Last night the folks at CBS News provided a brief look at the problems at ISCD that have been discussed here for over a year now. Nothing new here other than former DHS Assistant Secretary Todd Keil confirms what I said back in February about his being forced out because of CFATS problems.
Okay I’ll take that back. On the video (I didn’t see this on TV, who would have known) Keil claims that he requested an IG investigation, but that request was not forwarded to the IG. If there is any documentation of that request (and I really doubt that there is) then Under Secretary Beers has something to answer for. Of course someone like Keil would have known that such a request was political suicide, so if it was really made he would have gone directly to the IG as was his ‘right’ as a federal employee. More likely he mentioned that an IG investigation was needed and it was quashed with his reluctant acquiescence.
The timing on this is absolutely stupid. Congress is leaving town so they can’t (wouldn’t really any way, but now they have the excuse) do anything about it. This is a 90 second wonder that will be forgotten in the news about the campaign and political conventions.
One question for the producer at CBS; why Senator Grassley? This was the only member of Congress that they included in the piece and he has little or nothing to do with the oversight of CFATS. Why didn’t they ask Lieberman, Collins, King or Thompson? These are the people that have abdicated their oversight responsibilities for the CFATS program.
Of course, this piece by CBS, all of the hearings to-date, have ignored the basis of the problem. Congress saddled the folks at CFATS with an unenforceable program, denying them the ability to tell facilities what they needed to do to get a site security plan approved. With each facility requiring a multiple visit negotiation where one side had to remain silent ensures that the site security approval process would be time consuming at best. The fact that the folks at ISCD were less than efficient at implementing this was really just icing on the cake.
BTW: A reader pointed me at this story last night, commenting that I had been ‘scooped’ by CBS. Hardly, but CBS is over six months late covering this story; FOX News beat them with their story back in December.