Today, without explanation, Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned. I leave it to you to speculate why he might have done that.
Two points strike me as ironic. First, that the Chad Wolf was only the “acting” secretary, like so many others in the Trump administration. All the “best and brightest” jumped ship early when they smelled all the rats, and only sycophants took those jobs, often people who were not qualified and would not have made it through formal confirmation. That’s why I have been saying that we haven’t really had a government in the last few years. Today was the 642nd straight day of no confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security. This is by far the longest Cabinet vacancy ever in the history of the country. This is doubly ominous, considering that during those 642 days, the White House and the Senate were controlled by the Republican Party.
The second point is that the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to keep the homeland safe, right? What is more homeland than the U.S. Capitol?
After the attacks of 9/11, almost 20 years ago, we formed the Department of Homeland Security. It is now the third largest agency in the U.S. government, after Defense and Veterans Affairs. It has 240,000 employees.
In 2018, 777 million passengers were carried on U.S. airlines. In 2019, it was 925 million. So between 2001 and 2021, we carried about 15 billion passengers in U.S. airlines. And every one of those took off their shoes, because there was one shoe bomber that attempted to light his shoe with a match on an airplane. Because of that, 15 billion people took off their shoes at airport security stations over 20 years, due to the direction and regulation of the Department of Homeland Security.
However, we have one U.S. Capitol, where all our political assets get together and conduct the business of the people. If you have read the 1994 Tom Clancy book Debt of Honor, you will remember that Jack Ryan becomes President of the United States after an embittered Japan Airlines Pilot flies his Boeing 747 directly into the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, wiping out the entire government at once. I always suspected that the Osama bin Laden had read that book and got some of his ideas about 9/11 from it. After all, 9/11 happened 7 years after Debt of Honor was published. Also, you may have recently watched the more recent Netflix series Designated Survivor which starts on the same premise, an attack on the U.S. Capitol.
So there you have it: We created the Department of Homeland Security to keep the homeland safe, and while Trump is in office, the department is apparently hollowed out, has no confirmed leader, and is apparently AWOL during the only actual, physical, predictable, planned and publicized attack on the Capitol.
This must get investigated relentlessly, and people need to go to prison.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we should disband this behemoth agency that apparently does not accomplish much and start all over with appropriate counter terrorism initiatives. Obviously, we don’t need to worry about too many bin Ladens these days. We need to worry about bartenders in Nashville, unemployed welder/pipefitters in Seattle, ex-Air Force Lieutenant Colonels from Texas, and 34-year-old fathers of five children in Florida as the most series domestic terrorists.