Code Red Alert! Code Red! Your department of homeland security is at it again!
This bungling bureaucratic behemoth, which is spending billions of our tax dollars supposedly to protect America from another 9/11 horror, is second only to the Pentagon in mismanagement, waste, fraud – and plain silliness. The latest evidence of DHS’s goofy incompetence comes from its own inspector general, who recently issued a scathing indictment of how the department divvies up the hundreds of millions of dollars it grants annually for local antiterrorism efforts.
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DHS maintains a “national asset database” that lists 77,069 local sites across America that it considers possible terrorist targets. Using this computerized list of targets, DHS bizarrely cut grants going to New York City and our nation’s Capitol this year by 40 percent – while jacking up the amounts going to such places as Omaha and Louisville.
Why? Take a peek into DHS’s database. The inspector general reports that it includes such potential “targets” as the Amish Country Popcorn store in Berne, Indiana, the Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo in Woodville, Alabama, and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tennessee. The list is larded with some 3,700 malls, 1,300 casinos, 163 water parks, 159 cruise ships… and even 718 mortuaries. No doubt these places are “national assets” – but terrorist targets?
Even in the face of such absurdity, DHS won’t budge. “We don’t find it embarrassing,” declares a clueless department spokesman. “The list is a valuable tool.”
Many of those on the list, however, are more level headed. “Seems like someone has gone overboard,” says an organizer of the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, Illinois, which made DHS’s target list. He notes that “Their time could be spent better doing other things, like providing security for the country.”
This is Jim Hightower saying… Bingo! Let’s make this guy the head of DHS!
“U.S. Terror Targets: Petting Zoo and Flea Market?” The New York Times, July 12, 2006.