A DHS official tells ABC News that the secretary met personally with Rehbein and issued a mea culpa. The official said Napolitano told Rehbein that "the report was poorly written. It didn't pass the standards of an internal review and therefore it shouldn't have gone out the door."When I first read of the report, my first reaction wasn't the outrage that many conservatives and veterans felt, though I certainly shared in that. I was wondering what possible use such a report sent out to police departments could be. It told them that there was a possibility of terrorism from right wing extremists.
When pressed about how such an oversight could have occurred, the senior DHS official said that because of the massive size of the department -- more than 220,000 employees -- "sometimes things slip through the cracks," and that new internal processes have now been put in place to make sure such a mistake doesn't happen again.
The report states that while DHS "has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence...rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues."What were they supposed to do with such a warning? Target right wingers and returning vets for observation? What police department has the manpower to do that or the ability to convince a judge that there is probable cause for warrants to further investigate such people? It seemed like a totally useless report. Now the DHS Secretary admits that it didn't pass muster with the internal processes to guard against such a mistake. It makes one wonder how many other useless reports that are of no help whatsoever in offering concrete guidance to police departments that DHS is churning out. And what else is slipping through the cracks there?
As Jennifer Rubin comments,
220,000 employees in one department? That’s twice the size of the IRS and bigger than the Marines. You may recall those who raised concerns about creating a mammoth department thought DHS would become unmanageable and make us less secure. We now have a bureaucracy so big that “things slip through the cracks.” We can hope that what’s slipping through is just sloppy paperwork, but one suspects the problem is not limited to an errant report.If you're concerned about the ability of DHS to maintain the country's security while also taking charge in cases of natural and health emergencies, never fear. The Obama administration wants to apply that special government touch to your health care.
The biggest problem for DHS then may not be that its secretary did not know how the 9-11 terrorists got into the country. It has become what its critics feared: a jumble of agencies too big to manage and too disorganized to effectively do its job.