Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 24, 2009

Joe jots Janet (and others) a friendly note

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on April 24, 2009

At 5:34  on an absolutely gorgeous Friday afternoon, when everyone in Washington D.C. should have been having a drink al fresco, admiring the spring blossoms, and looking into the eyes of their beloved, Senator Joseph Lieberman, (very) Independent Democrat of Connecticut and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a statement in support of Secretary Napolitano.  In its entirety:

“Secretary Napolitano was a superb choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security, a complex, demanding, and high-pressured job, and I believe she has performed well since she was confirmed” Lieberman said.  “Has there been a rough patch? Yes. But nothing that comes close to a firing offense.”

“The Secretary has apologized for the poor wording of the Department’s intelligence analysis of right-wing extremism. The report was produced by career intelligence officials and begun in the previous Administration. I do not believe it was politically motivated; and I do believe it was well intentioned. Our time would be better spent joining together to ensure that the American people are well protected from security threats.”

Early this morning, in my first post of the day, I shared some related news. The headline refers to growling and biting.  Scroll down to review that context.  I perceive the Chairman — who a few Republicans might have hoped to find sympathetic — is sending a signal to move on.  Even more important, the Chairman is communicating that Homeland Security is too serious to sacrifice to poorly chosen words or political expediency. Senators Lieberman and Collins have modeled authentic bipartisanship, and each have the wounds to prove it.

Those who criticized the report have, we can hope, encouraged the application of even greater rigor and care in analysis and reporting.  The experience has also underlined the need for more sophisticated consumers of intelligence, very much including the  general citizenry.

Now, my beloved is fixing us drinks, the birds are about to begin their evening concert, and the stars should be glorious on the first night of a new moon. Carpe diem.

Have a good weekend Madam Secretary. You deserve a break.

UPDATE (Saturday, 4:00 am): Read some good reporting by Ed O’Keefe with the Federal Eye at the Washington Post.  He gives further context to the timing of Senator Lieberman’s statement.  O’Keefe writes, “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized directly today to Commander Dave Rehbein, head of the American Legion, after a recently leaked DHS intelligence report suggested that right-wing extremist groups might recruit military veterans returning from overseas deployments. The 45-minute meeting occurred at DHS headquarters in Washington this (Friday) afternoon.”

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 25, 2009 @ 7:26 am

No comment! Typical tempest in a teapot. IMPORTANT work needs to be done, e.g. a report by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs members and staff just giving a list of all authorized programs in DHS and listing their authorizing legal authority, statutes or Executive Orders. And THEN, a list of all programs, functions, and activities operating with NO authorization except for an appropriation act (which of course does operate as an authorization although subject to a point of order). Why does the Senate even now continue to operate with the fiction that authorization committees are important and necessary when an earmark by the appropriators is all that is necessary. The Senate is disfunctional but like the brilliant inhabitants of old St.Es (in some cases like Pound) just don’t know that they are insane. Sorry hill staff but no time off for drinks or mooning at beloved. GET TO WORK! You don’t even know what your committee’s jurisdiction is since its creation. How about some real line drawing on what Homeland Security means? Not law enforcement? Not armed forces? What is this creature?

Pingback by Meanwhile, beyond swine herding | Homeland Security Watch

April 28, 2009 @ 10:59 am

[…] extremism report has been dampened by the emergence of a non-ideological viral threat (and some Friday deck-clearing), but on Monday the Boston Globe offered a strongly worded editorial attacking the I&A […]

Comment by N Waff

May 3, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

Dear President Obama,

In 2004, congress introduced legislation called the “End Racial Profiling Act” to stop the offensive discriminatory act of stereotyping ordinary citizens as criminals. The ACLU said this act was “a key step in the fight to ensure that no one in America is subject to law enforcement encounters based on crude bias.” Now, your administration, under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, has committed the same criminal act against our citizens, denying them equal protection and, instead, holding them under criminal suspicion because they hold a conservative political position. This action taken by your administration is offensive, un-American and has already eroded the trust between citizens, the federal government and law enforcement. It needs to be retracted and the appropriate disciplinary action needs to be taken against those who implemented this federally sanctioned discrimination. I am requesting your prompt attention to this matter.


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