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WAR: Homeland Insecurity: States Say They Know Little About Threats

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posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 04:14 PM
The Department of Homeland Security is still struggling to find it's place in intelligence circles. A recently scheduled teleconference with leaders of all 50 states' Departments of Homeland Security highlights the failure of the federal agency to effectively coordinate and desceminate vital information to the states. Many of the directors of the state level Homeland security agencies are finding it difficult at best to get accurate, complete, and timely information from the National department.
CALVERTON, Md. (AP) - The first call came in midafternoon: State homeland security advisers needed to join a classified briefing about a potential new terror threat. Most states were connected to the U.S. Homeland Security Department by 4:45 p.m.

At 6:30, they were still waiting.

Eventually, state directors were told to leave the Feb. 25 video conference call while Homeland Security and other federal agencies debated how much to reveal about recent al-Qaida intelligence.

State officials say the incident was part of an uphill struggle to share clear and concise terror information with agencies trying to protect Americans in every state.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Also highlighted in the article is the inability of the Department of Homeland Security to perform one of it's most critical tasks at this point, that of being a "one stop shop" for information for the local level first responders. The inability for them to coordinate something as simple as a conference call, and what information can be revealed in the call is yet another sign of the ineffectivness of the department.

DHS has a long way to go before it can transform itself into the agency it is intended to be. Much of the problem, as I see it, is the unwillingness of the agencies that have been rolled into DHS to let go of the reins to a larger organizational structure. Even though DHS is supposed to provide a bridge between the FBI, CIA, and some of the federal first responders, those in these agencies seem unwilling to cooperate.

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