New York City, the town without monuments. Just ask the DHS computer

Thursday, June 01, 2006 at 02:36 PM

The Department of Homeland Security has had its share of bad publicity, largely because it has had more than its share of bad judgment.  But there's bad judgment and bad judgment.

The DHS just announced how it plans to divvy up the anti-terrorism funds among the states, and NYC is not pleased.

The DHS decision to cut NYC funding, while increasing funds in places like Omaha Nebraska.

One reason for the NYC cut?  According to the DHS, the city has nothing that qualifies as a national monuments or icons that need to be protected from terrorists.  I'm guessing that comes as news to the millions of us who visit NYC to check out the Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Grand Central, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

But it's okay, because the DHS assures everyone that the decision was made in the most objective way:

A Homeland Security spokesman insisted New York's cut was based on a powerful new matrix that crunches millions of bits of data to figure out where money is most needed.

"We're quite frankly getting highly sophisticated in our ability to analyze threat," said Russ Knocke.

Knocke would not address specifically why a threat-based assessment cut funds for a city that has been attacked twice and targeted repeatedly by Islamic terrorists.

"It's not so much fighting the last war, it's taking in the threat picture today," he said. "We've got to apply dollars where they will have the greatest impact."

Sounds like the DHS computer program works about as well as the FBI and CIA computer systems.  Or could it be that the Republicans tend to rule the "heartland" of the country, like Omaha, while Democrats prevail in places like New York City.  Home to worldwide attractions that just don't quite rise to the level of national monuments.  Or icons, even.

You know what they'll say if NYC is hit again, right?  We can't cover everything.  And look, Omaha went untouched.