Homeland Security

Navy not being straight about new destroyer

In rolling out the first ship of the DDG-1000 Zumwalt-Class destroyer, the U.S. Navy has claimed repeatedly that the program is on time and on budget.  Unfortunately, this claim—which has been picked up by the mainstream media, including the Washington Post—is both misleading and disingenuous.

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Trying terrorist in civilian court is the right move

Earlier this week, Abu Anas al Libi, a 49-year-old Libyan accused of terrorism-related offenses against the United States, was arraigned in a federal court in New York. He was apprehended in Tripoli and held briefly on a Navy ship, where he was interrogated for intelligence gathering purposes, before being flown to the United States.  Although some in Congress insist that al Libi should have been transferred to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely without charge or trial, the Obama administration made the right call for our national security by transferring al Libi to a civilian court in New York.

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Tough love to restore privacy

It seems like every week we learn something new about the breadth and imperfections of the government’s domestic surveillance activity.  The constant stream of news paints a picture of seemingly rogue officials misrepresenting actions to their overseers in an effort to gain as much data and access to Americans’ digital communications as possible.

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Sequester's toll

My co-worker called last week to tell me he’s losing his house. He can’t make his mortgage payments anymore. Another coworker dropped by my office because she’s facing a decision between feeding her children and keeping a roof above their heads. These examples may seem extreme, but for the past sixth months, these desperate phone calls – the dire situations – have been my reality in the workplace.

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Terrorism risk insurance: A smart, fiscally responsible, and necessary plan

We will never forget the devastation and destruction that happened on September 11, 2001. That horrific day forever changed the way we as a nation think about terrorism, protect our homeland, and conduct our business. An important development in its aftermath was rethinking how we help ensure economic stability for our country and insure property that could be the target of a terrorist attack. This week, the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. We commend Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-texas) and the members of the Committee for taking this issue seriously. This piece of legislation is critical to the U.S. economy and failing to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act will have an adverse economic impact and hamper job creation.

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Patriot modernization -- we owe it to our warfighters

Over the last 60-plus years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has proven itself as a highly successful alliance. The alliance works because of the three fundamental principles - consensus, collaboration and interoperability.

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Medal of Honor

In a White House ceremony last week, President Obama presented a Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry to Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, the fifth living recipient awarded this honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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Government and defense firm collaborations pay off

Defense companies come in different shapes and sizes yet share a common commitment to protect the warfighter. While this commitment has remained firm through the years, the way to achieve it is changing. Political gridlock, constrained government spending, and increasingly sophisticated—and shifting—military threats have challenged traditional thinking. How the defense industry confronts this change will directly impact its ability to produce best-in-class solutions.

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The continuing Iranian threat in the Americas

Two weeks ago, in the U.S. House of Representatives, two important events took place.  First, in a strong, bipartisan vote of 400-20 the House voted to further apply sanctions on Iran in a bid to increase pressure on the regime amid its continued attempt to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.  Secondly, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, led by the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere which I chair, held a hearing on the recently released State Department Report on Iran’s activities in the Americas.

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