President Obama recently signed an Executive Order “Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council.” From the White House release:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government’s use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government’s ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined.
From the Department of Homeland Security: (emphasis added)
The Department of Homeland Security has established the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) to facilitate effective coordination between federal infrastructure protection programs with the infrastructure protection activities of the private sector and of state, local, territorial and tribal governments.
The CIPAC represents a partnership between government and critical infrastructure/key resource (CIKR) owners and operators and provides a forum in which they can engage in a broad spectrum of activities to support and coordinate critical infrastructure protection.
Whether this announcement would have received much media attention if the 24/7 media focus wasn’t on the presidential election is unknown, but my guess is, the October 26 release wouldn’t have been front page news, regardless of what else was going on.
From Kenneth Schortgen Jr., at The Examiner, some analysis: (emphasis added)
Since it’s creation in 2001 from the aftermath of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security has expanded its authority over states, communities, and law enforcement each year. From expanding TSA responsibilities over airport transportation to now include trains, subways, and even highway checkpoints, to new regulations in how border control agents function in immigration conflicts, Homeland Security is one of the fastest growing government agencies in the past decade.
Through creating a new Steering Committee in partnership with how Homeland Security missions, directives, and programs are implemented in state and local levels, the fine line between state sovereignty and the need protect the country from disaster and terror attacks is becoming smaller every day. Over the past few years Homeland Security grants to local law enforcement have led to a militarization of police and public safety, and new drone technology is being used in criminal investigations outside the scope of national security.
(Dept. of Homeland Security Logo via Dept. of Homeland Security</a)