[Personal Letterhead]

President George Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC                                                                            15 June 2002

RE: Office Of Homeland Security ~

Dear President Bush:

        I am writing concerning the formation of the cabinet level Office of Homeland Security, and why I, and many others, are opposed to it. I write this as a registered and voting Republican and Bush Administration supporter.

        I have been steadfastly supportive of your administration’s response to the terrorist attack of September 11th. Certainly, with your current approval ratings, so are many more. Yet, concerning this one issue, I am a little surprised that the objection hasn’t been more vocal. Our rights and liberty are all that set America apart from the rest. WWII couldn't destroy them, but a handful of fundamentalist fanatics can? We already had all the protection from the CIA, FBI, NSA and Military Intelligence agencies we needed if they just did their job. After all, isn't what worked in WW II and beyond still effective?

        It has been intimated that any criticism at this time is “counter-productive” and “strengthens the hands of the terrorists” and those who would harm us. It is grossly unfair to question the loyalty of those with credible and valid concerns pertaining to the monumental decisions the administration is making, especially from its most ardent and committed supporters.

        I quote from the e-journal The Federalist :

        “...Though the reasoning behind the President's proposal is sound, The Federalist has significant concerns, foremost being about the effectiveness of centralizing responsibility for these HomSec measures, as government centralization often produces bureaucratic mission creep and inertia that is counterproductive and eludes oversight and accountability. Regarding accountability, we also have serious concerns, as we noted after the President's appointment of his Homeland Security Advisor last September, about the potential for civil liberty abuses by this Department – particularly under a future Leftist administration similar to the former Clinton regime....”

         The Federalist strikes me as a supporter of the Bush Administration, yet their tone, as well as those they represent, is grave. Although I have no doubt your intentions and motives in forming this super agency are genuine and indisputable, what happens in the future when the terrorist threat is suppressed—and it will be suppressed—is very doubtful. The previous restraints on the FBI, for example, that Director Mueller has been decrying were placed there for documented reasons. No, I understand the need for the FBI to be able to utilize every avenue in the war on terrorism; yet the danger to the American way of life and liberty from a rogue administration in the future—with the interpretation of a “terrorist” quickly becoming an ambiguous and arbitrary one—portends its own peculiar and inevitable danger.

        Second, “growing the bureaucracy” is the antithesis of fundamental Republican principle and doctrine. A qualified veteran retired Federal agent I had opportunity to interview on an unrelated matter said this:

         “...The United States of America is a unique nation with a unique Constitution. We must resist the temptation to fall into line with other nations who have abrogated individual rights, become socialistic paternalistic controllers of thoughts, minds and hearts (!) of their citizenry. Power corrupts—that is one true fact of society and history. Power must be decentralized, fragmented, scrupulously examined, and held accountable. The American law enforcement community has to be a protector of the rights of citizens against the tyrannies of government even more than it sees its responsibilities to apprehend criminals ... As long as politicians are using law enforcement officers to repress democracy—we have a serious problem. We must look to the politicians first....”

        Centralizing the agencies slated for annexation to the Office of Homeland Security stands in stark contrast to this, especially with the uncertainty in the future after the conclusion of your second term. Most people I talk to who tentatively support this are business administrators and managers, their shrewd and logical minds understanding the advantage of managerial consolidation and streamlining. Yet, there are very few forward thinkers in this forum. The American form of government is peculiar in being first and foremost instituted to protect liberty and our God-given inalienable rights. This new agency will jeopardize that. It is not a matter of if, but when.

        I believe I speak for many; these concerns not whimsical or trivial, but filtered through the prism of national and world history. Careless advancement in this area might buy a little temporary security now, but the future does not bode well. Government might be able to 'secure' some property, but it cannot secure the minds and hearts of men without denying freedom.

        Nevertheless, I understand the intricate complexities and challenges of our times and the formidable tasks facing your administration. Our sincere prayers and heartfelt support are with you and Laura, that you may continue to prevail in the national and international arena in these perilous times.

        My Deepest Respects and Regards,

   Michael A. Baker

        Michael A. Baker


        Vice-President Dick Cheney
        The White House
        1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
        Washington, DC 20500
        Congressional Representative Ken Calvert
        U.S. House of Representatives
        2201 Rayburn House Office Building
        Washington DC, 20515-0001

        Republican National Committee
        310 First Street, SE
        Washington, DC 20003