WASHINGTON - While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology.
The administration also was slow to start testing a new liquid explosives detector that the Japanese government provided to the United States earlier this year.
Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, a senior Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, said he urged the administration three years ago to buy electron scanners, like the ones used at London's airport to detect plastics that might be hidden beneath passenger clothes.
"It's been an ongoing frustration about their resistance to purchase off-the-shelf, state-of-the-art equipment that can meet these threats," he said.
The administration's most recent budget request also mystified lawmakers. It asked to take $6 million from Homeland S&T's 2006 budget that was supposed to be used to develop explosives detection technology and instead divert it to cover a budget shortfall in the Federal Protective Service, which provides security around government buildings.
Go read the rest. I'm sure you'll feel ever so much safer knowing how much effort the WH and DHS is putting in on your behalf.