The Pressure Cooker at Homeland Security

  1. from email:

    [color=#333366]the pressure cooker at homeland security
    [color=#333366]as fema recovers from katrina, and the military gets ready to take over responsibility for everything, the department of homeland security (dhs) squeaks by, wasting our money and squandering its time.
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Roy Fokker
    Very interesting::

    The Constitution allows the President to take over control of the National Guard -- but ONLY after Congress transfers command of the militia from the State Governors to the President.

    Unfortunately, COngress gave away this Constitutional control about 50 years ago (in the National Guard Act) and gave the President the power to take command of the National Guard away from the State Governors at will. This is now enshrined in US Code Title 10 section 333. (US Code is available online --google)

    The real problem is that Congress assumes it can step in and restrain a President who overreaches. But during Sept 11, the airliner which crashed in Pennsylvania --due solely to the efforts of the Passengers -- was headed to the US Capitol. Congress could have been destroyed that day, with no check left to restrain the President.

    Congress should take back its power to control who commands the militia/National Guard -- as a control on Presidental actions.

    The Post has a nice story on the nominee for Immigration and Customs (part of Homeland Security , a post one would think would be very important these days. Well, this 36 year old has the following credentials besides being a lawyer, with NO customs/immigration experience and little management experience:

    Her uncle is Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She married Chertoff's current chief of staff, John F. Wood, on Saturday.

    This has got to stop and only Congress has oversight over who the president puts into these important positions. The Senate is currently questioning this woman to see if she is qualified. If the Senate passes her then nothing has been learned.

    1) Homeland Security's National Response Plan explicitly called for a "Proactive Federal Response to a Catastrophic Event" like Katrina --yet that response did NOT get executed for reasons which the White House refuses to explain.

    Today, we hear in the New York Times that
    Bush has appointed Frances Fragos Townsend, his "domestic security advisor" , to look into the federal screwup in New Orleans. What the stupidass New York Times does not realize is that Ms Townsend is actually
    " Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism ". notes that "Ms. Townsend chairs the Homeland Security Council and reports to the President on United States Homeland Security policy and Combating Terrorism matters". See

    In other words, the White House official most directly responsible for the New Orleans screwup is now in charge of investigating what went wrong.

    2) With regard to law enforcement, Annex ESF #13 (Emergency Support Function #13) in the Plan explicitly calls for the federal government to handle law enforcement if local and state law enforcement are overwhelmed --but states that the FIRST step in the process is to provide National Guard troops to the state governor. According to news reports, the governor of New Mexico offered troops from his state to the Louisiana governor even before Katrina hit, but the transfer was delayed for days due to lack of authorization from Washington.

    Can someone explain to me why our active duty military units can be put under the command of FOREIGN military officers in UN operations but federalized National Guard troops can't be put under OPCON (operational control) of a state governor?

    3) Our law gives even CIVILIANS the right to use deadly force (i.e., to shoot to kill) in order to protect the lives of themselves and others . So can someone explain why military and National Guard relief workers, carrying M16s, could be held backing from entering New Orleans by a few raggedy ass looters? Why couldn't rules of engagement have been given allowing workers to shoot in self defense without giving the soldiers law enforcement duties --e.g., chasing down and arresting looters?

    You got it. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines don't want this. But, HOMELAND SECURITY geniuses do.
    Let's quote a US State Adjutant General (National Guard chief): If we have another Beslan school siege, we'll just have a National Guard A-team fast rope in to neutralize the threat." Yeah, it will go real well. But, of course, as with every military event, "it's classified", in this case, as to the ensuing slaughter. We have cops and FBI teams for counterterrorism and hostage ops, cop and FBI bomb techs for bombs and WMD, and firefighters and EMS and rescue teams for fires, hurricanes and floods. Let's go WILD, Congress: EMPOWER THEM WITH MILITARY TOYS (not weapons). Have the miitary transport them, for one thing. How many of the above civilian first responders have tactical transport helicopters, small boat transport, etc. Only the Coast Guard, as far as I can tell.
    Do you want a 19 year old Marine, hardened by Iraq, to take down your kid's school from a hostage situation? He would die for your kid, no doubt, but he doesn't have the skills and training and grey hairs to lead that op. But let a Marine or soldier be the crew chief on the rotary wing that could transport your SWAT and bomb techs, and the job will get done. Do you want an Air Force guy telling your ground operators what to do? That's what the dude above, and, by the way, Dick Myers, have experience in, fighters and fixed wing. The experienced military NCOs and officers don't want PCA repealed. Even Bush says, LOGISTICS. Generals talk logistics. Amateurs talk tactics. IT'S THE TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS WE NEED.
  4. by   Mkue
    Katrina is going to cost us 200 billion? They need to start cutting some pork in Washington, let's start with Homeland Security.

    and this is my favorite from the OP article
    Potential Terrorist Use of Pressure Cookers. I always suspected that my mother was up to no good.
  5. by   Jessy_RN
    This pressure cooker bomb idea just blows my mind away. Seriously, now I will walk by one and cringe :uhoh21: