Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Just Sit Right Back and You’ll Hear a Tale…

Have you ever noticed that the longer the Bush Administration stays in power, the more it resembles a TV sitcom?

When the CIA isn’t playing Maxwell Smart, it’s channeling Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes. (“Vee see notink! Vee know notink!”) Dick Cheney continues to cling to the theory that Saddam Hussein moved all those weapons of mass destruction to Syria before the war. Like Samantha in Bewitched, Saddam twitched his nose and the WMDs were in Damascus.

And the Department of Homeland Security? Well, it’s really the Department of Homer Simpson.

The New York Times reports that the DHS has spent more than $15 billion on security equipment that’s decrepit and comically useless, and they’re planning to fork out another $7 billion more. They’d be better off spending the money on cat toys.

According to the Times, the DHS spent around $500 million on “highly sophisticated” portals to scan cargo containers for radioactive materials. But by “highly sophisticated,” the department actually meant old and feeble:

“The portal-monitor technology has been used for decades by the scrap metal industry. Customs officials at Newark have nicknamed the devices "dumb sensors," because they cannot discern the source of the radiation. That means benign items that naturally emit radioactivity - including cat litter, ceramic tile, granite, porcelain toilets, even bananas - can set off the monitors.”

Personally, I am shocked, utterly shocked. Cat litter is radioactive? Suddenly it becomes clear why every cat I’ve ever owned has been psychotic. Every time little Snuffles goes wee she’s getting free radicals up the wazoo.

I now know what the terrorists are going to do next: Pack the dirty bombs inside a bag of Tidy Cats. Sure, they’ll wipe out the entire population of Cleveland, but the place will smell like a pine forest after a summer rain.

Here’s another little gem:

“The Transportation Security Administration bought 1,344 machines costing more than $1 million each to search for explosives in checked bags by examining the density of objects inside. But innocuous items as varied as Yorkshire pudding and shampoo bottles, which happen to have a density similar to certain explosives, can set off the machines, causing false alarms for 15 percent to 30 percent of all luggage…”

‘By God they’ve got Yorkshire pudding! Take cover boys, pasties and crumpets may be next!’ I always suspected Tony Blair’s brain-dead support of Bush was just a ruse. Now his secret plan has been revealed: to overwhelm US defenses with scary British food.

There’s more. They’ve spent more than half a billion dollars on postal scanners that do a fabulous job of detecting anthrax spores (but nothing else, just anthrax). They’ve dropped more than $200 million on air monitoring gear that will detect major biological weapons attacks… just 36 hours after they’ve occurred. So the DHS can figure out why you’re bleeding from every orifice, but won’t be able to do anything about it. We’d have done better by installing canaries on every street corner.

And yet the department stands firm in its belief it’s doing a bang-up job.

“We have created a much more formidable deterrent,” said Mark O. Hatfield Jr., a spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Administration, who was apparently hired because he is able to utter statements like that without giggling.

Then again, you’d expect nothing less from a government whose chief executive is really Gilligan in a suit.

Hey li’l buddy, wanna win the war on terrorism?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Change Congress Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.