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Friday, July 15, 2005

CT lawmakers upset with Dept. of Homeland Security's lack of vision

For the Department of Homeland Security to be focusing on airline security over other forms of transporation is just insane and is just another example of the incompetence of this administration. If the bombings in Madrid and in London should tell anyone with half of an brain, it's that it's easier and cheaper to bomb a train (or bus) than it is to bomb or hijack an airplane. Think about it, how many people ride the trains everyday compared to planes (here's a clue, over 100,000 people ride the Metro-North trains to and from New York City EVERYDAY). I can't ever recall having my bags checked before I got on the Metro and I'm sure a terrorist who is planning to attack New York is thinking the same thing.

Thank goodness we have some people in Congress and expressing outrage over this matter and are taking action (rather than expressing their pleasure over the rice at Gitmo).

From the Connectiocut Post
Top Connecticut Democrats were angered and frustrated by statements Thursday by the head of the Department of Homeland Security that cities and states are pretty much on their own when it comes to safeguarding trains, buses and subways from terrorists.
A week after bombers on London's subway and bus systems killed more than 50 people, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that the federal government is focusing on airline security.

"The truth of the matter is a fully loaded airplane with jet fuel, a commercial airliner, has the capacity to kill 3,000 people. A bomb in a subway car may kill 30 people," Chertoff said. "When you start to think about your priorities, you're going to think about making sure you don't have a catastrophic thing first."

Ah, excuse me? Maybe you haven't been watching how these terrorists work but I'm fairly sure if a terrorist wanted to bomb a bunch of Metro-North trains that travel to New York City during the morning rush hour, they would kill MORE than 30 people (again over 100,000 people ride the trains to and from New York everyday).
The comments drew an angry response from Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., when Chertoff appeared before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday.
"This has alarmed a lot of us who have mass transit running through our states," Lieberman told Chertoff. "This has to be, at least in part, a national responsibility."
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., expressed frustration Thursday with the lack of resources being directed to protect against terrorist attacks like those carried out in London.

"Either we are at war or not at war. Our nation and allies are under siege," he said.

I couldn't agree more with these guys but honestly, after almost four years after 9-11, talk is cheap and the people of Connecticut deserve more attention. The government hasn't done anything to protect our trains after 9-11. Security for mass transit is a joke and a shame and just taking a look at the funding shows the story.

The Senate is debating a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security in the next fiscal year. As proposed, it would set aside $100 million for mass-transit security — $50 million less than the current year's allocation. The final figure, however, could change as amendments are offered.

State and local officials are grappling with how to pay for upgrades to protect commuters and other mass-transit riders in their communities. Technology to protect mass-transit systems in the nation's 30 largest metropolitan areas could cost an estimated $6 billion, according to industry representatives.
100 million dollars for the mass transit and that NATIONWIDE. We're spending billions on airplanes but only a fraction on mass transit. This is an outrage and an insult to the people that spends hundreds of dollars riding the trains to and from work every month and voters should hold people in state and federal government accountable.