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‘A Dinosaur’ with 170,000 Employees and 38 Billion-Dollar Budget

‘A Dinosaur’ with 170,000 Employees and 38 Billion-Dollar Budget

Posted November. 20, 2002 22:56,   


A ‘mammoth scaled’ government organization, which will be in charge of national security in American territory, is launching for the first time since the Cold War. The US Senate overwhelmingly passed the Department of Territorial Security establishment law, which the President George W. Bush had tried since the 9.11 Terror, on the 19th with 90 favorable votes and 9 unfavorable votes.

▽The meaning of passing the law=After the voting the Republican Senator Phil Graham said, “It is the victory of the US national security and safety of Americans.” The President Bush heard the news while heading to Prague, Czech Republic with the Air Force 1 to participate the NATO Summit and said, “It becomes a milestone of the history of American law making.”

The New York Times reported on the 19th, “The Department of Territorial Security is the first massive scaled government organization since the Truman Administration and the US Congress created the Department of Defense based on the National Security Law to cope with the Cold War in 1947.”

The Democratic Senator Joseph Liverman, who proposed that America needs something like the Department of Territorial Security first, said, “After the 9.11 Terror, there were some doubts that the organizations in charge of the US security were organized unstably, but those doubts can be wiped away because of passing this law.”

In the meantime, some Democratic Senators said there was an article that might allow some special treatment to someone and insisted to remove it, so the Senate did a special voting but it was rejected by 52 to 47.

▽The mission of the Department of Territorial Security=The Department of Territorial Security will be established within 60 days after the President Bush signs the bill. It will take about a year to create all the divisions.

The Department of Territorial Security is consisted of 170,000 employees, and it can spend astronomical budget of 38 billion dollars a year. It absorbs 22 federal organizations including the Coastal Guard, Special Service, Immigration and Naturalization Services, and the Custom in wholly or partially. The Department of Defense is the only bigger organization than this.

The main missions are information analysis, border security, transportation, and maintaining key facilities including nuclear plants. However, the FBI and the CIA still remain as independent intelligence organizations.

The first Secretary of the Department of Territorial Security is unofficially arranged to the White House Territorial Security Advisor Tom Ridge.

▽Fear of private lives being watched=The New York Times recently reported that the Department of Territorial Security was being established to cope with the threat of terror against Americans, but there was a worry that it might become the surveillance system for all people and do the ‘George Orwell style’ residence control.

The ‘Central Integrated Database System,’ which the Department of Defense is promoting based on the related laws, can seize individual`s everyday life such as credit card use information, medical records, newspaper and magazine subscription record, records of website visits, emails, bank accounts, travel reservation, and event participations. This newspaper worries that the Department of Territorial Security Bill allows the Internet service providers such as America On-Line to provide user information and gives the police the right to censor the Internet.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com