...last week the 9/11 Commission as part of the 9/11 Public Discourse Project gave the government an "F" for its failure to provide homeland security grant monies to those cities most at risk for a terrorist attack.On an issue like security for our major ports, "politics as usual" should be displaced by some simple common sense and not pork barreling.
Continuing to distribute these funds throughout the nation irrespective of actual risk to particular states and communities is an irresponsible and dangerous proposition. For cities such as Houston — one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world, with a ship channel valued at more than $15 billion — a terrorist attack would have devastating consequences that would penetrate well into the country's interior. Consider that the U.S. Coast Guard estimates the national economy would take a $60 billion hit for a one-month closure of a major port such as Houston...
...Our country has sacrificed too much to fail to heed the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001. Proposals to continue distributing significant amounts of critical funds to all states that are based on arbitrary minimums, regardless of risk, are not only inadequate, they are irresponsible. Such an approach to homeland security is pursued at the peril of our nation's most vulnerable population centers and critical infrastructure.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Senator John Cornyn gets it right here: