DHS Inspector General John Roth dropped a powerful present on the front doorstep of Customs and Border Protection on Christmas Eve. News of the report is just coming out this week. It is about time a DHS official questioned the outrageous cost of the Office of Air & Marine’s (OAM) use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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.
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.
Is momentum building again to fix the debacle of overlapping congressional oversight of DHS? I sure hope so.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.