March 27, 2007, - 5:49 pm

A Legit Anti-Gonzales Grievance: DOJ Wasted $200M on Failed Post-9/11 Communication System

By Debbie Schlussel
With all of the pontificating and lecturing Democrats are engaging in against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, they’re missing his real areas of incompetence.
The latest is a $5 billion interagency communications system that the Department of Justice was supposed to develop, but didn’t. Remember all of the info that came out since 9/11 exposing the lack of communication between federal agencies regarding terrorists–an unfortunate fact that stopped us from stopping the 9/11 attacks?

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Gonzales (and John Ashcroft, before him) and his agency were charged with developing a wireless communications system that would allow agents from the FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security to communicate across agency lines. It was to be called Integrated Wireless Network (IWN). But despite the fancy name and a whopping $5 billion that was going to be spent developing the system, the whole thing is a total failure. And $200 million in tax money has, so far, been wasted on it, with zero results, according to DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine, in a report he issued, yesterday.
Besides identifying the huge waste of money, the report says this failure could:

affect the safety of (federal) law enforcement officers [because existing systems have] limited functionality, diminished voice quality and weak security, making them vulnerable to hacking.
Failure of the IWN project would represent a significant missed opportunity to achieve needed communications interoperability among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Yup, almost 6 years after 9/11, agencies still aren’t communicating too well, and the incompetents assigned to the task haven’t done the job that plenty of technology companies do quite well.
But you know how it goes: What you do well (or even with mediocrity), government does . . . worst.
Read the full report.

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5 Responses

Debbie,
You might want to check whether CIA was involved in this program. The article doesn’t indicate that CIA was to have been involved and they don’t operate domestically. Also, I skimmed the DOJ report but didn’t see a mention of CIA. It seems more likely that this system was intended for U.S. federal law enforcement agencies.
Another small point, CIA refers to their professional operators as “officers” rather than “agents”.
MarcH:
THAT’S AN INCORRECT “CORRECTION.” INSTEAD OF SKIMMING, YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ JUST A TAD MORE CLOSELY. THE ARTICLE LINKED ABOVE CLEARLY MENTIONS THE CIA:
“The system was planned to allow agents to communicate across agency lines. For example, it would allow an FBI agent to tap into information obtained from another department or agency, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or CIA. It could also be used to coordinate federal agents as they respond to a disaster.”
AS FOR YOUR CLAIM THAT THE CIA DOESN’T OPERATE DOMESTICALLY, THAT IS ALSO IN DISPUTE WITH REGARD TO THIS ISSUE. PERHAPS YOU FORGOT THAT BOTH THE FBI AND CIA HAD INFORMATION OF NAWAF AL-HAZMI AND KHALID AL-MIDHAR PRIOR TO 9/11, AND THAT NEITHER OF THEM SHARED WITH EACH OTHER (YET, BOTH AGENCIES WERE SPYING ON THE TWO, WHILE THEY WERE HERE IN THE U.S., IN SAN DIEGO). THAT LACK OF SHARED INTERAGENCY INFO IS THE REASON THEY WANTED THIS NEW COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

MarcH on March 27, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Debbie Shalom,
Gonzalez’s involvement with insurgent organisations i.e. MeCha, La Raza etc. are reasons to be wary of the fellow.
Former Sheriff Jim R. Schwiesow has a lot more to say about the separatist Atty General;
The truth is that Mr. Gonzales is being politically excoriated for the wrong reasons. The fact that he is around for an objurgation over these political firings is in itself ridiculous. In point of fact he should have been fired long ago for his dirty dealings with foreign agents in regard to the setup and prosecution of those who protect our borders from criminal intruders. His complicity in the program to railroad two patriot border patrolmen and a Texas deputy sheriff into prison for righteously doing their duties merits him our deepest execration. The commendable performance of these officers in protecting and securing our borders against criminal aliens and foreign drug runners makes them worthy of our highest commendation for excellence in the performance of their duties. Instead Mr. Gonzales and his conspiratorial henchman, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, corroborated with foreign agents to fabricate the charges, which put these dedicated officers in prison. To add insult to injury Gonzales and company engineered the intrigue, which completely absolved the foreign felons who came against these dedicated lawmen of their criminal conduct.
Personally I’d love to see Alberto deported to either Cuba or Syria, and Debbie Schlussel would have my full support as the new, and truly AMERICAN A.G.
(Can we close the borders now?)
[and an early] Chag Sameach

Miluimnik on March 27, 2007 at 8:38 pm

Waste in government. Kind of reminds me of the two-hundred dollar hammers from around twenty years or so ago. The idiots probably should have gone and bought an MSOffice Suite and created a database to interface with the various agencies. Pay the money for the licensing and bam. Maybe I’m being simplistic but sometimes it’s the easiest approach. I remember here in Kalifornia the DMV spent millions and millions of taxpayer dollars back in the eighties on a “new system” and then just shit-canned it. Fcking governments.

Rich B on March 27, 2007 at 9:19 pm

How many days ’til the chump leaves office?

Thee_Bruno on March 28, 2007 at 8:13 am

“…allow agents to communicate across agency lines…” What?!?! Like that will ever happen. As an ICE agent in NJ, we can barely hear each other on our own radios! Never mind the horrible Nextel phones we use!! Just another myth about us becoming safer after 9/11.

ICEnj on March 29, 2007 at 2:57 pm

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