Congress and Politics

As Drone Use Grows, Reps Eye Threat from Bioterrorism

The recent House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on the threat from bioterrorism raised the troubling threat that drones could be used to deliver deadly pathogens. Do we have the tools to detect biological agents and the drones that might carry them? Nope.

Biodefense Blue Ribbon Panel Report Sends Strong Messages – Is Anyone Listening?

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense recently released its report following a year-long study of how America can and should address biological threats. It deserves serious attention by policy makers, health practitioners and political pundits. Why? Because the threat and impact of a biological “event” is not receiving sufficient attention.

The Intense Personalization of Caring

Everywhere I turn, I get the sense that people are thinking, “If I cannot control it, I don’t worry about it.” When I read the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, I wondered if DHS employees are expressing the same “why-should-I-care” messages that I have been hearing across the country.

A Congressional Hearing ‘Do-Over’ Done Very Well

A few weeks back, I recommended that the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies have a “do-over” of a hearing where the subject was private sector interaction with DHS S&T. The reason I recommended this was because the most successful private sector program at S&T – the SAFETY Act implementation – was never mentioned. On July 28, the same Subcommittee held that “do-over.”

Human Factors – A Prerequisite for a DHS CVE Office

The proposed Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2899) could benefit from a bit more study and debate. The bill would create a CVE Office within DHS, filling a hole that should not exist in DHS. It was not always this way.

Rethinking Countering Violent Extremism Programs

The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on what the federal government is doing to counter terrorism; the Committee also passed the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is yet another acronym in the fight against terrorism and perhaps another chance to get it right.

Leaving Government But Not the Mission – Saull Departs Capitol Hill

Bradley Saull recently announced that he was leaving the House Homeland Security Committee staff, where he has worked for the past two years, to join the Professional Services Council. He may be leaving the government, but thank goodness he is not leaving the homeland security mission.

Is It Possible To Have A Congressional Hearing “Do-Over?”

This week, the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies held a hearing: “Examining DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Engagement with Academia and Industry.” The committee members all but ignored what is actually going on in DHS S&T, and their myopia was encouraged by three witnesses who appeared to be accomplices to the debacle rather than advisors on how to understand the problems and fix them. How can you have a hearing about “engagement with academia” and not one time mention the S&T Directorate’s Office of University Programs?

Biodefense in the Spotlight of a Blue Ribbon Panel

For the past few months, a Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense has been receiving input from industry and policy experts on the challenges America faces from the bio-related threats. The public testimony portion of their assignment recently concluded, and now the Panel will begin its review and recommendation work.

Obama Taps Emanuel for TSA! NSA Monitors S&T! SJL Releases New Book! Really?!?

In Security Debrief’s sixth annual April Fools coverage, we’ve collected stories the rest of the media somehow missed…