This is an excerpt from the 2018 Steve Dustcircle book, Trump’s Cabinet: The Rise of Each Appointed Deplorable, available in ebook and paperback from Amazon.com. The book contains links to multiple references and citations.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN | HOMELAND SECURITY
The office of Secretary of Homeland Security is a relatively new position, as it wasn’t created until the aftermath of 9/11 (September 11, 2001). It exists to protect United States citizens from foreign threats at the U.S. border.
While the agency consists of components from the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and a few other outfits, it doesn’t include the FBI or CIA. Trump has spoke of beefing up the numbers of workers in these agencies.
The Department of Homeland Security is the Cabinet’s third largest. DHS has a huge budget of over $41 billion and employs almost a quarter million people.
John F. Kelly was nominated and confirmed for the department head in early 2017, but he was relocated to the vacancy of the Chief of Staff office. Elaine Duke was the acting secretary until confirmation of the next nominee.
The most recent nomination to the office is Kirstjen Nielsen, an American “national security expert,” President Donald Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff. This comes as a surprise, as she doesn’t quite have a large following.
She will be inheriting an often-troubled—and controversial—department. Trump’s pledge to wage a war on “illegal” immigrants will be one of her jobs as Secretary of DHS. The agency has been accused of low morale and having conflicting missions.
There isn’t much known about Nielsen. She was born in Florida, is currently 45 years old, and has degrees in foreign policy and law, obtaining her doctorate in 1999.
Kirstjen Nielsen’s political career has roots in the George W. Bush (Junior) administration as a special assistant and was a member of the White House Homeland Security Council, a group whose job is to assess safety risks to the United States.
Nielsen also set up and directed the notorious TSA branch of the DHS in 2002: the Transportation Security Administration.
She has also served as a member to both the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report Advisory Board and the George Washington University’s Resilience Task Force of the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security committee.
In her spare time, the sherpa also founded Sunesis Consulting in 2012, dealing with government contracts. It has four employees and operates under a $100,00 annual revenue. Prior to this, she was president of the homeland security arm of the consulting firm, the Civitas Group.
Nielsen has been reminded repeated to try to “lighten up.” Several within the department thought of jumping ship in light of her nomination because she is rude and dismissive. Several in the Trump administration have expressed that she “annoys” them and doesn’t return important phone calls.
Some even refer to Nielsen as “Nurse Ratched,” the sadistic condescending head nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Much of the concern also comes from the Bush II era’s botched response to the catastrophic event of Hurricane Katrina, as this department also heads up FEMA, which manages emergency situations within the country.
Given the past and current conditions of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, many are concerned that she doesn’t have what it takes to help weather-ruined areas of the United States.
While Nielsen might be a cyber-security expert, does she have what it takes to keep Americans safe from the effects of climatic weather, environment disaster, and us from each other?
While she opposes a wall along the Mexico-American border, political operative Roger Stone said that “if the president fails, it will be because of appointments like this.”