Sunday 19 April 2009

Is the GOP really whining about Homeland Security?

Currently the loony right is screeching about the Department of Homeland Security and the warning about rightwing extremists, a report which was actually ordered by Bush. This is right after the rightwing loons bashed Obama about the government spending too much and sticking their noses in our business, all of which were actually going on under Bush, before Obama even showed up. Isn’t it funny how, every time the Republicans screw up, their “A” Plan is to blame the Democrats who tried to stop the mess in the first place? These clowns have more brass than John Phillip Sousa.

Ironically Bush, our “homeland security president” made complete hash of the Department of Homeland Security – total bureaucratic chaos. Years after 911, DHS still had no national disaster response plan. Hundreds of senior management positions were unfilled. There were critical gaps in emergency communications and IT integration.

The border patrol is so short staffed that they are working double shifts and cancelling basic training: morale is a rock bottom and sick leave is skyrocketing; they let thousands of people into the country without even looking up from their computer screens.

The nuclear protection effort is a mess. The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has been dismantled. The captain of a nuclear-powered sub lied about his crew skipping safety checks for months; the Air Force lost nuclear weapons which ended up flying across the country to Louisiana. A hole which was drilled in the coolant system of a Florida nuclear plant was written off as vandalism and never investigated.

FEMA spent more effort playing politics than assisting victims: they manipulated their handling of Katrina to make a Democratic politician look bad, concealed information about dangerous levels of formaldehyde in the temporary trailers, lied about $70 million is lost food aid, lied about the number of victims stuck on hotel rooms, tried to impose a gag order on lawyers trying to help victims, and shifted a small army of workers to Florida just before the 2004 election.

Obama could overhaul FEMA and split it off from DHS. The same guy who was hired in 1993 to clean up the mess left by G.H.W. Bush, James Lee Witt, may come back to clean it up again. Jindal praised his work on Katrina.

Yet again, folks can whine all they want about the decisions Obama must make, to clean up the catastrophic mess the Republicans created – but let’s not forget who created the mess in the first place. People who can never again be trusted with governmental power.

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