Chris Battle

Chris Battle founded Security Debrief as a forum for the homeland security community to discuss pressing issues and current debates in national security, counter-terrorism and law enforcement. After a long fight against kidney cancer, Chris passed in August 2013.

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Chris worked as an adviser during the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. After the Department officially stood up in 2003, Chris was appointed Director of Public Affairs and later served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He led public affairs campaigns promoting operations that ranged from weapons and human smuggling to financial crimes to national crack-downs on illegal immigration.

Prior to his work at DHS, Chris served as Director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In this capacity he lead the nation’s top counter-narcotics agency efforts in public relations, grassroots outreach, and congressional relations. Prior to his work in the Administration, Chris spent a number of years on Capitol Hill where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and political/communications strategist for Congressman Asa Hutchinson.

While Chris left a significant, lasting impact on government and homeland security, he was also a leader in the cancer community. He inspired others with his website, Kidney Cancer Chronicles, where he wrote about his experiences and reflections on fighting cancer.

In 2016, the Kidney Cancer Research Alliance (KCCure) was founded to raise funds for kidney cancer research. The non-profit is focused on funding research that leads to the development of new treatments, and ultimately, a cure for kidney cancer. All donations directly fund research grants.

More about Chris’ remarkable life can be found in the many articles written in tribute after his death. Some of those are provided below:

Chris Battle – A Well-Lived Life, by David Olive

The Power of Battle, by Justin Hienz

I’m Here Because of Chris Battle, by Rich Cooper

Chris Battle, Former Hill and Administration Staffer, Dies at 45, by Kate Ackley in Roll Call

Congressional Committee Issues Report on Homegrown Terrorism

The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security held a joint hearing today with the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs entitled “Homegrown Terrorism: The Threat to Military Communities Inside the United States.” According to the Department of Defense, American soil is the most dangerous place for our service men and women outside of actual war zones due to radicalism and homegrown terrorism.

Boko Harem: Emerging Threat to U.S. Homeland

The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence has issued a report calling attention to a new threat to the U.S. homeland. Boko Harem has up to this point focused largely in Nigeria but has recently turned its violence toward international targets.

TSA acknowledges impracticality of 100% cargo screening; Ed Markey calls for even more of it

The TSA and the aviation industry acknowledge the unrealistic goal of screening 100 percent of all air cargo that enters, crosses or leaves the country. Some members of Congress, never to miss an oversimplified political solution to a complex problems, call for even more screening than we already (don’t) have.

After Earthquake, DC Government Needs Lesson in Social Media

Ever tried to get on Twitter only to find that frustrating white whale floating in a sea of blue with the message that the network is overcrowded and you should come back later? In the social media world, this is known as the Fail Whale. During yesterday’s mini emergency in Washington, when a 5.8 earthquake shook the city and sent scared and confused folks fleeing from buildings, we experienced a Fail Whale on the part of the Washington DC, government. Increasingly, citizens aren’t turning to government officials for disaster management but to one another. And they’re doing it through social media.

BART Transit Police Learn Wrong Lesson of Social Media

The Bay Area Transit Police, amusingly known as BART, show that law enforcement still doesn’t understand the value — and challenges — of social media. The police force reacted to planned flash mobs by shutting down cell phone service in the BART stations. Hey, if you can’t talk to one another, how are you going to organize, right? Thank God BART wasn’t around when the Founding Fathers were trying to hammer out the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps the transit agency would have drummed the unruly bastards out of Philadelphia before they could dream up the First Amendment.

With Friends like Pakistan, Who Needs Terrorists?

You may not have heard about the news conference held by Pakistan’s army and intelligence chiefs claiming credit for finding Osama bin Laden. Me either. But I got word of it second-hand and have a transcript. It’s fascinating. Check it out.

A summary of views on screening all international inbound air cargo

The congressional mandate to screen not only domestic U.S. air cargo but now also screen 100 percent of all international inbound cargo continues to confound cargo carriers, freight forwarders and shippers. A recent article in Air Cargo World summed up U.S. and international views of different parties in the aviation supply chain — the consensus, in a nutshell, being confusion. I had the opportunity to offer a few comments

Decapitations, Public Relations and the Department of Homeland Security

I understand today is the last day for Sean Smith, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. He leaves under a bit of a cloud for having threatened to decapitate staff in the press and legislative affairs shops at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). So it makes me a little nervous to write this post; I don’t want to end up getting pistol-whipped with a stapler.

Why Mike Garcia should be the next Director of the FBI

Bob Mueller, the current head of the FBI, will be stepping down in September after having led the agency in its transition from a primarily criminal investigation agency to a primarily counterterrorism agency. There are a number of individuals with excellent resumes who have been named as possible successor. Only one fits all of the ideal requirements: Michael Garcia. Here’s why.