Unchained Remedies

It appears after nearly a decade of anti ”terrorist’ vigilance, the U.S. is unprepared for some attacks on U.S. soil. 

The House recently passed two bills to “remedy” this supposed sad state of affairs by — you guessed it — funding another office to oversee the matter, nearly seven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack. 

According to a release from the Hill, the National Bombing Prevention Act of 2008 (H.R. 4749), which amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002, seems to establish the Office of Bombing Prevention within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).According to the House bill, “The Office shall have the primary responsibility for enhancing the ability, and coordinating the efforts, of the United States to deter, detect, prevent, protect against, and respond to terrorist explosive attacks in the United States.”


But, if you go to the DHS Web site, the Office of Bombing Prevention already exists. Interesting. So the current Office of Bombing Prevention isn’t up to the job? (Has anyone contacted Jack Bauer?) 

The legislation targets improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and other tactics that have not yet been a factor on U.S. soil, Oklahoma City aside. The London and Madrid bombings of recent years have been cited as factors in pushing this legislation, but one would think the U.S. already would have looked to the decades of domestic terror inflicted by the Irish Republican Army in Great Britain. 

If the bill is enacted in its current form, the DHS secretary has 90 days to produce a national prevention strategy (that we apparently don’t have). We’re years into this thing, so what’s the rush? Get this: the DHS secretary has been granted 270 days to come up with a pilot program for breeding explosives-detection dogs. 

In fact, this unusually detailed piece of legislation, reads like a wish list for special interests. From the “Elect Me to Another Term, My Disparate Friends” play book the bill mandates, among many other things, “… acquiring canines from animal shelters, rescue societies, and other not-for-profit entities.” (We’ll alert ferret rescue. We sense opportunity.) 

Additionally, no protected class is left behind. For example in the accompanying public awareness campaign, “… [Efforts are to be] understandable to underserved populations, including-persons with physical and mental disabilities, health problems, visual impairments, hearing impairments, limited English proficiency, and literacy barriers …” (We feel safer already.)

The bill now goes to the Senate. Will senators discover we already have a DHS Office of Bombing Prevention?

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