September 9, 2001 (D): Donald Rumsfeld threatens to urge a veto if the Senate proceeds with a plan to divert $600 million from missile defense to counter-terrorism. [Time, 8/4/02]
September 10, 2001 (E): Attorney General Ashcroft rejects a proposed $58 million increase in financing for the bureau's counter-terrorism programs. On the same day, he sends a request for budget increases to the White House. It covers 68 programs, but none of them relate to counter-terrorism. He also sends a memorandum to his heads of departments, stating his seven priorities - none of them relating to counter-terrorism. This is more than a little strange, since Ashcroft stopped flying public airplanes in July due to terrorist threats (see July 26, 2001) and he told a Senate committee in May that counter-terrorism was his "highest priority." [New York Times, 6/1/02, Guardian, 5/21/02] Was he starving current departments for funds, with an eye to creating a new Homeland Security Department?