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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Did I miss something? Am I mistaken in thinking that the Department of Homeland Security was created with the goal of, uh, keeping the homeland more secure? I mean, it is kind of in the name, right? Because four years on, I'm feeling about as insecure as ever.

Image hosting by Photobucket 'We lock the door at night, what more do you want??'

From the geniuses who brought us the paint-by-number terror wheel, the duct tape salvation solution and Michael 'Heckuva Job' Brownie, comes the frightening irony that they can't even keep their own frickin' headquarters secure.

The private guards complained that inadequate training led to confusion in handling bomb and biological threats and failure to stop test vehicles that were sent to checkpoints with improper identification.

"I wouldn't feel safe nowhere on this compound as an officer," former guard Derrick Daniels told The Associated Press. Daniels was employed until last fall by Wackenhut Services Inc., the private firm that protects a Homeland Security complex that includes sensitive, classified information.

An envelope with suspicious powder was opened last fall at the headquarters. Daniels and other current and former guards said they were shocked when superiors carried it past the office of Secretary Michael Chertoff, took it outside and then shook it outside Chertoff's window without evacuating people nearby.
A note to my friends who live right around the corner from this building in DC: Uh, move. Honestly, just the fact that the government hired a firm called 'Wackenhut' to guard its building should set your security alarms ringing.

But that's not all from the Keystone Kops over at DHS, it was only last week that the Wall Street Journal unearthed this beauty:

Among other woes at Homeland Security, the inspector general's office says it can't widely distribute electronic announcements of new watchdog reports. A spokeswoman explains the department lacks capacity to create a mass email list, and "We don't have a fix at this point." Former Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin calls circulating such information crucial.
Yep, them mass e-mailings are tricky. Hint to DHS: Try separating the addresses by a comma, sometimes that works. Oh, and maybe get your boss to start using the e-mail. Just a thought.
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Security blanket my ass, give me my wooby.

UPDATE: In case all that didn't make you want to cower Linus-like underneath your blankets, how about the fact that the head of U.S. Intelligence, the guy responsible for ferreting out terrorists in our midst, John Negroponte, spends 3 hours every working day "at a private club in downtown Washington, getting a massage, taking a swim, and having lunch, followed by a good cigar and a perusal of the daily papers in the club’s library." Oy. (wooby tip to ThinkProgress via TPM)

Nice Post, Jed.

I call the Terrorism Color Alert chart, the National Mood Ring.
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