The Budget Increases for the War on Crime and Terror

Just two months ago I complained about the excesses in Congress $447 billion 2010 appropriations bill that passed the Senate.

Now we have the 2011 budget and billions in increases just keep flowing to the Department of Justice, DEA, FBI and many other crime-related programs.

At what point does someone stop and say, Whoa? Do we need this? Is it redundant of the money we've already given or of that being requested by other agencies? [More...]

These new intelligence sharing initiatives are costing a fortune. And do we really need to spend a billion dollars on tribal law enforcement?

Here are the fact sheets:

From the drug trafficking info sheet:

Given the scope of these challenges, the Department of Justice’s FY 2011 Budget supports an increase of $121.9 million and 60 positions, including 28 agents and 6 attorneys, to reduce the threat, incidence and prevalence of violent crime and drug trafficking.

For FY 2011, approximately $5 billion or 17 percent of the Department’s total budget is dedicated to target these growing problems, including $1 billion for federal law enforcement to help address violent crime and $4 billion for federal drug enforcement and prosecution efforts. In addition, resources to assist DOJ’s state, local and tribal law enforcement partners combat violent crime and drugs are requested within the Department’s grant programs.

$1 billion for violent crime and $4 billion for the drug war? If together they account for 17% of the total DOJ budget, what's that just for drugs?

Do we really need all this just for the southwest border?

Criminal Division (CRM)

  • Southwest Border Enforcement: $550,000 and 5 positions (3 attorneys) to support gang, drug, and firearms investigation related activities. This proposal supports additional litigators for CRM’s Gang Unit, which not only prosecutes complex gang cases but also provides support to federal, state, and local prosecutors and law enforcement. This request also supports additional resources for the Office of Enforcement Operations, which reviews and obtains approval for the use of Title III wiretaps. Finally, this request supports additional personnel for the CRM’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and the Office of International Affairs. The additional support enables the Department to better investigate and prosecute drug cases, process extradition warrants, and address mutual legal assistance requests, particularly with Mexico. FY 2011 current services for this initiative are 39 positions (including 30 attorneys) and $9.2 million.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

  • Southwest Border: $54.2 million to support DEA’s enforcement efforts to stop the flow of drugs and the traffickers who smuggle them across the Southwest Border. This enhancement includes $41.9 million in no year construction money to address increased demands at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) by expanding and renovating the existing EPIC facility. Also included is $10.8 million to target Mexican cartels through Sensitive Investigative Units.
  • Intelligence Sharing: $4.9 million for additional storage and processing capabilities for the Special Operations Division (SOD) Speedway Program and infrastructure upgrades that will help DEA to better share information with the Intelligence Community. DEA’s Speedway program provides intelligence on the communications of major national and international drug trafficking organizations. The requested enhancement to Speedway, which funds additional servers, processing capability, and storage infrastructure, will allow DEA to exploit more intelligence data than it currently can. FY 2011 current services for this initiative are 13 positions and $31 million.

Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement (ICDE)

  • Southwest Border Enforcement Initiative: $37.3 million and 158 positions (29 agents and 58 attorneys) to provide for increased enforcement and prosecutorial activities along the Southwest Border and in interior regions of the United States significantly affected by Southwest Border Drug Trafficking. This enhancement supports a variety of initiatives...
  • Southwest Border Threat Response Unit: 1.4 million and 11 positions (10 attorneys) to provide additional resources for the review of Title III wiretap applications. This will enable the Office of Enforcement Operations, within the Criminal Division, to better support OCDETF Title III wiretap requests.
  • Southwest Border Investigative and Prosecutorial Activities: $10 million and 88 positions (41 attorneys) to provide additional attorneys and support personnel to Southwest Border districts. These additional personnel are needed due to the increasing number and complexity of Southwest Border cases.

    ....FY 2011 current services for this initiative are 921 positions (including 609 agents and attorneys) and $138.8 million. The Southwest Border Threat Response Unit is a new OCDETF initiative

More wiretapping funds:

U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)

  • Technical Operations Group: $6.4 million is requested for electronic surveillance equipment so that the TOG can manage the increasing workload associated with fugitive apprehension. This funding will enable TOG to remain technologically current. FY 2011 current services for agency-wide fugitive apprehension are $39.4 million.

Then there's the $500 million increase for prison funding and building.

When you get to the amounts for national security and terrorism fighting, there's another $300 million, including:

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

  • Transfer from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI): $300,000 to support an ODNI initiative to improve infrastructure that supports information sharing within the Intelligence Community. There are no current services for this initiative. Additional details are classified.

Classified...undoubtedly more electronic surveillance. And more end runs around the 4th Amendment where the intelligence agencies get leads under FISA without a probable cause showing of criminal activity and pass the info on to DEA who uses it to make a criminal case. Or to send more DEA agents on trips to Africa to bust drug shipments destined for Europe, not the U.S. Then we can pay to transport those busted to the U.S. for trial and pay for their incarceration for the next 20 years.

Do we really need 1,500 FBI agents in Pakistan and Ethiopia alone? Along with another 1,000 support personnel? For $475 million? Can't they monitor the surveillance from the U.S.?

Do these amounts even take into consideration the State and Foreign Operations Enforcement budgets for 2010? From the 2009 appropriations bill passed two months ago:

Western Hemisphere Counternarcotics/Security Assistance Programs: Counternarcotics and security programs support strengthening criminal justice systems and law enforcement agencies and provide assistance for alternative livelihoods in the Western Hemisphere. This includes:

• Assistance for Mexico: $231.6 million, which when combined with $254 million in forward funding for Mexico in the 2009 supplemental, results in a total of $485.6 million for bilateral programs for counternarcotics, law enforcement, and development assistance programs.

• Assistance for Central America: $83 million for regional security and law enforcement programs with the countries of Central America.

• Assistance for the Caribbean: $37 million for a new Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which seeks to achieve security and prosperity in the region.

• Assistance for Colombia: $522 million for counternarcotics, administration of justice, and alternative livelihoods assistance for Colombia.

One of the few increased expenditures I agree with (in addition to amounts for prisoner re-entry programs): $72 million to prosecute the 9/11 suspects in federal court. The $200 million figure being thrown around sounds more and more like a scare tactic by law enforcement and Republicans who don't want the trials.

No wonder we can't afford health care, social security and and Medicare funding increases. Between the defense budget and the crime war and prison budgets, we've got nothing left.

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  • Display: Sort:
    What CIA imports, the DEA tries to take away! (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Yes2Truth on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:59:12 PM EST

    Is this a crazy world or what?  

    You've hit on a dirty little secret (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by mcl on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:02:59 PM EST
    Funding for the DHS has been rising much faster than for any other government agency. If DHS funding continues rising at this rate, inside of 16 years the Department of Homeland Security will be bigger than the Pentagon.

    Which seems to be the whole point. Obviously America's worthless corrupt ineffective military can't win wars overseas, and the U.S. army is such a disgrace  it has to resort to bribing the Taliban to allow convoys to pass through enemy territory in Afghanistan. The U.S. army is run at the highest levels by incompetent cowards and staffed at the enlisted levels by rapists
    and ex-felons
    and former street gang members
    . Meanwhile, mid-level officers are fleeing the U.S. army in droves, en masse.

    So since the U.S. military is useless and worthless for winning wars, and is bankrupting us to boot with all the corrupt procurement contracts for worthless superweapons that don't work, the solution is apparently to downsize the army and withdraw from our conflicts overseas and bulk up the DHS to serve as a substitute.

    As everyone knows, the U.S. military has morphed into a form of blue-collar welfare, while weapons procurement contracts after the end of the Cold War are nothing but white-collar public assistance. The way to keep that whole gravy train going if the useless impotent American army can't actually win any overseas wars seems to be to militarize the police and Homeland Security, arm cops and DHS goons with M-16s and M1 tanks and patrol the streets of America on the public dime.

    At this point so many American jobs depend on weapons contracts and the ancillary services for the U.S. military that we can't shut down our military expenditures -- America would suffer such massive unemployment it'd make the Great Depression look like a mild recession. So the solution is apparently to do the next best thing and turn domestic policing and the DHS into super-militarized ueber-weaponed paramilitary Praetorian Guard, with all the budget goodies and sweet sweet procurement gravy and congressional funding that used to go to the Pentagon. In fact, I suspect the people policing our streets in paramilitary tanks and SWAT helicopter gunships will be the exact same people who are currently kicking in the doors of innocent Afghans today and shooting entire families by mistake at Iraqi checkpoints today.  America has outsourced all our high-paying jobs overseas, so, really, what's left?  Nowadays you can become a lawyer, doctor, dog groomer, xerox clerk or cop or TSA/DHS goon. It costs a quarter mil to become a lawyer or a doctor (law school/med school's expensive!) and becoming a dog groomer doesn't pay anything. So there you are. Militarize policing and keep that Pentagon gravy train going.

    Until the piper wants his pay (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by SeeEmDee on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 07:00:03 AM EST
    This is getting downright insane. The Treasury is in ruins thanks to the economy, the wars, the de facto devaluation of the dollar thanks to inflation (printing too much money), foreign creditors holding our debt seeking to divest themselves of those increasingly worthless dollars, you can go on and on, but the brakes have to be applied sometime.

    And throwing MORE money at the system won't make it better. Might as well throw gasoline on a raging house fire.

    A good chart (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 09:29:30 AM EST
    of Obama's proposed budget to keep things in perspective around here, since some facts seem to be missing.

    For example, the category "Criminal Investigations" which include DEA, DHS, FBI, FinCEN, and ICDE, are getting a 2.9% increase over 2010, while the category "Civil and Criminal Prosecution and Representation" are taking a 4.9% cut from last year.  

    "State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance" is taking a whopping 14.9% cut from last year, and the "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program" is taking a 12.9% cut.

    "Representations of Indigients in Civil Cases" is getting 3.6% more this year.

    The "Crime Victims' Fund" is getting a 659.1% bump - as they should, IMO - from $0.71 billion to $5.35 billion.

    Then, too, other areas ARE getting increases, such as "Children and Families' Serivces" (+10.7%), "Federal Family Education Loan Program", "Student Aid Administration" (+34.5%), "Elementary / Secondary Vocational Education" (+80%), "Section 8 Rental Assistance" (+7.5%), "Corporation for National Community Service" (+23.1%), "Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services" (+3.2%), "Medicare Prescription Drug Services" (+ 13.6%), "Food Stamps" (+16.1%), etc.

    That should make EVERYONE happy, (none / 0) (#17)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 02:24:46 PM EST
    and isn't that the goal?  Make everyone happy and they'll vote for ME!  Throw more money at the voters!  yeah, that's the ticket, something for every American.  

    Exactly (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 03:15:49 PM EST
    You're never gonna please all the people all the time (or at any time, for that matter).

    And I don't understand the surprise around here.  No politician in their right minds would want to defend and campaign on things like "cutting money for prisons and police officers", "spending cuts for FBI, DEA, ATF, DHS", "eliminating DEA", "not putting money towards stopping the violence and bloodshed near the border because of the drug war - or at least, not protecting our citizens at or near the border"

    THAT would be political suicide.


    five decades of Federal (none / 0) (#1)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:01:36 PM EST
    spending.  Nice chart.

    Thanks for breaking it down for us J... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:29:38 PM EST
    should be reqired reading for anybody who complains about what its gonna cost to try terrorists in a manner that isn't totally embarassing.  Just look at some of this spending...it's not even a passable con anymore, its just a joke.

    Talk about too big to fail...though the harder they come the harder they fall, one and all, it is only a matter of time.

    I thought the same thing, kdog (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:54:23 PM EST
    All this bloated spending, and they're whining about the cost of trying one suspect in New York City??????  Give me a break.  And the really outrageous thing is, this is going to be like the military budget- once we have it, it ain't ever going to go away, just increase every year.  Forget social programs, infrastructure, health care, education and on and on......as long as the defense department, homeland security, and all their contractors are happy, that's all that matters.  (Oh, and the financial institutions- can't forget them.)  Sorry, I guess I'm just depressed today.  More snow, and I'm sick of winter.  :-(  

    The brightside is... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:01:37 PM EST
    they aren't very good at this drug war stuff (though I'm convinced it is intentional ineptitude)...I want it I can get it, triple what it should cost, but I can get it:)

    So don't let the snow and the con get ya down...


    You didn't (none / 0) (#5)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:43:58 PM EST
    look at the chart.

    I did, (none / 0) (#7)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:30:40 PM EST
    and it doesn't include
    many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance, cleanup, and production, which is in the Department of Energy budget, Veterans Affairs, the Treasury Department's payments in pensions to military retirees and widows and their families, interest on debt incurred in past wars, or State Department financing of foreign arms sales and militarily-related development assistance. Neither does it include defense spending that is not military in nature, such as the Department of Homeland Security, counter-terrorism spending by the FBI, and intelligence-gathering spending by NASA.

    See link

    It is in the overall defense (none / 0) (#13)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 05:42:03 AM EST
    data points.  The line under entitlements did not include social security, medicare, Medicaid, etc.  It is in the overall data points.

    The chart (none / 0) (#16)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:14:13 PM EST
    shows defense spending as a percentage of GDP, and, indeed, the percentage of our GDP spent on defense has decreased because we're spending so much more on other things.  However, in actual dollars spent, it has gone up every year except for a slight dip in the 90's.  Chart.

    Yea Right! (none / 0) (#8)
    by pluege on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 08:54:42 PM EST
    At what point does someone stop and say, Whoa? Do we need this? Is it redundant of the money we've already given or of that being requested by other agencies?

    who in Washington in this day and age would ever stand up to say enough already? No one has the courage to face the sh*t-storm that would be thrown at them from every direction: republicans, corporate media, vichy dems - everyone.

    Sanity has left the nation and there is no direction home.

    Interestingly, I was (none / 0) (#10)
    by JamesTX on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:31:57 PM EST
    just thinking of the massive amounts of money the conservative revolution has thrown into law enforcement. It seems the Dems want to continue the trend. It looks like law enforcement is on its way to being one of the richest and most lucrative businesses to be in. My thoughts went there while driving because it seems every few car lengths I encounter another high-dollar, tricked-out pick-up, SUV, or other fancy and expensive and inefficient vehicle with some kind of law enforcement paint job on it. Frequently these vehicles are far from home, and contain a single driver who appears to be cruising peacefully and comfortably and not particularly engaged. If these vehicles alone are any sign of the excess, it boggles the mind to think what kind of riches and toys they are sitting on that the public doesn't see. But -- feed a child or send one to the doctor? Forget it. That's bad politics. That's socialism.

    This is ridiculous! (none / 0) (#11)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:34:48 PM EST
    Obama's on full campaign mode, throwing enormous amounts of money at what is perceived as crime and terror, so that he can claim that he is very tough on both.  Oh, and big on border security too.  Lots of stuff that moderate voters will like.  Or so he believes.  yuck.  just yuck.  

    I was kind of change/hope -ing (none / 0) (#12)
    by weltec2 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 04:00:54 AM EST
    that this move off to New Hopeshire was an attempt to say, now look Repugs... I have given you a whole year to say or do something constructive. You FOXed it up... here, here, here, and here. Everything... even your own proposals have been nothing more than strategies to prevent anything from moving forward. The proof of that is in the pudding that you yourselves have proposed over the House and Senatorial stove and then rejected.

    That's what I was sort of... change/hope -ing.