With the recent foiled car bomb plot in Wichita, Kansas, there can be no doubt that homeland security is a vital function for our nation.
So what does Jeh Johnson know about Homeland Security and by the way, who the heck is he? Glad you asked.
Well, as Fox News reports:
Democrats used their newly initiated lower threshold for defeating filibusters Monday to win Senate confirmation of President Obama’s nomination of former top Pentagon lawyer Jeh C. Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security. Until Democrats unilaterally changed the Senate’s filibuster threshold on presidential nominations, it would have taken 60 votes to clear Johnson for a final vote.
Per Fox News, here is a summary of Johnson’s background:
He was not particularly well known when his nomination was announced in October. A multimillionaire lawyer, he is a longtime supporter of Obama, donating more than $33,000 to his political campaigns over the years. He has moved in and out of public service throughout his career, serving as a lawyer in the private sector as well as a two-year stint in the U.S. attorney’s office in New York between 1989 and 1991 and as general counsel of the Department of the Air Force under President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001. He was the Defense Department’s general counsel until 2012, when he returned to private practice. During my tenure in Congress as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Mr. Johnson did testify before me and I found him capable in that position.
However, two Republican Senators offered their insights on the confirmation of Johnson as Homeland Secretary:
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., questioned Johnson’s experience for heading homeland security: “ I’m not saying he’s not a good man, but he’s not a good choice for this.”
On Friday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was also troubled because Johnson did not answer all of his questions about immigration policy during his confirmation process”.
One could certainly understand Tom Ridge and Janet Napolitano in that position as they were each former governors, but this selection is quite questionable and possibly of concern. I guess it’s not only ambassadorship you can buy, but also a cabinet position.
In complete disclosure, I will say I didn’t not feel we needed to create another government agency after 9-11. The typical response of federal government after a crisis? Make a new government agency.
I believe the US Department of Defense under the Command of USNORTHCOM (Northern Command) is the geographic combatant commander responsible for our homeland. There are undoubtedly civilian agencies which need coordination and synchronization, but we should have examined how we make our domestic security structure more effective and efficient and reduce seams and gaps which allow for exploitation.
Yes, I believe Customs and Border Patrol could be under the DoD but possess special arrest privileges. Our military cannot be used domestically because of posse comitatus. I remember being stationed at Ft. Riley and getting training in fire fighting as a contingency mission — that is a proper role to utilize active duty in support of domestic disaster relief operations, just as we deployed Marine Corps amphibious assets out of Camp Lejeune during Hurricane Dennis and Floyd.
I was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in their Future Operations section and that event exposed me to military support to civilian disaster support operations.
Of course the National Guard belongs to the governor of its respective state and its assets are at the immediate disposal of the governor’s guidance and direction in conjunction with the TAG (The Adjutant General).
So it is with that experience and background that I ask the question, what does Jeh Johnson know about Homeland Security?
By the way, in other confirmation news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the incarnation of political Beelzebub, took steps Monday night toward winning confirmation for nearly a dozen other Obama nominees before the Senate adjourns for the Christmas, including John Koskinen to head the Internal Revenue Service and Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman.
So get ready for those 16,000 new IRS agents who will enforce Obamacare individual tax mandates and the continuation of “quantitative easing”…er, printing — I pray not more than the $85 billion a month the Fed is already doing!