In fairness, that money was just sitting there, all fat, dumb and happy, and practically begging to be misappropriated to some domestic pork program. Besides, how was Dodd supposed to know that international terrorists would come up with the novel idea of using explosives to try to blow up airplanes?
Now that our attention is focused on airline security measures thanks to the failed airline attack on Christmas Day, it’s worth mentioning that one Senator took money away from aviation security to line the pockets of constituency that supported his presidential campaign in a big way.
Back in July, Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., proposed an amendment reducing aviation security appropriations by $4.5 million in favor of firefighter grants — a notoriously inneffective program. In fact, the money was specifically “for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems.”
Via Jim Geraghty, who notes that the Senate in general signed off on the amendment (S.AMDT.1458 to H.R.2892; it was part of the Homeland Security appropriations bill). This is fostering an atmosphere where you have the ability to read and assess bills before you sign them is so critically important…
PS: This pet program of Dodd’s wasn’t funding firefighters, by the way. It was funding firefighting-flavored processed pork substitute; you can tell the difference via the fact that the program doesn’t actually work.
PPS: Would the extra money stopped the Christmas attack? Good question. Better one: why did Sen. Dodd cut national defense in favor of domestic pork?