Friday, September 2, 2005
The Failure of Homeland Security
Just short of four years ago today, I stood helplessly on the shores of Hoboken watching as thousands died in downtown Manhattan. I remember viscerally the anger I felt after the horror. There is a particularly vivid moment I remember as with a roar one of a pair of F15 fighter jets swooped down over the just fallen southern tower: I felt as the fighter seemed to be feeling, howling in impotent rage over the fallen tower, with nowhere to direct that rage.
As a direct result of those events I witnessed, a whole brand-new government department was created, tasked specifically with making sure that there would be no cause in future for feeling that hopeless rage ever again at events perpetrated within our country.
Today I again feel that howling, impotent, livid rage, and this time it is directed directly against that new government department, which has had four years to improve the security of this country, and in which task it has failed. Utterly. Shockingly. Miserably. We are worse off with it than had the whole damn bureaucratic mess never been initiated in the first place.
Four days it has taken to get any kind of response to the dire need in New Orleans: FOUR DAYS! Blandly assuring us that everything is fine, it took dogged reporters harping back again and again to the specific issues in interviews to make these leaders even AWARE of the problems that existed! Where is their intelligence gathering? Doesn't anyone in Washington have a TV set?
The Department of Homeland Security is a sham. I feel less confidence in the security of our homeland now than I did four years ago.
Four years ago, the horror I witnessed was of a sudden, caused by despicable madmen; the horror unfolding over the last four days in places like the Convention Center in New Orleans has been caused by the total, reprehensible failure of the leaders of our country.