Republicans Suddenly Love the Federal Government
by Ted Westervelt
The national security system in airports proved to be an
abysmal failure on September 11.
If the Republican US House gets it's way, it will be fundamentally
changed. We're going to pay a five dollar surcharge on a round
trip ticket to the federal government so that they can pay
the same foreign companies to do it.
After a six year uninterrupted barrage of attacks on the
federal government of the United States, and weeks of delay
in taking ap a bill on improving national security at commercial
airports, the Republican leadership in the US House of Representatives
suddenly supported placing the word "federal" in a critical
piece of legislation. After bipartisan security bill that
would have placed this newly critical national security component
firmly in the hands of federal law enforcement passed the
US Senate 100 - 0, a last ditch effort was needed to garner
votes for the Republican plan to continue to use private security
agents in our nations commercial airports.
They needed to make it look like a federal government program.
In addition to loading their bill up with anti-litigation
and other typical big business goodies, the vehemently anti-federal
government Republican leadership swayed a few final and key
members in this razor thin margin by giving them a piece of
partisan campaign rhetoric. Foreign owned companies will still
staff airports with national security personnel, and still
set pay and other policies - but Republicans could call it
a federal government program for purposes of their re-election
And so the unanimous bipartisan Senate bill to fully federalize
the program was defeated by 4 votes.
What first appears to be a little name change has opened
a brave new world - foreign companies running parts of the
national security apparatus in order to save money.
Ride with me, for a moment, on a voyage to the full implementation
of their logic.
The "evil" federal government whose agents put their lives
on the line every day protecting Members of Congress and the
President cost taxpayers a lot of money too. Wouldn't it be
easier just to let a private company do it? After all, it
the President was assassinated, or Congress was infiltrated
by terrorists, at least these private companies could fire
the people responsible. Hey, if we contracted our armed forces
out to foreign nationals, we would worry a lot less about
sending them into Afghanistan........
It's nothing less than a Roman tragedy. Contracting out the
legions in an effort to adhere to political dogma.