The Department of Homeland Security “has given up on one of its broadest anti-terrorism data-mining tools after investigators found it was tested with information about real people without the required privacy safeguards.”We know Joe neocon Lieberman has completely ignored his responsibility to provide real oversight following the failures of Katrina, either because he is bigoted towards black people OR poor people OR because he is just a Republican bitch, though it could be some combination of all three?
It’s worth noting, however, that Joe Lieberman, as head of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, promised to investigate the government’s response to Hurricaine Katrina. From January of 2006, when Joe was running for office:
The White House is dodging questions about Hurricane Katrina response and has instructed other agencies to join it in fending off investigators, Sen. Joseph Lieberman said on Tuesday. The White House denies the allegations.
Lieberman went so far as to suggest that the Department of Homeland Security is trying to kill the investigation.
“My staff believes that DHS has engaged in a conscious strategy of slow-walking our investigation in the hope that we would run out of time to follow the investigation’s natural progression to where it leads,” Lieberman said. “At this point, I cannot disagree.”
The Connecticut senator, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, further said no real reason is being given for the administration’s reticence.
“There’s been no assertion of executive privilege, just a refusal to answer,” Lieberman said. “I have been told by my staff that almost every question our staff has asked federal agency witnesses regarding conversations with or involvement of the White House has been met with a response that they could not answer on direction of the White House.”
And once Lieberman was re-elected with no small amount of help from the GOP?
Bush’s Best Democratic Buddy Joe Lieberman gives the president a pass on Katrina.
Jan. 11, 2007 - Sen. Joe Lieberman, the only Democrat to endorse President Bush’s new plan for Iraq, has quietly backed away from his pre-election demands that the White House turn over potentially embarrassing documents relating to its handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans.
Lieberman’s reversal underscores the new role that he is seeking to play in the Senate as the leading apostle of bipartisanship, especially on national-security issues. On Wednesday night, Bush conspicuously cited Lieberman’s advice as being the inspiration for creating a new “bipartisan working group” on Capitol Hill that he said will “help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.”
(As a side note, I think the above paragraph is a pretty clear demonstration of the fact that when Joe says “bipartisan” what he really means is “Karl Rove’s bitch.” Because nobody wants to bring the troops home more than Joe, you know.)
But since so many of our Democratic 08 candidates are current or former members of the Senate, maybe they would like to prod their colleague Joe about his promise to give residents of New Orleans an explanation for the government’s mishandling of the disaster and what happened to their lives?
But how does Lieberman feel about patriotic Americans that want to see him uphold his oath to protect the Constitution? We have a right to privacy and the department Lieberman heads, the Department of Homeland Security, flushed it down the toilet along with the Constitution.
Why should we have to rely on the GAO to keep Lieberman's department in line?
Are you so fuckin' incompetent and so hyper-partisan against our freedoms that you are incapable of running the DHS in an ethical manner? Are you so anti-American that you can't protect citizens from the abuses of illegal data mining operations by your own department?
A report by Congress' Government Accountability Office cautioned last March that the program should complete privacy analyses and notify the public of how individuals' data would be verified, used and protected before ADVISE was implemented. "Like other data-mining applications, the ADVISE tool could misidentify or erroneously associate an individual with undesirable activity such as fraud, crime or terrorism," the GAO warned.
Then in separate reports released without fanfare in July and August, the department's inspector general and its privacy office concluded that between 2004 and 2007, three pilot tests of ADVISE used personally identifiable information without first completing required privacy impact analyses. The DHS privacy office concluded the tests "created unnecessary privacy risks."
This is the second such error at DHS. The Secure Flight program to screen domestic air travelers was barred from implementation by Congress after it was learned that it acquired live data for testing rather than using made-up data. That program, however, is going into testing this fall having issued the required privacy impact assessment and dropping the use of commercial data, such as people's credit card histories.
These questions can and should be asked of Susan Collins, the other incompetent republican Senator tasked with running the DHS, as well. Lieberman and Collins, both of them bush hacks, embrace the ideals of repeated failure, incompetence, and criminal negligence with no accountability.
From an MLN diary posted in July:
From today's Washington Post:To these two republicans (face the facts, Lieberman is a republican now) that are supposed to provide oversight of the DHS and FEMA, what are a few more dead black and poor people? Who gives a shit if the bulk of the displaced survivors are still displaced, and still in mortal danger because of something these two refused to do anything about? And who cares about Americans' fucking rights to privacy? Those are just quaint ideals to these two, these two bush ass-kissers that have embraced the neoconservative goals of an all surveillance all the time fascist society, regardless of rights entrenched in the Constitution they took an oath to uphold.
FEMA Knew Of Toxic Gas In Trailers
Hurricane Victims Reported Illnesses
By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 20, 2007; Page A01
The Federal Emergency Management Agency since early 2006 has suppressed warnings from its own field workers about health problems experienced by hurricane victims living in government-provided trailers with levels of a toxic chemical 75 times the recommended maximum for U.S. workers, congressional lawmakers said yesterday.
As many as 120,000 families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita lived in the suspect trailers, and hundreds have complained of ill effects.
What is Congress's role in a situation like this? To investigate. You might expect that Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, who chair the Senate Committee on Homeland Security—the committee that oversees FEMA—to lead an investigation. But you’d be wrong. Just as they failed to look into the incompetence that led to the Katrina disaster, Joe and Suzy have been AWOL on this scandal too.
These two republicans, Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, want nothing to do with providing real oversight of their departments repeated failures, want nothing to do with helping the poor and minorities, want nothing to do with protecting our freedoms, want nothing to do with an open democracy.
And they have both come to embody all things wrong and republican during the bush years.
Buzz It! if you want to...