We Are All NOLA

December 5th, 2005at 02:56pm Posted by Eli

This is not exactly news, but the 9/11 Commission confirms that the Bush administration is approaching homeland security with the same kind of zeal and competence they brought to New Orleans, both pre- and post-Katrina:

The 9/11 Commission released its final report today, outlining an array of shortcomings in the government’s response to the 2001 terrorist attacks and calling overall progress “disappointing.”


The commission… criticized the continued lack of intelligence sharing between government agencies; the lack of progress in curtailing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the failure to establish a uniform standard for treating detainees; and the distribution of Department of Homeland Security money based on politics rather than on potential risk.

In a statement, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said the progress report issued by the commissioners today, showed that the Bush administration and Congress were “dangerously neglecting the defensive war on terror we should be fighting here at home.”

“The report is a top-to-bottom indictment of the federal government’s lack of resources, focus and expertise in fighting the domestic war on terror,” Mr. Schumer said. “New York State is particularly hurt by the terribly unfair and inefficient homeland security funding formula and the lack of a federal program for communications interoperability among first responders. We can and must do better.”


At a Washington news conference today, members of the commission repeatedly blasted the government… for its lack of progress on pushing through the recommendations.

“None of it is rocket science,” said John F. Lehman…. “None of it is in the too-hard category. We all believe it is possible to get all of these things achieved.”

Timothy J. Roemer, a Democratic commission member and a former House member from Indiana, asked, “When will our government wake up?” He added, “Al Qaeda is highly dynamic, and we are not.”

The commissioners also slammed Congress for turning homeland security funds into just another flavor of pork, to be distributed widely and spent frivolously:

“Federal grants to first responders should be distributed on risk and vulnerability,” said [Commission Chairman Thomas] Kean, a former governor of New Jersey. Mr. Kean said the commission had found that one city, which he did not identify, had spent its anti-terrorism money on air conditioning for garbage trucks, while another had bought body armor for dogs.

The Democrats must take a page out of Karl Rove’s book and attack the Republicans’ supposed strength in 2006 – the Republicans’ alleged manly terror-fighting credentials have been their single biggest advantage over the Democrats (remember Dick Cheney saying there would be a terrorist attack if Kerry was elected last year?), but they’re a sham. It is vital that the Democrats expose the Republicans’ true fecklessness when it comes to terror – not only would it devastate their principal selling point, but it would also provide still another data point in the overall narrative of Republican incompetence and unseriousness when it comes to actual governance.

The Democrats must turn 2004 on its head in 2006, and declare that only the Democrats can keep America safe. All the Republicans know how to do is pick pockets and tell tales.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Terrorism

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