Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Color the Congressman Rage-Red

The Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security had a few words today for the Homeland Security Secretary. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson sent Michael Chertoff a letter about his gut-feeling forecast (see below) of terrorist attacks on the U.S. this summer. Here is part of what he wrote:

Words have power, Mr. Secretary. You must choose them wisely--especially when they relate to the lives and security of the American public. What color code in the Homeland Security Advisory System is associated with a “gut feeling?” What sectors should be on alert as a result of your “gut feeling?” What cities should be asking their law enforcement to work double shifts because of your “gut feeling?” Are the American people supposed to purchase duct tape and plastic sheeting because of your “gut feeling?”

The Committee on Homeland Security has repeatedly emphasized the importance of getting specific, actionable information to our first preventers in law enforcement and other emergency response providers. I urge you to follow up on your “gut feeling” and share whatever information our nation’s first preventers need to be on alert and prepared. Otherwise, we run the risk of communities taking it upon themselves to mobilize for every possible threat. This not only would result in communities depleting their scarce homeland security resources but runs contrary to your efforts to move toward a risk-based approach to homeland security.

This kind of rebuke may be devastating for a person of Mr. Chertoff’s sensitivity. One can only hope that he doesn’t take the Chairman’s reaction personally.

1 comment:

Watch 'n Wait said...

Mr Leibling, your posts are a joy and a delight. Thank you!