Wednesday, August 06, 2008


The Gestapo

In charge of Homeland Security?

Mark Krikorian nominates Rep. Luis Gutierrez as the worst person in Congress based on this statement concerning his demand for a moratorium on immigration raids until an amnesty bill passes:
"You know who is in charge now? The Gestapo agents at [the Department of] Homeland Security. They are in charge."
Is this just irresponsible, outrageous hyperbole of the kind we have come to expect from liberals or does he really believe it? Perhaps he needs a history lesson. From Wikipedia:
The Gestapo had the authority to investigate treason, espionage and sabotage cases, and cases of criminal attacks on the Nazi Party and Germany. A law passed by the government in 1936 gave the Gestapo carte blanche to operate without judicial oversight. The Gestapo was specifically exempted from responsibility to administrative courts, where citizens normally could sue the state to conform to laws. As early as 1935, however, a Prussian administrative court had ruled that the Gestapo's actions were not subject to judicial review.[1]

A further law passed later in the year gave the Gestapo responsibility for setting up and administering concentration camps. Also in 1935, Reinhard Heydrich became head of the Gestapo and Heinrich Müller, chief of operations; Müller would later assume overall command of the Gestapo after Heydrich's assassination in 1942 and Ernst Kaltenbrunner would take over as overall head of the RSHA and SD. Adolf Eichmann was Müller's direct subordinate and head of department IV, section B4, which dealt with Jews.

The power of the Gestapo most open to misuse was called Schutzhaft - "protective custody", a euphemism for the power to imprison people without judicial proceedings. The person imprisoned even had to sign his or her own Schutzhaftbefehl, an order declaring that the person had requested imprisonment (presumably out of fear of personal harm). In addition, thousands of political prisoners throughout Germany – and from 1941, throughout the occupied territories under the Night and Fog Decree – simply disappeared under Gestapo custody.
UPDATE: ICE is calling on Congress to take action against Gutierrez:
A senior ICE official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Julie L. Myers, the assistant secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was “absolutely appalled and deeply angered” by the statement. The official said Myers would send a letter to senior members of Congress asking that disciplinary action be taken against Gutierrez’ for his remarks.

Another official, Jamie Zuieback, director of congressional affairs for ICE, went on the record.

“It’s not OK,” Zuieback said. “Aside from being demeaning to the law enforcement officers that uphold the very laws passed by Mr. Gutierrez’s Congress, it’s potentially dangerous. No member of Congress should be encouraging the public to defy or demean federal law enforcement officers. Words matter.”

A call seeking comment from Gutierrez was not returned.


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