This morning, Tom Temin interviewed DHS Inspector General John Roth about the report his office issued, which severely criticizes the DHS CBP Office of Air & Marine’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for border surveillance purposes.
By Chris Schmidt
In 2010, the Transportation Security Administration’s public image was getting worse by the day. There were stories about long lines and less-than-professional interaction between agent and airline passenger. It was then that Administrator John Pistole came to TSA with a clear idea of how to make an organizational change.
By most objective measures, 2014 was not a good year for the Department of Homeland Security. As we enter 2015, I sense there is a slight bit of subjective optimism that, under the leadership of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, things are getting better. Here are the opportunities (and potential challenges) for the Department in 2015.
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.
By Kevin McCarthy
Less then a month ago, a second massive tragedy struck Malaysia Airlines – the shoot down of MH17 over Ukraine. Was MH17 targeted specifically, an indiscriminate act of violence, or a major tactical error with global consequences? Is this a new global threat that should keep us up at night?
TSA is implementing the increased security fee mandated by Congress. There is some controversy over the way it is being done and some debate about whether it is a fee or a tax. This is an opportunity for government or industry leadership to bring together all parties to take a good, hard look at the entire system by which we fund aviation in this country.
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?