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$3.4 billion for new Homeland Security complex: Imagine how much health care that could have paid for

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By Doug Powers  •  September 9, 2009 11:01 PM

It wasn’t long ago that the Department of Homeland Security was just a fascist glimmer in George W. Bush’s eye that subsequently went on to become a symbol of one rogue and illegitimate administration’s gross abuse of civil liberties.

But now a new sheriff is in town, and a new enemy is in the cross-hairs that needs to be aggressively confronted, so it’s worth an even heavier investment of taxpayer dollars.

That and they needed the meeting space:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Washington notables broke ground on the future home of the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, symbolically starting construction on the biggest federal building project in the Washington area since the Pentagon 68 years ago.

The project will bring together more than 15,000 employees now scattered in 35 offices in the region, placing them on a 176-acre campus strewn with historic buildings in a long-neglected corner of Washington, five miles from the Capitol building.

Department leaders hope the $3.4 billion consolidation will help the department fulfill its core mission — protecting the homeland — in ways big and small.

“It will help us hold meetings,” Secretary Janet Napolitano said. “It will help us build that culture of ‘One DHS.'”

Assuming Napolitano holds a meeting every single weekday over the next 10 years, this new complex is only costing $1.3 million per meeting. Not bad by government standards — but we’ll round that up to $2 million per meeting on the assumption that they’ll buy bagels.

At least this way the DHS will have a central location from which to direct the Girl Scouts response during a national emergency.

Update: Commenters are saying that GoToMeeting.com would have been a much cheaper alternative, but that’s assuming that the government wouldn’t have decided that GoToMeeting.com’s office was too small to handle their requests and in need of a several billion dollar renovation. It’d be even more expensive if the administration declared meetings a basic human right and nationalized the entire meeting industry.

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Categories: Feature Story, Homeland Security, Immigration, Islam