Latest Reports

  • Officials at the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency turned over fairly detailed Excel spreadsheets listing anti-terrorism grant transactions containing the type of equipment purchased, how much it cost, who bought it and more. You can download the records here, but they’re limited to a five-year period.

  • Texas became the flashpoint of debate over a Bush-era plan to line the southwest border of the United States with fences, motion detectors, lights and surveillance cameras to keep undocumented immigrants out.

  • The state of Idaho produced a lengthy spreadsheet and other documents in response to a request submitted under the state’s open-records law for information about its anti-terrorism grant spending. While the information is not as detailed as we would have preferred, readers can still view spending activity by county, cost of the equipment purchased, year it was acquired and more.

  • State auditors discovered several problems when they showed up to the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management in the fall of 2008. But officials there strongly disagreed with many of the findings and fired back in a lengthy response letter.

  • Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is famous for his criticism of unregulated congressional earmarks, and losing the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama didn’t slow him down.

  • Illinois officials gave $200,000 a year to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Urbana so it could seek tips from the public about terrorists possibly tampering with the food supply by poisoning pets. Authorities also claimed the hotline would help them detect disease outbreaks. After two years, however, the local SPCA learned only that macadamia nuts are dangerous for dogs.

  • We first sent an open-records request to New Hampshire’s Department of Safety under the state’s Right-to-Know law in September of 2008 asking for records showing how federal anti-terrorism grants had been spent there since 2001. Officials responded that it would take at least 15 business days to determine what records were available and what they were free to withhold under legal exemptions.

  • In response to a request submitted under Vermont’s open-records laws, the state Department of Public Safety turned over several electronic spreadsheets detailing how they’ve used federal homeland security grants since 2001. You can download the Excel files here, and for the most part they’re simple to navigate and understand.

  • Shortly after the Sept. 11 hijackings, the federal government promised it would pay closer attention to how the nation guarded its most precious and vital assets against potential terrorist attacks. Are drinking water delivery systems vulnerable? Could perpetrators bomb a chemical production facility? Former President George W.

  • One of the major contributions New Jersey made to homeland security in the United States is Thomas H. Kean. A former Republican governor of the Garden State, Kean was chair of the 9/11 Commission, which investigated and eventually reported in telling detail the events surrounding the Sept. 11 hijackings. The commission’s final 2004 report contained a list of recommendations for the U.S.