Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Chertoff's Plan

Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, hit exactly the right note today in announcing a re-prioritization of the work of the department he took over five months ago. In a speech before employees of the Department of Homeland Security, he said, "Our goal is to maximize our security, but not security at any price. Our security regime must promote Americans' freedom, prosperity, mobility, and individual privacy."

Few announcements from the Bush administration regarding security in the past have mentioned the need to balance security and freedom. For Secretary Chertoff to do so--and within a week of the London bombings--is an encouraging sign.

One of the specific changes announced by Secretary Chertoff was the elimination of the DCA 30-minute standing rule, which prohibited airline passengers from standing up within thirty minutes of a takeoff from or landing at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).