Hey! We Have Zoo, What About Us!

In the “we’re from the government and we are here to help” department:

A Homeland Security database of national monuments, chemical plants and other structures vulnerable to terror attacks is too faulty to accurately help divide federal funds to states and cities, according to the department’s internal watchdog.

Much of the study by Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner appears to have been completed before the department announced in May it would cut security grants to New York and Washington by 40 percent this year.

But the report, which was released Tuesday, affirmed the fury of those two cities — the two targets of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — which claimed the department did not accurately assess their risks.

Instead, the department’s database of vulnerable critical infrastructure and key resources included the Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo near Huntsville, Ala., a bourbon festival, a bean festival and the Kangaroo Conservation Center in Dawsonville, Ga.

But we should trust these folks with our essential freedoms. No oversight needed.

Update: The entire report is here. In addition to the petting zoo, Alabama has 709 potential targets, though they are not identified. I’m trying to think of one.

Indiana tops the list, with 8,600 targets. New York and California COMBINED have 8,900 targets.

The New York Times has more here, including this beauty:

One business owner who learned from a reporter that a company named Amish Country Popcorn was on the list was at first puzzled. The businessman, Brian Lehman, said he owned the only operation in the country with that name.

“I am out in the middle of nowhere,” said Mr. Lehman, whose business in Berne, Ind., has five employees and grows and distributes popcorn. “We are nothing but a bunch of Amish buggies and tractors out here. No one would care.”

But on second thought, he came up with an explanation: “Maybe because popcorn explodes?”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Alabama News, Animals, Birmingham, National Politics

4 Comments on “Hey! We Have Zoo, What About Us!”


  1. […] So here’s the question. Could much of the stupidity that is the United States government be attributed to operational security? Take the recent Homeland Security database of possible terrorist targets as an example. As Kathy and Wheeler have already pointed out, the list includes such prime targets as the petting zoo in Woodville, Alabama. One of Kathy’s commenters offered a suggestion that this was only the “public” list. The real list is much more serious, but DHS publishes the list we see to throw off the terrorists. This kind of logic can apply to many recent federal issues: […]

  2. Lee P Says:

    The report’s list of potential targets does seem a bit outlandish, but at least they’ve covered all the bases. My guess is that many of the potential “targets” in Indiana were involved in commercial agriculture.

    Here in Alabama, the Old MacDonald Petting Zoo should certainly rank near the bottom of the list, but there are lots of places here that are critical to national security. Think Huntsville. The Anniston Army Depot. The Port of Mobile. Colleges and university science labs. Etc.

  3. wheeler Says:

    anniston as my first thought.


  4. […] I know that money is tight; there are a lot of petting zoosout there. The problem with Sessions’s amendment, though, was that it does not go far enough. Had Sessions included a moat with alligators in it, or some french guys to fart in the general direction of Mexico, I would have supported his amendment. Explore posts in the same categories: National Politics, Alabama News, Goobers […]


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