Friday, March 26, 2004

Homeland Insecurity

BushCo. have stated - numerous times - how committed they are to "homeland security." And they flog that commitment everywhere they go; they've attempted to use that commitment as a cudgel during the 9/11 hearings and all the extra-curricular press conferences on the periphery of those hearings as well.

Gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling, doesn't it?

According to the arch-liberal Wall Street Journal, you shouldn't feel too secure:

The year-old Department of Homeland Security is declaring a hiring freeze at two of its front-line units because of a potential $1.2 billion budget shortfall.


The Homeland Security department, headed by former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, was created last March by shifting personnel from 22 agencies. However, the budgets from the agencies' 15 pay systems weren't moved until last October, the start of the 2004 fiscal year. The 15 pay systems have been cut down to three that speak different languages, use different budgeting principles and budget codes, a senior department official said.


Although other Homeland Security officials said the discussions have also included the possibility of furloughs, Mr. Murphy said Mr. Hutchinson didn't talk about furloughs at all.

The worst border problems in the country at the moment are in Arizona. Robert C. Bonner, the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, last month described the border security situation in Arizona, as a "complete mess."
Officials aren't even sure if the budget shortfall is real - the computer systems are so fouled up that there is a possibility that there is no budget shortfall.

But nobody's sure.

Still feeling all warm and fuzzy?

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