Purge at DHS mirrors earlier one at Pentagon

by WorldTribune Staff, March 29, 2021

Nearly all members of what is supposed to be an independent advisory panel focusing on national security have been fired by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas / C-SPAN

In a March 26 letter to members of the House Homeland Security Committee, Mayorkas announced that in “the service of an orderly transition to a new model” for the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) he would be immediately ending the current term of nearly all HSAC members.

Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee said the “action sends the message that this administration has no intention of upholding a bipartisan, unifying approach to securing our homeland. The advisory council is not intended to be an echo chamber for what the current DHS Secretary wants to hear.”

The HSAC purge is similar to an action taken last month by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin which ousted hundreds of members of the Pentagon’s advisory boards.

Under Austin’s Feb. 1 decision, all members of 31 Pentagon advisory boards were fired, while a total of 40 advisory boards would be subjected to a “zero-based review,” a process that is to examine the case for the continued existence of the boards, and could lead to their future dissolution and dismissal of members, The Epoch Times noted in a March 27 report.

Austin’s purge affects dozens of people who had been named to advisory board posts in the final days of the Trump administration.

“The advisory boards, some of which date to at least the 1950s, were intended to be bipartisan and offer a diversity of opinion to Pentagon leaders on potential policies,” The Epoch Times noted.

The March 26 letter from Mayorkas indicated that only the senior leadership of HSAC would be retained. Those spared from the purge were William Bratton, a former New York police commissioner who heads the council as its chairman; Karen Tandy, a retired administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who serves as its vice chair; and William Webster, former director of the FBI and the CIA, who will stay on as chair emeritus.

Mayorkas did not provide any details about his vision for recomposing the HSAC.

Bratton told CNN that Mayorkas wants a council that reflects the current priorities of Team Biden on immigration and “domestic terrorism.”

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