Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 4, 2009

Homeland security this week

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on May 4, 2009

Following are a few Homeland Security events for the coming week.  For more information  access the embedded links.  Please use the comment function to identify other events you would like to bring to readers’ attention.  If you are attending or monitoring any of these events, please use the comment function to report out to the rest of us.

Monday, May 4

A cabinet-level exercise preparing for hurricane season will be conducted in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.  No media coverage or public after-action is expected.

DHS, CDC, and WHO will continue their daily – or more frequent – updates on the H1N1 threat.   You can sign up to receive real-time alerts and other information at: http://www.pandemicflu.gov/

Tuesday, May 5

Great Lakes Homeland Security Training Conference opens, continues through Thursday.

11:00 am (eastern) The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a panel discussion on current pandemic readiness. 

Wednesday, May 6

Presidents Obama, Zardari, and Karzai meet at the White House.

10:00 am (eastern) Secretary Napolitano testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on DHS oversight issues.

10:30 am (eastern) Heritage Foundation hosts a speech and panel discussion on the extremist threat to Pakistan.

12:30 pm (eastern) Brookings Institution hosts an expert seminar on the United States’ Afpak strategy.

Thursday, May 7

10:00 am (eastern) House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Terrorism conducts a hearing on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

Friday, May 8

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Comment by William R. Cumming

May 4, 2009 @ 6:49 am

The Wednesday appearance before a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee could be quite interesting. The Secretary DHS has not testified before many Congressional Committees since confirmation. This may be her second one, the first being the H1N1 flu last week.
Anyhow it would be very useful for the Secretary and the Committee to lay out the DHS roles and delegations, if any, under the so-called criminal code of the United States (Title 18 of the US Code) and exactly what assistance is provided by DHS to STATE and LOCAL criminal law enforcement authorities through training, financial assistance, and of course actual operations. The Coast Guard also has special procedures and systems for dealing with the STATE and LOCAL criminal law enforcement community and that could also be of great interest. None of the above is to my knowledge seperately documented. The Judiciary does not have authority over the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 100-707 which amended, superceded in part and revoked in part the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-288) both codified at 42 USC 5121 and following so it could be useful to see how the Secretary relates to funding of law enforcement emergencies created by the Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1984 and implemented at 28 CFR Part 65. I have forgotten the regulation citation but somewhere in 28 CFR is a specific listing by DOJ of what it considers the Law Enforcement Community. It has multiple entries for DHS and wonder why or does it (DOJ) bypass the Secretary DHS and directly relate to DHS sub-units? Note that DOJ always fails to use the term “Criminal” in refering to Law Enforcement because many civil agencies and departments in reality administer civil statutes including compliance activities that I would consider law enforcement.
Finally just to get an accurate picture of how DOJ and DHS relate to each other on a day-to-day and policy basis would be of great interest? Are there internal guidance documents on this relationship in each Department? How large are the liaison and coordination staffs and how are they funded? Or is it just an ad hoc relationship with coordination and collaboration as issues and problems arise? Do the AG and Secretary DHS meet on a regular basis? When FEMA was independent the Director of the FBI and Director of FEMA used to meet on a regular basis. Does this continue?
I know questions, questions, questions?

Comment by Peter J. Brown

May 4, 2009 @ 8:25 am

Over the coming week, China wil be interesting to watch as it is already ticking off Mexico with its profiling-based quarantine procedures which have apparently singled out Mexicans, and their dispatch of charter flights to evacuate Chinese nationals from Mexico. Pork ban impacting Canada is another twist.

In Japan, which we discussed late last week, all previously reported cases have been now tagged seasonal or Soviet flu and there are only two apparently confirmed cases in Japan over the weekend involving a US citizen — an infant — who arrived on a US government charter flight at a US military base outside Tokyo, and another woman arriving at Narita airport. (I will now cease to reference specific outbreak news in Japan in any future comments — recommend readers check Kyodo News.)

Japan has now experienced two back-to-back high level communications meltdowns. First during the recent North Korean misssile launch and now during swine full outbreak. Japan must now address emergency communications guidelines (internal and public) in national defense and public health circles with specific eye on messaging, verification / acnowledgement cycles and containment.

By the way, keeping tabs on Asia just makes good sense at this point considering that Phase 2 possibility is already being discussed widely.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 4, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

Interesting that Peter focuses on Chinese-Mexican relationship. Next to the US, Mexico’s future and most important relationship may be with China in my opinion and Chinese links to Mexican Economy are enormus. Oh and of course the Chinese operate the Panama Canal, or so I have been told. It is in the process of widening so perhaps with Chinese potential being in control time for that sea level canal through Mexico or Nicarauga! And by the way the Monroe Doctrine needs formal repealing by the US.

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