• Corrupt practices: U.S. visa-granting easily compromised

    While serving as a Foreign Service Officer in Guyana, Thomas Carroll sold visas to anyone who would pay, making millions of dollars in the process. Carroll’s scheme differed from the petty favors and kick-backs, which had typified FSO visa fraud in other embassies and consulates, mostly in scale. He took retail visa fraud and made it wholesale.

  • Jeh Johnson nominated to head DHS

    President Barak Obama will nominate former Pentagon official Jeh (pronounced “Jay”) Johnson as the next secretary of homeland security. Johnson, 56, is a graduate of Morehouse College and Columbia Law School. He is grandson of sociologist and Fisk University president Dr. Charles S. Johnson. From January 2009 to December 2012 he was General Counsel of the Department of Defense.

  • Paul Goldenberg appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council

    Paul G. Goldenberg, president of Hamilton, New Jersey-based Cardinal Point Strategies, was appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council to serve a 3-year term. Goldenberg has built a career as a criminal justice executive with experience in a variety of government and non-governmental organizations.

  • The side of Homeland Security you won't see on TV

    The way the Department of Homeland Security is often portrayed in popular culture — surveillance and secret agents — leaves out a crucial aspect of its role. It also works on technology to detect attacks as they are happening, and helps federal and local governments prepare for all kinds of disasters, from hurricanes to accidental chemical spills to anthrax attacks. Argonne Laboratory engineers contribute to this effort, helping local and state governments form emergency plans, run drills for a pandemic flu outbreak in the city of Chicago, and analyzed ways to enhance security at plants and factories across the country.

  • Improving resilience of DHS work force

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security should develop and promote a unified strategy and common vision to build and sustain work-force readiness and resilience across the entire agency, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. DHS expressed concern that it was not reaching the level of impact that it had hoped to achieve with its program to build resilience at the agency and asked the IOM to review its efforts, identify shortcomings, and provide recommendations for a five-year strategic plan.

  • New report highlights unfulfilled recommendation by 9/11 Commission

    New report says that failure to enact one of the key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission – consolidated congressional oversight of DHS – poses a risk to U.S. national security. “While the failure to reform DHS oversight may be invisible to the public, it is not without consequence or risk. Fragmented jurisdiction impedes DHS’ ability to deal with three major vulnerabilities: the threats posed by small aircraft and boats; cyberattacks; and biological weapons,” one of the report’s authors says.

  • Budget cuts force changes in CIA’s document declassification policy

    Sequestration-mandated budget cuts forced the CIA to close its Historical Collections Division office, which declassifies historical documents. Instead, the division’s responsibilities will be transferred to the office that handles Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “This is very unfortunate,” said Robert Jervis, a Columbia University professor who chairs the CIA’s Historical Review Panel. “There will be fewer releases. We shouldn’t fool ourselves.”

  • DHS employee’s Web site calls for race war, genocide of white people

    During the day, Ayo Kimathi works as a small business specialist at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dealing with companies which sell handcuffs, ammunition, guns, and other items for agents of the agency. Away from the office, Kimathi runs a Web site called War on the Horizon (WHO), where he says race war in the U.S. is imminent. He calls for the mass killing of whites, and the “ethnic cleaning” of “black-skinned Uncle Tom race traitors.” The latter group includes President Obama (“a treasonous mulatto scum dweller”), Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Rev. Al Sharpton, Lil Wayne, among others.

  • Muslim American groups launch campaign to block Kelly's nomination to DHS post

    Muslim-American groups have launched a campaign to block New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly from becoming DHS Secretary. American Muslims are uneasy with Kelly for what they regard as lack of sensitivity to Muslim concerns, and lack of judgment when it comes to dealing with Muslims. Civil rights advocacy groups and groups representing African American and Latino law enforcement officers have joined forces with the Muslim groups in the campaign against Kelly.

  • GOP lawmakers boycott DHS nominee hearing

    Senate Republicans boycotted a hearing last Thursday to consider President Obama’s nominee for deputy DHS secretary. Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Tom Carper (D-Delaware) refused a request by GOP lawmakers for a delay in the hearing because of concerns about Alejandro Mayorkas, the current head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. Mayorkas is under DHS IG investigation for authorizing an EB-5 investor visa to a Chinese businessman who was supposed to invest in a green-tech car company founded by Terry McAuliffe, the current Democratic candidate for the Virginia governorship, and represented by Anthony Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s brother. The visa application had been twice denied by USCIS before Mayorkas’s intervention.

  • DHS hobbled by vacancies at top positions

    Janet Napolitano’s departure from DHS has left the agency’s top spot open, but it is not the only position currently open. Fifteen top positions at the agency are now open, or will be in the near future. Some of these posts are filled on a temporary basis, including deputy secretary. Lawmakers are increasingly frustrated that the vacancies are not being filled, and want the Obama administration to move more energetically on the issue.

  • Candidate for DHS deputy secretary under IG investigation

    Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been named by the DHS Inspector General (IG) office as a target in an investigation of the foreign investor program run by the USCIS. Mayorkas is President Obama’s choice for the deputy secretary post at DHS. If Mayorkas is confirmed as deputy secretary, he would most likely serve as acting secretary of DHS until a full-time replacement for Janet Napolitano is confirmed.

  • Search begins for Napolitano’s successor

    DHS is the third-largest federal department, with a budget of $48 billion and a staff of more than 240,000. The names circulating as possible replacements for the departing Janet Napolitano include current and former lawmakers, police chiefs, and people with security experience.

  • Napolitano leaving DHS post

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano announced earlier today that she would be leaving her post in early September to become president of the University of California system. Napolitano served as DHS chief during a contentious and event-filled period which saw her department dealing with issues such as immigration, border security, the Boston bombing, Superstorm Sandy, and deadly tornadoes in the Midwest.

  • U.S. infrastructure grade raised from D to a D+, but problems loom

    The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in its just-released 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, gave the U.S. infrastructure an overall grade of D+, showing slight progress from the D in the last Report Card issued in 2009. The Report Card concludes that to raise the grades and get U.S. infrastructure to an acceptable level, a total investment of $3.6 trillion is needed by 2020. Currently, only about $2 trillion in infrastructure spending is projected, leaving a shortfall of approximately $1.6 trillion.