Obama's Scheme to Gut the Coast Guard

We should all know by now that the Obama administration’s plan to spend up to $200 million on civilian trials for terrorists is dangerous. It’s also wasteful. Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is a site perfectly suited to such trials–and detentions. If not there, then Adak, in the middle of the Aleutians would do just fine.

coastguard

The Washington Post shows us why that $200 million is also a waste of money. The U.S. Coast Guard should play an important role in our homeland security. After all, that was the stated reason for moving the Coast Guard out of the U.S. Transportation Department and into the newly created Department of Homeland Security.

Liberals are forever going on about “first responders.” Well, the Coast Guard should certainly be considered first among the first responders. Yet, the Coast Guard has come on hard times. The Post recently reported that of 12 major cutters assigned to Haitian relief earlier this year, ten of them broke down. Three were forced to limp back into port.

The Obama administration plans to cut 1,100 active duty personnel from the Coast Guard, the smallest of our military services. Funds for port security–our first line of defense–will be cut by $100 million.

Even Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) calls the cuts in the Coast Guard’s budget “penny-wise and pound foolish.”

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) is the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. Because of the administration’s cuts to the Coast Guard budget, their cutters will not be able to keep pace with the Navy in important combined missions. The average age of a Navy warship is 14 years, while that of a Coast Guard vessel is 41 years. New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans will now be less secure, Rogers charged.

Meanwhile, the Mexican drug war is heating up. Last weekend, two U.S. consular officials were murdered. Congressman Rogers noted that it was foolish to spend money on unnecessary civilian trials for terrorists and for increasing the DHS bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.

The incoming Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert Papp, has said he would have to consider cutting homeland security training and operations. This is tantamount to announcing to the terrorists “the coast is clear.”

We have an administration that is grossly wasting money. They have doled out hundreds of millions in failed “stimulus” funds. Many of these projects have been shown to be going to ZIP codes and congressional districts that do not exist.

This administration is even spending $900 million on the Palestinians, people who name public squares and schools after suicide bombers. But when it comes to basic homeland security, they are cutting.

Hearing stories about cutting cutters, and ships breaking down for lack of funds for proper maintenance, we cannot help but think of the infamous “hollowed out” military of the days of Jimmy Carter. But why is President Obama still following in Carter’s footsteps? He already has his Nobel Peace Prize!

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