Next Administration to Face Continued Security Challenges

On this day of sad remembrance, let us also be thankful. If somebody had predicted the afternoon of September 11 that in the seven years to follow, there would not be a single successful terrorist attack in the U.S., nobody would have believed it. There have been challenges for sure – Katrina, the image of the U.S. as a welcoming society, programmatic delays, etc – but the results should make us proud.

Silver Linings to Dark Clouds

None of us as Americans wanted the attacks of September 11th to occur. We all would have liked the 19 hijackers to have been stopped at the gate and four planes to have landed at their intended destinations. Unfortunately that did not happen for a number of well documented reasons. As much as we would like to turn the clock back to September 10th and return to a simpler time – it’s not going to happen. Our world has drastically changed and it is time we all started changing with it.

NAO – Start Over…

For nearly a year, we’ve watched the battle over DHS’ proposed National Application Office (NAO) unfold. To say it is a lesson on how not to establish a federal program utilizing some of the most powerful technologies and capabilities would be an understatement. From the very start, it seems the NAO’s mission and scope have been fumbled and foiled.

DHS's Regulation of the Private Sector Doesn’t Always Work

There is a tendency for us as Americans to think that improving the status of homeland security means deploying more Border Patrol Agents and better trained TSA screeners. However, there are instances when the DHS uses its regulatory authorities to advance security in a way that is flat wrong. Requiring airlines to play a pivotal role in US VISIT EXIT is one such example. DHS recently issued the US VISIT EXIT proposed rulemaking which makes little sense and flies in the face of the successful pilot program the Department has undertaken.

Cargo Scanning Needs Sensible Security

As Chairman of the Safe Commerce Coalition, I’ve spoken to a number of audiences lately about the issue of cargo and supply chain security. I find myself often having to remind folks that when we stood up the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, we had a two-fold mission when it came to border security. First was to secure the borders. The second mission, which is sometimes forgotten, is to maintain the free and efficient flow of commerce and people.

Observations from Another Bloggers Roundtable

On Monday afternoon (May 19, 2008), I had the opportunity to participate in another Bloggers Roundtable with DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and FEMA Administrator David Paulison. The theme for our discussions was the Department’s preparations for Hurricane Season 2008 and the readiness of the hurricane prone states/communities and their citizens for Mother Nature’s potential fury.

The Cowardice of the Old Gray Lady

There was time in our Nation’s history when the hallmark of excellence in journalism was The New York Times. While the excellence and certainly the integrity of that paper have fallen on what can diplomatically be called ‘hard times,’ it appears that things are even worse for ‘The Old Gray Lady’ (aka – the New York Times) than we knew. While its legendary editorial page has long thrown its weighty opinion around without abandon, it seems that when you go to respond to it with hard-cold facts, including actual reference to law, the Times does not have the guts to share the stage (or a portion of its editorial page) to allow a response.

Local Law Enforcement Controversial but Effective in Immigration Enforcement

Getting local law enforcement involved in enforcing the nation’s immigration laws is a controversial but unquestionably effective step in in terms of controlling our borders. Section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act was created to authorize state and local law enforcement officers to receive training to enforce immigration laws. The cross designation provision is […]

Beardsworth's Five Tips for DHS Transition Team

Over the past week we have run a series of suggestions by Randy Beardsworth, former Assistant Secretary for Strategic Plans at the Department of Homeland Security, advising the next Administration on the DHS transition. Below is a recap of all five suggestions:

Homeland Security Reviews First Responder Technology

Having DHS S&T look at technology that will assist local homeowners in the event of natural disasters may seem like heresy to those who believe that DHS should be solely focused on anti-terrorism programs, but DHS was intended to be an all-hazards agency, and this is one of the first bits of evidence that S&T is serious about helping protect lives and property irrespective of the cause.