National Security

  • In 2004 when anti-terrorism and readiness grants appropriated by Congress to the states had reached a multibillion-dollar height, what was then known as the House Select Committee on Homeland Security issued a scathing report that said much of the money had been spent without local recipients knowing what their emergency-response needs were.

  • Florida is a leading recipient of homeland security grants in the United States due to its significant population and major tourist attractions. And it’s received hundreds of millions of dollars over the years to recover from various disasters, namely hurricanes that pummeled the state’s coastline.

  • Attempts to learn more about how the state of Georgia has spent its homeland security grants since 2001 turned out to be an exercise in frustration.

  • Officials in Massachusetts agreed to turn over records showing how the state had used its homeland security grants since 2001. But purchases there weren’t tracked in an electronic list like a spreadsheet as some others have done, so clerical workers would need to Xerox thousands of pages of hard-copy records. We’d be expected to pay their wages of at least $22 an hour.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union first uncovered documents in July of 2008 showing that the Homeland Security and Intelligence Division of the Maryland State Police infiltrated non-threatening political protest groups and spied on them for at least 14 months.

  • In the spring of 2008, local officials across the country in charge of spending federal anti-terrorism grants responded with befuddlement to a new rule imposed by the Department of Homeland Security on anyone planning to apply for the preparedness funds.

  • Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made national headlines in early 2009 when he declared that his state would reject as much as $100 million worth of stimulus funds contained in President Barack Obama’s economic recovery package due to provisions Jindal warned would lead to a tax increase on businesses.

  • Veteran Republican Rep. Hal Rogers of eastern Kentucky’s 5th District has a well-earned reputation for delivering to his constituents a bounty of earmarks – the type of government spending widely maligned by critics as wasteful, unregulated pork.

  • It has been difficult convincing Kansas to make available the records showing how its homeland security grants have been spent and managed since 2001. We first filed a request in August of 2008 under the Kansas Open Records Act looking for lists documenting all equipment and services invoiced and paid for under a series of federal grant programs that all states have benefitted from.

  • “Intelligence-led policing” became one of the most popular phrases among authorities after the Sept. 11 hijackings. Investigators wanted to compile oceans of information about potentially dangerous people and use super-computer technology to analyze it in search of evidence that perpetrators were planning another attack.