This past Monday, Politico hosted a Playbook breakfast conversation with the three individuals who have served as DHS Secretary since its inception – Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano. Former Governor Ridge who addressed why America needs a cabinet-level agency to address homeland security issues. While I am a firm believer that America needs a Department of Homeland Security, I am also a believer in continuous improvement, and in that respect, congressional oversight should rightfully be focused on asking questions about DHS as it starts its second decade.
While Sunday’s Forward On Climate rally in Washington, DC may not have attracted the hundreds of thousands of people that organizers had hoped for, it was still the largest environmental protest in U.S. history. Environmental causes in general, and the Tar Sands issue in particular, are gathering support across the country with an increasing number of groups becoming involved in direct action and civil disobedience protests.
By Alex Sorin
The news of the violent gang rape of a young Indian woman on a public bus and her subsequent death has shocked the world and led to protests and unrest. While increased security is by no means the sole solution, certain security measures can help alert law enforcement of similar incidents and assist in catching the perpetrators. While surveillance technology can help, just as critical is an Incident Management System.
Last week, news emerged that a gunman entered a Connecticut elementary school and killed 20 children, 6 adults and then himself. What we know right now is a fog of horrors, but whatever investigators find in the coming days and weeks, it will never be able to answer why someone would think killing children is the answer to the troubles in their life.
There has been a great deal of media coverage relating to an FBI/DHS document detailing likely anarchist activity during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The vast majority of that coverage has related to the threat of anarchists using Molotov cocktails, acid filled eggs, or even IEDs and IIDs. It appears an FBI/DHS report over-states and sensationalizes some of the likely threats from anarchists, as most recently expressed in their Joint Intelligence Bulletin released August 21, 2012.
Yesterday’s publication of the home addresses of senior members of the police and the details of many businesses that support the Republican National Convention by one of the anti-RNC groups reinforces the threat of actions away from the Convention location and permitted protest routes by anarchist and extreme left wing protest groups.
It’s not easy being the police department responsible for hosting a National Special Security Event (NSSE). The fundamental requirement for a police department hosting an NSSE is to understand the threat so the response is proportionate and effective. Anarchists and Extreme Left Wing groups are not synonymous with protesters, but in the effort to combat the former, law-abiding protesters are often dragged into the fray. Signals from Tampa in advance of the Republican National Convention suggest the planned police response does not understand the threat.
Over the past several years, we have continued to be confronted as a nation by individuals (both sane and insane) acting out for a variety of reasons via mass shootings. From the law enforcement perspective, identifying and preventing these kinds of attacks is extremely difficult. Prevention of attacks conducted by “Lone Wolves” or international terrorists has been at the top of our government’s agenda for many years. So why can’t we prevent the kinds of events we have experienced in recent months and years? There are a number of reasons for this
The Aspen Institute’s Security Forum, held at the end of July, proved why it has become, in only three years, a “must-attend” event for those of us working in the homeland and national security space. The four-day program was packed with insight from leading thinkers and past and present policy makers and influencers on the subject of national and homeland security. There was not a single bad panel, but three sessions stood out in my mind as being a slight cut above the rest.
After the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado that claimed the lives of 12 people and injured dozens more, the public debate is shifting to the tactics that could prevent such a terrible event from happening again. The use of metal detectors is becoming a central issue, but is this the best approach for stopping potential threats in public places?