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Tag: Homeland Security

Homeland Chief Janet Napolitano Tours Southern Calif. Bustling Ports and Biggest Airport

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano

The western U.S. has more than its fair share of needs when it comes to security. Newly minted Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will have her hands full prioritizing and distributing money in the western states to make the country safer. 

By Teresa Watanabe
Los Angles Times
The nation’s top domestic security official toured Southern California’s bustling ports and biggest airport Monday as local officials plied her with requests for financial help to upgrade potentially vulnerable facilities.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano took a flyover of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and surveyed recent security improvements at Los Angeles International Airport, including better fencing, systems to screen passenger vehicles and concrete barriers to prevent vehicles from crashing into airline terminals.
“It would be hard to identify a more critical area of the country in terms of the impact on infrastructure and on commerce than this area of Southern California,” Napolitano said in a news conference at the U.S. Coast Guard station on Terminal Island.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), who accompanied Napolitano on the tour, said she and other local officials outlined other critical security upgrades in need of federal financial aid, including $60 million to complete the airport’s border fence. Harman said officials urged Napolitano to waive federal rules requiring local governments to kick in 25% of project financing.

 

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Ex-Homeland Chief Michael Chertoff Joins Covington & Burling Law Firm in D.C.

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The AmLaw Daily is reporting that ex-Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has joined the law firm Covington & Burling’s white-collar defense and investigations practice.

The website said Chertoff is senior of counsel in the Washington office. He started earlier this week.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back as a working lawyer, not just as a rainmaker,” Chertoff told AmLaw. “And while it’s been a bit of a transition [this week], I’m happy to be doing real legal work as I genuinely love being a lawyer.”

BIO: Homeland Sec. Napolitano Rose to Prominence As Anita Hill’s Lawyer

Janet Napolitano/gov photo

Janet Napolitano/gov photo

Read the stats on the new Secretary of Homeland Security and it comes as  no surprise she’s risen to top.

By AllGov
Janet Napolitano does not shy away from tough fights, having first risen to prominence as Anita Hill’s attorney during the Clarence Thomas controversy, and later as a Democratic governor of a very Republican state.

Napolitano was born on November 19, 1957, in New York City to Jane Marie Winer and Leonard Michael Napolitano, an anatomy professor who was the dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

She was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and Albuquerque, NM, and she enjoyed her time so much as a Girl Scout that she became a lifetime member. She graduated from Sandia High School in 1975 and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.”

Napolitano attended college in California, earning a Truman Scholarship and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Santa Clara University in 1979.

She was valedictorian of her graduating class, the first female to earn the honor in the school’s history. Napolitano then received her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1983.

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Homeland Report Says TSA Needs More Inspectors To Assure Safety For Mass Transit

Mass transit in America has always seemed incredibly vulnerable to a terrorist incident. This report confirms that. Now let’s see what is done to address the problem before something happens.

By EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – The agency responsible for transportation security has too few inspectors to make sure rail and mass transit employees are doing enough to guard against terrorists, a government report says.

The report by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general, due out Friday, says the Transportation Security Administration’s request for 102 more inspectors is insufficient to get the job done right.

The review of TSA’s inspection program, obtained by The Associated Press, was conducted between last year February and July.

The TSA has 175 inspectors assigned to assess transportation security for bus and mass transit systems, and many were hired without any experience with mass transit systems, the report said.

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OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Administration Gives Mixed Signals on Immigration Policy

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON — By federal government standards, there has been a veritable frenzy of activity related to immigration at the Department of Homeland Security.

With three high-profile appointments in the last couple of weeks, the Administration has sent mixed signals about the direction it intends to take on immigration policy from a public perspective, as well as how it intends to manage the effort from an internal perspective. Oddly, the mainstream media (other than AP’s Eileen Sullivan) seems to have missed or ignored these developments.

This series of appointments began with the frankly bizarrely titled “Special Adviser for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Detention and Removal” – which is a little like announcing a “Special Adviser for Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol.” Or a “Special Adviser for Transportation Security Administration and Federal Air Marshals.” Or a “Special Adviser for the Secret Service.” Or a “Special Adviser for the Coast Guard.”

Aren’t these the roles of the heads of agencies in question? Shouldn’t the special adviser on immigration and customs enforcement be, say, the Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

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Homeland Sec. Napolitano Says Helping Mexico Fight Drug Cartels Demands “Utmost Attention”

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano recognizes the threat of violence from the Mexican drug war poses for the U.S., particularly for border states like Texas and Arizona.

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Aiding the Mexican government’s fight against drug cartels is a top priority that demands the “utmost attention” of U.S. security officials, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said yesterday, announcing new steps aimed at preventing the spillover of violence into the United States.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s sweeping crackdown on narco-traffickers has triggered a desperate backlash of violence “of a different degree and level than we’ve ever seen before,” Napolitano said in her first appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee. “It is something that deserves our utmost attention right now,” she said.

Napolitano said she has reached out to national security adviser James L. Jones, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and local and state law enforcement officials to review ways to assist Mexican law enforcement; stop the flow of guns, assault rifles and cash from the United States into Mexico; and identify areas in which more resources might be needed.

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Sleeping With the Fishes? Dead Fish Shows Up At D.C. Homeland Security Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — It was like a scene out of the Godfather.
A letter containing a dead fish showed up Friday at a downtown office of the Department of Homeland Security.
The letter, which also contained white powder, was addressed to an employee.
The Associated Press reported that FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman Katherine Schweit said the letter was been sent to a lab for examination and people were screened who came in contact with it.

Sec. Napolitano Exudes Confidence By Keeping Old Hands at Homeland Security

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON–Secretary Napolitano has decided to keep a number of DHS non-career employees on board at the Department through an extended transition phase. It’s a wise move, and one that highlights the confidence the former Arizona Governor brings to her role. As Washington Post writer Spencer Hsu points out, Napolitano’s decision runs contrary to typical approaches.
The attempt at continuity is unusual in presidential transitions between parties, which typically lead to wholesale purging of politically appointed personnel. At the Justice Department, for example, almost no Bush holdovers remain beyond Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip, who is acting as attorney general pending confirmation of Obama nominee Eric H. Holder Jr., and Filip’s two top aides.
By contrast, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has retained the department’s second-ranking official, Deputy Secretary Paul A. Schneider, and its top border security official, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham, as well as its operations director and the assistant secretaries responsible for policy and private sector coordination. The heads of the Coast Guard and Secret Service, who are not political appointees, and DHS Undersecretary for Management Elaine C. Duke, whose tenure is set by law, also remain.

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