L. Neil Smith's
Number 181, July 8, 2002


A Rose by any Other Name...
by Jeff Elkins

Special to TLE

Shortly after President George W. Bush announced that Governor Tom Ridge would be serving his Administration as leader of a nascent "Homeland Security" agency, I wrote:

"It has an ominous sound, that name, almost Germanic. (I can't wait to see the uniforms.)"

Now, almost a year later, Republican speechwriting maven Peggy Noonan agrees and has started a campaign to change the name "Homeland Security" to something more palatable, something that will not have such a jarring effect on American ears.

Says Ms. Noonan: "The name Homeland Security grates on a lot of people, understandably. Homeland isn't really an American word, it's not something we used to say or say now. It has a vaguely Teutonic ring--Ve must help ze Fuehrer protect ze Homeland!--and Republicans must always be on guard against sounding Teutonic. "

Republicans must always be on guard against sounding like Nazis? Anyway, some of the readers of her Wall Street Journal column have suggested:

  • Department of Domestic Defense, or 3-D
  • Department of Domestic Security, or DDS
  • Department of Interior Security, DIS
  • Department of Federal Safety, DFS
  • Department of Civilian Security, DCS
  • Mainland Defense, MD
  • Department of Mainland Security, DMS
  • Federal Security and Intelligence, FSI
  • Department of American Protection, DAP
  • Homefront Security, HS
  • Department of Security, DS
  • Civil Security, CS
  • Department of Civil Defense, DCD

I wrote Ms. Noonan with a suggestion I had mentioned in another column. I thought "Ministry of Love" was catchy, but unfortunately, it didn't make the cut. True, it's not as original as 3-D or FSI, seeing how the "Ministry of Love" was created 50 odd years ago by George Orwell (for his little book 1984) but it does have the benefit of being descriptive of the new department's functions if you are at all of a literary bent.

Still, this renaming frenzy Ms. Noonan is attempting to jumpstart totally misses the point.

No American citizens were involved in carrying out the 9/11 attacks, unless you count the denizens of various federal agencies that were culpable in allowing them to happen. A Department of Defense that does not defend, Intelligence agencies that aren't intelligent, and an Immigration and Naturalization service that freely allows the scum of the world unfettered entry into our nation to eat our extorted taxes while they plot our death. So why the rush to create an agency with the sole purpose of spying on American citizens?

The answer is obvious to those who will use their eyes to see. The federal behemoth is seizing this golden opportunity to stamp out any remnants of freedom still extant and leave us with nothing but an illusion of our past glory as a free republic. By its very nature, an empire must maintain control over its subjects and keeping a sharp eye peeled for any internal dissent is job number one.

Some won't open their eyes; they huddle in their expensive New York City co-ops and bleat for "protection," while gulping down Cipro by the handful in anticipation of an anthrax-drenched letter with their name scrawled on the front.

They advocate tape-sealed "safe rooms" with dozens of gas masks on hand (just in case neighbors drop in), and a veritable pharmacy of drugs for any eventuality. And digital cameras, to take snapshots of anyone suspicious; digital because quoting Ms. Noonan, "with a digital camera you won't have to wait for the film to be developed, you can call 911 or the FBI, tell them what you saw, and tell them you can download pictures of it into your computer and shoot it to them right away."

They look for protection from foreign enemies and ignore the beast within the gates.

Yes, Ms. Noonan, the name "Homeland Security" grates on American ears, but even worse, the very concept of a European-style ministry of the interior, aka Gestapo, with domestic spying, internal passports and all the other detritus of dictatorships that will accompany it, grate on the very concept of America. A rose by any other name is still a rose, and fecal material is still fecal material, even if you call it mayonnaise.

And whatever they end up calling it, this new agency is still just a big stinky pile of...mayonnaise.


The State vs. The People, by Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman

Is America becoming a police state? Friends of liberty need to know.

Some say the U.S. is already a police state. Others watch the news for signs that their country is about to cross an indefinable line. Since September 11, 2001, the question has become more urgent. When do roving wiretaps, random checkpoints, mysterious "detentions," and military tribunals cross over from being emergency measures to being the tools of a government permanently and irrevocably out of control?

The State vs. the People examines these crucial issues. But first, it answers this fundamental question: "What is a police state?"

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