Skip to content

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Because no one
is above the law!

Donate

Corruption Chronicles

DHS Hides Records of Failed $1 Bil System from Congress

In an apparent effort to cover up a potential scandal, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has for months refused to provide congressional leaders with records related to a failed program that was quietly nixed after the agency blew $1 billion on it.

The faulty “life-saving” technology, known as BioWatch, was supposed to detect biological attacks. However, it’s never come close to meeting its goal of accurately detecting pathogens that cause anthrax, tularemia, smallpox, plague and other deadly diseases. Instead it is well known for false alarms and other glitches. In short, it’s turned out to be a worthless money pit for U.S. taxpayers.  

The system became such a joke that state and local authorities didn’t bother ordering evacuations when its alarm triggered. In fact, before DHS pulled the plug in BioWatch a few months ago, it was revealed that federal agencies documented 56 false alarms since 2008. Regardless, DHS kept pouring money into it and even planned to invest billions more to upgrade the inept BioWatch system this year. DHS’s chief medical officer even vouched for the upgrade, telling a congressional committee that it was “imperative to saving thousands of lives.”

This outraged several members of Congress—both Democrats and Republicans—who have demanded accountability from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. The scrutiny forced DHS to put the scheduled multi-billion-dollar BioWatch upgrade on hold, but that hasn’t made the problem disappear as agency heads would like. Federal lawmakers want internal records that could help answer key questions about this outrageous waste.

In July, two congressional committees investigating the matter asked DHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for records related to BioWatch. So far both agencies have failed to comply, forcing the lawmakers who head the panels to write hard-hitting letters to Napolitano and CDC Director Thomas Frieden, reminding of “insufficient responses” to their months-old inquiry.

“The response from DHS to date has been inadequate, raising serious questions about the Department’s willingness to cooperate with efforts to ensure the success of the BioWatch program and transparency about its potential failures,” says the letter to Napolitano. The congressmen chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the oversight and investigations subcommittee.

The lawmakers indicate in the letter that DHS resisted the effort from the start, but that perhaps an agreement for disclosure was reached; “Although DHS raised concerns with our inquiry and the Committee has attempted to accommodate, the Department continues to withhold key documents more than three months after our initial request.”    

Frieden’s letter also says that the CDC gave the committees “insufficient responses” to BioWatch-related requests that date back to July.  The agency is involved because it helps DHS coordinate with state and local health authorities that use BioWatch. Also, if there is a biological attack, the CDC delivers emergency medicines. The congressional committees set a new deadline, November 26, to receive the records. Stay tuned.

 


Related

Judicial Watch Lawsuit: Records Reveal at Least 23 Biting Incidents by Biden’s Dog Commander

Press Releases | February 28, 2024
East Wing Tours Stopped for 20 Minutes Due to Blood on the Floor (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received 269 pages of records from the U.S. Secret Servic...

Judicial Watch Settles State Department Lawsuit that Uncovered Hillary Clinton’s Unsecure, Nongovernment Emails

Press Releases | February 27, 2024
Judicial Watch is Awarded $97,000 (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it settled its 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, which sought the emails of then-S...

Ghastly 7,300% Surge in Illegal Immigrants from Same Nation as College Student’s Murderer

Corruption Chronicles | February 26, 2024
While most mainstream media coverage flagrantly omits that the man charged in the murder of a Georgia nursing student is an illegal immigrant who entered the United States through ...