Issue 5 and Volume 156.

Maybe we believed too much in the press clippings and the patronizing speeches, the accolades and posturing. They seemed to emphasize our rightful place within the brave new bureaucracy known as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). What a shock it was to realize that when the fire service was invited to the DHS dinner table, it was as the fare. It seemed a perfect fit. We belonged in DHS, our credentials impeccable, our stake in homeland security indisputable. We demanded not just a role, but a prominent one. But large bureaucratic reorganizations fuel high-stakes politics. The fire service, a poor swimmer in the shark-infested waters of Washington, is easy prey for law enforcement, government contractors, and other institutionally entrenched entities expert in capitalizing on federal money streams. There’s blood in the water. Your blood. Appetizer: The Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP), a former branch of the Department of Justice…

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