Posted in Around The Nation, Bad Government Republicans, Commentary at 4:01 pm by wcnews

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), has a new report out called Homeland Security For Sale, (full report here [.PDF]). They created a whole web site for it with an excellent video, homelandsecurity.org. The report details what a horrible sop to corporations this big government conservative, borrow and spend, operation this has been. From the Executive Summary:

Whether it is the chronic staffing vacancies, the worst employee morale in the federal government, the inoperability of information technology, our exposure to cyber-terrorism or FEMA’s fake press conferences, DHS’s failures are reported on a daily basis. In addition to the spectacular and well documented failures of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during and following Hurricane Katrina, there have been seemingly unending smaller outrages: that DHS purchased iPods for “data storage,” dog booties for hurricane recovery and designer rain jackets for munitions training, only to learn the iPods were lost, the booties unused and the firing range closed during rain.

There are more frightening facts as well. We take our shoes off at the airport, but baggage screeners at Los Angeles International Airport missed 75% of the fake bombs smuggled through by government auditors and we stock up on duct tape, plastic sheeting, water and batteries, but DHS has no integrated plan for catastrophic disasters.

Then there is the utter waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Billions have been spent on projects to secure our borders and to inspect port cargo, but the projects have been delayed and the contractors have overcharged, all under the less than watchful of eye of DHS political appointees.

Last night Keith Olbermann spoke with Rachel Maddow about the report on Countdown. Video here. I’ll highlight part of their discussion below (transcript).

OLBERMANN: And there you have it. Is this incompetence, Rachel, or is it, as Naomi Klein suggests, the intent that this is a system designed not for Homeland Security, but it‘s designed to funnel taxpayer money away from the federal government into the hands of friendly corporations? Is it designed?

MADDOW: Well, we don‘t know unless we know their intent, but I think if you take a big picture on it, it‘s kind of—there‘s a compelling case to make for the way Naomi Klein sees it. In Reagan‘s second inaugural, he said government is not the solution, government is the problem. That‘s been adopted as the mantra of the Republican Party and the Right wing. So if you think the government is the problem and you then make government smaller that makes sense. If you think government is the problem and you make government a lot bigger, the biggest increase in the size of a federal government since World War II, then you have to answer, well, if you think government‘s the problem and you‘ve just made it really big, if you as a conservative think that government can‘t help the American people, but you hugely enlarge the size of the government, who did you do it for? It‘s not for us.

OLBERMANN: It‘s by process of elimination, it has to be for somebody else, it‘s just a question of which of the many somebody else‘s it could be. So, philosophically, close this out for me. Why does the Right care so much about listening to my conversations, reading your e-mails, but not only caring about that, but prioritizing that over inspecting cargo, which actually could blow up even if it‘s just accidentally?

MADDOW: Right. Why are searching our bank records more rewarding than searching the cargo that goes on our planes? Well, eavesdropping and the kind of scuffering of the Fourth Amendment that we‘ve seen, gives the government power, gives them power over our citizens. It gives them the kind of power that they could have never really dreamed of having before 9/11 and before this branding. Whereas searching the cargo containers, “A,” cost money and keeps all of us safe and frankly, you know, when you‘ve got your priorities straight, those things apparently fall down lower on the list.

OLBERMANN: Yes, it begins to look, after you watch it day in and day out for five years, that it‘s all a nice convenient excuse to do what they wanted to do, anyway.

In other words “conservatives” don’t mind increasing the size of government as long as the welfare goes to corporations and not to the people.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » It’s Time To Take The Keys Away said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    […] problem mind you, to govern competently is beyond me. Just think back to the Katrina response and the mess at the Department of Homeland Security, for example. From Rep. King’s proposal it should be clear that these Republican radicals, […]

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