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Oversight: Homeland Security’s lapses should be studied

Finger-pointing and a botched blame game have marked the testimony regarding the riot and breach of the U.S. Capitol complex Jan. 6. Before a Senate Homeland Security, and Governmental Affairs and Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing this week, the people who were in charge of security that day now say the problem was “missed intelligence” by various federal agencies.

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund claims he was never shown the FBI field office report that warned of potential violence. Above all, Sund says the failures that day were definitely not the fault of the Capitol Police.

“No single civilian law enforcement agency — and certainly not the USCP — is trained and equipped to repel, without significant military or other law enforcement assistance, an insurrection of thousands of armed, violent and coordinated individuals focused on breaching a building at all costs,” Sund said.

Remember, we were told last month the USCP refused help from the National Guard that day.

What we are being asked to believe, then, is that the massive (and expensive), 20-year effort the federal government pretended was in place after Sept. 11, 2001, to ensure government agencies communicated well and quickly with one another — specifically meant to prevent homeland terrorist attacks — failed, even on a target so high-value as the U.S. Capitol.

What have we been doing all this time, if missed intelligence, miscommunication and poor cooperation are enough of a problem that untrained zealots whipped into a violent frenzy were able to overwhelm any security measures in place at the U.S. Capitol complex?

As lawmakers in Washington, D.C., hear the rest of the testimony and continue the investigation into what went wrong Jan. 6, they should also be giving heavy scrutiny to Homeland Security, and the bureaucracy that appears to have spent two decades doing nothing but serving itself.

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