80,000-Site U.S. Terror Target List Called “Joke”


The federal effort to create a national database of potential terrorist targets such as dams, pipelines, chemical plants, and skyscrapers is far behind schedule and may take years to finish, reports USA Today. Members of Congress who have seen parts of the list being created by the Department of Homeland Security say it’s a haphazard compilation that includes water parks and miniature golf courses but omits major sites in need of security. “Their list is a joke,” said Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. He called it “an exercise in full employment for bureaucrats, rather than a realistic way to make the country safer.”

The department began collecting data a year ago; President Bush told the department to develop a database of sites and set priorities to protect them. The job was to have been largely completed by this month. Robert Liscouski, in charge of infrastructure protection at the Homeland Security department, said officials have set up a database of more than 80,000 sites. It’s being kept secret so terrorists cannot learn more about the nation’s vulnerabilities. “I honestly don’t know what they’ve been doing over there,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. “I think you could take the average mayor or member of Congress and give them a month, and they would come up with a better list.”

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-12-08-terror-database_x.htm

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