Sunday, July 11, 2004

Toe the Line... 

Ex-chief of Park Police denounces firing
One day after she was fired, former U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers accused the Bush administration Saturday of silencing dissenting views in the rank and file.

Chambers' departure may not garner the same spotlight as those of former counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, but it appears to fall into a similar category: officials who leave or are forced out after questioning Bush administration policies.

Chambers said that she didn't expect to be fired seven months after the Interior Department put her on administrative leave with pay for talking with reporters and congressional staffers about budget woes on the 620-officer force.

She was fired Friday, just two and half hours after her attorneys filed a demand for immediate reinstatement through the Merit Systems Protection Board, an independent agency that ensures federal employees are protected from management abuses.
"The American people should be afraid of this kind of silencing of professionals in any field," she said. "We should be very concerned as American citizens that people who are experts in their field either can't speak up, or, as we're seeing now in the parks service, won't speak up."
Chambers said she did nothing wrong except argue for adequate funding for the Park Police, which falls under NPS authority -- and perhaps fail to understand that she was required to "toe the party line."
The article goes on to explain the Park Police budget woes. They don't have enough money to properly police national monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Department of Homeland Security is a joke. It's main function is to give vague terrorism warnings when Bush's numbers are dropping. The latest round of warnings just happened to come the week Kerry named Edwards as his running mate.