Twelve years ago last week, President Bush signed the act creating the Department of Homeland Security. It came into formal existence on March 1, 2003. Anniversaries are days to reflect on broader issues, and it is a good time to reflect on what has occurred since DHS was created – and what that means for the Department’s current and future missions and challenges.
By Robert Connors
Kaci Hickox – you should have called me. We could have chatted about your situation: how you feel and how unfair it is to be in quarantine when you aren’t sick. After you got everything off your chest, I’d point out that there is a legitimate fear of Ebola, and that counts for something.
On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced steps to enhance security at more than 9,500 U.S. federal buildings amid the ongoing threat of attacks from extremist groups. The Federal Protective Service is challenged to secure thousands of buildings where some 1.4 million people pass through each day, and the new steps highlight growing public concern over how ready the United States is to halt threats large and small – and in what way.
Obama Administration’s fumbled response to the Ebola threat has both political parties giving the President’s team a resounding thumbs down. To calm an anxious public, the President decided to tap a veteran Washington political insider, Ron Klain, to coordinate the messaging and response going forward. This is a suspect decision with hints of politics where there should be none.
UAVs for commercial use are a source of important public debate. Some companies have weighed in with innovative ideas, which hold additional marketing benefits. I don’t take issue with that. What I do take issue with is when a company, under the guise of public health and altruism, capitalizes on an important national issue to line their pockets. b condoms, prophylactic manufacturer and ostensibly pro-social health company, I’m talking about you.
The long list of recent security breaches around the Executive Office are inexcusable. Secret Service Director Julie Pierson seems more interested in defending her inept agency than she is in protecting the most powerful person in the world. In short, shame on you, Pierson. Be sure to let the door hit you on the way out.
Every so often, a federal agency does something so questionable that it makes one shake his head in disbelief. This is about saving bagpipes and other musical instruments from seizure by federal officials at the U.S. border. It is a tragedy in the making.
Al-Shabaab remains a major recruiter of U.S. citizens, particularly in Minnesota. One man, Mohamed Ahmed, is doing his part to counter the terrorist messages, offering an alternative view of what really happens when someone joins a jihadist group.
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