In a post-9/11 world, the two top concerns facing the Department of Homeland Security are cyber and aviation threats, said Secretary Janet Napolitano during a Monitor-sponsored breakfast.
Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's department has 240,000 employees; they're in every state and 75 countries. She was the guest at a March 26 Monitor Breakfast.
Controversy about the TSA's decision to allow small knives on planes:
"It is the right decision from a security standpoint. We're trying to prevent a bomb from getting on a plane.... Where we could have done better ... was a little more legislative and public outreach...."
Why she keeps other post-9/11 rules:
"The reality is the aviation threat has not gone away. When ... people say, 'What are the threats you are confronting?,' I always identify two – aviation and cyber. That is where we have seen operational activity. That is where we have seen pre-operational activity."
The state of border security:
"You can always go down to the [Mexican] border and find somebody who is unhappy.... What we are saying is that the border is more secure now than it has ever been....
Why she does not use e-mail in her job:
"I think e-mail just sucks up time. You are all nodding and laughing, but you know I speak truth."
What keeps her up at night:
"What occasionally keeps me up at night ... is what is out there that I don't know about – some operation that I haven't seen, some threat that hasn't become evident, some new mechanism or technique ... being used by cyber malefactors from around the world."
Talk she is considering a run for president:
"[That] would be the kind of thing that would keep me up at night, and I lose enough sleep as it is."