State and Local Officials: Still Kept in the Dark About Homeland Security   [open pdf - 173KB]

America's safety demands that state and local officials, especially law enforcement and public safety professionals--our front line defenders--are fully engaged in the war against terrorism. Yet almost two years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) Minority staff found that these officials are being asked to fight the war against terrorism with incomplete and unreliable access to one of the most potent weapons in the homeland security arsenal: information. State and local first responders and first preventers still do not systematically receive from the Bush Administration the information they need to prevent or respond to another catastrophic terrorist attack, nor does vital information flow effectively from them to the federal government. These information gaps pose a significant challenge for the federal government and leaves the American people at unacceptable risk. This report contains the results of a staff investigation conducted at the request of Senator Joe Lieberman, Ranking Member of the Governmental Affairs Committee. Senator Lieberman asked GAC Minority staff to review the information needs of state and local officials and assess the progress of the Bush Administration in meeting those needs. Staff interviewed officials on the front lines in the fight against terrorism, while also reviewing reports, hearings, and other public information.

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