Campaign Promises

Departments -> Homeland Security

ItemHomeland Security
Border SecurityGrade
HS-1The Promise: "Support the virtual and physical infrastructure and manpower necessary to secure our borders and keep our nation safe."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Homeland Security dated 11/16/08.
Status:According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the USA was home to approximately 12M illegal immigrants as of CY2016. In CY2009, 132K of 392K illegal aliens apprehended were classified as "criminal aliens" by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and deported. In CY2016, 135K criminal aliens were apprehended and deported.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided $280M for technology improvements along the southern border, $420M for construction of Customs & Border Protection (CBP) facilities, and $1B for airport explosives detection systems.

The Total Budget Authority (TBA) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY2010 was $56.0B, a $3.3B increase over the FY2009 authorization (excluding $2.8B from the ARRA) and included $368M to support 20,000 CBP agents protecting 7,479 miles of U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, as well as the coastal waters around Florida and Puerto Rico. Under President Obama, the TBA for DHS had risen to $68.3B for FY2017.

Six (6) unarmed "Predator B" Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) provided border surveillance in the Southwest as of CY2016 with another three (3) operating along the border with Canada between Minnesota and the State of Washington. These are supplemented by eight (8) aerostats that form the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) to provide surveillance of the U.S./Mexico border, south Florida and Puerto Rico, as well as some 16,800 vehicles, 245 aircraft, 295 watercraft, and 300 camera towers.

On 05/25/10, President Obama ordered the deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops to the border under "Operation Phalanx." This broke down to 524 for Arizona, 250 for Texas, 224 for California, 72 for New Mexico, and 130 for Command and Control and other support functions. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report at that time, indicated that only 44% of the Southwest border (about 860 miles) was under the CBP's operational control. On 08/11/10, the Senate approved $600M for an additional 1,000 border agents, 250 CBP agents, and 250 ICE agents. President Obama signed this bill on 08/13/10, bringing the number of agents along the border with Mexico to 18,200.

FY2009 enacted authorizations were $11.30B plus $680M under the ARRA for the CBP and $6.03B plus $20M under the ARRA for ICE. The operational budget numbers under President Obama were as follows:


For Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure and Technology:

By end-CY2016, nearly 700 of the 1,969 mile border with Mexico had been fenced off. Recorded apprehensions accounted for about 80% of 500K suspected illegal crossings.

Manpower to enforce the nation's border security did not fare well under President Obama. CBP Agent staffing in CY2009 was 20,119 (17,408 for the Southwest Border, 1,887 for the Northern Border, and 223 for Coastal Border sectors). By end-CY2016, despite manpower increases in CY2010-CY2012, the total number of agents had dropped to 19,828 (17,026 Southwest, 2,059 Northern, and 211 for Coastal sectors). Total ICE personnel strength went up from about 12,500 in CY2009 to about 19,300 in CY2015.

As of end-CY2016, President Obama had delivered on his promise to "support" border security initiatives in terms of personnel, infrastructure and technology.

This promise was fulfilled.
Coast GuardGrade
HS-2The Promise: "...will increase investment in riverine craft and small coastal patrol craft, and ensure the maximum interoperability between the Navy and the Coast Guard."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Document "A 21st Century Military for America" dated 11/26/07.
Status:Although classified as one of the nation's armed forces, the homeland security aspect of the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) mission dictates that this promise be included under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

As of CY2009, 56% of the the USCG's mission performance was dedicated to Homeland Security, including 11% for illegal drug interdiction, 11% for the interdiction of illegal immigrants, and 8% for defense readiness. Non-Homeland Security missions included 14% for aids-to-navigation services, 13% for "living marine resources," 8% for search and rescue services, and 7% for marine safety services.

For years, U.S. Navy (USN) and USCG interoperability has been assured through joint exercises and operations as mandated by a Joint Navy/Coast Guard Policy Statement signed by the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Coast Guard, on 03/03/06. The objective of that statement was to implement the National Strategy for Maritime Security (NSMS). In 08/15, the USN Chief of Naval Operations and the USCG Commandant refined the implementation of the NSMS by signing the National Fleet Plan which articulates the joint interoperability objectives related to: integrated logistics; training; maritime security cooperation; command, control and communications systems; sensors; weapon systems; engineering systems; platforms; and intelligence and information integration.

The investment in riverine and small patrol craft falls under the purview of the USCG. In his FY2010 DHS budget submission, President Obama included $103M for 30 boats to replace the USCG's aging 41-foot utility boats and other non-standard boats.

The FY2011 budget submission included $45M for the design of a new Offshore Patrol Cutter to replace an aging fleet of cutters and patrol boats. The FY2012 request included $358M to construct six more Fast Response Cutters and $130M to acquire two more Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The FY2013 budget request included $658M to construct the 6th USCG National Security Cutter and $8M for the USCG to initiate acquisition of a new polar icebreaker to replace aging vessels.

This promise to increase investments in USCG assets to improve interoperability with the USN was fulfilled.
Cyber SecurityGrade
HS-3The Promise: "....will ensure that his administration develops a Cyber Security Strategy that ensures that we have the ability to identify our attackers and a plan for how to respond that will be measured but effective."
When/Where: Fact Sheet: Obama's New Plan to Confront 21st Century Threats, 07/16/08
Status:On 02/09/09, Obama ordered a 60-day intra-agency review to determine the USG's reactive posture toward cyber warfare. The resulting report was released on 05/29/09 by President Obama and is entitled "Cyberspace Policy Review - Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure."

One of the near-term goals articulated in the above document was: "Prepare for the President's approval an updated national strategy to secure the information and communications infrastructure."

On 05/16/11, the White House presented a set of cybersecurity policy proposals. According to President Obama, the initiative represented "not only a vision for the future of cyberspace but an agenda for realizing it." His "International Strategy for Cyberspace" reinforced the Administration's focus on cybersecurity and counter-censorship.

In 07/11, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its "Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace," making it clear that the Pentagon reserved the right to respond to foreign attacks on its cyber networks with military force. This provision was retained in the Pentagon's release of its "Cyberspace Policy Report" in mid-11/11. Further to that report, DoD released its specific five-point strategy to secure its cybersecurity initiatives on 04/17/15. That strategy was summarized as: (1) Build and maintain ready forces and capabilities to conduct cyberspace operations; (2) Defend the DoD information network, secure DoD data, and mitigate risks to DoD missions; (3) Be prepared to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. vital interests from disruptive or destructive cyberattacks of significant consequence; (4) Build and maintain viable cyber options and plan to use those options to control conflict escalation and to shape the conflict environment at all stages; and (5) Build and maintain robust international alliances and partnerships to deter shared threats and increase international security and stability.

After nearly a decade of partisan haggling, the "Cybersecurity Act of 2015" was signed into law on 12/18/15 as Division N of the FY2016 omnibus spending bill, the "Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016" (H.R. 2019). Less than a month later on 01/08/16, Congressman Amash Justin (R-MI) introduced H.R. 4350 entitled "To Repeal the Cybersecurity Act of 2015" which would delete Division N in its entirety. The premise for the repeal is that the "Cybersecurity Act of 2015" won't prevent cyber attacks, threatens personal privacy, and is considered by some to be illegitimate. This legislation expired with the 114th Congress at the end of CY2016.

Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed in 06/15 that over 21M personnel records had been hacked since 03/14. The fingerprints of 5.6M personnel were compromised in the process. In 02/16, the contact information of 20K FBI and 9K DHS personnel was made public by a hacker. Also in 02/16, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was hacked. Approximately 700K social security numbers were stolen, increasing identity theft risks for the owners of those social security numbers.

Nonetheless, a national Cyber Security Strategy was developed under President Obama.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-4The Promise: "Barack Obama will also initiate a grant and training program to provide federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies the tools they need to detect and prosecute cyber crime."
When/Where: Fact Sheet: Obama's New Plan to Confront 21st Century Threats, 07/16/08
Status:The Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) under which the proposed grant/training programs would be funded, was actually started in January 2008 during the President Bush administration, so the Obama Administration cannot lay claim to initiating these programs.

A review of the Department of Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), established in CY2003, reveals that funds from each of the HSGP State, Local, Tribal and Territorial (SLTT) grant components (i.e. State Homeland Security Program, Urban Areas Security Initiative, Metropolitan Medical Response System and Citizen Corps Program) can be used for SLTT cybersecurity programs.

Under President Obama, the Law Enforcement Cyber Center (LECC) was created on 05/18/15. The LECC enters into strategic partnerships with organizations that provide training, technical assistance, and other resources to law enforcement agencies and criminal justice practitioners to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and respond to cyber threats and cyber crimes. Organizations participating in the LECC on-line training mission include but are not limited to:
- FBI Cyber Shield Alliance - Virtual Academy Cyber Certification Program;
- National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C);
- Secret Service - National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI);
- Department of Homeland Security The Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE);
- Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3);
- Department of Justice, Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS);
- National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI);
- National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC); and
- Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL).

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-5The Promise: "The federal government must partner with industry and our citizens to secure personal data stored on government and private systems. An Obama administration will institute a common standard for securing such data across industries."
When/Where: Fact Sheet: Obama's New Plan to Confront 21st Century Threats, 07/16/08
Status:Throughout the Obama Administration, multiple bills were introduced in Congress that could have potentially addressed this promise. None of those bills passed both houses of Congress.

A small sampling of such bills:
- Data Accountability and Trust Act (H.R. 2221)
- PASS ID Act (S. 1261) "to amend Title II of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personally identifiable information."
- Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (S. 773)
- Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act of 2011 (S. 413)
- Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105)
- A new version of the "Cybersecurity Act of 2012" (S. 3414)
- Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2012 (H.R. 2096) to "advance cybersecurity research, development, and technical standards."

In 01/15, President Obama released draft language to Congress for the establishment of a national data security standard. His proposal was incorporated in the Senate's "Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015" (S. 177) and in the House's bill by the same title (H.R.1770). Neither of these bills were signed into law before the 114th Congress expired at the end of CY2016.

The "Cybersecurity Act of 2015" (S. 754) signed into law on 12/18/15 by President Obama as Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R. 2029), did not include provisions for the institution of a common standard for the protection of personal data "across industries."

Despite the efforts made by the Obama Administration to address cybersecurity matters and protect personal data, no legislation was signed into law to codify the promised "common standard."

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-6The Promise: "California and other states have laws requiring a company that may have disclosed a resident's personal information without authorization to inform the victim of the disclosure. Barack Obama believes that all Americans deserve the same right to know and will push for comparable federal legislation."
When/Where: Fact Sheet: Obama's New Plan to Confront 21st Century Threats, 07/16/08
Status:The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) was created in early-CY2011 under President Obama to improve the privacy, security and convenience of sensitive online transactions through collaborative efforts with the private sector, advocacy groups, government agencies, and other organizations.

The NSTIC was based on an online environment where individuals and organizations could trust each other because they mutually identify and authenticate their digital identities.

The "Identity Ecosystem," a less formal term for the NSTIC initiative will, when designed, developed and implemented, allow consumers to gain greater privacy and security protection from the innumerable companies that collect data on their web-surfing activities. Use of the future "Identity Ecosystem" will be voluntary.

But the thrust of this promise was to have laws in place at the national level that would require companies to notify consumers when their personal data has been disclosed to a third party. In the absence of national-level legislation and in view of the urgency associated with identity theft notifications, as of end-CY2016, residents of 47 states (less Alabama, New Mexico and South Dakota), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands can expect to be contacted by a business or bank should their personal data get lost or stolen.

Bills that, if combined, could have fulfilled this promise were routinely introduced during President Obama's two terms in office. The most recent bills include:
* Data Breach Notification and Punishing Cyber Criminals Act of 2015 (S. 1027), introduced by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) on 04/21/15, to require notification of information security breaches and to enhance penalties for cyber criminals.
* Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 (S. 177), introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) on 01/13/15, to protect consumers by requiring reasonable security policies and procedures to protect data containing personal information, and to provide for nationwide notice in the event of a breach of security.
* Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 (H.R. 1770), introduced by Congresswoman Marshaw Blackburn (R-TN) on 04/14/15, to require certain entities who collect and maintain personal information of individuals to secure such information and to provide notice to such individuals in the case of a breach of security involving such information.
* Personal Data Notification and Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1704), introduced by Congressman James Langevin (D-RI) on 03/26/15, to establish a national data breach notification standard.

None of the above bills were given a chance of being signed into law before the 114th Congress expired at the end of CY2016, according to Congressional activity monitoring web site

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-7The Promise: "...will work with industry to develop the systems necessary to protect our nation's trade secrets and our research and development."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Prevent Corporate Cyber-Espionage, undated.
Status:On 02/20/13, the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and Victoria Espinel, White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at the White House, released a document entitled "Administration Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets." Part of this strategy is to "promote voluntary best practices by private industry to protect trade secrets."

With support from a broad industry coalition of manufacturers such as the Boeing Company and General Electric, as well as organizations such as the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President Obama signed the "Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016" (S.1890) into law on 05/11/16.

This law provides federal jurisdiction over the theft of trade secrets. This means that U.S. companies and inventors whose trade secrets and intellectual property are proven to have been stolen by any means can seek monetary compensation for those losses in federal court.

Thus, a strategy is in place to address this promise, and some legislation is being enacted for that strategy to become a reality.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-8The Promise: "...will support an initiative to develop next-generation secure computers and networking for national security applications."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Initiate a Safe Computing R&D Effort and Harden our Nation's Cyber Infrastructure, undated.
Status:One day after he was sworn into his first term, President Obama released his strategy for cyber security. One of the goals of that strategy was to "develop next-generation secure computers and networking for national security applications," words identical to his promise of 10/17/08.

The term "national security application," by default, lent itself to the handling of classified information. This aspect gained prominence and heightened attention after the release of thousands of classified documents to the web site "Wikileaks" in CY2010.

The National Intelligence Programs (NIP), exclusive of military intelligence, were funded as follows under President Obama:
FY2013....$49.0B (Reduced from $52.6B under Sequestration)

While there is no other disclosure of currently classified NIP budget information because such disclosures could harm national security, one part of NIP's responsibilities is to "maintain the security of federal cyber networks." Further, the NIP budget supports the protection of the critical networks that facilitate Intelligence Community information sharing and operational requirements and accelerates various information protection and access-control mechanisms.

Under the NIP funding umbrella, the National Security Agency (NSA) manages a High Assurance Platform (HAP) Program, a multi-year program dedicated to develop a next generation secure computing systems to further improve protection for national security data, applications and networks. NSA conducts this effort in collaboration with industry, academia, and other government organizations.

Through President Obama's sustained funding requests for NIP and, by extension, NSA's HAP initiative, this promise was fulfilled.
HS-9The Promise: "...will shut down the mechanisms used to transmit criminal profits by shutting down untraceable Internet payment schemes."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Develop a Cyber Crime Strategy to Minimize the Opportunities for Criminal Profit, undated.
Status:On 02/09/09, President Obama ordered a 60-day review of the highly classified Comprehensive National Cyber Initiative (CNCI) established by the Bush Administration in 01/08. One of the objectives of the review reportedly included "shutting down untraceable Internet payment schemes."

In CY2011, the highly reputed cybersecurity firm "RSA" reported alarming trends in the effectiveness of such financial cybercrime trojans as "Zeus," "Spyeye," "Ice IX" and others. Their report also indicated that cybercriminals were successfully finding new ways to monetize non-financial data such as utility bills, medical records, gaming accounts and other sources.

As of end-CY2016, the following untraceable Internet payment schemes proliferated, any of which could be used to mask the transmission of criminal profits:
- DASH: A Bitcoin-based electronic currency focused on privacy. Anonymity is an option.
- CloakCoin: Every CloakCoin participant becomes part of a network, which increases anonymity
- ShadowCash: Decentralised cryptocurrency with the option of making anonymous payments.
- LEOCoin: This is a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system. The public ledger is encrypted. There have reportedly been substantiated scam accusations against the developers of this currency.
- AnonCoin: Anonymous cryptocurrency also anonymizes computer IPs when one connects to a client.
- Monero: An open source untraceable currency that uses peer-to-peer transactions and a distributed public ledger, receipts and money transfers remain private by default. Ring signatures add a degree of ambiguity to make it harder to link a transaction to an individual computer.
- BitcoinDark: Employing a unique approach to currency anonymity, BitcoinDark uses what they call "Teleport" to clone and exchange currency denominations.

The promise was not fulfilled.
HS-10The Promise: "...will work with the private sector to establish tough new standards for cyber security and physical resilience."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Protect the IT Infrastructure That Keeps America's Economy Safe, undated.
Status:On 02/12/13, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." At the same time, he issued Executive Order 13636, entitled "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity."

PPD-21 introduced three strategic imperatives designed to "drive the Federal approach to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience: (1) Refine and clarify functional relationships across the Federal Government to advance the national unity of effort to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience; (2) Enable effective information exchange by identifying baseline data and systems requirements for the Federal Government; and (3) Implement an integration and analysis function to inform planning and operations decisions regarding critical infrastructure." PPD-21 led to the release of The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2013) on 12/20/13, entitled "Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." This Plan outlined how government and private sector participants in the critical infrastructure community are to cooperate to manage risks and achieve security and resilience outcomes and meets the requirements of PPD-21.

NIPP 2013 represented an evolution from concepts introduced in the initial version of the NIPP released in CY2006 by the Bush Administration and updated in CY2009 by the Obama Administration. It was developed through a collaborative process involving stakeholders from all 16 critical infrastructure sectors, all 50 states, and from all levels of government and industry. It provides a clear call to action to leverage partnerships, innovate for risk management, and focus on outcomes by providing the foundation for an integrated and collaborative approach to achieve the vision of a "nation in which physical and cyber critical infrastructure remain secure and resilient, with vulnerabilities reduced, consequences minimized, threats identified and disrupted, and response and recovery hastened."

As to standards, NIPP 2013 included the following direction to the Department of National Security: "Develop interoperability standards to enable more efficient information exchange through defined data standards and requirements, to include: (1) a foundation for an information-sharing environment that has common data requirements and information flow and exchange across entities; and (2) sector-specific critical reporting criteria to allow for improved information flow and reporting to produce more complete and timely situational awareness for security and resilience."

The above requirements were codified in Section 208 of Division N (Cybersecurity Act of 2015) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R. 2029), which states in part that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, among other responsibilities: "provide information to the appropriate congressional committees on the feasibility of producing a risk-informed plan to address the risk of multiple simultaneous cyber incidents affecting critical infrastructure, including cyber incidents that may have a cascading effect on other critical infrastructure" and "...a report on cybersecurity vulnerabilities for the 10 United States ports that the Secretary determines are at greatest risk of a cybersecurity incident and provide recommendations to mitigate such vulnerabilities."

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-11The Promise: "...will strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and will harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Status:The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) was created in early-CY2011 under President Obama to improve the privacy, security and convenience of sensitive online transactions through collaborative efforts with the private sector, advocacy groups, government agencies, and other organizations.

The "Identity Ecosystem," a less formal term for the NSTIC initiative will, when fully implemented, allow consumers to gain greater privacy and security protection from the innumerable companies that collect data on their web surfing activities. Within the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group's Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF), the strategy states that " truly enhance privacy in the conduct of online transactions, the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) must be universally adopted and applied in the Identity Ecosystem. The FIPPs are the widely accepted framework of defining principles to be used in the evaluation and consideration of systems, processes, or programs that affect individual privacy." The strategy further states that "...organizations should be accountable for complying with these principles, providing training to all employees and contractors who use personally identifiable information (PII), and auditing the actual use of PII to demonstrate compliance with these principles and all applicable privacy protection requirements."

As of end-CY2016, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) continued to award grants to eligible applicants to pilot online identity solutions that embrace the IDEF...a work in progress but not yet institutionalized.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-12The Promise: "...will ensure resources reach the communities that need it..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Status:Since Hurricane Katrina in 08/05, which killed more than 1,800 people, uprooted over 1M Gulf Coast residents, and left 80% of New Orleans submerged, the $143B government reconstruction effort has fixed 220 miles of levees and floodwalls, rebuilt hundreds of public facilities, reconstructed miles of roads and bridges, and provided money to tens of thousands of residents to help them get on with their lives.

The white, middle-class, insured population has benefited from the government's $8.6B "Roads Home" program to get back into their homes and resume their lives.

For the black, low-income, uninsured segment of the New Orleans population, the story is different. Black storm victims, largely renters without insurance or homeowners without insurance, did not qualify for grants to repair storm damage. Those whose homes suffered wind damage but did not have wind insurance were also denied assistance.

The result is that only about 80% of the New Orleans city population has returned, leaving many traditional black neighborhoods looking as they did immediately after Hurricane Katrina. For example, as of end-CY2016, many of those neighborhoods, like the Lower Ninth Ward, are blighted by block after block of damaged homes abandoned by their owners.

With few exceptions, resources did not reach those who needed them the most -- the Gulf Coast black, uninsured, low-income community. As quoted in an article by Ben Casselman on web site "" on 08/24/15, Beverly Wright, a Dillard University sociologist, stated that "the black middle class has been completely ignored and overlooked in this whole recovery, period. We've just been left to languish."

New Orleans' black middle class was further decimated after Hurricane Katrina by the decision to fire over 4,000 teachers as part of a post-storm "school reform" effort that converted most of the city's public schools to charter schools. This school reform came at the expense of poor and disadvantaged children, who were either "counseled out" of the educational system or simply disappeared when their families moved elsewhere. During President Obama's two terms in office, resources were not provided to mitigate this negative evolution.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-13The Promise: "...will streamline the application process so that communities feel that FEMA is a partner in reconstruction, not an opponent."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Status:In 07/10, severe storms devastated large segments of Milwaukee, Waukesha and Grant counties in Wisconsin. On 08/11/10, President Obama signed a major disaster area declaration for those parts of Wisconsin struck by tornados and flooding.

In Milwaukee County where flood damage was estimated at $50M, 95% of homes have basements where furnaces, washers and dryers are located. It is the flooding of these basements, many of which are used as living quarters, that rendered homes uninhabitable. FEMA immediately rejected requests for individual, family and business disaster relief assistance. FEMA's position was that assistance priority was granted to residential first floors and above. To Wisconsin residents, regardless of any improvements made to the application process, FEMA was an opponent. The benefits of a streamlined application process were considered questionable at best, if one whose property was devastated could not apply for those benefits.

In 10/12, Hurricane Sandy caused severe property destruction along the eastern seaboard of the USA, especially in the states of New York and New Jersey. Years later, on 04/28/16, several former FEMA insurance claim reviewers submitted affidavits and one came forward to publicly state that claims reviewers were instructed by FEMA to deny or underpay claims exceeding pre-set dollar ranges when deciding the level of compensation for Superstorm Sandy victims, regardless of data contained in damage reports. Reportedly, those dollar ranges were set by a software program. If a reviewer recommended that FEMA pay more on a claim than the programmed threshold predicted by the software, FEMA systematically disapproved the recommendation and ordered the reviewers to change their estimates. Again, FEMA came across as the opponent. This scenario led Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) to call for a congressional hearing on the matter as well as the resignation of FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-14The Promise: "...will further improve coordination between all levels of government, create better evacuation plan guidelines, ensure prompt federal assistance to emergency zones, and increase medical surge capacity."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity", dated 09/11/08.
Status:The National Incident Management System (NIMS) exists under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) management so that (according to a FEMA website) "departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector can work together to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity..."

President Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive #8 (PPD-8) entitled "National Preparedness" on 03/30/11. This PPD required the DHS to submit to him a "National Preparedness Goal" by 10/01/11. This goal document, coordinated with other federal departments/agencies and based on inputs from state, local, tribal and territorial governments, private and nonprofit partners and the general public was released on 10/07/11.

PPD-8 also required the submission to the President of a description of a new "National Preparedness System" by 12/01/11. In 11/11, DHS unveiled the framework for the new system and on 05/07/12 released its first "National Preparedness Report" tied to the five principal mission areas outlined in the National Preparedness Goal: prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery.

This promise was fulfilled.
Guantanamo Bay Detention FacilityGrade
HS-15The Promise: "As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07
Status:In an attempt to deliver on this promise, Obama signed an Executive Order on 01/22/09 ordering that the Guantanamo facility be closed within a year. A few months later on 05/19/09, Senate Democrats rejected Obama's request for $80 million in funding for this promised closure. The main sticking point: absence of a detailed plan on where to send the detainees. In the words of Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): "We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States."

Despite the Senate leader's position at the time, the House voted on 10/15/09 to allow select foreign terrorism suspects from the Guantanamo Bay prison into the United States to face trial. Likewise, the Senate voted 79 to 19 on 10/20/09 in favor of transferring terrorist suspects to the United States for trial.

On 11/17/09, the Senate voted in favor of using defense spending bill funds to build or modify prisons in the United States to hold detainees from Guantanamo Bay. An underused facility in Thomson, Illinois was being considered to house about 100 of the Guantanamo detainees.

President Obama acknowledged on 11/18/09 that while progress was being made on this promise, he would not be able to keep it by 01/22/10.

The FY2011 Defense Authorization Bill imposed restrictions on U.S. action on Guantanamo detainees, including provisions that made it difficult for the Obama Administration to resettle or repatriate detainees abroad.

Further, President Obama formally capitulated on this promise on 03/07/11 by issuing a written statement to the effect that military commission trials would resume at Guantanamo, ending the ban he imposed the day he was inaugurated for his first term in office.

As of end-CY2016, 41 individuals remained incarcerated at the Guantanamo Detention Facility. Since it opened in 01/02, a total of 779 individuals have been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay as of end-CY2016.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-16The Promise: "Obama strongly supports bipartisan efforts to restore habeas rights. He firmly believes that those who pose a danger to this country should be swiftly tried and brought to justice, but those who do not should have sufficient due process to ensure that we are not wrongfully denying them their liberty."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07
Status:Habeas Corpus is a writ (court order) which directs law enforcement officials who have custody of a prisoner to appear in court with that prisoner to help a judge determine whether the prisoner is lawfully in prison or jail. It is a protection against illegal confinement when due process has been denied as could be the case with some Guantanamo detainees.

Under U.S. Supreme Court case Boumediene v. Bush of CY2008, it was established that Guantanamo detainees have a right to habeas corpus and are able to bring their petitions to U.S courts. It was also ruled that Guantanamo detainees are entitled to the legal protections of the U.S. Constitution and that the Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantanamo would be inadequate.

Of the 41 prisoners held at Guantanamo as of endCY2016, 21 had lost their habeas corpus petitions challenging their detention.

Under the Obama Administration, 32 detainees were held for indefinite detention without charge or trial. President Obama's toleration of the continued imprisonment without charges of these 32 individuals, some of whom were reportedly not involved in military operations, runs counter to his promise to reverse the wrongful imprisonments he repeatedly blamed on the Bush Administration during his first campaign for the presidency.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-17The Promise: "...will reject the Military Commissions Act, which allowed the U.S. to circumvent Geneva Conventions in the handling of detainees."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07.
Status:Military commissions are courts established by military commanders to try persons accused of crimes allegedly committed during war. These commissions may also try persons accused of committing ordinary crimes during periods of martial law or military occupation, when regular civil courts are either nonexistent or unable to function. The first military commissions were established by a military order issued by President Bush on 11/13/01.

On President Obama's first Inauguration Day, 01/21/09, federal prosecutors were directed to file a motion seeking to suspend legal proceedings against detainees at Guantanamo. One day later, he signed Executive Order (EO) 13492 entitled "Closure Of Guantanamo Detention Facilities." That EO stated in part "...that all proceedings of such military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgment has been rendered, and all proceedings pending in the United States Court of Military Commission Review, are halted."

Undeterred by the above EO, the House passed a bill (HR 2647) on 10/09/09 that created the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2009. That bill, an integral part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 (S. 1391) (P.L. 111-84) was signed into law by President Obama on 10/28/09. It limited the use of hearsay or coerced evidence, provided greater access to witnesses and evidence, but still denied Guantanamo detainees due process required by the U.S. Constitution and Geneva Conventions. While that law was an improvement over the MCA of 2006 (H.R. 6166), it contained no outright rejection of the provisions of that Act. In fact, Section 948b(f) under Chapter 47A specifically states that "no alien unprivileged enemy belligerent subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a basis for a private right of action." The term "unprivileged enemy belligerent" was defined in the Act as an individual who "(A) has engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; (B) has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or (C) is a member of Al Qaeda." A "privileged belligerent," on the other hand, is defined as an individual belonging to one of the eight categories of prisoners listed in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

On President Obama's watch, seven (7) prisoners at Guantanamo were tried and convicted by military commissions between CY2009 and CY2014. As of end-CY2016, three (3) of the convicted prisoners remained at Guantanamo and the trial of seven (7) additional prisoners by military commissions was ongoing. Among those: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who allegedly masterminded the 9/11/01 attacks on the USA and four of his co-conspirators, as well as Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri who allegedly organized the attack on the USS Cole in CY2000.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-18The Promise: "He will develop a fair and thorough process based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice to distinguish between those prisoners who should be prosecuted for their crimes, those who can't be prosecuted but who can be held in a manner consistent with the laws of war, and those who should be released or transferred to their home countries."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need To Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:On 05/22/09, President Obama addressed the nation and discussed a plan dividing Guantanamo prisoners into five categories:
1. Those who have violated American criminal laws are to be tried in U.S. federal courts.
2. Those who violated laws of war are to be tried under the Military Commission system.
3. Those who have been released by the courts.
4. Those who can be transferred safely to another country.
5. Those who cannot be prosecuted but pose a clear danger to the American people and who may be held indefinitely.

Except for #1 above, there are no provisions of the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice that are directly applicable to items #2 thru #5.

The Military Commissions Act of 2009, an integral part of the National Defense Authoration Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama on 10/28/09, still denied Guantanamo detainees the due process required by the U.S. Constitution and Geneva Conventions. As of end-CY2016, it was still considered substandard, offering only a second class system of justice for 41 detainees remaining at Guantanamo.

This promise was not fulfilled.
Homeland Security GeneralGrade
HS-19The Promise: "...the President and Congress should direct our precious homeland security dollars according to risk, not as a form of general revenue sharing."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07.
Status:There is specific mention of "risk" in the President's FY2010 Homeland Security budget proposal such as the following entry: "Risk-based exercise assistance grants will assist state, local and tribal partners in offsetting costs of critical homeland security activities...".

In the FY2011 budget proposal for Homeland Security: "...funding of $1.1 billion for the Urban Area Security Initiative will direct resources to the metropolitan vicinities with the highest threats based on a risk management methodology."

From the FY2012 Homeland Security budget proposal: "...the Budget proposes the elimination of six stove-piped and duplicative stand-alone grant programs, consolidating them into broader State or local grants that are awarded based on risk."

Examples in the FY2016 DHS budget state in part: (1) "The Budget enables TSA to maintain its steadfast focus on maturing into a high-performing counterterrorism organization that applies intelligence-driven, risk-based security (RBS) principles across all operations." (2) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) strengthens communities' resilience to disasters through risk analysis, risk reduction, and risk insurance.

There are numerous other references substantiating the view that taxpayer dollars were being appropriated and spent largely based on the implementation of risk management practices by DHS.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-20The Promise: "...will develop a meaningful critical infrastructure protection plan across the nation..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07.
Status:The CY2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) superceded the CY2006 version and met the requirements set forth in Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection".

On 02/12/13, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." At the same time, he issued Executive Order 13636, entitled "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity."

PPD-21 articulated the following strategic imperative designed to "drive the Federal approach to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience:...Refine and clarify functional relationships across the Federal Government to advance the national unity of effort to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience."

PPD-21 led to the release of an updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2013) on 12/20/13, entitled "Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." This Plan outlined how government and private sector participants in the critical infrastructure community are to cooperate to manage risks and achieve security and resilience outcomes.

NIPP 2013 provides the overarching approach for integrating the nation's many Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) protection initiatives into a single national effort.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-21The Promise: "...will work with the private sector to ensure that all real targets are prepared for disasters both natural and man-made."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07.
Status:This promise was made in reference to the ineffectiveness of the National Asset Database (NADB) which contained information on over 77,000 individual assets ranging from dams, hazardous materials sites and nuclear power plants to local festivals and sporting goods stores. According to a 07/16/07 Congressional Research Service report to Congress, the database was reportedly being used inappropriately as the basis upon which federal resources, including infrastructure protection grants, were being allocated.

Efforts to revamp the NADB and morph it into a new "Infrastructure Information Collection Program- IICP" were addressed in the updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2009), released to the public on 06/28/10. The IICP would have a repository that contained quantitative, asset-specific risk data for the assets within the 17 critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) sectors.

NIPP 2009 addressed a "common plan and unifying structure for the government and private sector to prevent, deter, neutralize, or mitigate deliberate attempts to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit critical infrastructure and key resources." These are words from the original Bush Administration NIPP of CY2006. What was new in the Obama Administration update to NIPP 2006 was a focus on the preparedness of: chemical facilities; sports arenas and stadiums; "soft targets" such as retail and lodging facilities; critical manufacturing sector; attention to the resilience and preparedness of dams; levee security; and nuclear facilities.

On 02/12/13, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." PPD-21 led to the release of The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2013) on 12/20/13, entitled "Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." NIPP 2013 was developed, in part, through a collaborative process that included the active participation of private industry; public and private sector owners and operators; state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies; non-governmental organizations; and other entities/government agencies.

NIPP 2013 made no mention of either the IICP or the CIKR sectors, but nonetheless updated the listing of facilities/targets to be protected from natural and man-made disasters. These include: chemical facilities; commercial facilities; communications; critical manufacturing; dams; defense industrial base; emergency services; energy sector; financial services; food and agriculture; government facilities; health care and public health; information technology; nuclear reactors, materials, and waste; transportation systems; and water and wastewater systems.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-22The Promise: "I'll give an annual 'State of the World' address to the American people in which I lay out our national security policy."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech entitled "A New Beginning," Chicago, IL, 10/02/07.
Status:By law, the President must deliver an annual "State of the Union" address to a joint session of Congress and to the American people. A "State of the World" address on national security policy is not mandated by law.

After two terms in office, President Obama failed to live up to this "annual" address promise.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-23The Promise: "Obama is committed ... to increasing federal resources and logistic support to local emergency planning efforts."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:Under President Obama, the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) annual allocations focused predominantly on three areas to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other threats:
(1) State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based State Homeland Security Strategies to address capability targets. States are required to dedicate 25% of SHSP funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
(2) Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 29 high-threat, high-density areas. States and Urban Areas are required to dedicate 25% of UASI funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
(3) Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

Here's how the three grant programs fared while President Obama was in office. It should be noted that Operation Stonegarden was not funded until FY2010 and that the Citizen Corps Program (CCP) and Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) were no longer funded as grant programs within HSGP after FY2011. Starting with the last budget signed by President Bush (FY2009) as a comparative baseline (in $million):

Except for the short-lived and relatively minor uptick noted for FY2010, when viewed against the baseline established under his predecessor's presidency, a sustained increase in federal resources (i.e. funding) did not occur during President Obama's tenure.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-24The Promise: "...will create a National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve that would be funded by private insurers contributing a portion of the premiums they collect from policyholders...With this program in place, disaster victims would no longer have to depend solely on taxpayerfunded federal disaster aid loans."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Status:When President Obama assumed office in CY2009, insurers were not allowed the option of establishing tax-deferred, pre-event reserves to fund catastrophe losses. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) prohibited the use of catastrophe reserves for future events. U.S. companies were only permitted to set aside loss reserves for events that had already occurred. State regulators generally endorsed the idea of letting insurers set up catastrophe reserves, but accounting and tax provisions to make it worthwhile to insurers had not been enacted.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), insurance companies should be allowed to set aside, on an objective formulaic basis, some portion of the premiums paid by the policyholders into a reserve for future catastrophic events. This ability would require a modification of the U.S. Tax Code to allow insurers to establish pre-event reserves on a tax-deferred basis.

Initiatives in this direction had been introduced during the George W. Bush Administration by Representatives Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) on 01/04/07 under the Homeowners Insurance Protection Act of 2007 (H.R. 91). This was a comprehensive catastrophic insurance bill that would have established a federal reinsurance catastrophic fund as a federal backstop for future natural disasters. The bill called for all cost savings achieved through the legislation to be passed along to the consumer, and not kept as corporate profits.

Additionally, the Section 9 of H.R. 91 created Catastrophic Capital Reserve Funds; essentially tax deferred savings accounts that could be used by private insurance companies to help offset the costs of catastrophic events. Nothing happened with this bill.

During the Obama Administration, the CY2007 bill was again introduced by Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL) on 01/14/13 as the Homeowners Insurance Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 240). It contained the same Section 9 (Catastrophic Capital Reserve Funds) with the same provisions as H.R. 91 of seven years prior. This bill did not go far and died when the 113th Congress expired at the end of CY2014.

As of end-CY2016, there was no known "National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve."

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-25The Promise: "Even though recent attacks have happened on public transit in Madrid, Mumbai and London, the Bush administration has invested only a small fraction of the $6 billion that transportation officials have said is necessary to implement needed security improvements. Barack Obama believes that this critical hole in our homeland security network must be addressed."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 02/08.
Status:The Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) was funded at the level of $348.6M in FY2009 under the President George W. Bush Administration. The trend during subsequent years under President Obama was as follows:

Other funds to ensure transit security and made available predominantly through grant programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security are as follows: Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR); Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG); Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP); Port Security Grant Program (PSGP); Freight Rail Security Grant Program (FRSGP); Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP); Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP); and National Special Security Event (NSSE) Grant Program. Combined, the level of funding for these grant programs under President Obama was as follows (not all of the programs identified above were funded each year):

The combined total of the above two listings amounts to $5.215B, short of the $6B stated in this promise as the goal to be met to meet the nation's transit security needs.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-26The Promise: "Protect our Energy Infrastructure...will prioritize security investments in our refineries and pipelines and power grids."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:ELECTRICITY GRID: The nation's electricity grid can be disrupted for prolonged periods by a number of man-caused events, like physical assaults, power surges, cyber warfare, or high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) caused by the detonation of a nuclear weapon outside the atmosphere above the United States. Such events could disable or destroy key parts of the power grid, prompting the cascading collapse of every one of the other critical infrastructures that assure the availability of water, food, medicine, finance, transportation, telecommunications, etc.

President Obama recognized the need for additional funds to ensure power grid security. Page 24 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 authorizes $4.5B " modernize the electric grid to include demand responsive equipment, enhance security..."

On 03/26/14, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced the "Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense (GRID) Act" (H.R. 4298). This bill sought to amend the Federal Power Act to protect the bulk-power system and electric infrastructure critical to the defense of the USA against cybersecurity, physical, and other threats and vulnerabilities. Electric utilities opposed the GRID Act. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) said the bill would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) too much power over utilities. This bill died when the 113th Congress expired at the end of CY2014.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced the "Terrorism Prevention and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2015" (H.R. 85) on 01/06/15. This bill would codify the objective of Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience" signed by President Obama on 02/12/13. Enhanced electricity grid security measures are addressed in H.R. 85, which has not progressed beyond initial committee review as of 11/16. This bill expire with the 114th Congress at the end of CY2016.

PIPELINES: President Obama addressed the need to improve security of the nation's 2.6M miles of pipelines by proposing to support "a more robust, rigorous, and data-driven pipeline safety program to ensure the highest level of safety for America's pipeline system" in his FY2013 and FY2014 budget proposals.

Under the aegis of his FY2014 and FY2015 budget proposals, President Obama announced the creation of a "Pipeline Safety Reform (PSR) initiative" for a three-year program to increase pipeline inspection personnel, modernize pipeline data collection and analysis, and improve federal investigation of pipeline accidents.

On 06/22/16, President Obama signed the "Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016 (S. 2276) to renew the federal government's pipeline safety program and give regulators new emergency authorities. This bill reauthorized the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) oil and gas pipeline programs through FY2019.

REFINERIES: On 12/19/2014, President Obama signed the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015" (H.R. 4681). An integral part of that bill (Section 326) requires the Department of Homeland Security to conduct an intelligence assessment of the security of domestic oil refineries and related rail transportation, submitting to appropriate intelligence committees within 180 days from the Act's signature (1) the results of the assessment; and (2) any recommendations with respect to intelligence sharing or intelligence collection to improve the security of domestic oil refineries and related rail transportation infrastructure to protect the communities surrounding such refineries or such infrastructure from potential harm.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-27The Promise: "We have to put resources where our infrastructure is most vulnerable. That means tough and permanent standards for securing our chemical plants."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech entitled "The War We Need to Win", Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., dated 08/01/07.
Status:On 12/18/14, President Obama signed into law the "Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014" (the "CFATS Act of 2014"), which recodified and reauthorized the CFATS program through CY2018 for the nation's 4,569 chemical facilities regulated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Initially authorized by Congress in CY2007, the program uses a dynamic multi-tiered risk assessment process and requires facilities identified as high-risk to meet and maintain performance-based security standards appropriate to the facilities and the risks they pose. DHS chemical security inspectors work in all 50 states to help ensure facilities have security measures in place to meet CFATS requirements.

DHS has a chemical plant ranking system from 1 through 4 where 1 is the highest risk and 4 is the lowest. The new bill established an "Expedited Approval Program," which could allow chemical facilities in Tiers 3 and 4 to move to an approved Site Security Plan (SSP) more quickly.

Based on current DHS documentation, "performance standards are particularly appropriate in a security context because they provide individual facilities the flexibility to address their unique security challenges. Using performance standards rather than prescriptive standards also helps to increase the overall security of the sector by varying the security practices used by different chemical facilities. Security measures that differ from facility to facility mean that each presents a new and unique problem for an adversary to solve."

The risk-based performance standards established by DHS and to be met by chemical facilities pertain to: (1) Restricted-Area Perimeter; (2) Secure Site Assets; (3) Screen and Control Access; (4) Deter, Detect, and Delay; (5) Shipping, Receipt, and Storage; (6) Theft and Diversion; (7) Sabotage; (8) Cyber; (9) Response (10) Monitoring; (11) Training; (12) Personnel Surety; (13) Elevated Threats; (14) Specific Threats, Vulnerabilities, or Risks; (15) Report of Significant Security Incidents; (16) Significant Security Incidents; (17) Officials and Organizations; and (18) Records.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-28The Promise: "...will fight for greater information-sharing between national intelligence agents and local officials and provide local law enforcement agencies with the everyday tools they need to protect their transportation systems."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 02/08.
Status:On 08/18/10, President Obama issued Executive Order 13549 entitled "Classified National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal and Private Sector (SLTPS) Entities." This order established an SLTPS Policy Advisory Committee to "recommend changes to policies and procedures that are designed to remove undue impediments to the sharing of information..."

Prior to CY2010, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) analysts had to manually search for and integrate information from multiple DHS and Intelligence Community (IC) databases. In CY2012, the creation of a new Counterterrorism Data Layer (CTDL) automated this process in a single data collection environment.

In addition, DHS introduced a pilot intelligence information networking and collaboration tool called "Homeland Space" (HSpace) in 03/12 to support analysts in the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information environment.

On 02/10/15, the White House announced the formation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC). Operating under the Office of the DNI, the CTIIC works like the NCTC to amalgamate threat information in a single place and disseminate it to those who need it, including law enforcement. The CTIIC is not an intelligence gathering institution. Rather, it serves to analyze, integrate and share intelligence information already collected. Much of this sharing is done through Fusion Centers found in each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The above reflects improvement of intelligence information sharing, not only between federal agencies/departments, but also at the local law enforcement level to protect all aspects of American life, including the country's transportation systems.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-29The Promise: "...will work to ensure intellectual property is protected in foreign markets, and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Status:On 06/22/10, the Director of Homeland Security and Vice President Biden announced the Administration's Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property (IPR) Enforcement, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). This is a multi-agency effort (Commerce, Agriculture, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and others) to enhance intellectual property protection by strengthening efforts to combat civil and criminal violations of trademark and copyright infringement.

The plan calls for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) to serve as the focal point to bring the efforts of the following contributing organizations under one roof: the departments listed above, ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the GSA Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, and the Government of Mexico Tax and Revenue Service.

In the first half of CY2010 alone, the IPR Center's efforts reportedly resulted in 166 criminal arrests, 56 indictments, 34 convictions, and 1,078 seizures valued at more than $358M.

On 05/11/11, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and others introduced the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) (S. 968) to prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property. On the House side, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and others introduced the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) on 10/26/11 to combat the theft of copyrighted intellectual property. Both PIPA and SOPA received pushback from search engine advocates, as they were perceived as a form of censorship of internet content that could negatively affect social networks and other legitimate sites. Consequently both bills were shelved on 01/20/12 and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

On 10/01/11, the United States signed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreements (ACTA) along with 22 European Union (EU) member states. This resulted in widespread protests across Europe. Chapter 2 of the ACTA spells out the conditions under which signatories agree to enforce intellectual property rights. The full European Parliament voted on the issue on 07/04/12 and declined consent to ACTA, essentially rejecting it. The reasoning for this rejection was that ACTA was intended, among other things, to cover infringements of copyright through internet use.

Once ACTA has been ratified by six signatories, its implementation will take effect. As of end-CY2016, it had only been ratified by Japan and was therefore not in force.

Regardless of the above contretemps related to ACTA, this promise was fulfilled.
HS-30The Promise: "...we'll crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants..."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala, Washington, D.C., dated 09/10/08.
Status:As of 07/09/09, as reported in the Washington Post, President Obama appeared to be abandoning a campaign promise to "crack down" on employers who hire illegal (undocumented) immigrants. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), instead, would focus on federal contract employers who hired approximately 4M illegal immigrants, while the majority of such people (another 7-8M) did not work under federal contracts. Illegals working as household help, in the nation's "strawberry patches", etc. would be given a pass.

On 08/18/11, DHS Secretary Napolitano voiced support for the institution of what appeared to be, in the words of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a "backdoor amnesty" whereby the cases of approximately 300K illegal immigrants (except the most hardened criminals or those who posed a security risk) would be reviewed and reprieves from deportation granted for those who arrived in the USA as children, or who served in the U.S. military.

On 08/31/11, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced that illegal immigrants, once in the USA, have all the workplace rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens and legal immigrants -- notably the right to lodge complaints without fear of being fired or deported. This appeared to be in contravention of Department of Labor (DOL) policies that direct U.S. employers to first seek the certification of foreign nationals through the DOL. The employer then had to petition the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services for work visas for those non-U.S. workers. Applicants had to establish that they were admissible to the U.S. under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). What Secretary Solis advocated, based on agreements reached with countries such as Mexico, is that it was OK for illegal immigrants to work in the USA. If they filed grievances against their employers with the DOL, they would receive full protections equal to those afforded to U.S. citizens.

On 06/15/12, Secretary Napolitano announced that as many as 800K illegal immigrants who were brought to the USA as children and who had never committed a crime would be issued work permits. By implementing these actions at the executive and not the legislative level, according to some members of Congress, the Obama Administration usurped Congress' authority by implementing its own amnesty program.

By implementing the above tactic effective 08/15/12, the Obama Administration created a significant incentive for foreigners to enter the USA illegally. In the longer term, their offspring would be granted an amnesty if they were brought to the USA before their 16th birthday, were younger than 31 years old on 06/15/12, had not been charged with any crimes, had graduated from a U.S. high school or equivalent, or had served in the U.S. armed forces. Upon payment of a $465 application fee, these offsprings of illegal immigrants would receive a two-year deferment from deportation proceedings. During that timeframe, eligible offspring could apply for work permits. Their parents, however, were permitted to continue working in the USA illegally as undocumented immigrants.

In CY2014, out of 554K employers participating in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) E-Verify system to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees, only 2,022 audits were initiated and only 172 employers were arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency for criminal violations related to the knowing employment of aliens not authorized to work in the USA. This is reflective of 'business as usual' rather than a 'crack down'.

The official numerical pattern of illegal immigrants in the USA during President Obama's presidency was as follows:
CY2009 - 10.8M
CY2010 - 11.6M
CY2011 - 11.5M
CY2012 - 11.4M
CY2013 - 11.3M
CY2014 - 11.3M
CY2015 - 11.9M
CY2016 - 11.3M

At best, these numbers are "guesstimates," given that illegal aliens tend to hide or to deny their real status to government officials (i.e. USCIS, DHS, Census Bureau) or to the respected Pew Research Center. The actual number, according to some sources, is between 15M and 20M.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-31The Promise: "...Support a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan on Immigration, dated 09/06/08.
Status:President Obama did not address immigration reform in CY2009, preferring to focus on health care reform, financial regulations reform, cap-and-trade, and other priorities.

On 03/18/10, Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Graham (R-SC) released an outline of a bill that encouraged President Obama to proclaim that he would "do everything in my power" to get immigration reform legislation moving in Congress during CY2010.

On 12/18/10, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S.3992) was killed from further consideration by the 111th Congress when the Senate failed to attain the 60-vote majority needed for further advancement of the bill. This proposed act would have granted legal status to young people who entered the USA illegally as children and who agreed to either go to college or join the military -- if they do not have a criminal record and meet other eligibility critera.

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act (S. 952) on 05/11/11. On the House side, Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA) also reintroduced the DREAM Act (H.R. 1842) on the same date. Neither bill progressed beyond the initial committee phase as of end-CY2012 and prospects for any version of the DREAM Act becoming law during President Obama's terms in office died with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

Undeterred, the Obama Administration issued a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy memorandum, announced to the public by President Obama on 06/15/12. DACA grants deferred deportation to people under age 31 who came to the USA under age 16 before CY2007 and met other criteria. Upon paying a $465 application fee and producing supporting documents, qualified applicants were allowed to be in the USA legally for a period of two years, after which the DACA protection could be renewed for another $465. Some Republican lawmakers denounced DACA as an abuse of executive power.

On 11/20/14, the White House announced a new executive action expanding DACA to include undocumented immigrants who entered the country before CY2010 (vice CY2007), eliminate the requirement that applicants be younger than 31 years old, and lengthen the renewable deferral period from two to three years. That executive action also created a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program to provide qualified individuals the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and obtain a work authorization for three years at a time. DAPA required individuals to register, submit biometric data, pass background checks, pay fees, and show that their child was born prior to 11/14.

An injunction against DACA and DAPA was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on 02/16/16. By a 4-4 split decision on 06/23/16, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld the Texas court's decision and blocked President Obama's executive actions on DACA and DAPA. These legal decisions did not affect the original DACA of 06/12.

As of end-CY2016, more than 787K undocumented immigrants had benefited from DACA protection. Qualified illegals continued to request an initial grant of DACA or renew their quasi-legal status. DACA participants are not considered "citizens," nor has a clear path to citizenship been established for them nor, by some accounts, for the 11M and possibly up to 20M illegal immigrants in the USA.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-32The Promise: "...will do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08.
Status:Unemployment in Mexico reached a high of 5.93% in 05/09, and decreased to 4.1% by 09/16. Unemployment is not considered to be a principal factor driving illegal immigration. Rather, the average income for Mexicans in CY2015 was about $14,800 compared with an average income of $58,700 in the USA during the same year.

The Obama Administration sought only $3M for the State Department's Economic Support Fund (ESF) for Mexico in FY2010. Wiser heads in Congress prevailed and the authorized amount for FY2010 was boosted to $9M for grants in economic and social aid. For subsequent years, the ESF for Mexico was appropriated as follows:
FY2011 - $18.0M
FY2012 - $33.3M
FY2013 - $32.1M
FY2014 - $35.0M ($11.8M was designated for Global Climate Change (GCC) programs)
FY2015 - $33.6M ($12.5 million was designated for GCC programs)
FY2016 - $39.0M
FY2017 - $40.9M

Of course, the ESF is not the only source of assistance to Mexico. The above was recorded solely to illustrate that the amount of ESF accorded to Mexico on an annual basis is negligible. When viewed in the context of Mexico's high drug-trafficking crime rate, its poor human rights adherence record, its paltry wage structure and other national issues, it's no surprise that the "grass looks greener" across Mexico's northern border.

Sweetening the illegal immigration pot, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced on 08/31/11 that illegal immigrants from countries like Mexico, once in the USA, have all the workplace rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. Consequently, Mexicans managing to sneak into the USA and finding a job enjoyed all the workplace rights afforded to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants under prevailing laws.

Further, DHS Secretary Napolitano announced on 06/15/12 that as many as 800K illegal immigrants who were brought to the USA as children and had never committed a crime would be issued work permits.

The foregoing decisions were interpreted by Mexicans and others transiting Mexico as incentives for entry by any means, legal or otherwise, into the USA.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-33The Promise: "What I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year, an immigration bill that I strongly support."
When/Where: Candidate Obama interview with Jorge Ramos, dated 05/28/08,
Status:Despite lots of pressure from southern border states, President Obama was ineffective in pushing for an immigration reform bill during his two terms in office.

Out of frustration, on 04/23/10, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a state law banning illegal immigration to protect Arizona's citizens against trans-border drug related violence. Careful scrutiny of this law revealed that it mirrored federal immigration laws and, specifically, prohibited any form of racial profiling.

The legality of the Arizona bill was challenged by the Obama Administration. Its position was that immigration reform must be accomplished at the federal level. To that end, on 07/28/10 Judge Susan Bolton (a federal judge for the U.S. District Court of Arizona appointed in CY2000 by President Bill Clinton) blocked the most controversial sections of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect. On 04/11/11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that Judge Bolton acted lawfully when she blocked provisions of the Arizona law that would, among other things, have required police to check immigration status if they stopped someone while enforcing other laws. On 06/25/12, the Supreme Court ruled that this provision of the Arizona law was permissible under the Constitution but struck down three other provisions. Those provisions had made it a crime for immigrants to seek employment without work permits, made the non-carrying of immigration papers a crime by those who actually possess such documentation, and allowed law enforcement personnel to arrest anyone suspected of having committed a deportable offense.

Other states such as Utah, Georgia and Alabama introduced their own versions of laws designed to crack down on illegal immigration. These too were challenged by advocacy groups because they were considered unconstitutional and, in the case of Alabama, racist. Federal Judge Sharon Blackburn temporarily blocked enforcement of Alabama's immigration law (Act 2011-535) on 08/29/11 but on 09/28/11 ruled that key provisions of the law such as permitting the verification of student immigrant status would be upheld.

On 12/18/10, the Senate killed the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S.3992/H.R. 1751) which would have been a critical first step toward immigration reform. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act (S. 952) on 05/11/11. Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA) also reintroduced a House version of the DREAM Act (H.R. 1842) on the same date. Neither bill progressed beyond the initial committee review phase and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

On 08/18/11, DHS Secretary Napolitano voiced support for the institution of what appeared to be, in the words of Governor Jan Brewer, a "backdoor amnesty" whereby the cases of approximately 300K illegal immigrants would be reviewed and reprieves from deportation granted for those who arrived in the USA as children or served in the U.S. military. The guidelines to be followed consisted of 19 factors, some of which were identical to the provisions of the defeated DREAM Act. By launching this initiative, the Obama Administration essentially usurped Congress' authority by implementing its own amnesty program without benefit of the promised immigration reform bill.

Two viable immigration reform bills were in play in the 112th Congress. Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2064 on 05/31/11 to amend the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996" while Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011" (S. 1258). Both bills did not progress beyond initial committee reviews as of end-CY2012 and expired with the 112th Congress. Because the Administration decided to circumvent Congress by initiating what looks like an amnesty program for just about any illegal immigrant (except for convicted felons) without a supporting law in 08/11, Republicans in Congress denied consideration of any further immigration reform legislation during President Obama's two terms in office.

On 06/15/12, Secretary Napolitano announced that as many as 800K illegal immigrants who were brought to the USA as children and have never committed a crime would be granted a two-year deportation deferral if they applied (at a cost of $465) for such reprieves under the Obama Administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. See Promise HS-31 for details on DACA.

As of end-CY2016, the nation still awaited the promised immigration bill.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-34The Promise: "Revise the PATRIOT avoid jeopardizing the rights and ideals of all Americans..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:Under Section 215 of the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001" (H.R. 3162) signed into law by President George W. Bush on 10/26/01 in reaction to the terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland on 09/11/01, the FBI could secretly conduct a physical search or wiretap of American citizens to obtain evidence of crime without proving probable cause as stipulated in the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Another problem with Section 215 was that a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wiretapping order application could be approved "ex parte," meaning that the authorization could be granted in the absence of and without representation or notification of the party being investigated. The rationale for this provision was that involving the other party could potentially jeopardize the investigation. In 03/07, a Justice Department audit found that the FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the PATRIOT Act to secretly obtain personal information about U.S. citizens.

Stating "I think it is an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," President Obama signed a four-year extension of the PATRIOT Act into law on 05/26/11. Section 215 was left intact, thereby authorizing the continued conduct of roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

On 06/02/15, President Obama not only revised but replaced many tenets of the PATRIOT Act by signing the "USA Freedom Act" (H.R. 2048) into law. This law amended Section 215, essentially prohibiting the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI from continuing the practice of collecting massive amounts of wiretapped telephone data (metadata). Instead, phone companies retain the data and the NSA and FBI can obtain information about targeted individuals from those phone companies if requested from a federal court by the Director of the FBI, a designee of the Director whose rank shall be no lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge of a Bureau field office. That official must certify that the absence of a prohibition of disclosure could result in (1) a danger to the national security of the United States; (2) interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation; (3) interference with diplomatic relations; or (4) danger to the life or physical safety of any person.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-35The Promise: "As president, Obama would update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional intelligence committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:On 06/15/12, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the "FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012" (H.R. 5949) to extend the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 for five years. President Obama signed this bill into law on 12/30/12.

H.R. 5949 would have been a perfect opportunity to address any loopholes in the FISA that permit government entities to monitor the communications of American citizens without warrant or any other lawful authorization. But these loopholes were not addressed in the above bill.

On 06/02/15, President Obama signed the "USA Freedom Act" (H.R. 2048) into law. Title IV of the USA Freedom Act (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Reforms) directed the appointment of an "Amicus Curiae" (an impartial adviser to a court of law including the U.S. Supreme Court). An Amicus Curiae appointed under this Act serves to provide "...expertise in privacy and civil liberties, intelligence collection, communications technology, or any other area that may lend legal or technical expertise to a court..." By signing H.R. 2048 with its Title IV as written, President Obama improved accountability and oversight of FISA-related matters.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-36The Promise: "As president, Barack Obama would revisit the PATRIOT Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:The three extensions to the Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT) Act of 2001 signed by President Obama (02/27/10, 02/27/11, 05/26/11) kept it essentially intact. These periodic extensions were required to keep in check roving wiretaps, access to business records, and surveillance of non-American "lone wolf" suspects lacking confirmed ties to terrorist organizations.

National Security Letters (NSLs). These are administrative subpoenas used by the FBI, CIA, DIA and other intelligence agencies. They required no probable cause or judicial oversight and are used to request transactional records, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Gag orders preventing the recipient of an NSL from disclosing the NSL's existence were ruled unconstitutional against 1st Amendment (free speech) rights in CY2008. The ruling also mandated semi-annual reporting to Congress on the use of NSLs.

Title V of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring (USA FREEDOM) Act (H.R. 2048) signed into law by President Obama on 06/02/15, reformed provisions of the PATRIOT Act pertaining to NSLs. Specifically, the reform extended the ban on bulk collection, except by way of application based on a "specific selection term" (specifically identifies a person, account, address, or personal device in a way that limits the scope of tangible things sought consistent with the purpose for seeking the tangible things) to various provisions in the U.S. Code that would otherwise permit the FBI to issue the bulk collection of NSLs. As of end-CY2016, many of the controversial NSL provisions from the PATRIOT Act remain in place and the FBI continues to issue thousands of NSLs every year.

"Sneak and Peak" search provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act allowed intelligence agencies to delay notification of the execution of search warrants to recipients of those warrants. These "sneak and peak" provisions were struck down on 09/26/07 after an Oregon circuit court found them to be in violation of the provisions of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibits unreasonable searches. However, when the PATRIOT Act was reauthorized in 02/11, the "sneak and peak" provisions were retained but notification of the execution of search warrants was changed to occur not more than 30 days after such execution. There was no specific oversight connected to this change.

Improved oversight of NSLs pre-dated President Obama's presidency. "Sneak and peak" oversight under the USA FREEDOM Act appears limited to the original provisions of that PATRIOT Act (Section 502 of Public Law 107-56) wherein the Attorney General must report activities under the Act to the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence and Judiciary Committees on a semiannual basis.

As of end-CY2016, there was no specific "material witness" provision in the USA FREEDOM Act, therefore no "oversight" of such a provision is addressed therein.

No NSL or "sneak and peak" oversight improvements can be attributed directly to President Obama. "Material witness provisions" date back to the First Judiciary Act of 1789, as amended by the Bail Reform Act of 1984. Consequently "material witness provisions" were not included in the original PATRIOT Act and therefore did not require the related PATRIOT Act oversight improvements promised by President Obama.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-37The Promise: "I will address the problem in our prisons, where the most disaffected and disconnected Americans are being explicitly targeted for conversion by al Qaeda and its ideological allies."
When/Where: Candidate Obama Speech at the Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., dated 08/01/07.
Status:Approximately 15% of the U.S. prison population is comprised of Muslim inmates. Prisons are known to be fertile grounds for converting Muslim and other inmates to a radicalized form of Islam. In recent years, radical Muslim chaplains are believed to have monopolized Islamic religious activities in U.S. state, federal, and city prisons and jails. When Muslim prisoners are released from incarceration, they are reportedly strongly encouraged to contact specific Islamic communities and mosques, where they can continue their Islamic jihad training. These training camps are known as "Muslims of the Americas" (MOA) compounds.

A direct link between Al Qaeda and/or its ideological allies and U.S. federal or state prisons is known to exist, according to a former New York State Department of Correctional Services official testifying before a Congressional Homeland Security Committee hearing led by Representative Peter King (R-NY) on 06/15/11. That official testified that "individuals and groups that subscribe to radical Islamic ideology have made sustained efforts to target inmates for indoctrination." There have been many similar hearings in Congress. The trouble with these hearings is that little-to-nothing was done to resolve the issue...with one recent exception.

On 12/17/15, Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN) introduced the "Prevent Terrorism from Entering our Prisons Act of 2015" (H.R. 4285) to require the screening of volunteers at federal prisons for terrorist links. This bill was given a 1% chance (by website of being signed into law before the 114th Congress expires at the end of CY2016.

After President Obama assumed the presidency in CY2009, the FBI was directed to remove all references to Islam or jihad from its training materials. Agents are even prohibited from vocalizing those terms. Further, the FBI's CY2013 "National Domestic Threat Assessment" made no mention of Islam in any form.

As of end-CY2016, there was no evidence that the Obama Administration took any special steps to thwart the influence that Al Qaeda operatives and their ideological allies such as members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were believed to have inside U.S. prisons.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-38The Promise: "Chemical plants are potential terrorist targets because they are often located near cities, are relatively easy to attack, and contain multi-ton quantities of hazardous chemicals...Obama will establish a clear set of federal regulations that all plants must follow, including improving barriers, containment, mitigation, and safety training..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), enforced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) came into effect on 06/08/07 with Appendix A for Chemicals of Interest (COI) revisions that became effective on 11/20/07. The resulting Interim Final Rule (IFR) became codified under Title 6, Part 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and introduced a uniform process for assessing our nation's chemical facilities against Risk-Based Performance Standards.

To implement CFATS, DHS devised a Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) so that nearly 50K organizations that manufacture, use, store or distribute any COI can register in the system's on-line "Top Screen" process, except for organizations governed under the Maritime Transportation Security Act.

Upon reviewing "Top Screen" entries, organizations are ranked according to 4 tiers, with the highest being Tier 1 for companies possessing the highest risk. Upon receiving their initial tier notification, organizations complete a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) so that DHS can conduct further assessments and assign a final tier classification.

Companies then prepare a Site Security Plan (SSP) documenting how they will satisfy the 18 standards identified in the IFR. Upon approval of the SSP by DHS, DHS issues an operating permit to the organization and thereafter conducts periodic site audits and inspections.

On 12/18/14, President Obama signed into law the "Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014" (the "CFATS Act of 2014"), which recodified and reauthorized the CFATS program through CY2018 for the nation's 4,569 chemical facilities regulated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Initially authorized by Congress in CY2007, the program uses a dynamic multi-tiered risk assessment process and requires facilities identified as high-risk to meet and maintain performance-based security standards appropriate to the facilities and the risks they pose. DHS chemical security inspectors work in all 50 states to help ensure facilities have security measures in place to meet CFATS requirements.

Further to the above, the DHS has routinely published updates to regulations contained in Title 6, Part 27 of the CFR, addressing the basic tenets of this promise.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-39The Promise: "...will expand the U.S. government's bioforensics program for tracking the source of any biological weapon so that the U.S. will be able to rapidly identify any adversary who uses a biological weapon and respond surely and swiftly."
When/Where: Fact Sheet: Obama's New Plan to Confront 21st Century Threats, 07/16/08
Status:The nation's bioforensics capabilities were expanded by the opening of the Department of Homeland Security's Directorate for Science and Technology's $143M National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Fort Detrick, MD in 03/09. NBACC's mission is to provide the scientific basis for the characterization of biological threats and bioforensic analysis to support attribution of their planned or actual use. NBACC components include the National Bioforensic Analysis Center (NBFAC) and the National Biological Threat Characterization Center (NBTCC). Its core competencies include: Aerobiology; Biocontainment Operations; Bioforensics; Genomics and Bioinformatics; and broad capabilities in Bacteriology, Virology, and Toxinology Operations.

Although the contractor-operated NBACC was planned and funded long before President Obama entered presidential politics in 02/07, where President Obama comes into the picture is the extent to which he has supported the NBACC's 150 employees and their work. The financial crisis of CY2008 caused the NBACC's budget to be reduced from $32.9M in FY2009 to $30.0M in FY2010. For the following years, NBACC's budget authority was steadily increased as follows:

In 09/15, the Obama Administration provided additional NBACC funding in the form of a 10-year, $481M contract to Battelle National Laboratories.

As of end-CY2016, funding for a new $1.25B National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) has included federal, state and City of Manhattan, KS contributions. With the final federal commitment of $300M in FY2015 for a total of $938M in federal appropriations, NBAF laboratory facilities construction is well under way for completion in 12/20 and an anticipated Initial Operating Capability in 05/21. The NBAF will replace the antiquated Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York State.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-40The Promise: "Fully implement the Lugar-Obama legislation to help our allies detect and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Secure Nuclear Weapons Materials in Four Years and End Nuclear Smuggling, undated.
Status:The "Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act" was introduced by U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to expand U.S. cooperation to destroy conventional weapons stockpiles and to expand the State Department's ability to detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction worldwide.

The basic provisions of the Lugar-Obama Initiative were incorporated in the "Department of State Authorities Act of 2006" (H.R. 6060) signed into law by President George W. Bush on 01/11/07.

The Lugar-Obama Initiative strengthened the ability of America's allies to detect and interdict illegal shipments of weapons and materials before these nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction reached terrorists.

Since becoming President, Obama has gone several steps further than those mandated by the Lugar-Obama initiative of CY2007. For example, his FY2011 budget proposal for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for preventing proliferation was $2.7B, a 25.8% increase over FY2010. Highlights of this proposal were: (1) $590M for International Nuclear Materials Protection and Cooperation, including $265 for Second Line of Defense and Megaports programs; (2) $558.8 (up 67%) for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative to secure vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials; (3) $1B to work with Russia to permanently eliminate 68 metric tons of surplus weapons plutonium; (4) $351.5M (up 11%) for nonproliferation-related research and development; and (5) $155M to strengthen global nuclear safeguards and nuclear controls to verify arms control agreements.

It should be noted, however, that on 12/16/14, largely due to increased diplomatic hostilities between the USA and Russia fed by Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea in 03/14, Russia informed the Obama Administration that they were cancelling previous agreements whereby they would accept U.S. assistance in protecting their stockpiles of about 700 metric tons of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium and 130 metric tons of military-grade plutonium from being stolen or sold on the black market.

Nonetheless, this promise was fulfilled.
HS-41The Promise: "...if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden."
When/Where: Second Presidential Debate, Nashville, TN, 10/02/08
Status:Osama bin Laden was eliminated by U.S. Navy SEALS Team Six on 05/02/11.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-42The Promise: "We will crush al-Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority."
When/Where: Second Presidential Debate, Nashville, TN, 10/02/08
Status:The elimination of the titular head of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, on 05/02/11 was not viewed as the crushing of Al-Queda as a terrorist organization.

When Al-Qaeda emerged as a radically ideological organization, it was known to have four main branches: Al-Qaeda Central (Pakistan), Al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQIM) in North Africa, and Al-Qaeda in the Land of Two Rivers - Iraq (AQIZ).

Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's principal deputy and chief strategist was confirmed as bin Laden's successor on 06/16/11.

Jihadist terrorism is believed to extend far beyond Al-Qaeda. Countries like Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have done their best to neutralize jihadist franchise groups, but these groups simply relocate and re-affirm their intent to destroy the United States and its allies. Taking advantage of the turbulence created by pro-democracy movements in Yemen during most of CY2011 and CY2012, for example, AQAP seized significant amounts of land and power around Zinjibar and other areas of southern Yemen.

Neutralizing Al-Qaeda on a worldwide basis would go a long way toward ensuring the security of the United States and the rest of the world. But we have seen no progress on a global scale under Obama Administration leadership or influence to "crush" this organization. Rather, Al-Qaeda as an organization has survived Osama bin Laden's elimination, the elimination of AQAP's radical Yemeni-American cleric leader Anwar Al-Awlaki, and the elimination of Al-Qaeda's #2, Abu Yahya al-Libi.

In fact, more than three years into President Obama's first term in office, the State Department released its "Country Reports on Terrorism 2011" on 07/31/12 that reflected the growing strength of Al-Qaeda affiliates AQAP, AQIM and AQIZ and the expansion of Al-Qaeda resources in countries such as Syria -- largely due to increased funding assistance for training from Iran.

As of the start of President Obama's second term in office, the Al-Qaeda core group led by Ayman al-Zawahiri continued to operate in the Pakistani-Afghani theater.
- AQIM was operating in Algeria and Mali, bringing their threat closer to Europe. French forces tried to neutralize this threat with limited U.S. assistance.
- AQIZ was reportedly stronger than it was when U.S. troops disbanded from Iraq. They are reportedly effective in both Iraq and Syria.
- AQAP was still effective as a terrorist force.
- AQIS (Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent) - This was a new Al-Qaeda element, the formation of which was announced by leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in CY2014. AQIS was believed to be headquartered in Pakistan with an operational responsibility that included Pakistan, India and the rest of southern Asia.

The closure of 22 U.S. Embassies/Consulates in the Middle East on 08/04/13 in reaction to a specific and credible Al-Qaeda threat was further proof that the Obama Administration was unable to "crush" that terrorist organization. In 01/14, two key cities in Iraq's Anbar Province (Fallujah and Ramadi), fell to Al-Qaeda militants.

In sum, as of end-CY2016, AQAP, AQIM, AQIZ, AQIS and Shabaab, formal branches of Al-Qaeda, had made their allegiance to Zawahiri evident. Jabhat Fath al Sham (formerly known as Al Nusrah) and other organizations continued to serve Al-Qaeda's agenda as well. Thus, Al-Qaeda elements were believed to be thriving in varying degrees in Iraq, Pakistan, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere.

As late as 11/16, New York, Texas and Virginia were declared to be possible targets for some type of terrorist attack prior to the 11/08/16 general elections, although no specific locations were identified by intelligence information sources. There was reportedly pressure on Al-Qaeda and its affiliates to regain relevance with their mission. As of end-CY2016, Al-Qaeda had not been crushed.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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