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Tag: Janet Napolitano

Task Force Recommends Simplifying Terror Color Code Alert

The color coded alerts that were meant to help Americans became almost meaningless and were the subject of many jokes. This is a good time to change this. And it’s a good thing a bipartisan task force is looking at this. This town needs more bipartisan cooperation.

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
color-codesWASHINGTON — A bipartisan task force recommended Tuesday that the Obama administration simplify and reset the U.S. government’s iconic color-coded terrorism warning system to the lowest of three new levels, if it keeps using levels at all.

The findings, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she will share with the White House and national security officials, could lead to substantial changes to a widely panned but politically sensitive tool created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to alert the nation to threats.

For Full Story

9/11: “We Have Come a Long Way But We Have a Ways to Go”

On the eve of the 8th anniversary of one of the most dreadful days in American history, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano puts it best: “We have come a long way, but we have a ways to go.”

napolitano-on-bill-maher-show

By Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — On the eve of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, here’s what keeps the secretary of homeland security up at night: Complacency,” Janet Napolitano says without missing a beat.

“The fact that it has been eight years since 9/11, and people just assume the government is going to take care of that. . . . Safety, security is a shared responsibility. It doesn’t take much for everybody just to take a deep breath and say, ‘Okay, what would I need to do to be prepared?’ ”

To Read More

Homeland Security Predicts Major Flu Flare Up in Fall

fever?This is bound to be a scary flu season. Swine flu cases have been popping up this summer, but things should really pick up in the fall.

By Steve Sternberg
USA Today
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that pandemic flu probably will flare up soon after schools open in the fall, before vaccine is available.

Napolitano also acknowledged that there would not be enough pandemic flu vaccine for everyone, at least in the early stages of the flu season. “There will be prioritization of vaccinations,” she told members of the USA TODAY editorial board.

The flu strain causing the pandemic, a new H1N1 virus also known as swine flu, is especially dangerous because it differs from every other known flu virus. As a result, most people are defenseless against it. That makes a vaccine the keystone of any effort to prevent illness and save lives. The first batches of the vaccine are due in mid-October.

Napolitano said this year’s flu season probably will be severe but not as severe as the 1918 pandemic, the world’s worst.

Mexican Police Commander, Wife and 4 Children Murdered: Could Be Related to Drug War

mexico-border-signThe motive has not been determined. But it very well may end up being the drug cartels, which are hoping through violence to make the Mexican and U.S. government back off. Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Associated Press reported that Mexican authorities had found a Mexican radio journalist beaten, dead and partially buried in Acapulco. Whatever help the U.S. is providing in this violent battle, apparently it’s not enough.

By MIGUEL ANGEL HERNANDEZ
The Associated Press
VERACRUZ, Mexico — Gunmen shot up and torched the home of a Mexican police commander Wednesday, killing the officer, his wife and his four children, including a 6-year-old boy.

The interior of the house in the Gulf coast city of Veracruz was completely burned, and its facade was riddled with bullet holes. Inside, police found the bodies of municipal police commander Jesus Antonio Romero and his family, Veracruz state Public Safety Secretary Sergio Lopez said.

Police said the youngest was a 6-year-old boy and the oldest was a 15-year-old girl.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

HBO Host Bill Maher and Homeland Sec. Napolitano Have Something Just Short of a Love Fest

Janet Napolitano on Bill Maher Show
Janet Napolitano on Bill Maher Show

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

HBO tv host Bill Maher can be downright tough as an interviewer.

But Friday night was just short of a love fest when Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano appeared via satellite on his 11 p.m. show “Real Time With Bill Maher”. She must have the right touch.

After several questions — mostly softballs — Maher ended the the brief interview by saying : “Well again, I thank you so much for being here and I thank what you’re doing for our country.”

One of the tougher points Maher tried to make went like this: “GAO investigators recently smuggled bomb making materials, well, as a test into 10 high-security federal buildings including a Homeland Security Building, the Justice Department, the State Department and they got in everywhere and they said it cost them $150 to buy the materials off the Internet and they assembled them in four minutes.”

Napolitano responded: “What it tells me is what we’re doing to protect some of these federal buildings is not adequate and we’re busy at work now looking at what’s been done in the past and reforming that entire system.”

Maher was downright playful at times, complaining at one point about having to check in luggage because of airport bans on liquids.

“Between arriving two hours early and having to check baggage and having to put the pot in my deo…” He stopped. Laughter erupted in the audience.

“Boy did I say that to the wrong person. Ok, forget that quote,” he said.

Napolitano took it all good naturedly and responded: ” “What we find is Americans overall are understanding of why these restrictions are on.”

If she appears on the show two years from now and still gets the same warm and fuzzy reception, it’s probably because she’s done a darn good job as chief of Homeland Security.

Time — and possibly Bill Maher — will tell.

U.S. to Check Immigration Status at All Local Jails

homeland-security-logoThis is a massive effort. The real question is whether authorities can  coordinate this effort and make certain local jails have the resources to do this.

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails. In four years, the measure could result in a tenfold increase in illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and identified for deportation, current and former U.S. officials said.

By matching inmates’ fingerprints to federal immigration databases, authorities hope to pinpoint deportable illegal immigrants before they are released from custody.

Inmates in federal and state prisons already are screened. But authorities generally lack the time and staff to do the same at local jails, which house up to twice as many illegal immigrants at any time and where inmates come and go more quickly.

The effort is likely to significantly reshape immigration enforcement, current and former executive branch officials said.

For Full Story

Lawmakers Annoyed Over No Masks in Swine Flu Outbreak

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers didn’t mask their annoyance Thursday during a subcommittee hearing with Homeland Security’s undersecretary of management Elaine C. Duke.

“Your excuses are lame when you say you’re following the medical advice,” the subcommittee chairman, Stephen F. Lynch, (D-Mass.) told Duke, according to a report in the Washington Postmask.

The flap was over masks.

Lawmakers criticized the department for failing to authorize protective face masks for employees working the U.S.-Mexico border during the swine flu outbreak, the Post reported.

“Some suggested that the department had placed bureaucratic considerations ahead of the health and safety of its workers,” the Post reported.

Duke said Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano made the decision not to issue masks based on recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies.

A Number of Women Landing Top Spots at Homeland Security

Dep. Sec. Jane Holl Lute

Dep. Sec. Jane Holl Lute

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Though law enforcement is still often considered a “boys club”, women are landing a number of top spots at the Department of Homeland Security.

Rich Cooper, a columnist for Security DeBrief, has compiled an impressive list of woman holding top spots besides Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“While I’ve not gone through the other Cabinet Departments to compare how many women are in some of their most senior leadership positions, at DHS the facts speak for themselves,” Cooper writes.

Here’s the list he compiled:
Janet Napolitano, Secretary, DHS
Janet Lute, Deputy Secretary, DHS
Jan Lesher, Chief of Staff for Operations
Elaine Duke, Under Secretary for Management
Vice Admiral Vivien S. Crea, Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard
Dr. Tara O’Toole, Under Secretary for Science & Technology, DHS (nominee)
Juliette Kayyem Assistant Secretary, Office of Intergovernmental Programs
Gale Rossides, (Acting) Administrator, Transportation Security Administration
Chani W. Wiggins, Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs
Sue Ramanathan, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs
Connie Patrick, Director, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)
Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy Officer
Dora Schriro, Special Advisor on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Detention & Removal