Thursday, April 01, 2004


This story from Wednesday's NY Times hasn't been getting much play in the media:

The Bush administration has scuttled a plan to increase by 50 percent the number of criminal financial investigators working to disrupt the finances of Al Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist organizations to save $12 million, a Congressional hearing was told on Tuesday.

The Internal Revenue Service had asked for 80 more criminal investigators beginning in October to join the 160 it has already assigned to penetrate the shadowy networks that terrorist groups use to finance plots like the Sept. 11 attacks and the recent train bombings in Madrid. But the Bush administration did not include them in the president's proposed budget for the 2005 fiscal year.
So let me see if I can get this straight. The Bush administration boosts "defense" spending dramatically, by billions of dollars, but won't provide the funds for an initiative that's likely much more effective than any bombs, tanks, or missiles have been towards reducing the threat of terrorism, all in the name of saving a paltry $12 million. This is a highly symbolic move.