911 was so successful for Dumbya that he is now helping to make it easier for terrorists to their next big attack on American citizens

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Rep. Decries Bush on Security Funds

Tue Aug 20,12:17 PM ET

By ROBERT GEHRKE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Democratic congressman criticized President Bush ( news - web sites) Tuesday for withholding more than $300 million for security at Energy Department installations, saying they could be targets for terrorists.

"The Department of Energy ( news - web sites), by its own admission, does not have adequate resources to provide security at these facilities," said Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

In March, the Energy Department twice asked the Bush administration for $379 million in emergency security funding.

"The department's remaining safeguards and security budgets are not sufficient to implement the security posture requirements that appropriately respond to the Sept. 11 attacks," DOE budget officer Bruce Carnes wrote in a letter to administration budget officials.

Although the administration requested just $26.7 million for this purpose, Congress appropriated $360 million. However, Bush decided last week to spend only the roughly $26 million initially sought.

Bush announced that, in the interest of budget austerity, he was refusing to spend some $5.1 billion that Congress had appropriated for various purposes.

Amy Call, spokeswoman for the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the president had to choose whether to spend all or none of the $5.1 billion, and he considered $4 billion of it to be wasteful.

She said the National Nuclear Security Administration received $653 million to protect nuclear facilities and shipments in the current year, a sharp increase from the $411 million spent on security throughout the Energy Department last year.

And NNSA spokesman Bryan Wilkes said the agency is confident that its nuclear weapons facilities are secure.

"Do we want more money? Sure. Could we use it? Sure. Who couldn't? But are things any less safe without more money? Certainly not," he said.

Markey said he plans to try to add $300 million to the energy and water appropriations bill when Congress returns in September.

He said the budget needs are more egregious in light of Energy Department figures he obtained that said the number of guards protecting nuclear materials and facilities has been slashed by 40 percent.

Between 1992 and 2001, DOE whittled its security forces from 7,091 employees to 4,262, Markey said. Among those hit were the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in Louisiana, where security forces were reduced from 233 to 113. Security personnel at the Nevada Test Site were cut from 276 to 115. Rocky Flats, a former nuclear weapons plant outside Denver, had security forces cut from 380 to 154.

Wilkes said security was scaled back as facilities shut down after the Cold War, but hundreds of guards have been hired since Sept. 11, which is not reflected in Markey's figures.

"Any implication that nothing has changed in our security since Sept. 11 is patently ridiculous," Wilkes said.

While the bulk of the cuts in security forces came during the Clinton administration, Markey said the administration of the first President Bush also bears responsibility for underfunding security.

The security cuts were among the findings in a report Markey prepared, based on more than 200 pages of documents he requested from DOE. Much of the material was classified and could not be released.

Markey also said records showed computer hackers have broken into DOE computers numerous times since 1999. The breaches varied in their severity, but some were "root-level" compromises, which meant the hacker had enough access that a virus could be installed.

Wilkes said the hacking was not a coordinated effort. He said no classified or sensitive information was compromised and said that safeguards have been added to prevent future such attacks.

-- (dumbya the traitor @ grounds. for execution), August 20, 2002


His rating are going down now that he's finished obliterating Afghanistan. People aren't buying his fear-mongering "axis of evil" story, so he is going to have to make it more real for them. He needs at least a few thousand more people wiped out, so that he can get back on his gung-holier-than-thou pulpit and try to justify spending a few hundred billion more taxpayer bucks to help his buds in the defense and oil industries.

-- (agenda@very.obvious), August 20, 2002.

How do you fund your obvious drug habit?

-- (clean@yourself.up), August 20, 2002.

Just watch, you'll see.

-- (Dumbya's cooking something up @ will blame. Saddam (betchya)), August 20, 2002.

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