Aggies Dissed, Miss Out On Getting A Dangerous New Lab
is out with an exclusive, publishing internal documents that showed the Department of Homeland Security ignored experts' recommendations in where to put a new, expensive lab. Despite having weaker scores than other sites, DHS officials short-listed a location in Mississippi, which happens to be home to congressmembers who influence the DHS budget.
Shocking, to be sure.
But AP also listed the strengths and weaknesses of all the 17 sites that applied to be the home of the new disease lab.
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College Station and San Antonio, you've been pwned.
College Station scored high for being "near research programs," but then there was this weakness: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspended Texas A&M's federal research on some infectious diseases, after the school failed to report — as required by law — researchers' exposure to dangerous germs."
Come on, DHS -- Aggies are a secretive bunch. They'll let you know what they want you to know when they want you to know it. It's a College Station thing.
As was the other demerit in the application, according to DHS: "May be hard to recruit and retain a work force, given the distance from major metropolitan areas."
Whaaaaat? DHS officials obviously don't know that the College Station area includes not only the thriving metropolis of College Station but also the going-to-be-thriving-one-of-these-days city of Bryan.
San Antonio scored slightly higher: "Strengths: Near research programs and a skilled work force, attractive site, community acceptance. Weaknesses: no adequate buffer to adjacent residential areas. Near a wetland."
DHS apparently did not take into account the patriotism of San Antonians. We're sure none of the near-by residents would have minded having a highly dangerous biolab next door, if it further served the cause of freedom.
-- Richard Connelly