Apparently, if you work for the Department of Homeland Security, you’re above the law, and can do things with impunity that can easily result in ISP abuse complaints if done by an average citizen. Like this:
A recent Infowars post (warning: link contains profanity) details what some DHS employees do on company time. George Donnelly had his curiosity piqued by one of the few offensive comments posted to Infowars, and decided to see who the IP address belonged to. For those who don’t want to read the unedited copy, it goes something like this paraphrased version (misspellings in original):
Screw you, screw all you lower lifeforms, you wont change anything. ride the bus, TSA is here to stay there doing a great job keeping americia safe.
The answer shocked him as much as it shocked me, and it’ll probably shock you as well: the comment came from an IP address (22.214.171.124) registered to the Department of Homeland Security. In plain English: it was most likely posted by a DHS employee on paid time; at minimum, it was posted from the DHS computer network. It would be one thing if it was just a flame with no profanity, but as posted, it goes way over the line.
George poses some interesting questions for the DHS worth quoting:
- Is this an official statement?
- If not, is it an accurate representation of the DHS position?
- Was this person on the public dime when he or she posted this?
- Who posted this and what is their position with DHS?
We know what the answers should be. I anxiously await whatever response George gets from the DHS. I’d also like to know who at the DHS thinks it is such a good idea to go trolling blogs that express negative opinions about the government, which are protected speech by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. To me, this is dangerously close to intimidation by the DHS, the type of thing which Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he uttered this quote: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
As a US taxpayer, I believe I’m entitled to know why the DHS is spending my tax dollars like this. While I would find it slightly repulsive if DHS employees did this on their own time, I find it positively abhorrent this is happening from an IP address registered to the DHS and quite possibly done by DHS employees on the clock.
And I am giving everyone advance notice: comments of the sort referenced by George in his post to Infowars linked above are, as a rule, unwelcome on this blog, particularly if they contain profanity. Even if such comments are not published on this blog, I reserve the right to forward such comments directly to news media if I determine such comments are posted from government networks, the corporate networks of known government contractors, or if otherwise connected to the government or corporations which contract for government business. As part of one of my jobs, I talk to news media on a regular basis, and I will not be shut up easily.
Let there be no mistake about it. I love my country, and I love the First Amendment, which gives us the freedom to criticize our government when it makes mistakes. In closing, I’d like to refer to another, possibly lesser known, quote of Thomas Jefferson’s: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
I consider this a matter of principle. I stand like a rock.