Friday, June 02, 2006

Maybe they DO know what they're doing

from the CarpetBagger Report:

Long-time readers may recall Tracy Henke, the Executive Director of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness at the Department of Homeland Security, was one of 17 Bush cronies to receive controversial recess appointments in January. The Bush White House insisted she had to be on the job immediately, and the Senate wasn't acting fast enough.

Henke, before getting the DHS job, was best known for some "creative editing" to Justice Departments reports in order to remove information about racial-profiling data, and for then forcing an experienced and capable public official who disagreed out of a job.

Yesterday, Henke became infamous again. As Garance Franke-Ruta noted, Henke was the genius who decided to de-fund anti-terrorism efforts in New York and Washington.

We knew that someone at DHS decided that DC is a "low-risk" city and that the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Empire State Building are not worthy of "national icon" status — and that person was our old friend Tracy Henke.

And, as Dana Milbank explained, Henke, as the official in charge of DHS's grant-making, also decided to cut counterterrorism money for NYC and the Washington area — "which together have been the targets of 100 percent of al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks on American soil" — by 40% each.

Now, apparently, she's feeling sorry for herself.

"Needless to say, not everybody has nice things to say about me," she said, so "anybody who wants to say something nice, please feel free to do so. You know, it's one of those things where it's occasionally important to have a little bit of that positive affirmation. If nothing else, then I'll have to call my parents, and the reality is they don't give it to me either."

Let this be a reminder to everyone that Bush's fondness for promoting hacks and cronies to key government posts is not just an inconvenient quirk of governing. These people are running the executive branch — and they don't know what they're doing.

I'm not so sure Henke and others like her don't know what they're doing. Maybe they cut funding to NYC and DC because (1) down deep they understand that the ubiquitous "war on terror" really is a "show about nothing" and that no real threat from terrorism or terrorists exists in any meaningful way and because (2) NYC and DC are liberal bastions and the administration would be better off helping its friends rather than its enemies.

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