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Utter incompetence at DHS

  1. Jul 12, 2006 #1
    I find it incredible what awful decisions are coming out of this vast, brainless bureaucracy - the very one that crippled our federal emergency management system and made a dramatic 40% budget cut for NYC terrorism spending based on a formula. What is this $36 billion dollar preschool doing today? Here's their perception of what is currently threatened by terrorists, according to their 77,000-target "National Asset Database":
    The PR:
    NY Times (fixed link!)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2006 #2

    loseyourname

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    Where are you quoting the first article from, rach? That information is not contained at the NY Times page you linked to.
     
  4. Jul 12, 2006 #3
    Oops, wrong link! Fixed it.

    (that was embarrasing...)
     
  5. Jul 12, 2006 #4

    Gokul43201

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    Rach, it isn't DHS incompetence that has lead to this so much as, I suspect, favor bartering between states and the WH.

    <fiction>

    Sen. Seff Jessions(R-Ala): Look here Rarl. My polling numbers are now where I don't have to take off my shoes and socks to count them. If I don't get my state a big share of this pork pie, it's going to be a close call come November.

    Rarl Kove: So, what exactly are you suggesting Senator? And don't beat around the bush - I'm a busy man.

    Jessions: Up my state's terror funding by 30% and I'll write up a nice hefty amendment to the Defense Funding bill.

    Kove: I'll settle for that. So what's you got down there in 'Bama that's worth throwing the moolah at? Got some big National Monuments, tourist hubs, strategic interests....just write 'em up.

    Jessions: Ummm...well. There's a little problem there.

    Kove: Oh what is it Senator? I said I didn't have time to piddle away on guessing games.

    Jessions: We...don't really...have any...of that stuff.

    Kove: I give a goose's tail Senator! If you've got a rest stop with a working urinal, put it down. Just make the list long, Senator. I don't care what you put in it. I'll make sure it gets to the boys in DHS, and you'll get enough money to buy your state a real Thanksgiving dinner.

    Jessions: We do have this, umm...petting zoo.

    Kove: Next!!!

    </fiction>
     
  6. Jul 12, 2006 #5

    Mech_Engineer

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    I don't mean to trivialize the attacks on New York, but that amount of money was allocated to help upgrade the anti-terrorism and safety infrastructure in NY, and now that it has been upgraded, it can be reduced. NY is still getting more money than anyplace else, and there ARE flights that go from Omaha to NY City BTW.

    I think the complaints about the budget cuts are far too sensationalist, laced with a bit of unfounded entitlement. NY City isn't the only place in the wide wide US of A.
     
  7. Jul 12, 2006 #6
    Upgraded how?

    What kind of permanent infrastructure was put in place and where?

    Is it enough, or do the experts recommend more?

    I don't think this is about the cuts it is about the list of possible terrorist sites. Somehow I just can't envision a petting zoo or a flea market as high priority targets for terrorists.

    http://hsc.house.gov/coverage.cfm?id=156

    From the House Committee on Homeland Security

    Decisions are being made for political reasons, not security, that is why the American people should reject the Republican Congress this year. Since we don't have a viable third party, let's hope the Democrats can do a better job. (Hard to see how they could do worse.)
     
  8. Jul 12, 2006 #7

    Gokul43201

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    It's not so much that they cut funding for NYC, but the reasons they gave! The Empire State Building, for instance, was not listed as a tourist destination or a National Historic Landmark, but "a tall office building".
     
  9. Jul 12, 2006 #8
    No one in their right mind could say that the Empire State Building is a target attractive to terrorists - it's small, obscure, and sparsely inhabited. The important buildings, the ones that need more security, are the big symbolic targets with thousands of people - the "Ice Cream Parlor" and "Donut Shop" listed in the National Asset Database. DHS knows what it's doing, and we're all safer because of it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  10. Jul 13, 2006 #9
    um.. personally if I was a "terrorist" trying to strike fear in people, I would much rather bomb the local ice cream parlor than the empire state building... thats not a joke. Imagine the impact it would have on the community.
     
  11. Jul 13, 2006 #10
    I disagree that is a joke and you damn well know it:biggrin: I wonder if this is a scandal, rather than inane beraucracy, it has all the hall marks of corruption as demostrated in the ficitional account of Senator mongoose.
     
  12. Jul 13, 2006 #11

    loseyourname

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    Well, I do think a local ice cream parlor is more likely to be hit; not because it would have more of an impact, but simply because it would be a hell of a lot easier to organize a strike against it. One person with access to a hardware store could carry out the attack with under a week of planning. There is really no security in place against something like that, which almost makes me wonder why nothing like that has happened.

    Maybe aiming for the grand strike is the wrong kind of strategy. Back when I worked at Disneyland, I believe we were considered the #4 priority target within the US for international terror organizations. After 9/11 we started screening everything a person brought into the park, but it always struck me that it would be awfully easy to simply carry an uzi right up to the security checkpoint on one of the more crowded days and simply fire into the lines right as the park was opening. You could probably take out a couple hundred people before the cops took you down (it's not like there are snipers waiting for such an event to occur). This might not have quite the symbolic impact of detonating a bomb inside of the park, but it would be damn close and pretty much impossible to protect against.

    For that matter, think about the most psychologically harmful event to occur in New York City in the last hundred years prior to 9/11: the Son of Sam killings. Would it really be that hard for some Islamo-Terrorist groups to find a suicidal kid willing to stalk the streets at night shooting people out on dates until the police finally catch him? They could probably find a separate person to do this for every major city in the country.

    Perhaps this is the problem. DHS is thinking like me, and Al Qaeda is not. They'd rather make one grandiloquent gesture once every decade than strike fear into the hearts of the average urban American every time he goes out at night.
     
  13. Jul 13, 2006 #12

    Astronuc

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    But the question is, what community? NY and LA, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, . . . - all the large urban areas, with greater population densities and therefore greater chance of casualties (and worse) are much more likely targets.

    NY City has been hit twice, although the Washington DC area was also targeted on 9/11.

    Maybe terrorists would target an ice cream parlor - in NYC or LA, rather than a more secure landmark.
     
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