Homeland Security

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WSJ: Presumption of Guilt

In Mexico's dysfunctional legal system, an arrest most often leads to a conviction. Exposing both that corruption and a glimpse of hope, David  Luhnow follows the story of one street vendor--wrongly convicted of murder--who won his freedom thanks to an unconventional approach by two determined lawyers.


See more in Homeland Security; Mexico; Rule of Law

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NYT: All Too Quiet on the Homeland Front

Author: Clark Ervin

Clark Kent Ervin, inspector general of the Homeland Security Department from 2003 to 2004, says the presidential candidates must explain "exactly what they think the federal government has done right and done wrong in the seven years since 9/11 in securing this country against another terrorist attack." Ervin provides a list of questions related to homeland security policy for the candidates to answer.

See more in Homeland Security; United States

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Common Dreams: War on Terror Mercenaries I

Author: Thomas Barnett

Two journalist reports first published in The Independent newspaper in the UK and the Philadelphia Inquirer in the US on the proliferation of mercenary forces in Iraq and elsewhere with a “licence to kill”. The Independent’s report says that the immunity enjoyed by civilian security contractors in Iraq is generating a daily series of “legal” murders of Iraqis. The Philadelphia Inquirers report argues that the increasing use of mercenary forces is on the verge of threatening US civil liberties in the name of protecting homeland security.

See more in Iraq; Homeland Security; United States

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AEI: Are We Ready for the Next 9/11? The Sorry State—and Stunning Waste—of Homeland Security Spending

Author: Veronique de Rugy

Since September 11, Congress has appropriated nearly $180 billion to protect Americans from terrorism. Total spending on homeland security in 2006 will be at least $50 billion—roughly $450 per American household. But far from making us more secure, the money is being allocated like so much pork.

See more in Defense Budget; Preparedness; Homeland Security

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Report on the Status of 9/11 Commission Recommendations

"On July 22, 2004, the 9/11 Commission released 41 recommendations to make our country safer and more secure. These recommendations were unanimous and bipartisan. They flowed directly from the findings of our investigation of the September 11 attacks.

...Four years have passed without another major attack on American soil. That is a credit to the diligence of many courageous Americans. But the threat has not abated.

Today we reconvene as former Commissioners, in accordance with a promise we made last year: to begin to assess the status of our recommendations. What steps have been taken – and not taken – to make our country safer and more secure?

This is the first of several reports we will issue over the next three months. Future reports will assess the status of recommendations on institutional reform, foreign policy, and securing nuclear materials."

See more in United States; 9/11 Impact; Homeland Security