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Senator Questions Homeland Security Spending
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla) charged that the Department of Homeland Security has squandered huge sums in its Urban Area Security Initiative grant program. Included in his list of dubious outlays were funds used to buy sno-cone machines in Michigan, a video produced by the City of Jacksonville, Florida warning residents to be wary of people with above average intelligence, and travel to posh resorts for “security training” conferences.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended her agency and maintained that “the Senator's understanding of security matters is deficient. We carefully consider each grant request. We wouldn't approve any spending that wasn't warranted.”
“Considering the specific items he cited, it is our opinion that the sno-cone machines contributed to boosting morale among the state's law enforcement officials,” she contended. “Jacksonville's warning was apt since highly intelligent criminals can plan large and complex terror operations. And holding training sessions at five-star resorts encourages higher attendance.”
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