Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why am I not Surprised? DHS Edition

Published on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (

CREW releases new report exposing massive failures and billions wasted at Dept. of Homeland Security

Created 5 Dec 2007 - 8:41am

Five years ago, President Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. Over the past five years, the American people have become far too familiar with stories about DHS and its gross overruns on projects, the worst employee morale in the federal government, the inoperability of information technology, our exposure to cyber-terrorism or FEMA’s fake press conference.

Today, CREW is releasing a report, Homeland Security for Sale - DHS: Five Years of Mismanagement, detailing massive failures and billions wasted at the Department of Homeland Security.

The report can be found at [1]; The website includes a video prepared by Brave New Films.

In the report, CREW details billions of dollars in waste and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, for example:

• $24 billion has been spent, and at least $178 million wasted, on the failed Coast Guard Deepwater program;

• over $600 million has been allocated for unworkable radiation border scanners;

• $1.3 billion has been lost on the USVISIT program, which was never fully implemented; and

• projected $2 billion loss on the SBInet “virtual fence” border program.

CREW is releasing its report to hold those who run the agency accountable for its massive failures and to spark a public debate about how DHS can and must be improved in the next administration. The next President will have to fix DHS -- and all the candidates need to provide specific plans to address the massive failings outlined in Homeland Security for Sale - DHS: Five Years of Mismanagement.

In CREW fashion, we name names. The report is divided into five sections. For each, we name the worst offender and the runner up earning dishonorable mention:

I. Most Troubled DHS Component: FEMA

Dishonorable Mention: TSA

II. Most Outrageous Contract: Deepwater

Dishonorable Mention: Radiation Detection Portal MonitorsIII.

III. Failed Program: US-VISIT

Dishonorable Mention: SBI

IV. Component with the Most Serious Crime Problem: CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Dishonorable Mention: TSA

V. Beneficiary of the Revolving Door: Tom Ridge

Dishonorable Mentions: Holman, Buchholz, Davis, Hutchison

The Department of Homeland Security is an embarrassment that would be comical if only our national security were not at stake. The agency and its leadership must be held accountable for its failures and pushed to do better.

This is a shocking and disturbing report. The American people deserve far better from their government. Much better.

What can you do? Ask your presidential candidate what he or she would do to fix DHS in the next administration. The massive problems at DHS have to be solved by the next President. If you get an answer, please send it to [2] and it will be posted at

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