Red-State Kangaroos Higher Terror Target, But Not The Big Apple?
Why hasn’t Michael Chertoff been fired yet? Oh, that’s right. This is the Bush Administration we are talking about here; the same administration that feels red-state Indiana is more likely a terror target than blue-state New York City or Washington, D.C. And if you wanted proof that the GOP is aiming to turn even domestic anti-terror funding into a taxpayer-supported gravy train for GOP earmarks, here you go:
A Homeland Security database of national monuments, chemical plants and other structures vulnerable to terror attacks is too faulty to accurately help divide federal funds to states and cities, according to the department’s internal watchdog.
Much of the study by Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner appears to have been completed before the department announced in May it would cut security grants to New York and Washington by 40 percent this year.
But the report, which was released Tuesday, affirmed the fury of those two cities — the two targets of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — which claimed the department did not accurately assess their risks.
Which states were deemed to have more likely terror targets? Was a careful analysis done? No. Whichever state submitted the most "targets" had the better chance at getting on the DHS priority list, and it looks like GOP governors played the game well.
The report noted that Indiana has 8,591 assets listed in the database — more than any other state and 50 percent more than New York. New York had 5,687 listed.
It did not detail which ones, but the Homeland Security assessment of New York this year failed to include Times Square, the Empire State Building the Brooklyn Bridge or the Statue of Liberty as a national icon or monument.
Instead, the department’s database of vulnerable critical infrastructure and key resources included the Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo in Huntsville, Ala., a bourbon festival, a bean festival and the Kangaroo Conservation Center in Dawsonville, Ga.I never knew that Al Qaeda had put the Big Apple on the “Do Not Bomb” list, and was now targeting petting zoos, festivals, and conservation centers. The governor of Indiana is none other than former Bush OMB director Mitch Daniels, who knows as much as anyone about how to use the federal treasury to benefit the GOP and tilt the books and resources in his favor. And what about Old MacDonald Petting Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama? That would be the home district of Democrat Bud Cramer, who votes for the bankruptcy bill and to abolish the estate tax in one two-day period last year, while he sits on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and can steer money away from New York and to his petting zoo. Alabama is also a state run by GOP governor Bob Riley.
Similarly, Georgia is another state run by a GOP governor, Sonny Perdue, up for re-election this year, and two GOP senators. Dawsonville, (a city of 619 people according to the 2000 census) is the district of none other than GOP representative Nathan Deal. But the Kangaroo Conservation Center is the largest collection of kangaroos outside of Australia, and is therefore a high priority target of Al Qaeda, at least according to Perdue and Deal.
That is what homeland security has become under Bush and the GOP: gravy-train protection for red-state kangaroos and petting zoos, but the finger to New York and Washington. A shining example of how the GOP can be better trusted to protect the homeland than those soft-on-terror Democrats.