Thursday, December 15, 2005

So Late So Soon

Readers who've committed everything I've written here to memory - the majority, I'm sure - will have no trouble recalling a post entitled They Hate Us For Our Tiny Windmills, which proved once and for all that I'm more than equal to the task of slaughtering fish that dwell in barrels.

That post was about the inclusion of miniature golf courses and water parks on BushCo's list of terrorist targets. A year and six days have passed since I wrote it, and I'm happy to report that although the list still isn't finished, the miniature golf courses have been removed from it.

In addition to turning conservative orthodoxy on its head by creating an enormous new bureaucracy, President Bush appears to have staffed it with people who are completely unresponsive to his authority.

President Bush ordered the plan to be completed by December 2004. A year after that deadline and nearly three years after the department was created to protect the nation against terrorism, officials still don't have a workable database of possible targets.
How fucking hard is it to compile a list of vulnerable sites? And how fucking hard is it to punish or fire people who can't or won't deliver it on time? It's not hard at all, of course. When assessing BushCo's policies, you should usually assume that if a system seems not to be working, you misunderstand what it was intended to do.

Here's my theory, for what it's worth. Although every state knows perfectly well where its chemical plants and nuclear plants and airports and refineries are, they're attempting to shake loose federal money on essentially false pretenses, by pretending that isolate malls and city buildings in obscure towns are ideal targets for Al-Qaeda. Instead of rejecting these pretenses, and heaping shame on the heads of people who make them, BushCo is trying to figure out how to reward cronies with anti-terrorism dollars, and punish enemies by witholding them. In essence, BushCo administrates the entire country on a system of baksheesh and patronage, which makes a task as simple as identifying realistic terrorist targets virtually impossible.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) appears to agree with me, to some extent. In a recent op-ed piece, he said:
Continuing to distribute these funds throughout the nation irrespective of actual risk to particular states and communities is an irresponsible and dangerous proposition.


Eli said...

I think the other side of it is that the chemical and nuke industries don't *want* their plants identified as terrorist targets, because that might obligate them to waste corporate profits on security measures, and that would be totally bad for business.

Phila said...

Could be...although my guess is they'd be allowed to self-police, and given tons of money to do it.

Eli said...

This is probably true, but right now they're fighting any attempts to require them to harden their plants.

They probably haven't realized what kind of potential bonanza they're passing up.