DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano held a “Pen & Pad” availability for reporters and bloggers who cover the Homeland Security Department earlier today (video here). Napolitano previewed some international visits she is making to Europe and the Middle East and highlighted a couple of new DHS initiatives, including her new mission statement of “The Department’s Five Responsibilities.” I wrote about that earlier this month focusing in particular on the first Responsibility, “Protecting the American people from terrorist threats,” in which she asks “Americans to live in a constant state of readiness, not a constant state of fear.”
In the statement, she also underlines the public’s ‘responsibility’ in the enterprise as well (”Protecting the American people from terrorist threats is the founding principle of the Department and our highest priority. This is an effort where everyone-families and communities, first responders, the private sector, state and local governments, as well as the Department-must contribute.”)
In the earlier post, I wrote that I thought it was very good to see the Secretary highlight the citizen’s role in homeland security especially in the first of the Responsibilities, and that I expected she would be elaborating on the “constant readiness” theme in the future. So, as most of the half-hour “Pen & Pad” was dedicated to questions, I got on the queue to ask her about it. However, in the middle of the session, I along with a couple other participants were cut off from the conference line. It was suggested to me that I should just post the question(s):
“Secretary, in the first of the Five Responsibiliities, you ‘ask Americans to live in a constant state of readiness, not a constant state of fear.’Â Could you elaborate on that? Are we as Americans at that ’state of readiness’ (and not a ’state of fear’) yet? If not, how do we get there?