Bush Gets Poor Grades In Homeland Security

Jul 25, 2003 (11:07 AM EDT)

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Though not known as an honor student, President Bush didn't get grades like this when he attended Yale. The Progressive Policy Institute, an affiliate of the Democratic Leadership Council, this week issued a report, America at Risk: A Homeland Security Report Card, and gave the president an overall grade of D.

While some progress has been made, the report states, it's not nearly as much as would be expected given the high priority the president claims to have placed on it. Among 28 categories, Bush's top grades were an A for nuclear power plant security and a B- for aviation passenger security. The president got F's for failure to integrate terrorist watch lists, complete a national threat assessment, improve border-identification systems, and learn lessons from previous attacks.

Though not directly addressing the report card, Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge said the Bush administration's homeland security efforts has succeeded in making the nation more aware of the threat of terrorism and more vigilant about confronting it. "I say that because all across this nation," he said in a speech in California, "we work hard to rise to a new level of security and readiness each and every day."