Jim Kouri
Swine flu crisis: Secretary Napolitano lacks credibility
By Jim Kouri
April 28, 2009

While the World Health Organization raised its global alert level regarding swine flu, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano held a press conference to address the crisis within the United States.

Secretary Napolitano told reporters that the Obama Administration is reacting as if the swine flu outbreak is a full pandemic and that the President said the threat of spreading infections is cause for concern but "not a cause for alarm."

But not everyone is comfortable with having Secretary Napolitano designated as the leader in the current health crisis. Her past statements and actions give pause when she takes charge of any crisis, real or imagined.

More than one conservative congressman is concerned over the Homeland Security Secretary's brief track record. She has been involved in what must be characterized as controversy on more than one occasion.

First, during her testimony on Capitol Hill, Napolitano noticeably failed to use the words terrorist or radical Islam even once while testifying, in spite of the fact her very job was created as a result of terrorist attacks perpetrated by radical Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001.

The former Arizona governor has been slow to respond to the violence and chaos that exists at the US-Mexican border and continues to hesitate in dealing with an out-of-control immigration problem. Instead, Napolitano pointed to the US-Canadian border as cause for concern, going so far as to say the 9-11 terrorists entered the United States from Canada. Napolitano subsequently was forced to apologize to the Canadian government and had to correct her erroneous statement. The fact that the nation's top terrorism fighter didn't know from where the men — who committed the worst terrorist attack in US history — entered this nation did not instill must confidence in her knowledge and ability.

Then Secretary Napolitano's department released a report characterizing war veterans from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan as possible right-wing extremists. That same report also cast suspicion on American citizens who oppose abortion and gun control, or those who oppose the federal government's intrusion into the business of individual states or citizens.

Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) gave the following statement in response to ongoing controversy over the Department of Homeland Security's recent report on right-wing extremists and potential domestic terrorism, as well as Secretary Napolitano's failure to appropriately apologize for the offensive assertions made in the report:

"The outrageous, unsubstantiated, politically-loaded DHS report on 'Right-Wing Extremism,' shows a stunning lack of understanding of the real and imminent threats America is truly facing," said Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), who is a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, Military Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, Constitution Subcommittee, and is ranking member on the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.

"It is also a disgraceful insult to the true heroes of our country. If veterans, pro-life and states' rights advocates and those who seek to protect the Constitutional rights of themselves and their fellow Americans are at higher risk for becoming domestic terrorists, then over 80% of the people in my District can be categorized as a potential national security threat," said Rep. Franks.

Franks also noted that it would be very interesting to see what taxpayer-funded resources went into producing "this disgraceful report and what documents and evidence they are using to justify it."

Franks and other conservatives believe that using the vast and powerful resources of the Department of Homeland Security to target and ostracize political opposition, as it would appear is being done, sets an incredibly dangerous precedent and it's something America's federal government should have no part of.

Franks said, "The report claims the election of an "African American president" and the downturn in the economy has caused 'right-wing extremism' and could possibly even radicalize our veterans."

"To say that the noble and patriotic men and women who wear this nation's uniform and have laid their lives on the line to protect their country are now one of the greatest potential domestic security dangers to our country is so staggeringly irrational and insulting that I am unable to find the words to express it," he said.

Franks went on to say that both President Obama and Secretary Napolitano "owe it to our veterans and the rest of the American people to immediately and unequivocally disavow and repudiate the preposterous conclusions in this report, and they should also seriously consider firing those who wrote it."

Franks an other Americans believe that the President and Homeland Security Secretary have already waited far too long and the explanations and platitudes the American people have received thus far are understandably being perceived as half-hearted and insincere.

"Every day they continue to delay brings increasing encouragement and amusement to the real terrorist enemies of this nation," Franks concluded.

Napolitano's job performance caused Fox News Channel and syndicated radio talk show Glenn Beck to quip that so far Janet Napolitano hasn't characterized the Swine Flu as a "right-wing virus."

© Jim Kouri


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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