Civil Liberties Protection Officer? Don't make me laugh.

Why am I not comforted by the recent spate of “privacy” and “civil rights”  appointments within the US Federal Government? I guess it is because the principal of Checks and Balances usually invokes independence and empowerment.

libertycracked.jpg
Why am I not comforted by the recent spate of “privacy” and “civil rights”  appointments within the US Federal Government? I guess it is because the principal of Checks and Balances usually invokes independence and empowerment.

 

Maybe it is my early career in the bowels of the automotive industry. I lived through the annihilation of that industry by Japanese innovators who had discovered that quality not only sells vehicles but lowers costs. In the ‘80s quality inspectors in a manufacturing plant reported to the plant manager whose authority rivaled Jack Aubrey’s aboard HMS Surprise  in Master and Commander.  A plant manager had one and only one responsibility: ship product.  The only reason to reject a part was if it did not fit; even with the assistance of a “helper”, a large hammer.  The fundamental innovation coming out of Japan was that the Quality Director was empowered to stop the presses by moving that function off of the plant manager’s org chart.  After that everyone in the plant was empowered to stop production if quality was being jeopardized.  The US manufacturer’s eventually got a clue and followed suit.

 

Recently Alex Joel   was named the first “civil-liberties protection officer” for the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  That is the office that oversees the CIA, FBI, NSA, ETC. 

 

And from a recent WSJ article:

 

In February, the Justice Department named Jane Horvath its first chief privacy and civil-liberties officer, making her responsible for developing and ensuring compliance with privacy and civil-liberties policies, specifically as they relate to counterterrorism and law-enforcement efforts.

 

And on April 17th the TSA announced Peter Pietra has been named the agency's Director of Privacy Policy and Compliance. Does anyone honestly believe that someone from within one of these agencies will be able to exert any influence at all to protect the rights and privacy of US citizens? Aren’t these going to be talking heads with impeccable credentials that are employed by their respective agencies to dull the impact of their infractions of civil liberties? Will Mr. Joel be the first to investigate massive eavesdropping on communications by the NSA in partnership with ATT? Will Ms Horvath prosecute infractions by the executive branch in regards to illegal wire taps? Will Mr. Pietra intervene to stop the DHS from doing background checks on travelers or secretly sharing traveler information with the CDC? You know the answers to these questions as well as I do. I propose that Congress revoke all of these positions and the costs associated with maintaining their offices and staffs. Our civil liberties are too important and too much at risk to entrust to the very agencies that are threatening them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the ElectronicPrivacyInformationCenter, and the American Civil Liberties Union are actually doing something about discovering and exposing abuses of civil rights and privacy. Support them.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All