Watch the video here. (The flash was making things buggy so we removed the embed. Sorry.)
Former DHS director and current US Chamber of Commerce National Security Task Force Chairman Tom Ridge spoke to the Chamber in August 2011. According to the Chamber's website,
The Chamber’s National Security Task Force brings together companies, industry associations, and state and local chambers that have a direct interest in homeland and national security issues. The task force represents a broad spectrum of the nation’s economy and works closely with policymakers in the administration and Congress on enhancing America’s security without inhibiting its economic vitality.
The Department of Homeland Security has been pursuing relationships with major US corporations for a while now, and not just those companies that operate critical infrastructure like energy or electric firms. Indeed, the first company to sit on a National Response Coordination Center board with DHS was Target Corporation, purveyor of household goods and not exactly a vital national security interest.
In his speech at the Chamber in 2011, Ridge seemed very excited about the merger of corporate and government power in the realm of "national security." Below are some choice quotes. Watch it here.
"If you think about the last ten years, one thing we've demonstrated to ourselves and to the rest of the world is our own undeniable resiliency. We went from knees bent in prayer to the formation of a plan to make our country safer and more secure, and we've become, certainly, stronger and more secure."
On civil liberties and Constitutional protections: "We always thought it was very important to maintain the integrity of the American brand."
"Homeland security is a federal department, but it is not the exclusive province of the federal government….A national mission means an integrated mission. Partnerships, partnerships, partnerships."
"We need the private sector more involved at the table, not less. Border security, cyber security….Whereever you go, you're going to find yourself in need of that critical partnership between the public sector and the private sector."
"It's a multi-generational threat and a war. And for that reason we must always view security as an ongoing process, not an end point."
"You can bring Bin Laden to justice, but the idea — that ideology, that belief system — as long as it has appeal to even the smallest number of individuals within the broader Muslim population of a billion plus, the global scourge of terrorism will be with us. We are safer. We are more secure. But the threat remains."
"Terrorists have time. They're much more patient than we are….Even though we are more secure. The threat remains."
You scared yet?