How has your life been impacted by agroterrorism? I know that terrorist attacks against America’s food supplies have become so frequent that it’s difficult to remember what life was like, not too long ago, when there had never ever been a single terrorist attack against our nation’s agricultural infrastructure, but now…
…oh, wait a minute. There still hasn’t ever been any terrorist attack against agriculture in the United States. There hasn’t even been the discovery of any plans for an agroterrorist assault. My apologies. I got it backwards. I had been reading the press release that Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers (not to be confused with Michigan’s Mike Rogers) sent out about his new bill, H.R. 5105. The way he talks about the threat of agroterrorism, I just assumed it must be real.
H.R. 5105 would re-establish the position of Chief Veterinary Officer within the Department of Homeland Security, although the position had been eliminated after Homeland Security officials decided that the position was unnecessary. Rogers says that the Chief Veterinary Officer is needed to help the nation cope with ” agro-terrorism, food security and veterinary responsibilities”.
However, we already have the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ready to deal with food security issues and veterinary responsibilities. As for for agroterrorism (attacks against the nation’s agricultural system by terrorists), well, it just isn’t a real problem. There’s no evidence that terrorists are plotting to attack US agricultural infrastructure.
If we’re going to create positions for Homeland Security officers to deal with imaginary terrorist threats, why don’t we get a bit more creative? We could have a Chief Movie Officer to coordinate efforts against cinematerrorism. We could have a Chief Gambling Officer to create programs to cope with casinoterrorism. We could have a Chief Comfy Officer to prepare for terrorists who attempt to undermine our resolve by attacking our pillow and blanket infrastructure.
The alternative is that politicians start getting smart about terrorism, focusing efforts where the small number of current terrorist threats actually exist, and ending the huge range of programs and positions created in the over-reaction to the attacks of September 11, 2001, when people began to presume that terrorists could be lurking around any corner.
Joining Mike Rogers in his effort to perpetuate Homeland pork is the following bipartisan group from the House of Representatives: Chris Carney, Yvette Clarke, Mary Jo Kilroy, Peter King, Mike McCaul and Bennie Thompson.