Federal homeland security officials will not dislclose names of the peer reviewers who guided the controversial distribution of $711 million in federal antiterrorism money announced last week, reports the New York Times. A collection of about 100 law enforcement officials and government bureaucrats from around the nation took vows of silence, signing agreements that they would not reveal the substance of their deliberations. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose city would face a 40 percent cut, plans to fight it.
Homeland Security officials say they were seeking a new system of evaluating aid applications that would for the first time engage people from around the country, making the judging impartial. A Homeland Security official said of the secrecy over the reviewers: “You do not want your doctor talking about your medical conditions, do you?” One reviewer who agreed to be identified, Lt. Timothy N. Fisk of the Orlando, Fl., Police Department, said, “We did evaluate the investments based on the needs and how they presented the projects.”