Thursday, May 15, 2003

Texas and Homeland Security

So, I'd say the administration might be somewhat off the hook on this one, but this Texas trooper needs to be put in jail for this. I'm not sure for what, but deceiving federal law enforcement agencies has to be good for some time.

A Texas trooper trying to enlist federal help to find missing Democrats told the agency that tracks drug smugglers and terrorists that former House Speaker Pete Laney’s light plane might have crashed, the federal agency said Thursday.

Democrats, already angry at the efforts used to try to force them back to Austin so Republicans can redraw congressional districts in Texas, called the revelation a clear abuse of power.

"From all indications, this request from the Texas DPS was an urgent plea for assistance from a law enforcement agency trying to locate a missing, lost, or possibly crashed aircraft," said Dean Boyd, spokesman for the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of the new Homeland Security Department.

A DPS spokeswoman, Lisa Block, declined to comment on the propriety of the phone call, or say if it followed accepted DPS procedure. She also declined to say if the agency is inquiring into the matter.

According to a partial transcript the bureau released late Thursday, the DPS officer told the bureau’s tracking center, “We got a problem and I hope you can help me out. We had a plane that was supposed to be going from Ardmore, Oklahoma, to Georgetown, Texas. It had state representatives in it and we cannot find this plane.”