Tuesday, November 1


News reports have detailed how little the Bush administration cares about national security when weighed against the political value of destroying the credibility of critics of their policies. There's further compelling evidence of their cavalier attitude toward national security in the fact that the administration has missed dozens of deadlines imposed by Congress for developing ways to protect airplanes, ships, and railways from terrorists.

A plan to defend ships and ports from attack is six months overdue. Rules to protect air cargo from infiltration by terrorists are two months late. A study on the cost of antiterrorism training for federal law enforcement officers who fly commercially was supposed to be done more than three years ago.

The excuse of Homeland Security officials is that there are too many reports demanded and the organization of the huge department was an enormous undertaking. Excuse me, but that won't hold water since the agency can't demonstrate significant progress in even one of its major priorities. Border security has not even been addressed by this administration. Bush announces he will increase the number of border patrol agents by thousands and then quickly reduces the budget to allow for some 200. The reason? There's not enough money. It's more important to give billions of dollars in tax breaks to the uber-wealthy than to protect the country.

We know where his priorities lie. And national security isn't among them.

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