WI/AHC: The US Department of Homeland Security is formed before 9/11

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Nathan Bernacki, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2016
    After September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security was formed by George W Bush to 'coordinate homeland security efforts'. It incorporates 22 agencies including the ICE, the Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, the US Coast Guard and the US Secret Service.

    But what would need to happen for something like the DHS to be formed BEFORE September 11 2001 and what kind of impact would this have on US national security?

    Also, a related question, were there any proposals for a DHS-like agency to be founded before 9/11?
  2. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Well, I suppose the obvious answer would be "Something like what happened on September 11 2001, but before September 11 2001.

    Do you mean what sort of attack could have taken place, which group would be responsible, that sort of thing?
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  3. nbcman Donor

    Jan 6, 2009
    Maybe a stronger reaction to the DB Cooper style hijackings in the early 1970s than the passenger screening the FAA first enacted in 1973? Or if Samuel Byck succeeded in his hijacking attempt and crashed a plane into the White House to kill President Nixon in 1974? EDIT: or in response to the TWA Flight 847 hijacking in 1985 and Pan Am Flight 103 which further increased aviation security.
  4. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    The first WTC bombing is much worse, and Clinton does something similar.
  5. martymcfly Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2016
    There was a lot of domestic terrorism in the US in the 1990s. Perhaps any one of these incidents ends up significantly more deadly than IOTL, so the Dept of Homeland Security or equivalent ITTL is formed.
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  6. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    You'd need those hijackings to be a lot deadlier to get a DHS-type organization in response. OTL, D.B. Cooper himself was lionized in one of those down-home, yee-haw comedy films that so graced the era.
  7. jocay Ambiguously Brown

    Aug 21, 2018
    New York
    Have the bombs in Columbine's cafetaria detonate and you would have hundreds, if not close to a thousand casualties. A Clinton administration in the summer of 99 creates the Department of Homeland Security.
  8. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    But doesn't the whole concept of "homeland security" presume that the country is facing an external, ie. foreign, threat? I realize that the OP probably isn't demanding an organization literally called the Department Of Homeland Security, but I think the idea that they were battling a menace emanating in other countries, not to mention one that involved many, many people working in tandem to attack the US, probably determined the nature of the ensuing department.

    Even with a high-casualty Columbine, I still think the response is gonna be less drastic than, say, what happened after the Oklahoma City bombing. The Columbine killers are still gonna be seen as just lone wolves, not neccessarily portending any future actions.
  9. bsmart Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    It will take something like 9/11 for Americans to allow such an intrusive police state. That is what the Patriot Act (I hate that name) and the DHS would have been considered before 9/11 shocked people. Oklahoma City didn't do it, The Olympic Park bombing didn't do it.
  10. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

    Apr 13, 2009
    Ft. Dearborn
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  11. SpaceMarathon Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    Perhaps the Millennium plot succeeding with the bombing of LAX? Although I'm afraid that prior PoDs would need to get it more plausible.
  12. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2012
    When FEMA was originally formed the people in the Regan administration pushing for it concieved it as a emergency government to deal with a expected collapse of state and local government. Nuclear war was one scenario. Another was a expected surge of tens of millions of refugees from Latin America when Communists took over those Nations. These people apparently thought Federal appointees would be better managers than the Military & Texas or California NG.

    FEMA was quietly sidelined by cooler heads, then reconfigured under the Clinton administration into a actual disaster coordination agency.