Sunday, January 04, 2004
So this is why he wants those documents kept under seal: Democrat presidential hopeful Howard Dean has been criticized for sealing many documents from his time as governor of Vermont. Dean claims that he's just doing what every other Vermont governor has done -- only for about twice as long.
Of course, the media will find whatever may be damaging to Dean, because someone will leak the stuff.
Case in point:
Presidential hopeful Howard Dean, who accuses President Bush of being weak on homeland security, was warned repeatedly as Vermont governor about security lapses at his state's nuclear power plant and was told the state was ill-prepared for a disaster at its most attractive terrorist target.
The warnings, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press, began in 1991 when a group of students were brought into a secure area of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant without proper screening. On at least two occasions, a gun or mock terrorists passed undetected into the plant during security tests.
During Dean's final year in office in 2002, an audit concluded that despite a decade of repeated warnings of poor safety at Vermont Yankee, Dean's administration was poorly prepared for a nuclear disaster.
"The lack of funding and overarching coordination at the state level directly impacts the ability of the state, local and power plant planners to be adequately prepared for a real emergency at Vermont Yankee," state Auditor Elizabeth M. Ready wrote in a study issued five months after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Security was so lax at Vermont Yankee that in August 2001, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staged a drill in which three mock terrorists gained access to the plant. The agency gave Vermont Yankee the worst security rating among the nation's 103 reactors.
Candidate Dean has criticized President Bush for (in his opinion) underfunding Homeland Security to make room in the federal budget for tax cuts to spur the economy.
Of course, Dean says he would do it differently, because he wouldn't have to "pay" for tax cuts. However, Dean would spend the money elsewhere too. Homeland Security isn't as sexy to the Democrat Party base as universal healthcare or a higher minimum wage.
Put this together with Dean's stated position(s) on American foreign policy and his view of the War on Terror as little more than a police action and the fate of the Democrat Party in 2004 becomes clear. Can you say McGovern?