The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Having been caught, we're now committed to homeland security

How do you suppose the Republicans will use their "pre/post - 9/11" talking point now that they've had more than four years to work on these issues-- and done nothing?

In the article, Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman (a reliable Bushie) does just that. But it's pretty half-assed, considering that the Republican-controlled Congress holds the pursestrings for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Here's my guess: the GOP claims they've been withholding funds from national security agencies with a pre-9/11 mentality-- in the name of efficiency, of course.

Installing radiation detectors at U.S. entry points is taking too long and costing too much, says a congressional watchdog agency whose undercover investigators breached security by slipping nuclear material into the United States.

In a test last year, the small amounts of cesium-137, which is used in industrial gauges, triggered radiation alarms in Texas and Washington state. The material was enough to make two small "dirty bombs," officials said, yet U.S. customs agents permitted the investigators to enter the United States because they were tricked with counterfeit documents.

The Bush administration says that within 45 days it will give U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents the tools they need to verify such documents in the future.

Senators were to grill administration officials on security problems identified during the Government Accounting Office's undercover operation during a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

In a series of reports, the GAO, which is the investigative arm of Congress, found that the Homeland Security Department's goal of installing 3,034 radiation detectors by September 2009 across the United States — at border crossings, seaports, airports and mail facilities — was "unlikely."

Are you listening, Democrats? File this one under 'C,' for campaign issue.