Can Perry Be Entrusted With Intelligence?
By Josh Matlock
Wed, 09/05/2007 - 10:30am
Intelligence gathering and sharing are proven means for effectively combating criminal activity. Texas presently gathers and shares intelligence among various law enforcement agencies utilizing a database called the Texas Data Exchange, or TDEx. One might reasonably assume the state’s top law enforcement agency is responsible for managing such a database. This is not the case. Instead, a Perry political appointee manages TDEx causing widespread concern over potential civil liberty abuses.
This is not the first time a statewide intelligence database has come under fire. During the 1970's, Gov. Briscoe shut down a similar operation run by the DPS after uncovering numerous civil liberty violations. One can only imagine the potential for disaster after now allowing political appointees in the governor’s office manage such an operation. TDEx is clearly something that should be in the hands of criminal justice professionals. Even in the hands of professionals, a great deal of oversight is necessary to keep everyone honest. Civil liberties are essential to a democratic society. Perry’s present hold on TDEx is akin to the fox guarding the hen house. Texans’ civil liberties are at risk.