The Corner

Does This Make You Feel Safer?

Many of us worry that the steps being taken by the Obama administration such as ordering the closure of Guantánamo and persecuting prior administration officials for their actions to try to protect our country demonstrate a lack of understanding of the threat posed by terrorists. The latest FY 2010 “Budget Request” from one of the Justice Department’s major divisions doesn’t lessen that worry and is more evidence that they don’t realize the seriousness of the war on terror (oops, make that the “Overseas Contingency Operation”).

An internal DOJ document I recently obtained indicates that the Civil Rights Division is requesting $15.7 million in “Enhancements,” which is government-speak for money above their usual budget requests. According to the “Budget Request,” this money is needed because the “President has explicitly stated his desire to strengthen civil rights enforcement efforts that have eroded over the past eight years” in part due to “realignment of resources to address counterterrorism efforts.” I won’t discuss the fact that both of these claims about “erosion” in enforcement and supposed diversion of resources are complete fabrications.

But the more important point is that the administration apparently believes that getting more money in the Civil Rights Division for projects like “technology upgrades in preparation for the release of the 2010 census data” and improving “access to state and local governments” is more important than the core defense functions of the federal government — in this case, counterterrorism efforts designed to prevent more terrorist attacks on innocent Americans at home and abroad. Doesn’t that make you feel safer?

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