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‘Homeland Confusion’ debuts in Washington

“Homeland Confusion,” a 20-minute documentary on the need for Congress to streamline the way it oversees homeland security, debuted on Capitol Hill on February 11, 2014 before former and current government officials and Congressional staff. House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced the film, while former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and former Congressman John Tanner (D-TN) took questions afterward. Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff also attended the session. Annenberg Public Policy Center director Kathleen Hall Jamieson spoke about the origins of the film and Meryl Justin Chertoff, director of the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program, moderated the question-and-answer session. Meryl Chertoff of The Aspen Institute writes about it here.


“Homeland Confusion” (click here to view it) is based on the work of the Sunnylands-Aspen Task Force, a group of national-security experts that include former 9/11 Commission co-chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton. Last year on September 11, the Sunnylands-Aspen Task Force issued a report urging Congress to simplify oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. Currently more than 100 Congressional committees and subcommittees oversee the department.


The screening in Washington marked the 13th anniversary of the Hart-Rudman Commission’s final report, which warned in early 2001, pre-9/11,  that the nation was at risk of an attack on American citizens on American soil, and that better oversight of homeland security by Congress was essential. A new report, “Alarms Unheeded,” by the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program and the Annenberg Public Policy Center, said that the Hart-Rudman Commission’s warning was one in a series of alarms that went ignored by policymakers, the press, and the public.


The movie “Homeland Confusion” was produced by the award-winning The Documentary Group for the Annenberg Public Policy Center.