"SOTU: Bush Administration Flunking on Homeland Defense"
Bush said: “Our country must also remain on the offensive against terrorism here at home.”
FACT — FLUNKING OUT ON HOMELAND SECURITY: The 9/11 Public Discourse Project (formerly the 9/11 Commission) has given the administration failing grades on its efforts to improve homeland security. Former Gov. Thomas Kean (R-NJ), former chair of the 9/11 Commission, said that homeland security is “not a priority for the government right now. You don’t see the Congress or the president talking about the public safety as number one, as we think it should be, and a lot of the things we need to do really to prevent another 9/11 just simply aren’t being done by the president or by the Congress.” [NBC Meet the Press, 12/4/05]
FACT — FIRST RESPONDERS A LOW PRIORITY FOR BUSH: Just 6 percent of national security spending is devoted to homeland security and the administration still has “no system in place that allows emergency personnel to communicate reliably and effectively in a crisis.” The government has also cut funding for state and local law enforcement and first responders by more than $2 billion from FY 2005 to FY 2006. “While the terrorists have been learning and adapting, we have been moving at a bureaucratic crawl,” said James Thompson of the 9/11 Project.[Chicago Tribune, 12/16/05; American Progress, 10/27/05; American Progress, 9/9/05; American Progress]