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February 23, 2010

You’re Not The One They’re Trying To Protect

Last week, as part of a coordinated effort to build support for the Obama Administration’s stimulus spending, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano celebrated the one-year anniversary of the passing of the Stimulus Bill by noting with great fanfare how “DHS has put the Recovery Act to work in communities across the country—making significant investments in aviation security, while boosting the American economy,” and meeting with “TSA employees at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., observing Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) and Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units at work,” where they are “bolstering American security.”

Except the Explosive Trace Detection and Advanced Imaging Technology Units she observed “at work” weren’t, technically speaking, purchased with stimulus funds. But that’s only because they were purchased in 2008 long before the Stimulus Bill was even passed.

Call it “preemptive stimulus.”

Where would Janet Napolitano have to go to see the actual units that were purchased with stimulus money “at work,” “boosting the American economy,” and “bolstering American security?” 

The warehouse where they’re being kept in storage.

As DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa pointed out, it “just simply takes time.” As opposed to, say, setting up a really good photo op.  Those they can bang out in a few days.

Well, at least it’s not like we’re in any immediate danger or anything.

Besides, while it may not be evident at first, having millions of dollars of stimulus funds tied up in sophisticated bomb scanning machines sitting in a storage facility actually provides the nation with many benefits:
  • They are helping to revitalize the self-storage warehouse industry, which has always been key to any economic recovery.
  • We know there’s one warehouse al-Qaeda won’t be sneaking any bombs into any time soon.
  • Leaving the units in storage as opposed to deploying them in airports helps to eliminate any privacy concerns travelers might have had about the machines.
  • It ensures our nation’s vital bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanut manufacturing capacity is not diminished by otherwise low demand during the economic downturn.
  • There is no better way to keep those TSA warehouse floors clean and dust-free than by protecting them with millions of dollars of unused equipment sitting in their original packing crates.  The savings in janitorial fees alone probably covers the cost.

So, the next time you’re travelling by air, you can take comfort in knowing that those charged with keeping you safe are hard at work staging fake media events to help further their personal political agendas.

It sounds better after you’ve had a couple of those $7 whiskey-and-sodas.


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February 23, 2010 at 01:25 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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