September 30, 2003
IS HOMELAND SECURITY BEING SHORTCHANGED?....Juan Cole has a disturbing report from a source he considers "impeccable" that funding for some important homeland security programs has been diverted to the war in Iraq:
Department of Homeland Defense allocated half a billion dollars to a
project called the Tri-Lab Initiative, which offered grants to teams at
Los Alamos, Sandia, and White Sands for homeland defense research.
Proposals were made, ranked, and granted funds....but the money never
came, and the responsible Homeland Defense officials stopped replying to
calls and emails.
....Clearly, what has happened is that funds intended for other
purposes have been diverted to pay for the Iraq war. None of this is
classified, but government scientists are prohibited from using
government resources--i.e., their computers or their email account--to
make it public.
What kind of funding, you ask? Research to better detect hidden nuclear weapons, for one.
Now, this is just one guy who's obviously putting some pieces
together on his own, so there may be more here (or less) than meets the
eye. But Juan is right: it seems like a good story for an enterprising
journalist to check out.
Posted by Kevin Drum at September 30, 2003 03:06 PM
it seems like a good story for an enterprising journalist to check out.
That means, of course, this is the last we'll ever hear of it.
Thanks for posting this.
Greg Palast would cover this, or I guess John Pilger. Michael Moore
might be interested, and his email's in his book, "Stupid White Men"
(sorry, I gave away my copy).
Krugman's a pretty badass columnist, but he's no reporter.
You can rest assured Little Mick is on the case!
Bush has handed the Democrats a golden opportunity (okay, more than
one) to seize the national security issue. I sincerely hope the
overarching lesson of the Plame scandal, that the Bush administration
pays only lip service to national security and "supporting the troops"
but couldn't be bothered to protect and enhance things that actually
protect us (like covert WMD intelligence networks), isn't lost in the
roar about whodunnit.
Demanding someone's head because they broke the law will
(unfortunately) only look like tit-for-tat retribution for the Clinton
Instead, the real focus should be on the total indifference displayed
by the Administration over the past few months. Someone blew the cover
on a important intelligence asset, probably far more important to our
security at home than anyone we have or are attempting to capture in
That the White House wasn't outraged and didn't immediately launch a
full-scale investigation to identify the mole but instead has tried to
bury it speaks volumes (yet again) about the glaring incompetence of
this Administration in actually providing any protection for the U.S.
Folks, we are not anywhere close to protected by this "homeland
security" nonsense. Want proof? Look around you and think like a
terrorist. WE are being lied to. WE are the insurgents being prevented
from acting against this government through legal means, like through
honest voting. WE are the most dangerous enemy the Bush
(mis)Administration fears. So it's time we demand that our country be
returned to us.
Isn't this what the Iraqis are demanding? Are we any less deserving?
I'm all for research into detecting nuclear weapons, though I'll
admit I can't even imagine how you would do that on a border as large as
If you want to know just how bad it is and to have the crap scared
out of you if you live anywhere near a chemical plant (and who doesn't
if the wind is right) read this article by Jake Tapper in Salon -
It's about a very accessible and poorly guarded chlorine plant near
NYC that if attacked by suicidal maniacs could kill most of the people
in North Jersey and NYC.
It's also about how Sen. Jon Corzine has been stymied by the Bush
regime and their corporate cronies in the Chemical Maunufacturers Assoc.
from doing anything about protecting factories like this one. They
insist that no gov't action is necessary. The CMA and the plant owners
will take care of it "voluntarily".
There is no need for terrorists willing to die in the act to smuggle
anything into the country. All the explosives and chemical weapons of
mass destruction they need are easily available, out in the open,
unprotected and all around us.
Sebastian, I think we could start with the major ports. Anyway, you
can't win if you don't try.... Go team! Give 110%! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Mark S. —
I'm glad Salon is on this; Frontline covered it about a year ago and I'd forgotten all about it.
Forgotten!!!! Forgotten!!!!! Jesus fucking christ on a
fluorescent crutch. I knew my outrage thermostat had blown long ago; now
it's clear that my paying-attention circuits and self-preservation
valves are all corroded, too.
At this point, I'd love to become a conspiracy theorist. Where
do I sign up? Go ahead, fine, send me messages through my underwire
bra, which I'm wearing over my ears 24/7 while I trundle about my
belongings in a litter box bungeed onto a skateboard; I don't care. Just
let me cuddle up inside the delusion that there's someone (okay, a
cabal of someones) in charge and once we get rid of them, it'll all be
No, actually, we won't be okay. We've reached the tipping point, and not in some arch, pop-lit way. We're fucked.
Does anyone have a good anti-nihilism treatment? Besides the usual chemical/weaponry ones.
None of the foregoing should not be construed as encouragement to
retreat into chemicals or weapons before the 2004 election. Afterwards,
all bets are off.
"None of the foregoing should be..."
Deep breaths... ginger tea (yukk)...
Some perspective: The perfect defense does not exist. Ask the
French about the Maginot Line. The real questions are whether we are
doing enough and whether we are spending scarce resources wisely, not
whether we could be doing more. There will ALWAYS be more money that
could be spent on Homeland Security because that is a money pit capable
of consuming all the dollars we want to throw into it.
The most effective defense is to discourage your enemy from attacking
you in the first place. There are several components to this, not the
least of which is prompt and certain punishment for attacks on us.
Failure to do so was Clinton's most important failure as President
(Embassy Bombings, Cole, etc.). His Republican predecessors were guilty
of committing the same sin, and that is, I believe, the true cause of
9/11. Also important is fighting on the enemy's turf rather than on
your own. To the extent Iraq did that, the recent war was beneficial.
Ultimately, the only way to defeat terrorism is to take the battle to
the enemy and defeat him. No matter how much money is spent on
Homeland Security, we will NEVER eliminate our vulnerabilities.
As a reason for why all the money disappeared, this idea was floating
around as a joke. Kinda jarring for it to turn suddenly serious.
Ben: "Ultimately, the only way to defeat terrorism is to take the battle to the enemy and defeat him."
Yes, I know this is a dead thread, but this is so damn false I can't
just leave it there like a big steaming turd. Ask me about the IRA, I
lived in England for twenty years. Ask me about the West Bank. Folks
with zero perspective (9/11! 9/11!)come up with some dumb insights.
Who were the 9/11 terrorists again? My recollection is that they
were mostly educated, middle class professional types who were into
Islamic fundamentalism. Prospects are important, and I endorse attempts
to create more of them. They do not, however, account for terrorism.
Ben: cut the funding sources. Like Saudi Arabia. Or Noraid.
If you save the world too often, it begins to expect it.
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