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Homeland Insecurity: Bombs in Government Buildings

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Posted on Jul 7, 2009
Flickr / TheeErin

In the last year, government investigators were able to take explosives into federal buildings, build bombs there and then waltz around unmolested. The Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State were all infiltrated, as well as the offices of two members of Congress.

A bureaucratic reshuffling may be to blame. The Federal Protective Service, which is responsible for keeping bombs out of federal buildings, lost hundreds of millions in funding after it was put under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Washington Post:

The police agency in charge of protecting thousands of federal buildings nationwide has failed to keep bomb-making materials out of several high-security facilities in the past year, according to a Government Accountability Office report released today. In the past year, investigators successfully smuggled bomb-making materials into ten high-security federal buildings, constructed bombs and walked around the buildings undetected, exposing weaknesses in security provided by the Federal Protective Service.

[...] Investigators carried liquid explosives and low-yield detonators—materials investigators note are not normally carried into federal buildings. The GAO said security concerns prevent it from revealing the exact locations or cities of the affected facilities, but that eight of them were government owned, while two were leased. They included offices of a U.S. senator and House member, as well as offices for the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, the GAO reported. In one instance, the GAO obtained a building security tape showing an investigator walking through a security checkpoint with bomb making materials.

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By Neeneko, July 8, 2009 at 8:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is not surprising.

Funding, promotions, and political rewards tend to go to showy security that people can see and say ‘we feel safer because xyz is visible’.  Training is something people can not see and thus it tends to get little funding or attention.

Classic side effect of ‘security theater’ at work.

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By Jim Yell, July 8, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact is there is no perfect security. Trying for total security is only assured road to dictatorship and oppression. All of Homeland Security is more dangerous to the Bill of Rights and our supposed freedoms than it is to malfactors.

Who gets hired and who wants to get hired to boss around the average Joes and Joans? The very nature of these jobs encourages abuse and extortion and renders the average citizen defenseless against terror and their own government and police.

We never needed a faschist Homeland Security Department. Our various policing departments had the information using ordinary investigation technics, it was politically motivated department heads who blocked or avoided acting on the “intellegence” we had about the 9/11 terrorists. A mega security department is better at defending their own interests than the freedom or safety of the nation.

Standing armies are always more danger to the citizens than to the enemies of the country.

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By Jeff Bettencourt, July 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Infiltrated? We’ve come a long way folks, these Federal buildings (some years ago) may have had a guard or two milling about, but generally the public could enter, even use the bathroom or something. But since we’ve all decided the world is sick and dangerous and oh “Look at what that guy did on the NEWS!”
we venture down the heroic path of the police state without a clue of how we drifted to a state of armed, barricaded, security cleared impenetrable bunkers where priveleged power and millionaire Defense Contractors run things on our behalf. It was a sad day to see big steel fences surround NIH in Bethesda after 2001, but now everyone feels “safer” They’ve forgotten something, something really basic.

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