Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 19, 2010

April 19, 1995

Filed under: Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on April 19, 2010


Purposeful abuse of the innocent by the proud calls us to humility and justice.

The image is that of Oklahoma City firefighter Chris Fields cradling Baylee Almon.  On April 19, 1995 an attack on the Murrah Federal Building killed 168, including Baylee. 

The original photograph by Charles Porter won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 19, 2010 @ 8:53 am

An Amazing photo filled with the pathos and emotion of the moment and worthy of the Pulitzer.

Okay 15 years later what do we now have in place for protection of key government facilities that operate at least largely in major urban areas. Well the FPS has been hammered budget wise and in hearings since its incorporation into DHS and now very strangely in the National Protectiona and Programs Directorate. Largely a contractor monitoring operation not a real security service, very odd that there is no real integration with the Uniformed Division of the US Secret Service now largely the Crown Jewel in DHS after the passage of seven years. Hey does the Treasury Department regret the loss of the Secret Service, every day and in every way. Face time with the President even for security is so very important. Out of mind out of sight, so to speak.Even then the Secret Service is still understaffed and underfunded while DHS spends more billions on destruction of legacy IT systems and creation of nonfunctioning new ones, as an example.
And of course what really happened funding wise at the Murrah Building. Well law enforcement showed up all right. The FBI had no really solid communications systems, no food, no protective gear, no supplies and all was funded by FEMA whose Director was onscene almost immediately if not sooner. And of course I have listened to the FBI over the years criticize other organizations for their failures. What is odd of course is that most retired FBI become involved in security issues when the FBI is really not a security service but an investigatory service and post 9/11 an analytical service. And of course the Committees with oversight of the Robert T. Stafford Act should specifically implement my inferential conclusion based in part on the passage and enactment of the Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1984 and 28 CFR Part 65 that NO, repeat NO, law enforcement activities including response should be funded by the Robert T. Stafford Act. Perhaps another oddity, Director James Lee Witt, and Director Louis Freeh had a really great relationship covering old scars left from DOJ trying to eliminate FEMA as a potential competitor in the era of FEMA Director Louis O. Guiffrida.

So perhaps more to follow!

Physical protection of federal buildings is course necessary but now that effort should be converted to cyber security and its related effort computer security. You don’t need to blow up a building to bring things to a halt.

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