Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 8, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on August 8, 2014

On this day in 2007 an EF2 tornado struck Brooklyn, New York. (Swiss Re recently published a study of the tornado threat to US urban areas.)

On this day in 2009 a small plane and a tour helicopter collided over the Hudson River between Hoboken and Manhattan.  Nine died.

On this day in 2013 a suicide bombing at a funeral in Quetta, Pakistan kills over thirty.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 3:56 am

The abolition of the Water Resources Council and non-statutory river basin commissions by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 looms larger every year as one of the most self-destructive acts to the resilience of the USA by a President ever. Sadly all Presidents since could easily have remedied this huge mistake.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 4:04 am

Many completely wrong lessons are being drawn from Storm Sandy.

One of the worst IMO is that the National Flood Insurance Program is a problem for development in the Northeast over the rest of this century and not a solution to many problems.

Another is that more free disaster relief will solve the nation’s disaster problems.

Former Director of FEMA used to state that in his opinion 20% of FEMA employees did 100% of the work!


Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 4:07 am

Too bad more high ranking officials of DHS don’t write more books about their experiences. Two I would like to read would be written by Thad Allen and Juliette Kayyem!

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 4:13 am

A decade it turns out that TSA and DHS are largely by culture and leadership Law Enforcement agencies or uniformed military. No problemo or a big problem?

One former TSA Administrator John McGaw was fired for trying to be too law enforcement oriented. As a former Ohio State Trooper and Secret Service agent seems he did what he knew.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 4:20 am

New postings continue on the Federation of American Scientists FAS/FEMA page at:


Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 4:26 am

Did you know that when Congress returns in mid-September from recess OMB budget guidance on Fiscal Year 2016 will have gone out to the federal departments and agencies? This guidance is always embargoed from public release until the President’s FY 2016 budget proposal is released after the State of the Union Address in January 2015.

What should that guidance be for HS?

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 4:33 am

Long long ago in a galaxy far far away their was a formalism and formality to the federal budget that has almost disappeared.

The terms programs, functions, and activities were utilized largely tied to line-items in the budget.

If you are an official administering a program, function, or activity should it be of a concern that you have no line-item? Why or why not? Perhaps you run a program based on user fees. Should all of DHS’s budget be based on user fees?

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 4:35 am

How many FTE’s in DHS allocated to criminal law enforcement?

Environmental protection?


Washing the laundry of other bureaucrats?

Comment by Frank Gorman

August 8, 2014 @ 7:22 am

Last night, President Obama addressed the nation regarding his authorization of air strikes against ISIS forces in northern Iraq who are committing genocide against Christians. The President also authorized humanitarian air drops of food and water to the Christians surrounded on a mountain. An hour or so after the airstrikes were announced; rockets resumed falling into Israel from Gaza. While this is conjecture on my part, I surmise these rocket attacks may be an act of support for ISIS by Hamas, as the United States is viewed as a staunch ally of Israel.
I applaud President Obama’s decision, although I wish he had acted sooner. This genocide has been underway for weeks. Showing weakness by allowing ISIS to run through Iraq unchecked has emboldened them and their allies; they are now saying they will raise the flag of Allah on the White House. While there is a risk that our air strikes may cause home grown extremists here in the US to go operational, they will be become operational sooner or later anyway. I know this is not always the case, based on the “stairs of terrorism” concept, however it is probable.. Preventing genocide is the duty of all global citizens.
Based on the state of world events, law enforcement and intelligence agencies should be on high alert for strikes against the homeland, and US interests abroad. ISIS has a sympathetic ear in Al Qaeda and other sworn enemies of America. After the murder of a two star general yesterday in Afghanistan, and us flying combat missions in Iraq again, our enemies, both foreign and domestic, are likely wishful, and/or planning an attack – particularly as the thirteenth anniversary of September 11th approaches.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 8, 2014 @ 7:46 am

Well Frank appreciate your sentiments but why no UN resolution? Disclosure: I believe in Christ. But has the USA now formally adopted the mantle of Christian Nation
and willing to protect Christians anywhere?

Crusades may be out of date but is the USA in a de facto CRUSADE mow?

Would followers of that great western religion ISLAM agree?

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