The Troubling Truth About Naomi Wolf’s DHS/OWS Hype UPDATE: Original Source Walks Back teh BS

by matttbastard

It’s total bullshit (not to mention batshit).

AlterNet’s Josh Holland for teh Fisk:

Wolf …offers a classic example of trying to shoe-horn reality into a theory with no factual basis. She set out to write a column indicting Congress for a nationwide crack-down that hasn’t actually been unearthed and, in order to do so, she needs to hopelessly muddle the chain of command…

For the terrible insight to take away from news that the Department of Homeland Security coordinated a violent crackdown is that the DHS does not freelance. The DHS cannot say, on its own initiative, “we are going after these scruffy hippies”. Rather, DHS is answerable up a chain of command: first, to New York Representative Peter King, head of the House homeland security subcommittee, who naturally is influenced by his fellow congressmen and women’s wishes and interests. And the DHS answers directly, above King, to the president (who was conveniently in Australia at the time).

DHS is a cabinet-level executive branch agency. It does not “report” to Homeland Security Chair Peter King in some kind of chain-of-command – in fact, it doesn’t “report” to Congress at all except for a handful of official reports required by law. King can hold hearings and call DHS officials to testify before his committee, but he has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of the agency.

The allegation is that DHS offered local cities advise on evicting their local camps. I don’t know what she means by “freelance” in this context, but that is the kind of action, like thousands of actions DHS initiates each and every day, that wouldn’t require any sort of high-level sign-off. DHS was created in part to facilitate greater communication and intelligence-sharing between federal and local law enforcement agencies – advising local authorities is one of its defining roles.

But it’s the next paragraph that actually makes one’s head hurt…

In other words, for the DHS to be on a call with mayors, the logic of its chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers, with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorise mayors to order their police forces – pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS – to make war on peaceful citizens.

Got that? That DHS took part in those conference calls (a claim that confuses two separate stories, as it hasn’t been alleged that DHS had anything to do with the calls organized by the US Conference of Mayors) shows that “Congressional overseers with the blessing of the White House” told DHS to “authorize” mayors to order their police to crack-down.

This is little more than gibberish – policing protesters is a local matter and no mayor in the country requires federal “authorization” of any kind, by any agency, to order their cops to evict an occupation.

Yeah. Protip: Stick to hyperventilating about things you know, (like, oh, say, callous rape apologia, or muddying the water re: reproductive justice) and leave the neo-Bircher tinfoil talk to the experts. Assuming you haven’t already been hustled off on an extended vacation getaway to one of BHO’s dreaded FEMA camps, of course.

Update: Hey look — original bullshit source of the DHS bullshit discovers his initial bullshit scoop was, well, y’know.

Shocking. Truly.

h/t Joshua Holland

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