Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 29, 2008

Where the Candidates Stand on HLS: Part II

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on February 29, 2008

This follows the earlier post I ran on Senator Obama’s positions on Homeland Security. Today I had intended to examine Senator Clinton’s positions. The content for the Obama post was based almost entirely on his campaign’s official website and speeches he had given. While very little material is put forward by the Hillary Clinton campaign on homeland security ideas, her Senate office focuses on past accomplishments attending mostly to New Yorkers.

Senator Clinton’s campaign website includes nothing under the Issues section on homeland security. Nor is there any content under the speeches or biography (beyond mere references).

Clinton’s Senate homepage dedicates a brief section to HLS issues with links to press statements. Among those, she calls for safeguarding nuclear materials that could be used to produce a dirty bomb by urging adoption of the recommendations of a report by the National Academies of Sciences, which would review the industrial, research, and commercial use of nuclear materials that could be used to make a dirty bomb and recommends that cesium chloride be phased out as soon as is possible. Not much else.

If readers have any material that can shed some light on Clinton’s plans for homeland security, please add them as comments. In the meantime, it just looks like homeland security is not a priority for the Clinton campaign.

NOTE: We’ll examine Senator McCain’s positions/plans on HLS issues next in this series.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

February 29, 2008 @ 11:58 am

As Senator, Ms. Clinton supported removing FEMA from DHS. However, through oversight activities she largely deferred to Senators Collins and Lieberman on DHS programs, functions and activities. Clearly that reliance was misplaced since neither of those Senators ever felt it necessary to police the spin down of FEMA capabilities prior to Hurricane Katrina making landfall. She should pay attention because it now appears most likely that permanent economic damage long-term was done to NYC as a world leader in the financial spectrum and Staten Island and all of Long Island could well experinece a cat 4 or 5 Hurricane similar to that of 1938. Additionally, there are still very tempting targets in the city of NY and the state should sub-state actors wish to make a name for themselves. Also the ageing infrastructure of her state without much in the way of resiliency makes her lack of interest in Critical Infrastructure Protection remarkable. No doubt the increase in Euro-Trash that nightclubs and spends in the city will cover its economic engine wearing out for a while, now that the dollar vs. Euro exchange rate benefits non-resident aliens who visit. But in the next two decades that may wear thin if she does not win the Presidency and chooses to stay in the Senate. Look for appointee recycling in the DHS arena if she takes over. That is a very mixed crowd with respect to judgement and competencies. Perhaps she could get out in front by listing her top 10 candidates to be DHS Secretary.
OBAMA remains a complete unknow on DHS issues. He too could benefit from listing his top 10 of DHS Secretarial candidates.
Or perhaps both could just announce they don’t wish to continue DHS in its existing form and why.

Comment by Jonah Czerwinski

March 1, 2008 @ 12:05 pm

>>”OBAMA remains a complete unknow on DHS issues.””

See this post for information about Obama’s positions on homeland security. His campaign has a page dedicated to his top proposals.


Comment by William R. Cumming

March 2, 2008 @ 10:30 am

Jonah! Red your post and OBAMA’s post. Where’s the meat? Bill

Comment by Jonah Czerwinski

March 2, 2008 @ 9:40 pm

WRC — The meat, according to the Obama campaign statement:

  • Allocate Funds Based on Risk
  • Prepare Effective Emergency Response Plans
  • Support First Responders
  • Improve Interoperable Communications Systems
  • Create a Real National Infrastructure Protection Plan
  • Secure our Chemical Plants
  • Ensure Safe and Secure Disposal of Nuclear Waste
  • Improve Airline Security
  • Monitor our Ports
  • Safeguard Public Transportation
  • Protect Local Water Supplies
  • Granted, these are basic topics. However each is treated in turn on the document linked to above. The Clinton campaign hasn’t anything close to this much detail.

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    March 3, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

    […] Homeland Security Watch: Where the Candidates Stand on HLS: Part II “This follows the earlier post I ran on Senator Obama’s positions on Homeland Security. Today I had intended to examine Senator Clinton’s positions.” […]

    Comment by Elizabeth

    March 6, 2008 @ 11:43 am

    I recall Senator Clinton talking a great deal about HS in the form of port security and cargo inspections. Her most consistent criticsm of Bush shortly after 9/11 (and perhaps coincidentally, after this issue was pointed out prominently in the release of Farenheit 9/11) was that he had made our ports less secure, and that shipping and cargo inspections needed to be a top homeland security priority. I haven’t heard her metnion it as much in the last several months as the campaign has focused more on health care, but she does have a track record on that issue.

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