National Security

  • It’s a world apart from New York City, different in almost every conceivable way. But Oklahoma City is essentially the only other place in America that’s experienced something comparable to the Sept. 11 attacks. The incident is added almost as an afterthought in discussions about terrorism to remind us that the threat is domestic in nature, too.

  • So-called “needs assessments” are critical for determining where a community is vulnerable to catastrophe or terrorism. The federal government has required them of states in order to justify how they planned to use the $29 billion in homeland security grants Washington has handed out since Sept. 11. What safety and law enforcement equipment might be necessary to fill known security gaps?

  • Temperatures reached brutal lows. Repeated blizzards shut down the highway system leaving road crews working 24-hour days. Motorists were trapped, and massive snow drifts virtually buried houses. Thousands of livestock expired. Then snowmelt caused near-biblical flooding. More than 2,200 square miles of land were soaked in water, an area the size of two Rhode Islands.

  • Year after year, state auditors have pointed to bookkeeping problems at North Carolina’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, an agency in charge of distributing homeland security and disaster recovery grants.

  • No place suffered more severe of a psychic blow from the Sept. 11 hijackings than New York City. One chilling dimension of the attacks illustrates how complicated the recovery effort became. Death certificates were issued for 2,746 people in the wake of the tragedy.

  • George W. Bush signed Homeland Security Presidential Directive 3 in March of 2002, which established a color-coded system for notifying the country of increased dangers from terrorist threats.

  • The mission of Bedford County’s Emergency Management Agency in Tennessee is to prepare for and recover from “natural, manmade, or technological disasters upon its people or property,” according to the office’s Web site. But auditors found something other than a commitment to preparedness and homeland security when they arrived in 2008 as a result of allegations the state had received.

  • 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 nation has committed billions of dollars to improving homeland security since 2001, including large sums awarded to states in preparedness grants. In this CIR web exclusive map, reporter G.W. Schulz reports how authorities in each state have managed, or mismanaged, anti-terrorism funds from the federal government.

  • Authorities in the state of Wyoming refused to turn over detailed records showing how federal homeland security grants have been used there since 2001. As with other states, we were seeking computer records containing individual grant transactions hoping to detect larger trends in how local beneficiaries have invested the money.

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