Via @rickwilson comes this eyebrow raiser:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano doesn’t believe in using email.
“I think email just sucks up time,” Napolitano told an incredulous group of reporters on Tuesday, speaking at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.
Napolitano, who said she doesn’t text or “Twitter” either, said she may use email “at some point,” but right now, it’s not in the cards.
I love the ‘incredulous’ bit – because no, I don’t believe that, either. I’m pretty sure, in fact, that Janet Napolitano is using email, only she’s Richard Windsoring it. I wonder what her name looks like when you anagram it…
…oh, dear. Let’s just pretend that I didn’t put up that link, shall we?
‘Pornoscanners’ is what Boing Boing (courtesy of AoSHQ Headlines) calls them, and that name works for me. Anyway, it would seem that Michael Chertoff had his hand in the cookie jar on this one: while Secretary of Homeland Security he ordered the pornoscanners from Rapiscan (a company that was one of his clients), and he’s been a busy little advocate bee on that company’s behalf ever since. When asked about it on the Anderson Cooper show, the response (skip ahead to about 4:55) was largely content-free on spokesflack TSA John Pistole’s part, and by ‘content-free’ I mean ‘Pistole claims to know nothing on the subject’:
Credit where credit is due: Jane Hamsher has a good timeline of this ongoing mess over at Firedoglake, once you compensate for Lieberman*. Any other year, this would have been a scandal eight months ago; but this was a midterm election coupled with a horrible economy, so we’re only getting to it now.
Moe Lane (crosspost) Continue reading Michael Chertoff behind TSA pornoscanners?
From Lowering the Bar:
Reports last week said that Tahaya Buchanan had simply walked into the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Atlanta, despite the existence of a nationwide alert seeking her arrest. In fact, she apparently did this repeatedly for quite some time, because, you see, she worked there.
My wife thinks that it’s a little unfair of me to bring this up; after all, running searches like this is neither free, nor easy – and the woman was being looked for for insurance fraud, not Murder One (or even naval barratry). Still. It’s Homeland Freaking Security. That’s worth at least an eyebrow-raise.
Whether or not you agree with my politics, don’t worry: you’re probably in here somewhere. It’s a report from last month called the “Domestic Extremism Lexicon,” and it’s quite comprehensive. Did you know that anti-abortion protesters and animal rights activists are domestic extremists? Yes, the same sloppy language as last time. So bad, in fact, that they tried to bury it…
Hot Air and The Daily Beast are both covering this one, and I agree with both that the categories are disturbingly broad, and cross-spectrum. The phrase “[members of group X] have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism to advance their extremist goals” appears far too often for comfort. The reason that this is discomforting is that it strongly implies that DHS isn’t distinguishing between (for example) animal rights activists who don’t intend to break the law to further their agenda and animal rights activists who do. Why, in fact, does DHS even care about animal rights activists who aren’t breaking the law? Or anti-abortion activists? Anti-technologists? Green anarchists? Heck, they even know that there’s several different flavors of skinheads, and they lump them all together in one big ball anyway. What gives?
Well, what gives is that we’re talking about DHS, which was created in haste: we are apparently starting to hit the ‘repent in leisure’ point. The real problem is not any one particular memo, of course. The problem is the mindset that created those memos, and I’ve yet to see any indication that people are working on fixing that mindset. This should alarm you, no matter where you stand on which status quo to disrupt: apparently just wanting to change it at all is enough to worry Homeland Security in the Obama era…
PS: Unlike Ed Morrissey I am not automatically upset at the rather gaping lack of any discussion of Islamist (or Muslim) extremists in the lexicon: I’ve read the introduction, and it suggests that there’s a separate report out there that specifically handles that issue. This would be logical, given that the threat from Islamist extremists to this country is greater than that of every domestic extremist group combined… but the longer it is before that report gets leaked, the worse PR it’s going to be for this administration.
Crossposted to RedState.
Those numbers above represent Favorable/Unfavorable/Don’t Know in the latest Rasmussen poll, and while Rasmussen itself notes that:
At the time President Obama nominated her for the Homeland Security post in early December, 43% had no opinion of her. Since that time, her favorable ratings have remained constant, but her negatives have increased. That’s fairly typical for politicians as they get better known.
…it’s still not what you would call ‘good’ news – at least, if you’re the sort of person who worries about whether people are still liking Secretary* Napolitano enough. For added amusement, check out this Hill article (“Napolitano splits the GOP“) and try to figure out, precisely, how the GOP has been ‘split’ on the Napolitano controversy…
PS: President Obama tapping Napolitano for Homeland Security probably ensured that the GOP kept the Arizona Senate seat in 2010 – but I never really thought that it might wreck her career, too…
*Have we come up with a way to easily distinguish between the Departments of Homeland Security and Health & Human Services? Are we calling the latter DHSS or HSS DHHS or HHS now? I should know this; really, I should.