Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Bush Administration Sought Permission to Divert $6 Million for Explosives Detection Technology

ABC News
By: John Sololom
The Associated Press

Washington---While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology.

Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department's own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.

***I told you that all of these terror alerts were a bunch of B.S.! If Bush wanted to divert this $6M, then things aren't as bad as the Republicans are trying to make it sound, and/or, Bush is hoping to get hit again so that he can blame Iran! Don't forget, We already got hit on their watch. Think about it!

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.

***I thought the Republicans and the Bush administration have been telling us that they are doing a great job when it comes to protecting the homeland! This doesn't look like a good job to me.

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.

***I'd love to know the names of the Republicans that are on that committee for the next time they come out and say that the Bush administration is doing such a great job when it comes to protecting us!

"They clearly have been given lots of resources that they haven't been using," Sabo said.

Homeland Security said Friday its research arm has just gotten a new leader, former Navy research chief Rear Adm. Jay Cohen, and there is strong optimism for developing new detection technologies in the future.

***That is far from being an excuse. There is no excuse. You don't divert any funds from research!

"I don't have any criticism of anyone," said Kip Hawley, the assistant secretary for transportation security. I have a great hope for the future. There is tremendous intensity on this issue among the senior management of this department to make this area a strength."

***Then this person is too weak for this job!

Lawmakers and recently retired Homeland Security officials say they are concerned the department's research and development effort is bogged down by bureaucracy, lack of strategic planning and failure to use money wisely.

***Sounds like the wars we are trying to fight. Is every Department under the Bush administration controlled like this? It sure sounds like it!

The department failed to spend $200M in research and development money from past years, forcing lawmakers to rescind the money this summer.

The administration also was slow to start testing a new liquid explosives detector that the Japanese government provided to the United States earlier this year.

The British plot to blow up as many as 10 America airlines on trans-Atlantic flights was to involve liquid explosives.

Hawley said Homeland Security now is going to test the detector in 6 American airports. "It is very promising technology and we are extremely interested in it to help us operationally in the next several years," he said.

***But Bush knew about the attempt to use liquid explosives months ago! Like I said, is Bush trying to get us hit again? Is that why our borders are wide open?

Japan has been using the liquid explosive detector in its Narita International Airport in Tokyo and demonstrated the technology to U.S. officials at a conference in January, the Japanese Embassy in Washington said.

Homeland Security is spending a total of $732M this year on various explosives deterrents and has tested several commercial liquid explosive detectors over the past few years but hasn't been satisfied enough with the results to deploy them.

***The go with the Japanese one for now!

Hawley said current liquid detectors that can only scan individual containers aren't suitable for wide deployment because they would bring security check lines to a crawl.

***That's too bad. We want to be secure, don't we?

For more than 4 years, officials inside Homeland Security also have debated whether to deploy smaller trace explosive detectors already in most American airports to foreign airports to help stop any bomb chemicals or devices from making it onto U.S.-destined flights.

A 2002 Homeland report recommended "immediate deployment" of the trace units to key European airports, highlighting their low cost, $40,000 per unit, and their detection capabilities. The report said one such unit was able, 25 days later, to detect explosives residue inside the airplane where convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid was foiled in his attack in December 2001.

A 2005 report to Congress similarly urged that the trace detectors be used more aggressively, and strongly warned the continuing failure to distribute such detectors to foreign airports "may be an invitation to terrorists to ply their trade, using techniques that they have already used on a number of occasions."

Tony Fainberg, who formerly oversaw Homeland Security's explosive and radiation detection research with the national labs, said he strongly urged deployment of the detectors overseas but what rebuffed.

"It's not that expensive," said Fainberg, who retired recently. There was no resistance from any country that I was aware of, and yet we didn't deploy it."

Fainberg said research efforts were often frustrated inside Homeland Security by "bureaucratic games," a lack of strategic goals and months-long delays in distributing money Congress had already approved.

***But they keep saying that the Bush administration is taking good care of us!!!

"There has not been a focused and coherent strategic plan for defining what we need....and then matching the research and development plans to that overall strategy," he said.

Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, a senior Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee said, he urged the administration 3 years ago to buy electronic scanners, like the ones used at London's airport to detect plastics that mught be hidden beneath passenger clothes.

"It'been an ongoing frustration about their resistance to purchase off-the-shelf, state-of-the-art equipment that can meet these threats," he said.

The administration's most recent budget request also mystified lawmakers. It asked to take $6M from Homeland Security S&Ts 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.

***What a bitch!

Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Robert Byrd (D-WV), 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, rejected the request in recent days, Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Brost said. Homeland said Friday it won't divert the money.


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