Boston attacks make Obama shift into national security mode

Had it not been for Boston attacks, Tuesday’s big political news would have been the immigration-reform legislation and current Washington debates over gun control and the budget.

But that was until two bomb blasts, 12 seconds apart, rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing at least three people, wounding more than 130 and shattering a feeling of national safety.
President Barack Obama quickly shifted to national security mode, putting terrorism back high on the national agenda. He stressed that the authors of the bombings were still unknown as well as the reasons of the attack. There have been dozens of deaths linked to domestic terrorism since September 11, 2011 (right wing, environmental and Islamic radicals).

The US has spent nearly $8 trillion on defense since the September 11th attacks, most of them funding two extremely expensive wars. Also, increasing the country’s national security and intelligence bureaucracy.
In the new budget submitted by Obama to the US Congress, department of Homeland Security suffers a decrease of 1.5 percent of 2012 enacted level: a total of 39 billion in discretionary funding. This is just peanuts compared to the total Defense budget, which reaches to 23 percent of Federal outlay (total of 857 trillion dollars).

Despite the huge spending many people don’t feel safer.

“How much more can we spend on security? We’re $16 trillion in the hole now. But there’s another type of bankruptcy: the loss of individual liberty over the past 11+ years as part of the government’s broader effort to maintain security,” award-winning member of the White House press corps and the founder of Paul Brandus says in an op-ed.

About the Author

Ana Fuentes
Columnist for El País and a contributor to SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), was the first editor-in-chief of The Corner. Currently based in Madrid, she has been a correspondent in New York, Beijing and Paris for several international media outlets such as Prisa Radio, Radio Netherlands or CNN en español. Ana holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Madrid and the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master's in Journalism from Spanish newspaper El País.

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