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Tag: Erroll Southers

Column: America Needs to Better Educate Citizens on Basic Counterterrorism

Erroll G. Southers is the Associate Director of the DHS National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) and adjunct professor of homeland security and public policy at the University of Southern California. He is also the Managing Director of Counter-Terrorism and Infrastructure Protection for the San Jose-based international security consulting firm TAL Global Corporation.

By Erroll Southers
Guest Contributor for Security DeBrief

QUIZ: Two crowded restaurants, each one in a different country; two unattended bags, each near the door of one of the restaurants. In one restaurant, patrons ignore the bag. In the other restaurant, a patron reports the bag to an employee. Name the location of each restaurant.

One such location could be the United States. In America, very little counter-terrorism education occurs and terrorism awareness is low.

The public is informed in a reactive, viral delivery, the result of the latest video terror threat or subsequent to the next thwarted plot (if we remain lucky). The current government’s messaging either scares people or tells them nothing. They need neither.

The other location could be the United Kingdom. There, the government, homeland security professionals, educators, and municipal leaders engage in a constant, intelligent awareness and action dialogue with their constituents. Citizens at all levels become better informed with the key element of societal resilience – meaningful information.

The point America has been missing is the engagement of its biggest and best resource: the public.

To read more click here.

President’s Picks to Run TSA Keep Imploding After Running into Controversies

tsa_logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The attempted bombing on Christmas Day in Detroit was a reminder of the importance of airport security and the need for someone to lead the Transportation Security Administration under the Obama administration.

Problem is, the last two Presidential nominees have imploded on the administration.

Washington Post reporter Robert O’Harrow Jr. reported that the latest pick, Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, withcrew his name on Friday.

The paper reported that Harding had become “a federal contractor in 2001 after serving at the highest levels of military intelligence” and withdrew his name after being repeatedly question about his contract activities and “The Washington Post raised questions with the White House on Friday about his disabilities status.”

The Post reported that the “firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a “service disabled veteran,” according to documents and interviews with government officials.”

The White House had hoped Harding would solve its dilemma when the last nominee, ex-FBI agent Erroll Southers withdrew after controversy surfaced about him giving conflicting accounts to Congress about him accessing a federal data base as an FBI agent to get info about his ex-wife’s lover more two decades ago.

To read more click here.

White House Tries Again to Get Someone to Head TSA

Airport crowdBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After the first nominee went down in flames, President Obama is once again trying to fill the top spot at the Transportation Security Administration, which watches over our airports.

The White House on Tuesday nominated Robert A. Harding, saying he has spent more than 35 years working in the intelligence community.

Most recently, he served as CEO of Harding Security Associates (HSA), which he founded in 2003 and sold in July 2009, the White House said.

The White House initially nominated former FBI agent Erroll Southers, but his nomination got embroiled in controversy on Capital Hill. He January he withdrew his name.

In a press release on Harding, the White House said: “Before entering the private sector, General Harding completed 33 years in the US Army, where he served in progressively challenging command and staff assignments. He retired as the Army’s Deputy G2 (Intelligence) in 2001.”

Read more »

TSA Nominee –Ex-FBI Agent Erroll Southers — Misled Congress About a 20-Year-Old Misdeed

tsa_logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The airline bombing incident in Detroit perhaps highlighted the importance of confirming a new director for the Transportation Security Administration, the front line agency responsible for airport security and passenger screening.

But things aren’t so simple here in Washington. First off, a Senator has been holding up the confirmation hearings for Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent, to head TSA, saying he wants to hear his views on TSA employees joining a union. The senator is against employees doing that.

Now the Washington Post’s Robert O’Harrow Jr. is reporting that Southers “gave Congress misleading information about incidents in which he inappropriately accessed a federal database, possibly in violation of privacy laws” while he was an FBI agent.

The Post reported that Southers described inconsistencies in his accounts to Congress on the 20-year-old incident as “inadvertent”.

To read the full Post story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Senator Holding Up Vote on TSA Director Who’s an Ex-FBI Agent

Sen. DeMint/gov photo

Sen. DeMint/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Here in the nation’s capital, there’s always someone willing to play politics, no matter the consequence.

In this case, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is holding up President Obama’s nomination of Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent, to head the Transportation Security Administration over a union issue, McClatchy newspapers reported.

The news organization reports that DeMint is holding up the confirmation to try and prevent TSA workers from joining a labor union. He feels such a move would interfer with the effectiveness of the organization and its ability to change rules quickly.

The news organization reported that he wants to hear testimony on Southers’ view on unionizing TSA before the matter gets voted on before the full Senate.

To read more click here.

President’s Nominee to Head TSA Was Censured as FBI Agent

tsa_logo

This probably won’t be enough to block his confirmation, but it certainly doesn’t help.

By Ed O’Keefe
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s nominee to lead the nation’s airport security officers received a censure from the FBI in 1988 after asking a San Diego police officer to run a background check on his ex-wife’s boyfriend.

Obama tapped Erroll Southers in September to serve as administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Southers is currently chief of homeland security and intelligence at the Los Angeles International Airport’s police department and associate director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events. He previously served as a homeland security adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.).

For Full Story