Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The New York Subway Or An Alabama Petting Zoo? Guess Which One Is Amply Being Protected By The Department Of Homeland Security ... Then Guess Again

Do terrorists need to attack a major U.S. transit system before the Department of Homeland Security takes the threat seriously?

In the past week, terrorists -- most likely from India, rather than from Al Qaeda -- set off a string of bombs on Mumbai commuter trains, killing at least 163. Meanwhile, an investigation by the FBI and its counterparts in six other countries led to the arrest of a 31-year-old Lebanese native who claims to have ties to Al Qaeda and had plans to send suicide bombers to blow up PATH tunnels under the Hudson River. The PATH system is used by 215,000 daily commuters between New York and New Jersey.

Is that enough to have DHS see the big picture? After all, it didn't make changes after last year's terrorist attack to London's transit system. It didn't make changes after the 2004 terrorist attack to Madrid's transit system.

Not only has DHS not stepped up its funding for major transit systems, it has shown it doesn't take the issue seriously.

Last July, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said: "A fully loaded airplane with jet fuel, a commercial airliner, has the capacity to kill 3,000 people. A bomb in a subway car may kill 30 people." This year, DHS cut federal grants by 40% for New York and Washington, prompting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, to testify last month that DHS has become victim to "the kind of political pork barrel it was specifically designed to avoid, contributing to the preposterous under-funding of Homeland Security in New York City."


Hard to believe, but today things got more preposterous. A report from the DHS Inspector General found that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites in the National Asset Database than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.

While DHS is cutting funds for New York and Washington transit system protection, it is paying close attention to such things as a petting zoo in Woodville, Ala., the Sweetwater Flea Market in Sweetwater, Tenn., the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, Ill., and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tenn. Auditors also found entries in the database such as "Amish Country Popcorn," “Nix’s Check Cashing,” “Mall at Sears,” “Ice Cream Parlor,” “Tackle Shop,” “Donut Shop,” “Anti-Cruelty Society” and “Bean Fest.”

We don’t find it embarrassing,” DHS deputy press secretary Jarrod Agen told the New York Times.

The rest of do, Jarrod.


Blogger dusty said...

Remember, Chertoff is one of the asshats that brought us the Katrina debacle..

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Glorfindel said...

Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, Ill.? Wow...I MUST mark my calendar! Especially now that I know it's well protected, thanks to DHS. I'm so happy they have their priorities sorted out.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous tanyev said...

Here's the real problem:

“We don’t find it embarrassing,” DHS deputy press secretary Jarrod Agen told the New York Times.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous marmar said...

The rest of the world must be laughing their asses off... at the joke that is America these days.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Generic Other said...

We are talking about sacred institutions man! You gotta protect the homeland.

Old McDonald's Petting Zoo, Woodville, Alabama

Sweetwater Flea Market, Sweetwater Tennessee /

Apple and Pork Festival, Clinton Illinois

Mule Day Parade, Columbia, Tennessee

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Ravenseye said...

This is how out of touch most Americans truly are
What probably happened is that someone contacted these towns and asked them identify any possible terrorist targets in their area. Who better to know the area, than locals.

So they sit around in a room (I'm imagining a flourescent lit room with folding tables and chairs. A small conference room, maybe in a sublevel with high ceiling windows letting in some natural light.) with maybe the Mayor and Sheriff. A couple of 'local leaders'.

"Well hell, if them Terr'ists knew it they'd hit Zeke's Tackle Shop on a Saturday morning. Nearly every male worth his salt 'sin there that time of day gettin' bait."

"You know where else them Ay-rabs would hit us? The Donut Shop. Ain't that right Sheriff?"

"It'd be a quick way ta get rid of the law round these parts, that's for sure."

"Don't forget the Mall at Sears. On shoppin' days that place can be pretty crowded. Might be a place one o' them islams would try an hit us."

---Meanwhile in Manhattan---


5:27 PM  
Anonymous Ghost in the Machine said...

as long as they keep protecting the Sweetwater Flea Market...

that is 10 miles east of me, I won't worry one bit about the Nuclear Plant that's 8 miles west of me.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous niccolos_smile said...

Jeez. Isn't there supposed to be an objective formula for determining who gets these funds and who's at a greater threat risk?

*sigh* Sometimes I would like to pull out my hair, if I hadn't already shaved my head.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous uppityperson said...

but what about the flea markets?Those terrorist fleas want to bite us

5:30 PM  
Anonymous BOSSHOG said...

It would be horrible for young "christian" children to be exposed to the terrorist slaughter of animals.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous jmowreader said...

The scary part is that DHS knows what it's doing

All those things are in red states. New York City is in a blue one.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush and the whole damn bunch need to be frogged-marched out of the White House they stole and tried and convicted for treason and derelction of duty. Period.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The identity of the employees behind this insane report and the CONSULTANTS that compiled this needs to be fully disclosed. This ought to be page one news --and ought tp be incorporated into senate and congressional campaigns/

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Nuke the Red States said...

It's just a ploy. This way Bush can claim Chertoff is dumber than him.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know this - the people in power now NEED to create more chaos in order to keep promoting their Draconian plans. Wonder why we haven't caught binLaden yet? Wonder no more. Wonder why we invaded Iraq? To create MORE terrorists and hence the FEAR FACTOR!

9:05 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Here we have an especially excellent post from JABBS.
I don't have much to add except if this news doesn't work to squash Republican/Bushie claims that they are a strong party on terrorism, nothing will.
Where are our conservative Bushie sheep commentators on this post, Trinity? Do I hear crickets chirping? Will Rove be able to roll over this report? I think not.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Day in a day out, we are finding that our government is Not Working In Our Best Interest. Why not throw Homeland Security on the list as well as : Starting a 2 Front War (War on Terror and War in Iraq), Katrina, Exposing CIA agents/teams working on Iranian WMD
(Plame), $30,000 Birth Tax (Deficit) and Corporate Corruption (Enron, Halliburton, Worldcom)

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DHS is doing it's part to protect the GOP by buying votes away from those pesky Democratic terrorists who want to win elections fairly.

FEMA did the same thing last year by designating certain southern counties, that were untouched by huricaines, as disaster areas.

Who says you can't buy votes legally?

Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the agency was born, it was revealed that Tom Pudge promised funding according to roadwork construction sites, whoever had the most, was promised the most, promised because funds were delayed interminably. By the time funding arrived, Pudge was, by then, ridiculed into obscurity with his M&M color codes and endorsements for duct tape. Just think, all of this just barely missed being under the trash hauling thumbs of Bernie the Iraq War's sippertube inventor. So the question is would it have been better to see our brothels and protected or lose the 9th Ward to a theme park for Choicepoint? Yes, its very complicated, but so is No Child Left Behind.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Where are our conservative Bushie sheep commentators on this post, Trinity? Do I hear crickets chirping? Will Rove be able to roll over this report? I think not."

(SIGH) All right, twot. I'll take the bait, even though I am offended by your characterization of me as a "conservative Bushie sheep commentator". By now, we conservatives are quite used to the name-calling that emanates from your side on a regular basis.

In truth, though, I have to say that I find you marginally less obnoxious than one of your fellow posters who feels the need to insert the words, "buddy bud", "amigo", and "pow" into all of his posts. lol

But to get to the meat of this DHS issue, I would only say that as usual, there's a lot of spin and hype being used in reporting this story.

To say that the Department of Homeland Security cut New York and Washington's federal grants by 40% is more than a little misleading, because that is based on comparisons with last year's allocations, and those monies were actually a one-time amount given to make up for the fact that the grants from the previous year had been very low.

In other words, they initially got too little, so the next year's grants were corrected to compensate for that fact. That doesn't follow, however, that the higher number should be used as a base-line for subsequent years. It's really not that difficult to follow, provided one is interested in facts, and not spin.

New York has received a half billion, that's billion, with a "B", over the last 4 years, so the DHS is not cutting funds for the protection of New York and Washington transit systems. If Mayor Bloomberg has not put enough of that money towards protecting the NYC subway, then I would take that issue up with him, not Michael Chertoff.

Anyone who is interested in hearing an interview that NPR did with Chertoff on this issue can listen to it here:

3:11 PM  
Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

Trinity, my only friend in this liberal sea of confusion, you have once again come through in the clutch.

As you said, if these liberals are interested in facts and not spin, they should listen to Michael Chertoff.

Wake up and smell reality, liberals. The Bush Administration is spending the absolute right amount to protect the New York subway system. Don't believe me or my buddy bud, Trinity? Then get it from the horse's mouth.

Liberals, why would you listen to Mayor Bloomberg, a RINO if there ever was one? He's clearly biased. What's he going to say, "Give me less money?" Of course not.

Only a liberal would think that what Chertoff said last year -- "A bomb in a subway car may kill 30 people" -- would affect decisions made this year. And even if you New York liberal elitists wrongly put two and two together and get 22, how can you argue with Chertoff's math? If you liberals ever got out of your Volvos long enough to take a subway, you'd see that sometimes they have 30 people aboard.

If there's one thing you can count on from the Bush Administration, it's consistency. People like Chertoff aren't going to change policies each time the wind blows. They aren't going to become extremists because a bomb exploded in India. They aren't going to throw out policy decisions because a bunch of yahoos plotted to blow up the New York subways. It's that kind of consistency that has made the war on terror as successful as it is.

We all know how badly liberals want to be coddled by the federal government. C'mon! The Bush Administration merely wants to continue the fiscally sound policies that have gotten the annual deficit down to $296 billion -- not including the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan, or natural disasters like Katrina. Pow!

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Tweedledum & Tweedledee are finished with their outbursts, I'd like to state for the record NEITHER of them addressed WHY Nick's Checks, Amish Popcorn, the donut shop, the beach at the end of the street and a tackle shop were included on this year's grantlist. Are you suggesting these reports are mere "spin and hype"? And how can you call the widely varying annual disbursements (isn't fear of terror attacks supposed to be a FULLTIME threat 24/7, 365, because the WOT sure is a FT job, is it not?) an example of the consistency you attribute to the administration? I quote Mr. Toffee here:
Only a liberal would think that what Chertoff said last year -- "A bomb in a subway car may kill 30 people" -- would affect decisions made this year.,
HOWEVER, inconsistent Mr. Toffee must be kidding us when he says:
It's that kind of consistency that has made the war on terror as successful as it is.
Why YES, that was a good one, "Mister T", thanks for making my point for me. Now please, are either of you able to address whatever success you got in mind? Uh huh, I didn't think so.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

Anonymous, stop listening to Air America and join the Bush Administration and the rest of us in the real world.

Liberals think it makes sense to put the vast majority of Homeland Security dollars in high-profile places like New York and Washington -- conveniently two of the most liberal places on Earth.

But as my amigo Trinity said, you think that way because of liberal taling points. Michael Chertoff isn't interested in those talking points.

Ask yourself: what should Chertoff do with the rest of the country? Tell a child petting goats in Alabama, "you don't count"? Tell the young family in rural Illinois, "stop eating apples and pork"? Should Chertoff put people out of work at Sweetwater Flea Market, Amish Country Popcorn, Nix’s Check Cashing, Mall at Sears, Ice Cream Parlor, Tackle Shop, and Donut Shop?

C'mon liberals. These events can't exist, and these stores can't be successful, if Americans in the heartland fear Al Qaeda or the nutcase running Korea will kill them. They're as American as the sushi eaters on the coasts, liberals. They're fear level should be the same, too.

Like Chertoff said, "A bomb in a subway car may kill 30 people." Do the math, liberals. More than 30 people go to petting zoos, flea marekts, festivals and parades each day in the Heartland. Pow!

Liberals talk about helping the downtrodden. Who is more downtrodden -- some millionaire riding the subway from a suite at the Waldorf to a dream job on Wall Street, or some farmer worried his family won't keep the farm if he dies because of taxes, whose only other dream is to eat apples and pork in peace?

Get your priorities in order, Liberal America. I know the Bush Administration has done that.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dum brothers above still have not addressed their belief the U.S. is winning the war on terror. Perhaps they are not aware of the State Department report statistics to show Bush foreign policies since 2002, in particular in Iraq, directly resulted in significantly accelerating the number of global terrorism attacks, such as the subway attack in England last year.
Oh yeah, I forgot. The State Department must be liberal.
That is not Air America. Those are the facts. But conservatives cannot be bothered with facts when it's easier to fall in line behind Bushie false propaganda.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Decaying Truth said...

Yes. I can't wait to see that on the television.
--Petting Zoo leveled by Islamic Extremists--

Let's get real for a moment and stop spewing trash. If anyone truly believes that these places are priorities...
This might be true for places like Israel, where there are people just trying to kill other people for a higher body count. The simple fact that Indiana is considered to be a higher threat than California or New York is laughable. Anyone defending that needs to re examine their character flaws. If you add California's numbers with New Yorks its roughly 300 more sites above Indiana. 300? For two of our bigger states vs indiana's population of 6,080,485 THE CITY OF NEW YORK IS 8,104,079. Thats TWO MILLION more people in ONE CITY than all of indiana. And we haven't even counted California yet, which has just under 34 million people living in it. Justify that, spinsters. And tell me how important those petting zoos are to the children.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dum brothers above still have not addressed their belief the U.S. is winning the war on terror.

Yes, Mr. T blithly ignored it as if his drooling nonesense about middle America would veil his ignorance. He needs a talking points memo if he's going to play this game. He wastes our time.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your sarcasm, Mr. Toffee.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That wasn't sarcasm. That was just Mr. Toffee sounding really stupid.

4:35 PM  
Blogger GollyGumDrops said...

Having lived with the IRA in Britain I found it just bizarre that there was visible military security at the Rochester MI Apple festival in September 2002. I suppose the guy in the giant apple suit could have been a terrorist, but somehow, I doubted it.

6:09 PM  

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