I’ve been utterly agog at the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, mostly due to the massive and clearly preventable loss of life. Security expert Bruce Schneier talks good common sense in an editorial in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Funding security based on movie plots looks good on television, and gets people reelected. But there are millions of possible scenarios, and we’re going to guess wrong. The billions spent defending airlines are wasted if the terrorists bomb crowded shopping malls instead.
Our nation needs to spend its homeland security dollars on two things: intelligence-gathering and emergency response. These two things will help us regardless of what the terrorists are plotting, and the second helps both against terrorist attacks and national disasters.
You’d think this would be obvious. It seems obvious to me and everyone I know, and it’s been obvious since 9/11/01. And yet we end up with silly precautions like banning nail clippers on airlines and incompetent and unqualified boobs like Michael Brown running FEMA. After this terrible episode, there’s no way anyone can credibly argue that the government, this government under Bush, has the American people’s best interests at heart. “The American people” are just tools to further power grabs.