Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 19, 2013

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on July 19, 2013

During the night between July 18 and 19 in the year 64 CE the Great Fire of Rome began. The flames continued for six days consuming at least 10 percent and perhaps as much as 30 percent of the city. This is the event during which the Emperor Nero is remembered for playing his violin. But the most trustworthy sources report Nero was vigorous in organizing a response. Spin is not new.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

July 19, 2013 @ 6:55 am

Extract from the Robert T. Stafford Act:

Sec. 621. Administrative Authority (42 U.S.C. 5197)
(a) In General – For the purpose of carrying out the powers and duties assigned to the Administrator under this title, the Administrator may exercise the administrative authorities provided under this section.
(b) Advisory Personnel –
(1) The Administrator may employ not more than 100 part-time or temporary advisory personnel (including not to exceed 25 subjects of the United Kingdom or citizens of Canada) as the Administrator considers to be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this title.

I view HS and EM as developing multidisciplinary “professions” thus wondering why NO FEMA Director or Administrator has ever used this authority. Perhaps a DHS Secretary or FEMA Administrator will arrive someday that does not have the mindset of “not invented here” and will use this authority?

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 19, 2013 @ 7:00 am

Professor David McIntyre, PhD, of the University of N. Texas if memory serves has produced the only text of comparative EM [how other countries do EM] that exists. Excellent effort IMO.

Oddly FEMA long held the rep position to NATO for its civil security operation. And NATO produced a wonderful little analytic handbook of the civil security efforts of its members. Not available virtually to my knowledge. But a great effort.

FEMA’s international program is housed in its POLICY shop under David Kaufman. Wonder UFA

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 19, 2013 @ 7:26 am

CONTINUED: Wonder why we know so little about DHS and FEMA international efforts?

Comment by Quin

July 19, 2013 @ 8:38 am


One of my NPS professors, Nadav Morag, recently published a book on comparative HS efforts and includes EM. Comparative Homeland Security: Global Lessons.

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 19, 2013 @ 8:53 am

Thanks Quin!

Comment by Rubin, Claire

July 19, 2013 @ 9:38 am

I recently referred an international visitor to FEMA’s office of international relations and the person never got so much as a return email.

Not the best way to foster international cooperation.

Comment by Andrew Slaten

July 19, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

Ms. Rubin, we monitor the International Affairs mailbox on a regular basis, and respond as promptly as possible. I am not showing any pending requests. Please advise your acquaintance to please resend their request and I will see that it receives prompt attention. I apologize for the breakdown in service.

Andrew Slaten
Deputy Director
International Affairs
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 19, 2013 @ 4:18 pm


Comment by William R. Cumming

July 19, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

In a three judge opinion by the 4th Circuit Federal Appeals Court James Risen a NY Times reporter forced to release his source. One judge dissented. Risen could seek SCOTUS review or En Banc review by the Circuit. If the opinion stands without modification IMO the Judiciary has created in essence an Official Secrets Act and Freedom of the Press to cover the monstrous National Security State has ended, perhaps forever.

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 21, 2013 @ 10:55 am

S.1234 introduced in the US Senate would expand the ability of nonprofits of various types to receive federal disaster assistance.

I have long advocated that even the current language should be modified to all only formally TAX EXEMPT nonprofits otherwise eligible to receive such relief.

Many so called nonprofits without formal tax exemption are scams and poorly administered.

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