"Democrats and Republicans largely heaped praise upon Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano after she announced she would resign her post later in the year, but a longtime constitutional attorney says there is not much to applaud -- especially for anyone concerned about preserving freedom and limiting government intrusion in their lives," reports WND.
"What the Department of Homeland Security became under Janet Napolitano is this monstrous surveillance and very intimidating group," said John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, according to WND. Whitehead, who was appearing on Radio America, is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, which was published last month. Whitehead noted that he "criticized George Bush’s policies" but that "under President Obama, we’re zooming."
An example of this zooming, according to Whitehead, is a Homeland Security program called Operation Vigilant Eagle. Whitehead described Vigilant Eagle as a surveillance program conducted "on all returning veterans from overseas" and that it includes watching "Facebook posts, text messages," and "emails of returning veterans to see if they’re going to be disgruntled."
Whitehead said his group helped one such veteran file a "major lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security." According to Whitehead's description of the events leading up to the lawsuit, DHS agents showed up at the veteran's door, "arrested him," and "put him in a mental institution for his Facebook posts criticizing the government. We got him out, and then we sued the government."
WND also reports that "another outrage, according to Whitehead, is the harassment of Americans living on or somewhat near our national borders with Mexico and Canada. He said law-abiding citizens have been forced to hand over their laptops while the government officials download the information."
Also of great concern is the use of border drones against Americans. These drones "are flying inland, photographing, and watching what American citizens are doing" and providing "surveillance on American towns," Whitehead said. Drones coming in 2015 will have "scanning devices, rubber bullets, sound cannons," Whitehead reportedly said. "They can look through the walls of your home. They’re just going to bypass the Fourth Amendment, and they already are doing that."
Whitehead also "said that sort of activity will only get more common and more intrusive until the American people stand up and refuse to accept what he considers a major infringement on our constitutional liberties," WND reports.