A recent bi-partisan Senate report concluded that certain programs in the Department of Homeland Security were not yielding intended results. In fact, it sounds like these programs weren’t yielding much of anything towards their original goal. The program, setting up fusion centers for local, state, and federal officials to combat terrorism, usually ended up fighting local crime. More than 70 state and local centers backed by federal funds were created since 2003. Expenditures even included two fully equipped Chevy Tahoes just for commuting purposes.
Sen. Tom Coburn commented in a statement, “It’s troubling that the very ‘fusion’ centers that were designed to share information in a post-9/11 world have become part of the problem. Instead of strengthening our counterterrorism efforts, they have too often wasted money.”
The Associated Press article notes:
Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don’t know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments.
This is another clear case of lack of oversight amongst incredibly large government agencies, specifically terrorism programs set up post-9/11. Perhaps it is time to take a look at programs within the Department of Homeland Security and determine if our taxpayer dollars could be used more efficiently.
Talmadge Coley is a Policy Analyst and a member of the Concerned Veterans for America team