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View Diary: The United Arab Emirates Ports Deal (293 comments)

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  •  DHS has screwed up port security (none)
    improvements for years. Check out this report from Jan. 2005 by the Inspector General of DHS about the failures of the Port Security Grant Program.

    Brief story: The design of the program "compromises the program's ability to direct resources towards the nation's highest priorities."

    Hundreds of millions were doled out over several years (over 500 million between 6/02 and 12/03 alone), yet only a small fraction of the funding was actually spent. Much of it just went into the hands of corporations, apparently funding their operating costs much more than helping them to add security improvements. IOW, few of the projects being funded by the government had actually been completed.

    Also, the IG states that the procedure for determining who gets grants stressed (a) that all funds available had to be given out, and (b) they were to be given to as many applicants as possible, even when the merits of those applications were evaluated to be very low. IOW, the program is a boondoggle.

    He also stated that it remained unclear, two years into the program, where the responsibility of the federal government ended for preventing terrorism, and where the responsibility of private companies started. IOW, nobody knew who the heck was in charge of what, if anything.

    The disaster of port security did not by any means begin with the latest decision. As John Kerry kept reminding the nation two years ago, it was a fiasco already.

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