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home : opinions : opinions February 06, 2016

7/15/2013 6:02:00 AM
Editorial: Much insecurity at Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security will be leaderless in September because the agency's secretary, Janet Napolitano, has resigned to become the president of the University of California's school systems.

What makes this especially problematic is that Napolitano's departure will create the 15th hole in the department's 45 leadership positions. That amounts to one-third of the heads of key agencies and divisions that have been filled with acting officials or have been vacant for months.

Besides standing in long lines at airports going through TSA check points, many of us are probably unaware of how depleted of leadership this department is. This following list will give you a glimpse of holes in Homeland Security's multi-functional duties. Napolitano's chief of staff and the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement are leaving this month. The deputy secretary, general counsel, heads of Customs and Border Protection, privacy, legislative affairs, intelligence, legislative affairs, intelligence and analysis and more are headed up by officials in acting capacities. Other high-level positions, such as the executive secretariat, inspector general and deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity are still vacant.

This dearth has reportedly gone on for months, and Napolitano's resignation comes at a precarious time especially, because Congress is deep in debate about overhauling the nation's immigration system. Of course, Homeland Security is a major player in border issues, and its director should have a strong voice in the direction Congress takes in resolving this ongoing crisis.

But, that is just one facet - albeit not a small one - brought on because Napolitano is stepping down. Her resignation makes the gaps in leadership particularly onerous because of the mounting list of managers who are gone or about to be, and hers starts at the very top.

The mission of Homeland Security's agencies is to protect the president, respond to disasters, enforce immigration laws and secure air travel. While much of its daily operations continue to run smoothly in spite of the department's fluctuating leadership, it is Homeland Security's long-term policy decisions that stand on shaky ground. Obviously, "acting" officials hold off on policy questions because they are looking at the exit sign over the door. This creates a major void with a long-term effect.

With a primary federal agency that now resembles Swiss cheese, it is imperative that someone capable of running such a massive operation gets President Barack Obama's nod.

Though his choice requires Senate confirmation, the onus is clearly on Obama's shoulders. Politics should have no part in this process.

Homeland Security sorely needs fixing.

That can only begin with the person who has the capabilities and qualifications to take the reins.

Take great care in your scrutiny, Mr. President.

It's time to move Homeland Security forward.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013
Article comment by: guy good

"What Homeland Security, it has no meaning, just another job opening for a Democrat, like our DOJ, a complete waste of taxpayer's money."

Not at all, it just seems to have a different mission than you might like.

Aside from having a rather ominous name and being highly politicized, I'll posit a theory on what is driving it.

As we increasingly wander into a world of resource depletion, overpopulation, and a tendency for the elite to end up with a larger share of all the stuff, we are busy forming up teams. If you'll notice, the US armed services are rather pro-traditional American culture and a tad on the conservative side, and Team B feels uncomfortable with this and wants a counterforce of some sort.

Answer? Produce a highly unionized and more politically liberal organization that is highly militarized. Put them on your payroll, pay them well, indoctrinate them, and draw from populations that are underrepresented in the regular military. While you're at it, attempt to change the politics of the regular military via heavyhanded introduction of women and gays to all levels of command.

To be fair, I don't think this is an explicit plan, but I do think that it's a natural side effect of the power struggle that's going on in order to reach some sort of equilibrium. Rather like the Soviet troika of party, intelligence services, Army.

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Double Troubles

Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, all unnecessary and don't work. Allowing any illegals to enter our country is asking for trouble. This administration just doesn't care. How about enforcing our laws first.

Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Article comment by: @ gotta luv it

"We will block his every move. "Can't we just co-operate" and approve all demoncrat proposals? NO, not when barry is destroying our country!"

You just don't know why "we" (rented republicans) are blocking the President. Can't explain a reason for any of it, can you ?

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Article comment by: gotta luv it

when the liberals whine "you repubs are obstructionists!"

OF COURSE WE ARE! Your disaster of a president is causing irreparable long term damage to this once great country. We will block his every move. "Can't we just co-operate" and approve all demoncrat proposals? NO, not when barry is destroying our country!

Need more? Why did dumboma send his idiot VP to our firefighter memorial while at THE SAME TIME cutting wildfire prevention funding? They are playing the low info. voters like a piano. Here is a quote from the ultra-lib huff po= "Meanwhile, the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Program has seen funding go from $421 million in 2002 to $500 million last year. When those numbers are adjusted for inflation, it is actually a slight decrease. This year's automatic budget cuts have reduced the funding even further to $419 million. The Obama administration is proposing to slash the total to $292 million next year."

HE DOESN'T CARE IF WE BURN! WAKE UP! ----aw, never mind, it's probably too late...

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Article comment by: Big Joke

What Homeland Security, it has no meaning, just another job opening for a Democrat, like our DOJ, a complete waste of taxpayer's money.

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Article comment by: Fox Gossip Infotainment

Thank you for your service, Janet.
@James Madison, "Demo-Na$i Party". Do you actually believe your extremist nonsense? Or, has your bacon has been frying too long?

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Article comment by: REAL AMERICAN C.P.O. USN Retired AMERICA is STILL Number ONE

Ya lets bring back the big fat ladies at the airports again..They let everyone through...

I think the airlines should remove the cabins doors on airplanes too...Everyone should be allowed to visit the cockpit again..
Get rid of all sky marshals..

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Ralph Kyner

Let it go. Let the DHS be disolved. It is nothing more that an overlap agency. Think of the Billions of dollars this agency sucks down. Turn the TSA over to the FAA, The secret service back to the Treasury. Let the FBI take the rest. Stop blowing our tax money on this BS!!

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: The ghost of you know who!

I envision her first day on the job with black glad enforcers kicking in the doors of classrooms and pepper spraying anyone who dare to look like a "home grown terrorist" or who doesn't bow down to der Commissar!

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: I Have to Ask Again

Were Dragonmasters 1 thru 5 already taken when you chose your name?

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: james dean

Eric Holder will be her replacement at Homeland Security.

No, WAIT............Obama needs him for last-minute pardons same as Clinton did.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Peace Nik

Osama Bin Laden, after 9/11, said that he would bankrupt our country for fear of another terrorist attack.He has succeeded beyond the grave. "Homeland Security" created by Bush is another boondoggle and the most expensive agency ever to be conceived....but that's an expansion the Conservatives can get their heart and money around. The Terrorists have succeeded beyond their wildest imagination! Be afraid, be VERY afraid

What I'm afraid of and embarassed about is the Partisan gridlock that passes for our "Democratic Government." Until that is fixed, we have no chance for success in any sane decision making. Compromise, anyone?????

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Ralph Winkler

Joe Arpaio will soon be UC's head of campus security.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Really .

Whoa, whoda thunk a sham government agency like DHS, created with a little help from the Patriot Act and eventually giving birth to the unconstitutional shenanigans of TSA 'agents' would ever be mismanaged, or have trouble filling positions? The mind boggles.

Well, not really.

From the top down, let's hope all these over-glorified DHS dept. heads do a mass exodus and actually take on tangible, rewarding careers until there is no one to left to steer this bloated, directionless ship of an agency. Maybe then we could practically rethink the issue of our national security and we taxpayers might actually get something for our money that benefits everyone.

Hahahah! Oops, I forgot I was talking about the US govt there. Strike my statements - I was seriously pipe-dreaming there for a few seconds. A thousand pardons.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Talk About An Inconvenient Truth

Rotsa Ruck: If there is one thing Obama does not need it's help with, it's looking bad. He's a master at it.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Sheriff Joe

I'll be waiting for a phone call. I'm ready for the job!

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Citizen

The next "exit" will be our DOJ. Time for Holder to leave also. What a disgrace he has been.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Josie Wharton

Homeland INsecurity is a waste of taxpayer's money. Glad to see Napolitano is leaving. Our own president never spent one day on our borders because they're too dangerous. She was guided by the Democrats, that's why she never did a good job. Adios forever.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Homeland Security is a classic example of a government agency that was created in crisis, has no clear mission (other than the usual written blather), has a horrible culture (that's why the good leaders head for the exits), and won't go away (even thought it should be dissolved). Janet's interest was always education while governor of AZ. She'll do well in that role. Homeland Security will just drift along sucking up our money like the Dept of Education and the other boondoggles. Where can I get one of these jobs?

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Old Timer

Can we ask what DHS is doing with all the ammunition and armored vehicles they recently bought? I don't see that they placed those vehicles or armed guards along the border to stop the drug runners who are well armed and in control of many sections of the border.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: James Madison

Nothing to worry about here. The Fuhrer, Barack Insane Obama, will fill the position with another loyal member of the Demo-Nazi Party so the SS-DHS will have another loyal leader.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: Padraig Houlahan

Since there are many other unfilled positions in the Federal government because Republicans keep blocking Presidential appointments, I eagerly await the obvious follow-up editorial which will scathingly rebuke Republicans for their obstructiveness.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: S A

Perhaps it is time for a revolution. Whether it is violent or not is up to the government 1% .
The TSA (Touching Someone's A**) is a joke.
Look at all the scandals on Youtube. TSA terrorizes people.
The government violates the Constitution. No Probable Cause is used to label you a probable terrorist. Just take off your shoes and bend over.
Most are too frightened to defend their civil liberties.
Look at the Declaration of Independece. There are current examples of infractions by the government on our freedoms now as there was then by the British. Now these same complaints are leveled against the government.

It has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. Created multiple offices for ineffective “Czars”.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: There You Go Again

You are kidding me, right? The exit of Janet Napolitano is a concern, seriously? She has left, in her wake, a path of leftist destruction from Ariznoa to Washington, with high taxes, profligate spending, leftist ideology running rampant in regulations and enforcement. The problem is we will probably get someone worse, with Obama doing the nominating.

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013
Article comment by: DragonMaster 6

We have not had Homeland security in actuality since it's inception and especially since Napolotano became another CZAR. The best action she could take for American Safety is to resign!

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