In a letter to the outgoing Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Jackson, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson chose to focus on the low lights of Jacksonâ€™s tenure. Thompsonâ€™s letter is a response to Jacksonâ€™s October 19 letter highlighting the efforts to fill vacancies at DHS.
The response takes issue with Jacksonâ€™s positive spin on filling vacancies (â€œfilled, selected, or formally advertisedâ€ to be exact).Â Thompson takes the opportunity to list a number of programs failing to meet expectations that may indicate a pretty clear agenda for the Dems to start critiquing the Repubâ€™s homeland security record.
The programs identified in Chairman Thompson’s letter include:
â€¢ The Transportation Worker Identification Card program
â€¢ Secure Border Initiative and Project 28
â€¢ US-VISIT (biometric exit capability)
â€¢ National Infrastructure Protection Plan and the corresponding Sector-Specific Plans
â€¢ DHS Office of Health Affairs
â€¢ Surface Transportation Security (mass transit)
â€¢ FEMA (brain drain)
â€¢ Office of Emergency Communications
Of course, the Thompson letter could have highlighted some positive accomplishments by the Department.Â But the Chairman closes his missive with a reference to a recent hearing that the DepSec did not to attend. Thompson suggests that the hearing, â€œHolding the Department of Homeland Security Accountable for Security Gaps,â€ was a missed opportunity for Jackson to defend the Departmentâ€™s record. With a hearing title like that, I suppose its no surprise the DepSec had somewhere else to be.