Give Janet Napolitano her due. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has taken to heart Barack Obama’s campaign pledges of “change” and “hope.” Unfortunately, the changes she has effected seem generally to be to dismantle sensible Bush-era internal security policies and practices, replacing them with politically correct nostrums and generally inadequate programs.
The cumulative effect of such change can only be to give hope to our terrorist foes. If this keeps up, Ms. Napolitano’s post should be renamed the Homeland Insecurity Department. Consider the following illustrative examples:
Secretary Napolitano has been at the cutting edge of the Obama administration’s efforts to define away the conflict in which we are engaged. Her most notable contribution has been to replace the term “terrorism” with “man-caused disasters.” She claims it reflects her desire to “move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.” Sadly, such gambits predictably have the effect of further confusing the public about the gravity – let alone the source – of the dangers that her department was established to counter.
Speaking of dangers, a report recently released by Ms. Napolitano’s staff warned of the threat posed by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and other “right-wing extremists.” This defamation is all the more egregious for its coming on the heels of a no-less-benighted Bush administration lexicological exercise – one that concealed the role of what authoritative Islam calls “Shariah” in spawning terrorism.
Then, there is the problem posed for homeland security by untold numbers of individuals illegally in the United States. A few months ago, Secretary Napolitano suspended workplace raids aimed at apprehending employees not legally here. Her department then freed and gave work permits to twenty-seven of those previously arrested on her watch. While she authorized resumption of the raids last week, their principal target reportedly will be American employers, rather than the illegals they hire. It is not clear whether the net effect of the Napolitano program will be to discourage or incentivize aliens to try to penetrate our borders.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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