Sunday, December 11, 2005

There's a Reason You Don't Feel Safer Today

If you haven't checked out the 9/11 commission's report card on the government's response, you should. While Bush's minions are busy trying to ensure that the FBI can see what books I'm reading whenever they want, and while federal anti-terrorist funds have been going to provide bullet-proof vests for dogs and air conditioned cabs for garbage trucks, the Bushies have missed a few things they might want to take care of.

As Katrina showed very clearly, "Incident command system" - communications and centralized command systems, are non existent. They get a "C" from the commission. Also gaining a "C" are
-- slow progress & deficiencies at FBI and its new national security service
--no permanent group of governments established to coordinate counterterrorism strategy as a coalition.
--poor plans for ensuring transportation security
--poor detection for explosives at commercial airports (well that's not that important)

And rating a "D"?
--no national ranking of vulnterabilities, no assessment of what are our biggest risks and vulnerabilities. (yes, we're pumping millions of dollars into local economies to put where they wish because we have no idea what is a risk and what is vulnerable. so we get AC in garbage trucks.)
--little progress in working with other nations on watch lists & passport security. (hmm, it's almost as though we don't play well with other nations anymore - then again, the isolationists in US are excited about that. Until the next terrorist gets through on a plane from Germany because they didn't work with us to screen her out).
--interagency intelligence sharing (again, why would anyone think THAT could be important)
--interagency information sharing (well if they're not sharing intelligence, why would they share basic info)
--no funding, staff or leadership for new Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board (big surprise there. I bet the bushies are freaked out they didn't get an "F" here and are worried about something having gone at least partially right)
--securing weapons of mass destruction (yup, the reason we went to war gets a "D" in how we've accomplished it. Way to Go Bushies!)
--more effort needed for scholarship, exchange and library programs with Arab world to encourage culture and secular education (ah who cares about that. It's not as though there's a bunch of young men & women out there who are becoming suicide bombers for lack of other options in their world...)

And for the piece de resistance - Earning an "F" from the commission are:
--Radio spectrum - Congress has failed to set aside a special frequency for first responders, many of whom died on 9/11 because of poor communication. And again, no lesson even learned from Katrina here? How many lessons do the Bushies need before they figure this one out? PEOPLE NEED TO BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER IN AN EMERGENCY YOU MORONS.
--Homeland security funds allocated by well, the old boy's network and not on where the risks are. Fortunately Ted Stevens' Alaska will be protected. On the other hand, good luck NYC, but it's not as though anybody will try anything there.
--No consolidated watch list in airline prescreening procedures. (catching a pattern here? the main lessons we should have learned from 9/11 seem to be the ones that Bushies are getting "F"s on)
--Detention and "we don't condone torture" strategy - 'nuff said

Yeah, I feel safe, sitting here at my computer about 2 miles from the White House, and at work, 3 blocks from the Capitol dome. Safe as all get out.


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