Up Against The Wall, America! Sen. Schumer Touts NYPD Chief Kelly For Next Head Of Homeland Security

from the if-anyone-has-any-reason-why-these-two-should-not-be-joined... dept

Janet Napolitano is leaving her post as the head of the DHS and leaving a vacancy that some (particularly Sen. Chuck Schumer) think would be best filled by Ray "Stop and Frisk" Kelly. (Or, if you prefer, Ray "Privacy Is Off the Table" Kelly.)

This isn't a particularly surprising selection. Schumer's home state is New York and picking Kelly is sort of a no-brainer. As Mike Riggs at Reason points out, the case for Kelly as head of the DHS goes all the way back to 2008, when national security insiders floated the suggestion.

Unfortunately for fans of civil liberties, adding Ray Kelly to the DHS takes a bad thing and makes it worse.

First off, there's the NYPD's infamous stop and frisk program, which has targeted minority youths almost exclusively. Putting Kelly in charge of Homeland Security is just asking for a national rollout of stop and frisk, bringing the fun of being a minority in New York City to citizens around the country. There's no dissuading Kelly (or Commander in Chief of the "seventh largest military in the world," Mayor Bloomberg) of its effectiveness, even if the numbers don't back up their claims.

Kelly also famously announced that "privacy is off the table" as a result of the Boston bombing. Kelly has no qualms about expanding law enforcement surveillance networks, no matter how unpopular it is with the public. He has expressed his admiration for London's network of cameras, which he hopes to emulate in New York City. The NYPD has taken steps towards all-encompassing surveillance aided by (oddly enough) Microsoft. Take that set of ideals and expand it nationwide.

Despite his willingness to invade everyone else's privacy, Kelly's own police force is positively opaque when it comes to transparency. FOIA requests are routinely stonewalled when not being actively battled in courtrooms, much to the dismay of taxpayers' wallets.

The one thing Kelly does feel government/law enforcement/intelligence agencies should be open about is how much spying they're planning on doing. His only reaction to the NSA leaks was dismay at the fact that the NSA didn't just tell Americans they're going to be spied on.

“I don’t think it ever should have been made secret,” Kelly said yesterday, breaking ranks with other US law-enforcement officials. “I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone, it’s going to be recorded and it goes to the government. I think the public can understand that. I see no reason why that program was placed in the secret category.
There's Kelly's version of transparency: telling the public how its privacy is going to be violated. If nothing else, Kelly's theoretical term as the head of the DHS would result in a brave, new world of confrontational transparency -- top-down blasts of invasive programs, delivered in a like-it-or-leave-it tone that leaves no room for debate or discussion.

Beyond this, we also have the NYPD's pitiable record of constitutional violations when it comes to its joint anti-terrorist efforts with the FBI. Plenty of spying, surveillance and privacy violations. Very little in the way of actual terrorists rounded up.

So, here's a guy with a track record that features a combination of wholesale civil liberties violations and an aversion to any form of accountability. Kelly has proven he's willing to alienate constituents in pursuit of an all-encompassing police/surveillance presence. He's also made it clear that he unreservedly buys into the "because terrorism" rhetoric.

Unfortunately for America, every listed argument against Kelly as head of the DHS is a point for him under the current administration. The boundless expansion of Bush's domestic surveillance under Obama has laid the perfect foundation for a man who believes citizens should be seen and heard -- at all times. If the Constitution is holding back a preferred program, there's always the secret court ready to provide secret interpretations of existing laws, thus assuring that everything is properly overseen and above board.

Kelly isn't necessarily a "yes man," but he's a perfect fit for an agency that has steadily trampled on the Constitution since its formation. The "welcomed debate" on privacy vs. security would become little more than a faint memory. Kelly's arrival would signal an end to the discussion no one in Washington really wants to have. There are precious few people who believe the DHS and its accompanying agencies weren't invasive enough, but adding Kelly to the mix should take that number down to zero.

It's Kelly's world. You're all just living in it "persons of interest."



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    *drops pants.

    There. I'll save them the trouble.

    Sorry, guys. At my age, the only six pack you see on me is in my arms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    rw (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    ...And with Kelly DHS becomes the Gestapo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    When the population complains that one of those in power (usually one of your cronies) is behaving badly, what do you do?

    You move to a position away from the controversy (which makes the problem go away) or you move that person higher up in the hierarchy (which makes that person harder to remove).

    It's a classic move.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    I never thought I'd live to see a modern day Nazi America, yet here it is unfolding before my very eyes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Well, he's aligned to the purposes of the administration so you can't say they are lacking coherence...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Some Guy, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    The Constitution is off the table.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    what do you expect to happen? people who voted him in as chief cant expect anything else! this would be the next step towards a total police state that certain powerful people want. no one else to blame but with the proposed data protection changes that will come in the EU, the US is going to become more isolated i think!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    To be fair

    There's Kelly's version of transparency: telling the public how its privacy is going to be violated.


    Well, to be fair, this would be an improvement over what's happening now. Sure, it ignores the fundamental problem (the spying), but at least everybody would know about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:30am

    Saw this coming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    David (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    At least...

    With him in charge of the whole country instead of just NYC, there is a higher probability that someone will just off him....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    Isn't Kelly

    doing in NYC much the same as what Joe Arpaiao (sp?) is doing down in Arizona? Folks (and I believe Sen. Schumer is among them) want to get Joe A. out of office because he's such a hard-liner, but Sen. Schumer wants a guy like Kelly to be running the show? ohhh-kaaaayyyy...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    Progressives, bit by bit, little by little, fundamentally transforming America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re:

    Please. It has nothing to do with "progressives."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re:

    This isn't progress, this is both regressive and authoritarian.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    theDude, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 11:54am

    Seems perfect to me

    What Americans want is a police state to keep them safe from the boogieman, cant really have that with someone who respects the constitutional limitations of the fourth amendment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    They need a strong police state, as the wealth gap grows wider and wider, eventually they will need to use force to keep the majority of people in line. This has nothing to do with political party or race, its strickly economic. There are "job creators" and then theres the "takers".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    I was just in NYC

    I walked around for five days trying to get molested by the police and failed.

    Yeah, I'm white.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    No longer anonymous, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    It would be better fit for a Top Secret Stop and Frisk program, "authorized" by FISA on individual basis.... in sake of national security.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

    So...

    Can we change the name of the United States of America to the Police States of America already and be done with it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    A Monkey with Attitude, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Progressive, conservative, Right-Wing, Left-Wing, all just made up to hit your hot buttons so you automatically judge instead of connecting and finding out what you have in common so you can work together.... Its just another way to divide and conquer, like skin color, religion, and sex...

    Why not try dropping labels and talking to others, look for points you agree and try reaching out, you might be suprised - imagine finding out there are alot of amazing good people all over the polical spectrum that you can work with and agree with on many topics.

    True story, one of my best moments in politics came at a Gay Pride Parade (i am straight and would have never thought to go), but taking a leap out and meeting and talking was a great experience, and while we didnt agree on everything we did find many things that we did agree on and work together to change -now a year after the election I still work with them on many subjects we agree with and continue to find more; ideas tend to grow, change, and spawn new ides!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    Becomes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    They already used force...

    We are already there. Look at how the "Occupy Movement" was dealt with. The banks are ALREADY colluding with the State (they have their own DIVISION in law enforcement!) and have been using force to quell uprisings in the US for quite some time

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    It's that sort of synergy that bothers me. Horrible, but consistent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    Re: I was just in NYC

    You're white? Then the government will think up a reason to accuse you of violating somebody's civil rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: I was just in NYC

    [citation needed]

    I've been white my whole life, and not once have I, or any of my many white friends and family, had anything like this happen to them.

    On the other hand, nearly every one of my many black friends have been stopped and harassed by cops at least once in their lives. Most of them, several times.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: I was just in NYC

    I've never been to NYC, and have no plans to go. As one country song put it, "...Hell or New York City, it'd be about the same to me".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 3:16pm

    He deserves to be up against the wall!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Jul 17th, 2013 @ 4:25am

    It sure is easy to put forth nefarious decisions when done behind a wall of armed security. Even a Gestapo coward could do that.

    Oh wait...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This