Friday, August 11, 2006



The long knives are out for the Bush administration right now.

Stories like this -- charging that the Bush team wanted
bomb-detection funding cut from the Department of Homeland security -- don't appear from nowhere:

The administration's most recent budget request also mystified lawmakers. It asked to take $6 million from Homeland S&T's 2006 budget that was supposed to be used to develop explosives detection technology and instead divert it to cover a budget shortfall in the Federal Protective Service, which provides security around government buildings.
Sens. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the top two lawmakers for Senate homeland appropriations, rejected the idea shortly after it arrived late last month, Senate leadership officials said.
Their House counterparts, Reps. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., and Sabo, likewise rejected the request in recent days, Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Brost said. Homeland said Friday it won't divert the money.
This story was quickly funneled to the AP (or the writer was working on it already in connection with another story) and released in a quick hurry, just as the White House is trying to use the bomb plot for maximum political advantage.

Likewise, this depiction of DHS is hardly flattering:

Homeland Security's research arm, called the Sciences & Technology Directorate, is a "rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course," Republican and Democratic senators on the Appropriations Committee declared recently.

"The committee is extremely disappointed with the manner in which S&T is being managed within the Department of Homeland Security," the panel wrote June 29 in a bipartisan report accompanying the agency's 2007 budget.

Rep. Martin Sabo, D-Minn., who joined Republicans to block the administration's recent diversion of explosives detection money, said research and development is crucial to thwarting future attacks and there is bipartisan agreement that Homeland Security has fallen short.
"They clearly have been given lots of resources that they haven't been using," Sabo said.
And the nice irony? The Bush administration fought the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, agreeing to it only after being continually prodded by Democratic senators led by -- Joe Lieberman.

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