Homeland security grant boondoggles

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, billions of taxpayer dollars have flowed from Washington to the states and to local governments in the form of “Homeland Security Grants.”  These monies are supposed to help state and local governments plug gaps in their funding needs that are directly related to addressing shortcomings in their abilitiy to deal with a potential terrorist incident.  The reality is quite different.  These billions often are used by local police to purchase fancy equipment of questionable, if any real value to “fighting terrorism.”

A rather typical example of the non-terrorism uses to which these grants have been put, was illustrated just last week in a news release issued by the sheriff’s office in Stafford County, Virginia, located about an hour south of the Washington, DC area.  The release proudly heralded the fact that this local sheriff’s office had purchased an armored personnel carrier (euphemistically referred to as an “Incident Response Unit)” and a high-tech license plate reader system, with the proceeds of a $302,000 homeland security grant it had received.

Thus equipped, this quiet, ex-urban community now will be better prepared than previously to fend off a massive onslaught of well-armed terrorists through the use of its new Incident Response Unit; and, perhaps more important, will now have its squad cars able to scan thousands of license plates daily in order to ensure no vehicles on any “Terrorist Watch List” is permitted to ply the streets of Stafford undetected. 

As illustrated in the fact that the Nigerian “underwear bomber” slipped aboard a US carrier right before Christmas last year even though his name appeared on at least one federal terrorist watch list, having one’s name on such a list certainly doesn’t guarantee a terrorist will be prevented from placing himself in a situation in which he can do harm.  Of course, the size of such lists, stretching now to more than one million names, may also have something to do with the feasibility of maintinaing such lists for any meaningful purpose.

However, using so-called homeland security monies to equip local sheriff’s offices across the county with license plate scanning units supposedly to check vehicle registrations against a federal terrorist watch list,  is more than a stretch.  It is often employed as an excuse to obtain funds to supplement local police budgets and purchase fancy equipment that regular budgets don’t permit.  For example, it is common knowledge that license plate recognition camera systems are being employed increasingly by police to run license plates through law enforcement databases to check for unpaid traffic tickets and other offenses.  In other words, homeland security grants such as announced last week by the Stafford County sheriff really have little, if anything to do with “fighting terrorism,” and everything to do with boosting local government revenues, and with increasing their ability to build databases on who might be in their communities.

As for the armored personnel carrier now sitting at the sheriff’s office in Stafford, Virginia?  I’m certain it will come in very handy on Friday nights this coming Fall, to quell those attacks by well-armed terrorist units who invade  this quiet community with great frequency every high school football season.

32 comments Add your comment

frednik

March 17th, 2010
6:27 am

ZOMG FREE MONEY!

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 17th, 2010
6:31 am

I am persuaded. Until now I was uncertain whether to regard Homeland Security as a meritorious quasi-military government mission. I now believe HS is as worthless as every other non-military section of government. Maybe keep the coast guard, get rid of the rest.

jt

March 17th, 2010
7:54 am

However,

Homeland Security does have an excellent data base of Americans who owe back taxes and American child support obligees.

If we could only get that national ID.

Davo

March 17th, 2010
8:04 am

The very fact that we allow illegal immigration to continue in the country after 911 shows that HS is just a sham. Beyond adding confusion and fear into the average citizens life, I don’t believe it to be anything other than a propaganda tool.

Internet dater

March 17th, 2010
8:10 am

I still have a surplus of plastic sheeting and duct tape.

Disgusted

March 17th, 2010
8:26 am

Maybe the Doraville police can get some more funding so that a cop car is stationed every 20 yards along I-285 to catch those dastardly speeders and fill the city’s coffers. It’s pretty pathetic to see only two in a 1-mile stretch in the area at 6:20 in the morning.

A True Patriot

March 17th, 2010
8:33 am

Homeland Security is nothing more than another government agency that employs people to create an illusion that they’re doing something to make the american people safe…..truth be known, they’re nothing but a bunch of dumba$$e$ gobbling up money and contributing to our budget deficit. If they were really out to protect us, they would start rounding up all the illegal aliens and deporting them to their native country. They would also stop trying to be so politically correct and start profiling people that use airlines, etc. to get into this country and start searching them thoroughly and completely like some countries do, i. e., Israel. If you look like a terrorist, act like a terrorist then you might be a terrorist……lets quit handling people so gently that might want to harm America. It’s our country……let’s protect it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you Bob Barr, a great american, for continuing to inform us.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

March 17th, 2010
8:35 am

Davo – Illegal immigration and Bush’s and Cheney’s having committed 9/11 (Viz. “The New Pearl Harbor,” Griffin, Ph.D. …a free download on Google Scholar) are two facets of the same geopolitical, socio-economic “enterprise:” that which Thomas Jefferson, America’s Founder, Author, and Prophet described as “an engine for enslaving mankind,” and, “the real Anti-Christ.”

The goals for illegal immigration are enumerated in the Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops’ “The National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic MInistry:” nothing less than taking back America from the Anglos who stole it from the Hispanics’ ancestors. Get a copy on Amazon.com.

That same American Middle Class which Rome needs to destroy by promoting illegal immigration, must be “freed” of its ancient notion of “sovereignty.” The corrupt rich need to have The People “backing up.”

The false elite/fascist plutocracy, “de facto” tories, must break the Middle/Working Class to be able to foist its various historic treasons upon us: finance of Hitler, assassinations of Kennedy and King, false war for papal Vietnam, 9/11 for non-existent WMD in oil rich Iraq.

Being a true America requires effort.

The Roman Anti-Christ got away with the Holocaust. To them illegal immigration and 9/11 as “Reichstag Fire Redux” are no big deal…unless the American People “man up” and start chopping weeds. The pope’s usher’s procuring gay sex for the Hitler Youth alum is just one more confirmation that Mr. Jefferson was right to regard the Roman Catholic Church as “the real Anti-Christ.”

Think like an American Founder. Think like an American Pioneer.

Be a whig. Whig means anti-Roman Catholic.

Fascism or Freedom. Americans, true to the name, need no prompting.

Death for Treason
Secure the Border

Woody

March 17th, 2010
9:03 am

Great post Bob! Homeland Security, what a rip. When the only place hiring is the Police Departments, we have serious problems…

Liking Barr more every day.

March 17th, 2010
9:09 am

Homeland Security: Emergency! Everyone to get from street!

Emergency! Everyone to get from street!

The title of Homeland Security, first heard in the distorting melange of remedies confounding our reason as we grieved in the wake of 911, was immediately recognized as a Goering propaganda slogan. We objected lamely and did nothing because of the mushrooming threat from the 74 arab countries who conspired to attack us on 911 and the fact that President Cheney repeatedly swore that Saddam Hussein had met with Osama Bin Laden in Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, where the secret rocket formula was surely delivered.

Now, we are to be shocked that the very conservative forces that went full Alan Arkin should be the very conservative forces that go full Barry Madoff?

Lucky

March 17th, 2010
9:19 am

check this one out for waste: Homeland Security is paying some of their employees over $250,000 a year. how does that work? be a GS 15 or GS 14 making over $100,000, retire on Friday, then go back to work Monday for the same pay. only you get the pay twice. doing a job a GS 7 or 9 could do.

Fix-It

March 17th, 2010
9:50 am

Our government is a well oiled machine with no waste and a balanced budget; I think they should take over health care and fix it. NOT

Jefferson

March 17th, 2010
9:59 am

Scout

March 17th, 2010
10:02 am

Homeland Security itself is a “boondoggle” set up by a panicked Congress against the president’s wishes. Should never have happened. Existing agencies should have been given the extra manpower/money to do their jobs. And the biggest mistake by far was the Federal Air Marshal Service !!

What a mess !!

neo-Carlinist

March 17th, 2010
10:23 am

wanna hear something really scary? I recently read the military/homeland security/law enforecement/penal “enterprise” now employs roughly 24% of the working population, and the majority of these people are civil servants (local, state or federal gov’.t). the government isn’t protecting the citizens from “foreign enemies”. it is protecting itself and the assets of the nation’s ownership class (and to paraphrase Gordon Gecco, I’m not talking about some schmuck making $200,000.00 who drives a BMW and flies first class. civil unrest is comming and places like Stafford, VA will need Incident Response Units to deal with the “domestic enemies” as indentified and defined by the Department of Homeland Security.

StJ

March 17th, 2010
11:17 am

I’m sure anyone in Stafford, Virginia who owns a Gadsden flag or a Ron Paul bumper sticker are thoroughly being monitored as we speak.

shaggy

March 17th, 2010
11:31 am

I think the color alert warning system was a great idea. It provided a great Ron White comedy routine and has single handedly stopped domestic terrorism in its tracks. On “Red” days, the terrorists stay in a do crossword puzzles, because they know, yeah they know.

shaggy

March 17th, 2010
11:35 am

Not a fan of government at all, but I did appreciate the backhand slap the administration administered to Israel. It was funny to see “nut-on-yahoo” squirming a bit, because he had his tally whackered by the US President, no less.

retiredds

March 17th, 2010
11:56 am

When was the Department of Homeland Security formed and under what administration?

joan

March 17th, 2010
1:30 pm

Why use common sense to be secure, when you can buy a new toy with the taxpayer money (and the money we borrow from China)?

Daedalus

March 17th, 2010
2:30 pm

I’m sure its Obama’s fault.

Jess

March 17th, 2010
3:25 pm

The federal government is a boondoggle.

Brittanicus

March 17th, 2010
8:11 pm

Like any computer function it takes time to remove the bugs. Nationally known PC products have problems? Even the greatest programs have inconsistencies with new versions appearing as they are revised and upgraded. Same is with E-Verify that is undergoing a continuous revision. I make no excuses that I have bombarded the internet with my blogs. To keep the American people aware that the open border extremists, use there pressures to demonize or at the least compromise E-Verify. Unlike wealthy parasite corporate owners the shrinking middle class doesn’t have the resources to fight back against this incredible decades-long sedition. Those who wish to destroy E-Verify use are well financed by a huge compendium of organizations that have many reasons to remove it from immigration enforcement. It’s a repeat performance in announcing that the ordinary people who gain an advantage of making E-Verify as a permanent tool. Do not let these adverse organizations demoralize you. Already Homeland Security is working on the fraudulent ID glitch. Photo identification is being added, with other advanced tools.

It is against dark forces who not only want the free movement of cheap labor settled in America, but they also want the US population to pay for corporate welfare it represents. Corporate welfare being that many of our politicians are complicit in, to keeping the borders open no matter what? If decades of administrations wanted to halt the unceasing invasion of illegal immigrants, why have they not made illegal entry a criminal offense? Why is it not a felony? Illegal immigration would never have grown on this massive scale that is negatively connected with job loss for Americans. Another quest why the preposterous lie that any woman who crosses the border with intent to have their baby here. That was originally meant for the emancipation of the civil war slaves. As yet hasn’t been rescinded, but distorted by the Liberal bench? Same with the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act that always faltered?

WHY MAKE IT THE LAW OF THE LAND–IF IT’S NOT GOING TO BE FULLY ENFORCED? These are the questions demanding answers from every federal and state representative of the people at 202-224-3121? Have any of us considered, that the US taxpayer would possibly paying less taxes, if states like the SANCTUARY STATE OF CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK were not emptying our pockets with entitlement programs for illegal alien families? Take for instance the document you pass to the immigration/customs agent as a tourist, student or any other visitor. Why bother when there is no way to detect, who has left this nation or have just disappeared into the landscape? Most of the time, the airport staff, ferry, passenger forget to ask or don’t even care? You will only find these answers at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH or by surfing the Internet?

There is not enough room in this commentary to list the benefits to illegal aliens, including the child income tax reimbursement? Just ask Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich of Los Angeles, who according to him $50 million in welfare benefits (CALWORKS + Food Stamp’s) for the month of January 2010 alone. Yes! And that just the very tip of the financial iceberg, extracted from your income. Hundreds of pro-sovereignty groups will relay the information, of the billions of dollars given to illegal immigrant families. Now they want to further the outrage, by giving millions of illegal families a free ride to citizenship? Should a new amnesty past, what makes you think that future administrations will hold back the next tidal wave of people? How much more money do you think this Amnesty or following waves of illegal immigration will cost you?

THINK! Can anybody offer a reason why they haven’t stationed the Nation Guard along the border, especially now with the incessant criminal drug war taking more lives of American citizens? The US Border Patrol has limited personnel and even the border Sheriff’s has limited deputies to keep the national line safe? Every day it gets worse and our government seem almost nonchalant to the battles raging on both sides. The National Guard should be armed and have the right to protect US citizens, who live along the border and terrorized by the criminal as well as illegal aliens crossing their land. My question how come we pour massive resources into Iraq and Afghanistan, when our border remains easy access to anybody?

Returning to E-Verify will be shortly a 99.9 percent effective and we shouldn’t listen to Sen. Schumer, Sen. Graham, or others who are blemished, such as Sen. Reid, Majority speaker Reid, Sen. McCain, Dick Armey and a large obnoxious grab-bag of others.Many are now hesitating because they have been caught red-handed, as being the puppets of corporate welfare. Hearth Care reform could be distributed to millions of Americans, if only our legislators denied any government entitlements to (ANCHOR BABIES) with instant citizenship, who are the “Anchor” for the whole family to reside here. New legitimized immigrants could sponsor, millions of direct family members including those who are already medical patients? They will become the American taxpayer’s extra financial baggage.

If you cannot see a silent conspiracy to keep importing desperately poor people, when we should instead demand from Washington only those of superior skills, who will not become a taxpayers extra mouth to feed. The real criminal is the business man, protected by corrupt Washington insiders, who refuse to fully fund such programs as REAL ID ACT, THE SAVE ACT, which contain E-Verify, the local police 287 (g) and the dwindling ICE raids. A 24 hour hot-line should be implemented for law abiding citizens to report irregularities in work and tax records, with perhaps a small reward. Just as the bridge to nowhere, the fence was compromised from the start of construction. Just as the federal government have ignored states, counties and cities that have proclaimed they are refuge for illegal aliens.

Not only are they breaking government law, but as Los Angeles Order 40, has allowed criminal aliens to maim and kill innocent citizens. Even in the rural neighborhoods that once didn’t have to lock their doors, find they are no longer defended from foreign nationals who are now a large percentage of cell-block inmates. We have our own citizen habitual criminal population. Why are states like California spending money they don’t have on an expanding crime rate from illegal aliens? We can all bury our heads in the sand and listen to the repetitive lies of open border politicians, who have cheated their oath to protect the principles of the US Constitution? It is “THE PEOPLES” obligation and right, to stop this travesty of immigration laws?

Like most ordinary Americans today, I have a mortgage up-in the air, car payment and feeding my family from my pensions. How much money does the IRS take from my family to educate foreign children, incarcerate their parents or all the other welfare programs that are intentionally hidden from US citizens and residents? This is not a multilingual nation; it is a nation under one flag that has flourished through many wars, downturns and the allowance of welcoming–LEGAL–immigration. We do not need millions of illegal immigrants brandishing foreign flags, demanding their rights to stay here in national rallies, when they violated our sovereign laws to begin with?

GET THE MESSAGE OUT. Immediate news: Get ready for the 100.000 illegal immigrant rally to Washington this weekend. WHERE’S ICE?

No Copyright. Copy & Paste Deliver freely to every law abiding citizen

shaggy

March 18th, 2010
6:43 am

Britannicus – If you wanted to write a freakin article, go to work for AP. NO ONE actually reads long, boring posts from nobody posters.

jt

March 18th, 2010
6:50 am

I read the article by Brittanicus,

and found it quite apt.

The more Americans that shrug off the marxist yoke of Washington, the more illegal aliens Washington allows in. And we PAY them to do this to us. Every April 15.

Tragic.

No More Progressives!

March 18th, 2010
9:42 am

A True Patriot

March 17th, 2010
8:33 am
Homeland Security is nothing more than another government agency that employs people to create an illusion that they’re doing something to make the american people safe…..

How true……………Just look at their leader, Janet Incompitano

Brittanicus

March 18th, 2010
1:49 pm

This weekend will be a historical turning point in the illegal alien occupation of our country. We as Americans can stand back disinterested and watch, or do the right thing for 15 million US jobless labor force that is climbing to new heights? ITS INCORRIGIBLE that our President-Senate-House would try to pass a suspect CIR (AMNESTY) when Americans are hurting. Legal residents who entered the country through the main gate and didn’t slither through the darkness past the under manned personnel of the US Border Patrol, should also join our ranks.. This weekend thousands of foreign nationals who are demanding rights to live here, when in the first place they cheated THE PEOPLE’S sovereign laws. They are being bussed to Washington, paid for parasite wealthy corporate owners, faith organizations, scab unions, so called non-profit foundations. BUT WE HAVE A RIGHT AS AMERICANS, TO LOBBY OUR LEGISLATORS. In addition Patriotic Americans are going to jam the switchboards at 202-224-3121. YOU CAN TOO?

Numbersusa. dot.com needs your–URGENT–assistance, whether you are member of the million citizen or resident plus pro-sovereignty anti-illegal immigrant organization. Remember this is a prelude to President Obama’s Amnesty, that you will end up paying for as a taxpayer? Billions of your dollars will be committed from your paycheck to pay for processing these people, unifying their family members and the next rush to the borders or airlines, for expecting a third future amnesty. You will not only be squeezed for more money to pay for there health care, for their crippled and sick, but education for there children and incarceration of the criminal element, which has soared. With the legitimized settlement of at least 20 to 30 thousand, that will easily expand to 60 million more as families will be able to join those already here. THIS WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF UNSUSTAINABLE POPULATION GROWTH. THEN THEIR ARE THOSE POOR, DESPERATE, DESTITUTE WHO WILL TRY TO REACH OUR NATION, BEFORE THE NEW LAW IS SIGNED?Wonderful profit margins for businesses, but not for the US Taxpayer. Currently our schools are suffering terribly, crammed to the limit in theSanctuary State of California. The majority of states right now are overrun by this spreading pandemic of red ink. Costing unaccountable dollars and tenuously balancing government entitlements for our own poverty stricken citizens.

NumbersUSA is mobilizing there members in assisting in stopping every amnesty since 2000, and now revving up resources to do the same this time around. Starting FRIDAY (3/19) NumbersUSA on Day 1 will be begin a nationwide effort for activists to visit Member’s local Congressional offices at 1:30 p.m. EDT with a signed letter.SATURDAY (3/20) — On Day 2, they will launch our faxing and petition campaign. When the Members return to their Washington offices, we need them to see your HUGE RESPONSE. It’s also a Social Networking Day, so they want members to join them on Face book and Twitter.SUNDAY (3/21) – Day 3, the pro-amnesty organizers will host their rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C., and many anti-immigration organizations will appear there too. MONDAY (3/22) – Day 4, it’s NumbersUSA National Call Campaign. The pro-amnesty supporters will be walking the halls of Congress urging Members to pass an amnesty. So It will be very important for patriotic Americans make their phone calls and have the Capitol office phones ringing incessantly during their visit. Find all this information and more at Numbersusa You can also harass your Senator at 202-224-3121. jamming the switchboards in the capitol.

MrLiberty

March 18th, 2010
2:23 pm

Giant pile of unaccountable government money and somebody is stealing it????!!!!!

This is news?

Anarcho-Capitalism all the way. Government is an un-necessary evil.

scrappy

March 18th, 2010
3:18 pm

What is it that Homeland Security actually does? Just give me a couple concrete things that they do – and changing color codes does not count.

Liking Barr more every day.

March 18th, 2010
8:18 pm

Homeland security makes sure that terrorists wont set off a wmd on US soil. That’s about it.

So far so good. Remember, Cheney testified that it’s a certainty we will be hit again. So if you respect his judgement, be grateful for Homeland Security.

the lives they save may be ours.

The media is painting a picture now of a retreating Al Queda. When has the media ever not been ironic?

If we get hit again, you better not be in the stock market.

joan

March 18th, 2010
9:41 pm

Brittanicus! You rock!

J

March 18th, 2010
10:03 pm

Everything in the federal government and homeland security is far from perfect, but you brainwashed boobs who rely on Barr’s confused ramblings are no help. Barr clearly has no knowledge of LPR systems, or the relationship among TIDE/NCIC/TSC/TSDB/NCTC, all of which is readily available open source for those who wish to pursue it. But of course, it’s much easier to blow hot air. Find something else to do Bob, you’re out of your league.