President Bush said, “We have created a new department of government to defend our homeland, focused the FBI on preventing terrorism,…improved border security, and trained more than a half million first responders.”
FACT: “As its leadership changes for the first time, the Department of Homeland Security remains hampered by personality conflicts, bureaucratic bottlenecks and an atmosphere of demoralization, undermining its ability to protect the nation against terrorist attack, according to current and former administration officials and independent experts.”
FACT: “DHS is still a compilation of 22 agencies that aren’t integrated into a cohesive whole,” said its recently departed inspector general, Clark Kent Ervin, who released many critical reports and was not reappointed after a falling-out with Ridge. Asked for examples of ineffectiveness, he replied: “I don’t know where to start. . . . I’ve never seen anything like it.”
FACT: When asked about the administration’s effort “to secure chemical plants and trains carrying chemicals,” President Bush’s former Deputy Homeland Security Adviser Richard Falkenrath replied, “I’m sorry to say, since 9/11 we have essentially done nothing.”
FACT: Virtual Case File, the software overhaul intended to aid in coordinating the FBI’s antiterrorism measures, “has been a train wreck in slow motion.”
FACT: The White House has consistently underfunded top security priorities like firefighter and police departments…
FACT: …as well as ports…
FACT: …and trains.
FACT: “The Bush administration has failed to create a unified U.S. fingerprint database because of agency infighting,” though this project was one of the top priorities of the Department of Homeland Security.