New York City finally has something in the works so that we can have WMD experts based here downstate. The "Civil Support Team" is already based in areas like Boise, Topeka and upstate NY because those are key targets for terrorists, ya know? The two Republican Congressmen from the area, Vito Fossella and Peter King announced at a little press conference to strut their stuff. They claim to have jumped several Congressional hurdles to introduce this, but it seems like a no-brainer to have brought more security to the NYC area immediately following 9/11.
The key move was an amendment, offered by Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., of Watertown, to the House's 2008 Defense Authorization bill, providing funding for a second team in Gotham. What remains is for Congress to approve adding two CST teams to the 55 now in existence nationwide and add more money for fiscal 2008.
The teams are widely scattered with at least one in every state and territory, in such locations as Indianapolis; St. Paul, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Boise, Idaho; Phoenix; Topeka, Kan.; Honolulu; Augusta, Ga.; Stark, Fla.; Rapid City, S.D., Tacoma, Wash.; Smyrna, Tenn.; and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
New York's Congressional delegation has complained vigorously to the Bush administration that funds for homeland security were being funneled to states and small cities where the actual terrorist threat was minimal compared to New York, where planes hijacked by terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and killed nearly 2,800 people on Sept. 11, 2001.
Why didn't the Republican controlled Congress with Bush flying high at the time swiftly enact this rather inexpensive program? The truth is Bush and his buddies may like to talk tough about terrorism, but in reality do very little about it. Protecting New York City should be priority number one and being the 56th recipient of this program is completely unacceptable.