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:
- Strengthen National Security and Counter the Threat of Terrorism
- Restore Confidence in our Markets, Protect the Federal Fisc, and Defend the Interests of the United States
- Reduce the Threat, Incidence and Prevalence of Violent Crime and Drug Trafficking
- Assist State, Local & Tribal Law Enforcement
- Protect Civil Rights and Vulnerable Populations
- Combat International Organized Crime
- Maintain Prisons, Detention, Parole and Judicial & Courthouse Security
- Enforce Immigration Laws
- Indian Country Public Safety Initiatives (Information Sheet)
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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