May 31, 2006, - 11:53 am
By Debbie Schlussel
When I was a kid, K-Mart’s slogan was “K-Mart: Where Your Dollar Buys You More.” Perhaps the FBI’s new slogan should be: “FBI-Mart: Where Your Tax Dollar Buys You Less.”
After 5 years of floundering in the War on Terror (including refusing agents’ requests to search terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui’s belongings), you’d think the FBI would be used to criticism by now. But you’d be wrong.
Apparently stung by the avalanche of criticism of the two week long, fruitless search for the body of Jimmy Hoffa (see here, also) at a Michigan horse farm, the FBI has chosen to lie to the public about the cost of the dig. FBI Special Agent Louis Fischetti and other FBI spokespersons told the media the final tab will be “less than $250,000“. But that’s simply not possible. Unless he’s talking about 1975 dollars (from the year Hoffa disappeared). The actual cost to taxpayers is probably more in the neighborhood of $1-2 million.
Here’s what the search involved and other expenses the FBI has committed to paying for:
* Rebuilding a brand new horse barn to replace the horsebarn the FBI destroyed;
* Replacement of soil dug up throughout the farm and re-landscaping;
* Compensation for two weeks’ lost business to the horse farm;
* Two weeks salary and overtime duty pay for 50 FBI agents who make on average $100,000 per year (that’s about two man-years of an FBI salary and benefits–about $250,000 plus);
* Payment of two weeks travel, hotel, meal expenses, and other per diems for 50 FBI agents from Chicago, Washington, DC, and Detroit (the farm was guarded by agents 24/7);
* Two weeks mileage and gas for FBI Government-owned vehicles for 50 FBI agents;
* Payment to an army of archeologists, anthropologists, demolition and excavation professionals, K9 dog handlers;
* Rental of extra probing and other equipment; and
* Assorted other expenses.
All that and more for “less than $250,000“? No way. Now we know what President Bush meant by “fuzzy math.”
Yet, Detroit FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Judith Chilen claims the waste of money was worth it because “We do not put a price tag on kidnapping/murder investigations, as we treat all human life on an equal basis.”
Oh, really? That’s hardly been my experience. In 2004, FBI agents swooped down on two New York men who sent vague threats to an extremist Muslim imam. The men–one of whom is a quadriplegic veteran–were arrested, indicted, and prosecuted. I’m still waiting for something to happen on these very serious threats to my life that I received from Muslims beginning in 2003. The first agent “working” (if you can call it that) on one of my threats, John Ouellet, did NOTHING.
Clearly, the FBI does not treat all human life equally. Not at all. They just treat all taxpayer money equally, as something to be wasted.
Tags: Bush, Chicago, DC, Debbie Schlussel, Detroit, FBI Government, Federal Bureau of Investigation, fruitless search, Jimmy Hoffa, John Ouellet, Louis Fischetti, Michigan, Michigan horse farm, New York, President, Special Agent, terrorist, USD, Washington, weeks travel, Your Dollar, Your Tax Dollar, Zacarias Moussaoui