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Moon Landing – An Anniversary to Honor and Inspire

By Sharla P. Rausch
The space program that put a man on the moon in a few short years also propelled us decades forward in technology development. Space science and technology has resulted in more than 1,500 innovations, showing what can happen when imaginations, fueled by science, are allowed to soar.

Chemical security – Keeping It Straightforward

Last week, the House passed a bill reauthorizing the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. While the bill keeps the program going for 3 years at a time, the legislation institutes a program largely unchanged from its current form…which is a good thing.

The Stupid Reporting on Security Threats

Recent reporting has reached new levels of stupidity, threatening public confidence and understanding and perhaps even the very security of the traveling public. Terrorists will always try to find ways around aviation security, but media headlines continue to report this as breaking news – when it is not.

‘No-Fly List’ Redress Process Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal court in Oregon this week held that DHS’ “no-fly list” redress process is unconstitutional. Because the list is Security Sensitive Information, the government would not acknowledge the plaintiffs were on the list, but the court concluded that these procedures violated plaintiffs’ due process rights.

Who is Supplying Terrorists with US-Made Technologies?

While ISIS is capturing national concern, Iraq is not the only place where terrorist activities are happening this month. Earlier in June, Tarheek-e Taliban attacked the Karachi, Pakistan airport. What is striking is the terrorists were found with a gunshot wound U.S. military technology called XStat, which had only just been approved by the FDA. How did terrorists get this new technology?

Good Idea, Bad Idea – Bioterrorism and UACs

Good Idea, Bad Idea is a weekly recap of the brilliant and stupid things America’s homeland security community does every day, because sarcasm is good for the soul. This week, a cat catches the tongue of OHA’s Dr. Kathy Brinsfield and Sen. Chuck Schumer gets a paper cut.

Las Vegas Shooting is an Act of Terrorism

The shooting of two police officers in Las Vegas is the latest example of a growing trend in anti-government extremism, one that has not received appropriate public attention and concern despite presenting a lethal threat to all Americans.

Deals with the Devil – The Release of Sgt. Bergdahl

The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American POW in Afghanistan, ends a more than dozen-year American conflict in Afghanistan. The five senior Taliban leaders exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl, however, will continue to set off debates on the left and right sides of the political aisles.

Congress Heal Thyself – New Voices Convey an Old Message

A full page Wall Street Journal ad last week, signed by 61 former elected and administration officials, including all three previous DHS Secretaries, added a number of new voices to the almost decade-old message that Congress needs to “fix” the overlapping committee structure morass it created to oversee homeland security issues.

Rep. Jim Oberstar – Good Friend, Great American

A couple of Fridays ago, I was scheduled to have a call with former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar. I was shocked to learn the next morning that he had passed away in his sleep. I will always remember this about Jim Oberstar: whenever a change to our aviation system was proposed, the lens he would use to examine it was, we have the safest, most secure system in the world, and we need to keep it that way.