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NYT editorial: Hokum on Homeland Security

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:32 AM
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NYT editorial: Hokum on Homeland Security
Editorial
Hokum on Homeland Security
Published: August 20, 2006

Ever since British intelligence did such a masterly job in rounding up terrorists intent on blowing up airliners, the Bush administration has relentlessly tried to divert attention from the disintegration in Iraq and focus instead on its supposed prowess in protecting our country against terrorist attacks. That ploy ought not to wash. While the administration has been pouring its energies and money into Iraq, it has fallen far behind on steps needed to protect the homeland....The sad truth is that while some important steps have been taken to harden our defenses against terrorist attacks, gaping holes remain in our security net....

***

The leaders of the 9/11 commission issued a final report last December analyzing how well the administration and Congress had done in carrying out the commissions 41 recommendations. They awarded only one A minus (for disrupting terrorist financing), a batch of Bs and Cs, and a dozen Ds in such critical areas as reforming intelligence oversight, assessing infrastructure vulnerabilities and sharing information among government agencies. A failure to share intelligence allowed the 9/11 terrorists to succeed despite advance hints of their presence and intentions.

The commission awarded five failing grades, the most serious of them for Washingtons failure to allocate homeland security funds based on risk. Even after moderate tinkering with the formulas this year, greedy legislators from states that face little danger continue to siphon off funds that would be better used to protect New York, Washington and other large cities likely to hold the greatest attraction for terrorists.

Almost everyone agrees that the administration has taken some important steps toward greater security, but as the leaders of the 9/11 commission recently commented, it has not made the issue a top priority. The long, costly, chaotic occupation of Iraq, though touted as a front line of the war on terror, has actually sapped energy, resources and top-level attention that would be better applied to the real threat, a terrorist attack on the homeland.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/opinion/20sun1.html?h...
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