow the links to http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20030709_1461.html
    you will not only find the usual hyperbolic language about protecting our most valuable resource, our children (a true statement, since they will have to pay off our deficits) and the always unassailable “fight against pornographers and predators”, but on the very bottom of the page, that DHS is also involving itself in financial and E-commerce crime investigations etc. More mission creep. Did we need a second John Ashcroft?
    The war on terror apparently is over. I had no idea we won it?

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