2. "We 're fighting them over there, so we don 't have to fight them over here, " is catchy, but what does it mean? Does the Bush Administration actually believe that terrorists march forward in a line like the Redcoats in the Revolutionary War; and if we can just hold that line "over there ", the terrorists won 't be able to get "over here "?
President Bush insists that, by sacrificing thousands of lives in Iraq, he is somehow protecting our liberty and freedom and making us safer here at home --he just never explains how. He cites the train bombings in Madrid as an example of what happens to countries that refused to "fight them over there ". Bush 's logic is impeccable, except Spain did join us in Iraq and did not leave until long after Bush had declared "Mission Accomplished "; and London 's subways were bombed even though Britain is still fighting the terrorists "over there ".
3. The Department of Homeland Security is a waste, a fraud, a sham --a government boondoggle of the worst kind; because it not only wastes taxpayer money, it offers Americans a false sense of security.
"Since 2001, the federal government has distributed more than $8 billion to help police, firefighters and other 'first responders ' pay for equipment and training to prepare for terrorist attacks... Unfortunately, these grants have been allocated using a flawed formula that distributes funds widely but does not account for threat levels, vulnerability or the consequences of an attack. " --Co-Chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Kean and Hamilton, 9/11/05
Republicans in Congress know if Homeland Security money went where it is most needed, too much of it would go to the big cities where all those darned Democrats live. So, rather than distribute money based actual security needs, Congress treats Homeland Security money as just another big piece of pork. This leads to money going to the wrong places and being spent on the wrong things. The District of Columbia used federal domestic security money to buy leather jackets and send sanitation workers to self-improvement seminars. Newark, NJ, purchased air-conditioned garbage trucks, and Columbus, OH, bought armor for its fire department dogs. "These are not the priorities of a nation under threat, " said Kean and Hamilton.
Another problem is a lack of prioritization of security threats. Congress sets security-related deadlines without differentiating between banning toenail clippers on airplanes and monitoring the cargo entering our ports (The CIA believes this is most likely means of moving weapons of mass destruction into the United States).
Each year, foreign cargo ships visit U.S. ports some 50,000 times carrying millions of shipping containers. Only 4 to 6 percent of these containers are currently inspected. In spite of this, the Bush Administration 's 2003 and 2004 budgets provided no money for port security grants.
"For the cost of two F-22 fighter jets and three days of combat in Iraq, the nation's ports could be secured against terror. " --Retired Coast Guard Commander Stephen Flynn, The Progress Report, americanprogressaction.org, 12/1/04
Most of America 's security problems are a direct result of White House actions or inactions. The Republicans may control Congress, but the White House has effectively controlled the Republicans since Bush was appointed President in 2000. Now, four years after 9/11; the hodgepodge of "security " measures they have put into place is laughable.
They inspect our shoes for bombs before we can board a plane that is carrying tons of un-inspected cargo. They maintain a terrorist watch-list that keeps Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) from entering the U.S., while hundreds of thousands of people illegally cross our southern border every year. They declared war to keep Saddam from giving (non-existent) nuclear weapons to terrorists, but they have done next to nothing to assure that terrorists don 't get their hands on one of the 30,000 nuclear warheads left in the Soviet arsenal.
Recent reports indicate that the Bush Administration believes the best way to protect Americans is to spy on non-violent peace activists, environmentalists, and anyone else who happens to disagree with them --never mind the ports, railways, nuclear power plants, chemical plants, refineries, dams, bridges, etc. They will take care of themselves.
"The government should only address those activities that the market does not adequately provide -- for example, national defense or border security. (Did he say border security?) ... For other aspects of homeland security, sufficient incentives exist in the private market to supply protection. " --President Bush's 2002 National Homeland Security Strategy
In BushWorld, the government never has to worry about domestic security. The private sector will solve all our problems --even terrorism. Benevolent corporations will voluntarily spend whatever is necessary to guard their facilities, secure their hazardous materials, and protect our nation 's infrastructure from the evil-doers. They will also meet strict voluntary environmental and safety standards --while guaranteeing their employee pension and healthcare plans.
Back in the real world, we have an administration that failed to prevent the "surprise " attacks on 9/11 --despite specific warnings from numerous countries and agents in our FBI. Four years later, Hurricane Katrina blew away all illusions that this administration had done anything to increase our nation 's ability to respond to a crisis. Last year, I watched an interview with three security experts. When they were asked, "Why hasn 't the U.S. been attacked again? " --they had no idea.
My theory: Until they acquire a nuclear weapon, there is no reason for terrorists to attack America again. There is nothing they can do that could compare to the damage the Bush Administration is inflicting on America --to our reputation, our environment, our domestic programs, our quality of life. The Bush Administration continues to stretch our military, stretch the budget, and stretch the truth --every time they claim to be doing everything they can to keep Americans safe.