security’ being neglected
by PAT MURPHY
the telecommunications giant serving 14 Western states, is the latest
mega corporation to "restate" its audited numbers after
investigations were begun into whether the company cooked its books by
overvaluing itself, á la Enron style.
will reduce its stated assets by nearly $40 billion—billion not
million—and reduce reported revenues by a staggering $531 million.
investigators of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice
Department have yet to nail Qwest and executives who manipulated the
books (while unloading tens of millions of dollars of their stock), it’s
reasonable to conclude that Qwest lied to mislead investors and lenders
about the worth of the company by either instructing or allowing its
auditors to report false information.
called fraud and it, along with other crimes, is increasing.
President Bush and members of Congress who’ve endorsed the planned war
on Iraq drum up billions of dollars for the battlefield as well as
"homeland security," far less attention is given to this
unavoidable fact: Average Americans are more likely to be victims of
homeland crime before being victimized by international terrorism.
an argument against stripping Iraq’s Saddam Hussein of weapons of
statistics of increased domestic crime are a powerful argument for
politicians who thrive on table pounding and red meat war talk to look
inward and consider what really is homeland security.
Bush is so obsessed with the war on terrorism that, for example, he’s
proposing to transfer $330 million out of community policing programs to
the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be prepared to counter
another way, homeland police, who’re expected to be not only vigilant
against terrorists as well as provide security for their communities,
are having federal resources cancelled even as domestic crime increases
and their responsibilities multiplied.
average Americans are virtually immune from being victims of
international terrorism, while, in 2001, more than 4,000 Americans for
each 100,000 population were victims of some sort of crime, ranging from
murders to property crimes.
president’s political marketing geniuses have cobbled together an
elaborate mechanism for riveting the public’s attention on overseas
terrorists and away from problems at home, including an alert system
with color codes and periodic warnings to be vigilant for terrorism that
might occur, maybe someplace and maybe some time.
Americans wait for those nebulous terrorist threats to materialize
sometime, someplace, U.S. families can count on another 15,000 or so of
their members being murdered, millions more having their homes
burglarized and autos stolen, and thousands of women raped.
unless corporate America has learned a lesson about the pitfalls of
cheating employees and shareholders and the tax collector, then more
Americans can count on becoming statistics as victims of fraud.
crime will always be with us.
if Congress and the president believe more exotic weapons, more
sophisticated intelligence gathering, higher pay for the military and
tough talk will eventually keep terrorists at bay if not eliminate them,
then why not the same set of tools for homeland forces in large and
small towns on the frontlines of a war on crime that takes a far heavier
toll everyday than Al Qaeda?