Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Signing with a poisoned pen

If the Pentagon has its way, Homeland Security will soon be added to the list of classic oxymorons, which includes, of course, Military Intelligence. Not satisfied with despoiling the environment on every battlefield it shocked and awed, it is now proposing to reverse course on a 1996 commitment to "environmental security leadership'" in its bases here at home in favor of a new environmental management policy "to sustain the national defense mission." So notes a Boston Globe Editorial appropriately titled, "The enemy within." DoD has already convinced Congress (not exactly Mission Impossible these days) to exempt training operations from both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammals Protection Act.

The Marine Mammals probably don't mind. Always faithful. But other mammals, like humans, might be a bit nervous to hear the Pentagon also wants Congress to exempt them from the Clean Air Act and regulations governing the disposal and management of hazardous wastes.

The new draft directive is not final, however. It still must be signed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Or maybe by one of those machines he uses to sign for him.