Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This Will Make You Sleep Better At Night

Report says DOJ not fully prepared for WMD attack

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department has failed to put together an adequate plan for responding to an attack involving weapons of mass destruction, the inspector general at the agency said Tuesday.

In a new report, the IG said the department does not assign a single entity or individual responsibility for managing a response to a WMD incident.

The report said there are no specific operational response plans for a WMD event in place at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; or the U.S. Marshals Service. None of those three Justice Department components provides training for responding to a WMD incident or regularly participates in WMD response exercises, the report also stated.

"We found the response planning among all the components, including the FBI, to be inconsistent and not well coordinated," Inspector General Glenn Fine said.

I blame this largely on the Bush and Clinton Administrations. We have been concerned about WMD's for more than a decade. Why haven't we done anything about it?

This doesn't let Obama off of the hook though. What has he done about it in the last year and a half?

Finally, Bush took the hit for not stopping 9/11 after nine months. Think Obama will take a hit for not preventing any kind of attack after 1+ years?


Ticker said...

Actually there was, not sure if it still exist, a department within the Homeland Security that was prepared and trained to deal with this issue. My best friend was the Chief adviser to the director of this section.
Given the fact that Nappy has taken over and brought in all her under 30 crowd that has zero experience in anything it may no longer exist or if it does they would have no clue as to what to do.

MK said...

It just goes to show, nothing has changed. All these years later and it's still just us civilians on the front lines when the crap hits the fan.

To be fair i think intelligence gathering and the thwarting of terrorist planning has improved quite a lot.

How to handle one when one does go off though still remains lacking, perhaps bureaucracies just cannot do it.

Chuck said...

Ticker, there has definitely been a fall of in the last year (it's still Bush's fault though, I'm sure)

MK, it did improve and then fell off again.

Z said...

it's one thing to get this horrible information...bad enough.
Another issue that I'm not sure how we could solve/stop is the fact that the world KNOWS THIS BY NOW. NOt that it would necessarily prompt a nut to use WMD's because they hear we're not prepared, but it has to embolden SOME NUTS, don't you think?

SO, how do we walk that American tightwire of transparency versus safety in a world where news is everywhere in one second flat?

Brooke said...

The government on the Federal level has proven time and again that it cannot and will not respond to major crisis and destruction. It will be We The People that deal with any WMD attack that comes down the pike.

I hope it never comes to that, but I'm doubtful.

Mustang said...

Noting first that none of this makes Chris Matthews’ leg tingle, I believe federal and state authorities have two imperatives: prevent a WMD attack, and respond to one. None of this is remotely simple. How many orthodox Muslims live in Detroit, Baltimore, New York, Houston, or Los Angeles? I suspect the number is far more than any one agency can monitor efficiently. All it takes is for one radical to succeed for the USA to have a very, very bad day.

Has the DHS fallen apart under Janet Napolitano? I think so. Early on in her appointment she announced that the real threat to America was right-wing Christians and former military personnel who are well trained in the use of firearms and explosives. Since then, our pro-Muslim president and his staff have relaxed their vigilance, demonstrating that Americans really do love Muslims, and that Islam is every bit a part of the fabric of American history as John Paul Jones. None of this will matter, though, when 50,000 people lay dead, and an additional 150,000 people are about to die due to radiological poisoning.

In my view, I think the Obama administration looks at it this way: first, we are just asking for it, given Bush/Cheney. Second, with more than 300 million people living in this country, a quarter of a million is a mere statistical anomaly. In that vein, I suppose Chuck is trying to instill fear in the American people; we can blame some of this on him.

cube said...

Is this really news that should be disseminated to the world at large? Can we not keep anything secret anymore?

I used to think it was one job of government to work behind the scenes to keep us safe. Now I have no faith in them at all.

Always On Watch said...

An acquaintance of mine is an expert in WMD's: chemical and biological ones, specifically.

He's told me several times over the past three years that it is inevitable that we'll get hit with chemical or biological weapons.

If you want to read a book to give you nightmares, read The Demon in My Freezer. Ken Alibek, the scientist who's told Congress time and again that our government is flirting with danger because of unpreparedness, is going largely unnoticed.

One reason that our government doesn't want to come up with a plan: the prospects of such an attack are a Doomsday scenario.

Chuck said...

Z, this is a thorny question about freedom of the press. There are times when the media reports things that can be dangerous to us. Do we curtail it? Is doing so a slippery slope? Is what we curtail in the eye of the beholder?

Brooke, on 9/11 it was the local police and fire. The federal government came in later


In that vein, I suppose Chuck is trying to instill fear in the American people; we can blame some of this on him.

Just doing my job as a far-right wacko

Cube, agreed. This is kind of where I was going with Z above

AOW, I agree that we are vulnerable. I just think we should: a) be prepared and b) do what we can to stop it from happening

Z said...

Chuck, that's my point, too........where does one draw the line? The line right now is scary and a little less pro American than I'm comfortable with, but of course we need the news...yikes!