Willful Neglect: The Dangerous Illusion of Homeland Security

Charles S. Faddis, Author
Charles S. Faddis, Author Lyons Press $24.95 (227p) ISBN 978-1-59921-906-6
Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
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Author and CIA counterterrorism veteran Faddis (Beyond Repair) opens his latest salvo against the state of homeland security by detailing a surprise attack that cost more than 2,000 American lives, the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor; even worse, he contends, was the complacency that permitted successful ""follow-on attacks"" a full eight hour later, and for several days after, in the Philippines. Faddis finds the aftermath of 9/11 a bitter reminder of the 60-year-old failure to react effectively: over eight years, the U.S. has spent billions making the Department of Homeland Security the largest federal department in history, but effective new security measures are nearly nonexistent. Instead, the department's work includes a $200,000 grant for a tiny Alaskan fishing village 300 miles from the nearest major population center; and $160,000 for eight plasma screen televisions in Montgomery, Maryland. Meanwhile, many municipal railways, chemical plants, liquid natural gas terminals, and even military installations remain entirely vulnerable; in the case of a well-rehearsed, well-timed attack, the potential for casualties far exceeds those of 9/11. Faddis is a passionate and fully-informed advocate for effective and responsible security, and his analytical survey is a valuable clarion call for anyone involved in homeland security and public safety.
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