Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Here's what I said about the Homeland Security Department when it was still a proposal:

So --- the problem of turf wars between the FBI and CIA is dealt with by giving them both a new agency to fight with, the problem of information hoarding at headquarters is dealt with by establishing a new hoard of information at headquarters, and we also improve matters by imposing a new layer of centralized bureaucracy on agencies which (with the possible exception of INS) didn't have much to do with the problem.

But it does have strong bipartisan support in Congress.

What could possibly go wrong?

Here's what the WaPo said last week:

Six months after it was established to protect the nation from terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security is hobbled by money woes, disorganization, turf battles and unsteady support from the White House, and has made only halting progress toward its goals, according to administration officials and independent experts.

The top two officials under Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge are stepping down amid criticism from some White House officials and elsewhere in the administration. So few people want to work at the department that more than 15 people declined requests to apply for the top post in its intelligence unit -- and many others turned down offers to run several other key offices, government officials said.

Desperately needed repairs to the department's cramped, red-brick headquarters on a Navy facility in Northwest Washington have been stalled by a shortage of money. Some employees at the complex do not have the secure telephone lines required to do their work, the officials said.

As a result, the department has made little progress on some of the main challenges cited when it was created in March...

Shocking. But who ever could have guessed?


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