Homeland Defense Funding Plundered For

Homeland Defense Funding Plundered for Iraq

For those who believe that the Iraq War was a major detour from the War on Terror, there is excellent evidence for it if any investigative reporters wanted the story. Major funding for anti-terrorism science programs in the US, already appropriated and given out in contracts, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, has been diverted to Iraq funding. The US is as vulnerable today to a dirty bomb as it was on September 10, 2001. But a high-tech program that would allow the detection of neutrons could have made us safer. That program has been mothballed for the time being by Tom Ridge; it is being alleged by my correspondent that the money is going instead to prop up the fragile US presence in Iraq.

I received the following from a source I consider impeccable. It is appalling.

“An angry scientist at one of the national laboratories gave me some (non-classified) insight into how the Iraq war is being financed.

The Department of Homeland Defense allocated half a billion dollars to a project called the Tri-Lab Initiative, which offered grants to teams at Los Alamos, Sandia, and White Sands for homeland defense research. Proposals were made, ranked, and granted funds. For example, something called VLAND would have used techniques developed for the purest of pure science–neutrino research–to create truck-sized neutron detectors to detect hidden nuclear weapons. Apparently, the contracts were signed because new staff was hired. But the money never came, and the responsible Homeland Defense officials stopped replying to calls and emails. The labs have been paying the new staff out of normal Department of Energy funds intended for pure scientific research. The homeland defense projects that were funded are doing nothing. The only exception are projects funded by the Air Force, but the national laboratory scientists prefer civilian funding due to concerns about academic freedom.

Clearly, what has happened is that funds intended for other purposes have been diverted to pay for the Iraq war. None of this is classified, but government scientists are prohibited from using government resources–i.e., their computers or their email account–to make it public.”