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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thanks for nothing

Not a landmark

Feds to city: drop dead

Homeland honcho cuts funds by 40%

BY MICHAEL SAUL in New York and MICHAEL McAULIFF in Washington

A new report from the Homeland Security Department deems that New York City has no national icons that deserve special protection from potential terrorist threats.

The city was stunned yesterday to find that its share of federal anti-terror funds was slashed nearly in half by bureaucrats who said it has no national icons to protect and lousy defense plans.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff determined, however, that cities that have never been targeted by Al Qaeda — like Louisville, Atlanta and Omaha — deserve whopping increases.

"This is a knife in the back," fumed a furious Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "As far as I'm concerned, the Department of Homeland Security has declared war on New York."

Mayor Bloomberg ridiculed Homeland Security's reasoning.

"When you stop a terrorist, they have a map of New York City in their pocket. They don't have a map of any of the other 46 places or 45 places [that get funding]," he fumed.

The city will get $125 million from the feds' high-threat bank account, a 40% cut from the $207 million it received last year. The Homeland money pot was smaller overall this year, but the rest of the country is being trimmed just 14%.

The lowball dollar amount puts at risk the NYPD's plan to build a "ring of steel" of security measures around lower Manhattan — surveillance cameras, computerized license plate readers and vehicle barriers.

The NYPD had asked the feds for $89.1 million for the system, modeled after London's security program. London's system gained worldwide recognition last summer when police cameras provided images of the bombers who attacked its transit system.

Heaping insult on injury, Homeland Security reviewers slammed some of the city's key anti-terror programs as among the worst in the nation — including the vaunted NYPD counterterrorism unit.

Emergency plans for the police, fire, hospitals and other city departments were considered so inferior that "a special condition will be included in the grant award prohibiting drawdown of funds ... until they have been approved through DHS," Homeland's assessment concluded.

"These are the same bean counters who think that the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge are not national monuments or icons," scoffed Bloomberg spokesman Jordan Barowitz.

Yeah, right. Charlotte.

These people suck.

posted by Steve @ 3:02:00 PM

3:02:00 PM

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