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Did the Department of Homeland Security Hold a Roundtable Discussion with Fake Bloggers?

Earlier this week, Latina Lista reported that the Department of Homeland Security, under the direction of Secretary Michael Chertoff, was tired of going through the legal channels to satisfy Texas border residents who are fighting the intent to build a wall along the southern U.S.- Mexico border.

So to speed things up he has decided to forego a few laws (30 of them) to get things moving.

In a transcript of a roundtable discussion that Sec. Chertoff had with some bloggers yesterday, he admits that the law is just in his way.

Question: Can you give us an update how things stand with the fence? I know there was some big news yesterday.

Secretary Chertoff: Well, we’ve got about 310 miles built — about 170 of pedestrian fence and about 140 of vehicle fence. We’re on track — I want to get 670 miles done by the end of the calendar year, of which 370 will be pedestrian and 300 will be vehicle.

To do that, although we want to be respectful of the environment, we cannot afford to get enmeshed in the kinds of litigation that have traditionally caused projects to take decades to complete…

Unfortunately, that’s what working through our judicial system means. Look how many innocent men have sat on death row waiting to be exonerated because of all the litigation that had to be endured to reach a just conclusion?

Yet, that’s not the most disturbing item from this transcript. Reading the transcript, which was released as a press release, and is only a partial transcript at that, not one blogger is identified.

The strangeness of this situation immediately waves red flags.

Before the government releases a bogus statement about protecting privacy, there exists something in the blogosphere that is an universal truth – no blogger wants to be anonymous, especially if they were lucky enough to score an interview with a high-profile individual like Chertoff.

Real bloggers would make that a headline post and it would have surely been "talked" about in the blogosphere. Strange that I ran across the item by accident doing a news seach on Chertoff.

Given the track record of this administration that sees nothing wrong in staging press conferences, I tend to believe that this may also have been the case – though I don’t have any proof but a lot of circumstantial evidence.

From the questions themselves, it shows these "bloggers" were not objective but almost seemed to be buddies with Chertoff.

There are a number of us who blog about the DHS exploits and yet, not one of us was invited or alerted to this roundtable discussion. Odd or maybe just a way for Chertoff to claim his department is reaching out but – not really.

If Chertoff and the DHS are serious about meeting with bloggers then they should contact those of us who have been blogging about what they do.

In this way, real questions will be asked because we’re still waiting for real answers.

Update: a commenter at LatinaLista added a comment about the original post. It’s interesting that apparently one of the bloggers was from the Heritage Foundation. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

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Marisa Trevino

Marisa Trevino