we detain terrorism suspects our top priority should be finding out what
intelligence they have that could prevent future attacks and save American
lives ...," Sen. John McCain told Sean Hannity on the radio early this evening. As if on cue, White House officials are circulating an excerpt from President Obama's remarks this morning which they say crystallizes his view on terrorism."
Finally, New Yorkers have reminded us once again of how to live with
their heads held high. We know that the aim of those who try to carry
out these attacks is to force us to live in fear, and thereby
amplifying the effects of their attacks -- even those that fail. But as
Americans, and as a nation, we will not be terrorized. We will not
cower in fear. We will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant. We will
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly are supposed to testify tomorrow before the government Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs committee on closing the terrorism gun loophole, but they also plan to press the case for funding Midtown Manhattan surveillance camera network. This debate has urgency now, but it goes way back ... back to the Homeland Security funding schema proposed by former Homeland Security chairman Michael Chertoff and then ratified by Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Harold Rogers of Kentucky. Basically, money was distributed to a lot of places where the risk of terrorism is low. (In 2050, they'll find DHS-stamped equipment in rural police headquarters and look at it the way we look at '60s-era bomb shelters. How quaint!)
Did the cameras in place help catch the Times Square bombing suspect? Eh. Would more cameras have helped? Prevented crime? Deterred it? The administration may agree to fund the system, but they're not entirely convinced the police science is all there.
There is more to this story. Did Faisal Shazad slip past TSA screening? (Well,yes and no. He was screened, but not stopped.)
In Congress, Senators Rockefeller and members of the Commerce committee introduced the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010. Tougher standards, higher civil penalties and a new Imminent Hazard authority would be created.
And Republicans coalesced around a financial regulatory reform strategy: they want to get the Shelby-Dodd amendment done and in place before they begin their filibuster attempt. That $50 billion bank disentangling fund is no more.
Tomorrow, FEMA chief Craig Fugate will speak to the FEMA Black Leadership Summit and "discuss ways FEMA is
working with leaders in the African-American community to engage the public and
encourage everyone to take steps to prepare for an emergency."
The White House approved tick-tock of President Obama includes a few interesting nuggets. The first interagency meeting was convened on Sunday at 3:00 pm ET by Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy Nicholas Rasmussen, a guy who works in the world of SAPs and shadows. Rarely is his name mentioned in official accounts. Following the meeting, the National Security Staff began to brief members of Congress. At 3:00 pm ET Monday, NCTC director Michael Leiter convened an interagency meeting; Obama was briefed at 5:00 pm ET, and asked questions that apparently required follow up action. At 10:50 pm ET, a bit before the capture, POTUS was briefed again and asked more questions and directed Brennan to do more things, including to offer assistance to the NYPD.