One of the proudest days of my life was, oddly enough, January 20, 2009. It's the day I lost my last full-time job. At 11:59 AM, I was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security and, within the scope of my authority, able to order and direct a wide-range of activities. At 12:01 PM, I was a nobody—off on vacation and without a scintilla of authority over anyone except myself.
Latest in Transition 2016
As Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson instituted some necessary reforms to help mature the Department. Many of those reforms were part of the Unity of Effort initiative he kicked off in April 2014 to streamline the Department’s operations, strategy and resource decisions.
On Wednesday, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memo that clarifies how the Department of Defense (DoD) will implement President Trump’s executive order to freeze all civilian hiring across all departments and agencies.
Late Friday, word came out of NSA that the highly-respected Deputy Director Rick Ledgett would be retiring in the spring. Understandably, people wondered whether this was the first indication of trouble out of the intelligence community under President Trump. Was this a sign that principled career officials were resigning in protest; were they being pushed out in favor of political allies of the White House?
In November, I cautioned that then-President-elect Trump’s appointment of Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and Michael “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL” Flynn as his national security adviser would create “deep risk” for U.S. security.
Neil Gorsuch is an eminent jurist who is undoubtedly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. So too is Merrick Garland. In the law of the jungle that now governs the confirmation process, where principle is absent and power politics alone is what matters, Gorsuch will likely make it to the Supreme Court for the same reason that Garland did not: The Republicans controlled the Senate last year when Obama was President, and continue to control it now when Trump is President. Elections have consequences and the Democrats lost the key ones.
Editor’s Note: Programs for countering violent extremism—or CVE, as it is known in the jargon—may be in jeopardy. The incoming administration, in its rhetoric at least, has emphasized "tough" solutions to the problem of terrorism and seems little interested in softer approaches that might discourage radicalization or deradicalize existing terrorists.
The White House has just released National Security Presidential Memorandum 2 (NSPM-2), which defines the organization and functions of President Trump's National Security Council (NSC) and Homeland Security Council (HSC).
Yesterday’s Executive Order on “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” triggered alarm among privacy advocates in the U.S. and EU about the continued viability of the economically important Privacy Shield agreement.
Certain segments of the American Right have long been spoiling to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization under the material support statute. And now that Donald Trump is president, talk of designating the Brotherhood is heating up. Sen.