Lieberman blasts Bush on terrorist lists

The Bush administration apparently missed the Dec. 1 deadline for consolidating the dozen terrorist watch lists, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) says.

Administration officials planned to use the Terrorist Screening Center, which was announced in September, as the hub for watch list information. The center was to be fully operational by Dec. 1.

But according to statement issued this week by Lieberman, the FBI announced in an internal message that the center would begin operations Monday, but the "initial capabilities of the TSC will be limited" and "a detailed plan of the information roll out will be announced in the near future."

Lieberman, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and a presidential candidate, has been calling for the watch lists to be merged since February. He sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in August, asking for a timeline for the consolidation.

In his latest statement, Lieberman criticized the administration for taking so long to consolidate lists after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"It is inexcusable that we have not heard whether or not this new center is operating around the clock to alert us to terrorists attempting to enter our country to do us harm," Lieberman said. "To think that we still do not have all 12 watch lists consolidated and operating smoothly when we have known of its importance for this amount of time is an outrage and exhibits inattention and irresponsibility at the highest levels of our government."

Democrats on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security issued a report last week with 10 basic requirements for the screening center to be effective. They questioned the capabilities of the center to merge the lists, saying it was highly unlikely the center would be fully operational by Dec. 1.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.