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Anniversaries are More Than Just Days to Remember

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.

Commercial Drone Debate Should not be a Condom Marketing Campaign

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.

Save the Bagpipes From the Federal Bureaucracy

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.

Congress Heal Thyself – 120 Reasons to Address Congressional Oversight

Is momentum building again to fix the debacle of overlapping congressional oversight of DHS? I sure hope so.

After White House Breach, Public Pushes Back on the ‘Security Nation’

The recent security breach at the White House has a lot of Washington and the nation talking. Most of the White House security is understandable and defendable, but in looking at the most recent security incident and rumors of the Secret Service wanting to expand the security perimeter further, people have had enough of being cordoned off and told to step away from “the People’s House.”

Cyber Policies and Executive Order Need Harmonization With Acquisition Rules and Practices

By David Z. Bodenheimer
The U.S. federal government’s acquisition rules and buying practices have a direct impact upon major segments of the U.S. and global marketplaces. Cybersecurity Executive Order 13636 and Presidential Policy Directive 21 both recognize that the federal acquisition process must be addressed as part of the overall federal strategy for enhancing cybersecurity. It is time to harmonize the cyber acquisition regulations.

A Fee, a Tax and an Opportunity

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.

Who is Supplying Terrorists with US-Made Technologies?

While ISIS is capturing national concern, Iraq is not the only place where terrorist activities are happening this month. Earlier in June, Tarheek-e Taliban attacked the Karachi, Pakistan airport. What is striking is the terrorists were found with a gunshot wound U.S. military technology called XStat, which had only just been approved by the FDA. How did terrorists get this new technology?

Good Idea, Bad Idea – Bioterrorism and UACs

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.

Congress Heal Thyself – New Voices Convey an Old Message

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.