Chris Battle’s funeral was held in the heat and humidity of southeastern Georgia. At 45, Chris Battle’s life was far too short, yet his legacy will live for decades to come. Standing in Bonaventure Cemetery, I know in the deepest recesses of my heart that is not a cliché. Chris Battle lived life to the fullest.
Chris Battle will be laid to rest in Savannah, Ga., this week. His grave overlooks the Wilmington River in the shade of old oak trees in the historic Bonaventure Cemetery. Since Chris’ death last week, there has been a vast outpouring of praise and remembrance from around the country. He was an important man to many people in many ways. To me, he was a writer.
I blog because of Chris Battle. Chris had this idea for a dedicated site of experienced homeland security professionals to “tell it like it is” and from time to time “to take it to the man!” If we saw something stupid, “let’s call it out,” and if the call-out could be done with some humor, so much the better. The vision would become what people today know as Security Debrief.
Today is the anniversary of Chris Battle’s birth. He is a victorious 45 years old. It was Chris who had the idea of starting Security Debrief. Whatever success this blog has had in advancing the debate on homeland security issues is directly due to Chris’ vision, persistence, integrity and persuasion. Happy Birthday Chris!
On Tuesday morning, the White House issued a new fact sheet and posted a blog on the President’s blog site concerning the newly created White House Homeland Security Partnership Council. Both documents go a long way toward answering some of the questions raised over the origin and purpose of the new Council. Is this a serious effort? If the nomination process is still going on in six months, the answer will be in the negative.
On October 26, the White House quietly issued an Executive Order entitled: “Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council.” For the life of me I cannot figure out why this was released. I’m not sure that anyone from the White House or the Department of Homeland Security is willing to say why it was necessary or that they can explain how this isn’t duplicative of efforts already underway.
There is a great concern over the effect the cuts pending from sequestration will have on our defense readiness. That concern is justified, but there is an ancillary effect that is being overlooked. How will these cuts affect our wider homeland security posture? Will the Department of Defense’s losses hinder its ability to support the Department of Homeland Security and other civilian entities? To address these and other questions, The Heritage Foundation is hosting a series of events this week to focus on major issues facing the nation in the homeland security/defense realm.
With the horrific shooting that unfolded in Aurora, CO at the midnight screening of the summer’s most anticipated Batman film, I, like many people, find myself asking, “Why?” The question of “why” is one the subsequent police investigation will have to figure out, but the biggest “why” I have today relates to the victims in the movie theater. Initial reports are talking about a three-month-old, as well as a six- and nine-year-old as having been killed, with other kids among the injured. Why were these children in this theater at that hour?”
Creating jobs is a big issue in today’s economy. With high unemployment levels in many places across the country, it might seem that any job is a good job. Yet, there is a high turnover rate among employees of all levels at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Why is that? Here is Part 1 of a piece I wrote exploring why DHS is a tough place to earn a living.