Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 25, 2009
POLITICS/WAR: Not Even On The Agenda


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano avoids mention of terrorism or 9/11 in remarks prepared for her first congressional testimony since taking office, signaling a sharp change in tone from her predecessors.

Napolitano is the first homeland security secretary to drop the term "terror" and "vulnerability" from remarks prepared for delivery to the House Homeland Security Committee, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press.

Tom Ridge, who headed the agency when it was launched in 2003, mentioned terrorism 11 times in his prepared statement at his debut before the oversight committee in 2003. And in 2005 Michael Chertoff, the second secretary, mentioned terrorism seven times, according to an AP analysis of the prepared testimonies.

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, instead charts a course in very different terms than Chertoff, who used law enforcement and military jargon - "intelligence," "analysis," "mission" - to describe the agency's objectives.


Napolitano's prepared remarks also show her using the word "attacks" less than her predecessors. She is the first secretary to use a Capitol Hill debut to talk about hurricanes and disasters, a sign of the department's evolving mission following Hurricane Katrina.

Napolitano is not alone in her departure from terror talk.

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee doesn't mention terrorism or 9/11 in his prepared remarks for Wednesday's hearing either. Securing the borders, responding to natural disasters, ensuring transportation safety, protecting critical infrastructure and administering grants are the priorities, Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson says.

It's all too easy, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, to blame the somnolence of the Clinton Administration for allowing the terror threat to grow unchecked; the failures of the 1990s, after all, were pervasive, systemic and bipartisan, and they continued in the first nine months of the Bush Administration. But today's Democrats have no such excuse for lapsing back into complacency.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:19 AM | Politics 2009 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Lacking time to comment on your 10 points Crank I'll make one overall observation. The purpose of such speeches, including the opposition's, is to sell one's agenda. You may disagree with Obama's agenda but the reviews are in across the political spectrum; he slaughtered Jindal in accomplishing the sales pitch. Jindal needs a lot of work rhetorically, and he bit off more than he could chew if his goal was to position himself for 2012.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at February 25, 2009 12:44 PM

Jindal had all the gravitas and depth of Jiminy Cricket.

Posted by: jim at February 25, 2009 1:33 PM

Commenting on the topic of this post-the Democrats lost their memory of 9/11 awhile back. According to them, the terrorists only exist because of US policy. That if we change out policy, the terrorists will love us and stop trying to kill us. Also the Democrats felt that one the tha chosen one was elected, we would be loved again.

Gird your loins!

Posted by: Lee at February 25, 2009 3:11 PM

I can't say this often enough: Jindal's not running in 2012. He's running for re-election in November 2011, two months before the Iowa caucuses. Assuming he runs nationally, it will be 2016 or 2020, when he'll be about the age Obama is now.

Posted by: Crank at February 25, 2009 3:14 PM

Jindal: ""The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens."

He was talking about the reaction to Katrina. That's right folks, Sean Penn is now the poster boy for the GOP.
Good times.

Posted by: Berto at February 26, 2009 3:42 AM
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