The TSO represents not only our last, but also our most vulnerable, line of defense against attacks on the aviation system. The shooting at LAX last week was an attack on the most public faces of our efforts to protect the homeland. Before the collective policy-making community proposes additional changes or federal mandates, they should lead the effort to change the focus and tenor by which they level criticism against TSA.
Just after 9 AM on Friday, November 1, a gunman walked up to a screening checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport and opened fire. The attack by Jason Anthony Ciancia, a 23-year-old New Jersey native living in Los Angeles, resulted in the first on-the-job death of a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer. The utility of attacking a critical point in the aviation system is enormous, and Ciancia’s attack is evidence of why securing the aviation domain is so important.
The Honorable Jeh Johnson has been nominated to replace the long departed Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano. Strangely, President Obama has portrayed Johnson as a highly qualified candidate. The President seems to be the only one who is impressed. There are a couple of major holes in Johnson’s resume.
Five years ago, I could have written that CBP was the worst agency in the federal government, almost hopeless. It was not responsive to stakeholders, seemed resistant to doing business new ways, and was being starved of resources by Congress. Fortunately, recent leadership at CBP has been much more open to new thinking. Old policies and staffing models remain a frustration, but the attitude has changed for the better.
It seems like not a week goes by without yet another report on the NSA’s digital intelligence gathering activities. Understanding what the NSA is up to deserves a robust and nuanced public discussion. The agency’s activities raise challenging questions about just how much privacy Americans are willing to sacrifice in the name of security and counterterrorism.
On its face, the President’s announcement of Jeh Johnson’s appointment to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security seems politically questionable. Why throw your untested nominee who has to prepare for and endure a Senate confirmation process into the middle of an immigration reform fight? Because Johnson does not appear to have much of a history in the citizenship or border control policy arenas, questions will focus on how he will implement immigration reform legislation.
The anticipated nomination of Jeh Johnson to become the fourth DHS Secretary is welcomed news almost any way you look at it. Johnson’s prodigious resume and professional history is being chronicled by the homeland security, defense and legal establishment writers. Most of those stories will focus on Johnson’s past experience at the Pentagon, but here are the five most pressing issues he ought to address in his confirmation hearing, as well as his tenure as Secretary (should that occur).
The White House leaked word yesterday that the President has selected Jeh Johnson, the former General Counsel at the Pentagon in the first term of the Obama Administration, to replace Janet Napolitano as DHS Secretary. It left a lot of people asking, “who?” I can’t find him on anyone’s list of potential DHS Secretary candidates, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
One of the most important positions in America’s homeland security roster may not be vacant much longer. Word leaked today that the Obama Administration has finally picked a replacement – former top Pentagon attorney Jeh Johnson. The President will announce his decision at a White House ceremony tomorrow.
Last week, the Center for Effective Government (CEG) posted online a comprehensive list of how much chlorine water utilities have onsite and provided the specific coordinates of where they are stored. This information, while already available in the public domain, has never before been put on a single website because it could more easily give bad actors information to use for nefarious purposes. Here are a few questions for the CEG.
- Border System Under Fire
- TSA Realizes We’re Not All Terrorists
- How Mexico Nabbed a Drug Kingpin
- DHS Wants Facial Recognition Border Surveillance System
- Latest Shoe Bomb Threat Linked to Al-Qaeda’s Yemen Affiliate
- GSA, DHS Team on Border-Crossing Upgrade
- NSA, DHS Drop Parody Complaint
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Stirs Privacy Concerns with RFP
- Acting ICE Director Sandweg Resigns After Five Months on the Job
- How DHS Can Become a Better Place to Work
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