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The council, a New York-based private world affairs advocacy organization, recommended spending $98 billion beyond the $27 billion it said the federal government planned to spend on first responders over the next five years.
President Bush is actively involved in "monitoring and assessing" the developments in the Middle East from his ranch in Crawford, Texas where he is spending the Easter weekend, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters at an early morning briefing in Crawford March 29.
“We're not looking at what the USGS studied,”.
-White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe, March 29
In order to deploy such a system, known as Total Information Awareness, new legislation
would be needed, some of which has been proposed by the Bush administration in the
Homeland Security Act that is now before Congress. That legislation would amend the
Privacy Act of 1974, which was intended to limit what government agencies could do with
A spokesman for the White House Office of Homeland Security, Gordon Johndroe, said
officials in the office were not familiar with the computer project and he declined to
discuss concerns raised by the project's critics without knowing more about it.
He referred all questions to the Defense Department, where officials said they could not
address civil liberties concerns because they too were not familiar enough with the
"There are no plans, nor have their been any discussions, about elevating the
threat level to Code Red," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the Department
of Homeland Security.
To trigger such an alert, U.S. intelligence would have to be "very specific,
credible, corroborated [and] provide us with information such as time, date,
location" of a possible attack, Johndroe said.
Responding to the statement, Gordon D. Johndroe, a spokesman for the White House Office of Homeland Security, said: "We continue to work with the scientific community to strike the appropriate balance between national security information that must be held close and scientific information that should be available for research purposes."