Saturday, August 12, 2006

AP: Admin fritters away opportunities to protect Americans

Bush staff wanted bomb-detect cash moved on Yahoo! News: "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.

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.

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.

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


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