You Sleep Well Tonight, Y’Hear?

Well, I for one can’t think of any particular reason why this should scare the bejebus out of you:

The Bush administration has failed to fill roughly a quarter of the top leadership posts at the Department of Homeland Security, creating a “gaping hole” in the nation’s preparedness for a terrorist attack or other threat, according to a congressional report to be released today.

As of May 1, Homeland Security had 138 vacancies among its top 575 positions, with the greatest voids reported in its policy, legal and intelligence sections, as well as in immigration agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Coast Guard. The vacant slots include presidential, senior executive and other high-level appointments, according to the report by the majority staff of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Well!  I mean, it’s not like FEMA does anything.

No, seriously, it’s not like FEMA does anything.  Remember the FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina?  Neither does New Orleans.

Still, I’m sure DHS has a perfectly cromulent reason why we’ve just given up on hiring people to work there:

A DHS spokesman challenged the report’s tally, saying that it is skewed by a sudden expansion this spring in the number of top management jobs. Before then, only 12 percent of positions were unfilled in a department that has always been thinly staffed at headquarters, spokesman Russ Knocke said.

So previously, only 1/8th of all positions were unfilled.  Well, that’s great!  And I’m sure that a “thinly staffed” headquarters is perfect for a nation facing the threat of terror.  You remember, war on terror?  That thing that DHS was created to fight?  Yeah, neither do they.

At any rate, things can only get better:

One of the continuing problems appears to be the over politicization of the top rank of Department management,” concludes the report by the committee, chaired by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.). “This could lead to heightened vulnerability to terrorist attack.”

In an interview, Thompson said that vacancies have weakened morale and reflect an over-reliance on contractors. He also called the report a warning “that we can expect more vacancies to occur than what we have been accustomed to” at the close of the administration, when many top personnel will leave their posts.

Although at least if there are more vacancies, it will mean fewer Bush appointees are hanging on, and given the heckuva job they’ve done…well, I’m okay with that.

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12 Comments

Filed under 10_jeff_fecke

12 responses to “You Sleep Well Tonight, Y’Hear?

  1. One of the continuing problems appears to be the over politicization of the top rank of Department management

    In other words, no one but wingnuts want to work there–and even Liberty University can only crank ’em out so fast.

  2. Jersey

    Not enough people like him eough to give any money and rank as cronies deserving of a cushy job. Poor little bastard.

  3. NameChanged

    Melissa and Jersey you took the words right out of my keyboard. Maybe it is time to stop surrounding yourself with idiotic yes-men, Mr. Bush? Maybe?

  4. The only thing worse than the positions being unfilled is Bush filling ’em. It’ll be Brownie Brownie Brownie everywhere you look. And not the kind that leave cookies.

  5. Jersey

    Either no-ones giving money or they’re all afraid of going to jail in the very near future.

  6. I think It’s really all about privatization of these agencies. Contractors working on gov’t stuff now outnumber the amount of actual employees.

    a Political appointment is really nice, but a contract awarded to your contracting firm is even better.

  7. At this point, smart people realize that being hired by the Bush administration is NOT something you want on your resume.

    It would be better to work as an independent contractor rather than have your reputation ruined when the next Katrina or terror attack hits.

    Nobody wants to be the next “Brownie.”

  8. This is actually good news, in part. Most of the DHS is redundant anyway; the department should never have been created. With the exception of the agencies (such as FEMA) that were stupidly folded into DHS, the whole department is useless. It should be defunded and disbanded. Toss a few Bush cronies out in the street and let actual trained people at FEMA, etc, get back to work.

    Of course, that will never happen. Not while there’s money to be made at the expense of the public.

  9. hetherjw

    This is what you get when you elect people who hate government to run the, um, government. “Civil Service” is not something they understand or respect making it very hard to fill these posts with the ideological sycophants they are looking for.

  10. Longshot

    In other words, no one but wingnuts want to work there–and even Liberty University can only crank ‘em out so fast.

    Now be fair, Melissa – they thought Regent could pick up the slack but somehow they lost the memo stating that Regent alums are all needed at Justice 😄

  11. flaring

    I think this is evidence that the primary reasons behind the WOT are the consolidation of executive power and giving handouts to the administration’s corporate friends. When viewed from this perspective the explanation for the vacancies is clear: keeping the citizenry safe is just not a priority.

  12. boatboy_srq

    I wonder has anyone even tried to audit the private contractors working for DHS? Perhaps all those spots are “vacant” because they’ve been filled under some no-bid arrangement on a “temporary” basis. That IS the modus operandi for this [mal]administration, yes?

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