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.
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.
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.
On the eve of the 2014 Passover, Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. shouted “Heil Hitler” from the back of a police car after killing three people at two Jewish Centers in Overland Park, Kansas. Cross has been charged with a hate crime, even though his attack was clearly an act of terrorism. Why does there seem to be this national reticence to call a spade a spade, a terrorist a terrorist?
Ronald Reagan once said that there are plenty of simple solutions, they are just not easy. There are often problems that really vex us. In such situations, we tend to overthink, ignoring solutions that are right in front of us. Another way to put it is this: how do we best use and apply common sense? Here are two ideas for strengthening aviation security.
As a new DHS Secretary takes the helm, Security Debrief contributors came together for the First Chris Battle Homeland Security Colloquium. In the spirit of the late Chris Battle’s vision for debate and discussion on pressing homeland security matters, contributors weighed a series of important questions about DHS’ future.
The House Homeland Security Committee did something yesterday it has not done in the past several years, for anyone: it came out in full force for DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s maiden appearance before the committee. It was a positive performance by the Secretary, who showed himself adept at answering questions, even as his lawyer’s instincts kept him from falling into political traps.
On Thursday, February 27, 2014, Security Debrief and Catalyst Partners will host the First Annual Chris Battle Homeland Security Colloquium. Security Debrief’s expert contributors will come together to discuss and debate the current state of U.S. homeland security, DHS, and the threats and priorities the country will face in the year ahead.
Security is high for the Sochi Olympics, but the TSA’s ban on toothpaste and other gels on flights to Russia is not so much a deterrent as it is an insurance policy against blame should something happen. Meanwhile, metal detectors will be in use at Major League Baseball stadiums come 2015. For both Sochi and U.S. baseball, I am worried we are creating bigger problems down the road in terms of public cynicism and policies that actually increase risk.
As 2014 begins, it is tempting to comment on trends and things one hopes will happen, or do not happen. A few things have occurred that have me thinking overtime on the latter – such as hesitancy to attend the Olympics given terrorism fears or TSA looking for marijuana from Colorado.