Three possibilities come to mind. One, a cleverly planned slip-up designed to scare Congress into fully funding Homeland Security after the upcoming slash and burn budget fest. This would be coupled with a number two--it's part of an effort to spur people into narcing out their neighbors in the 'see something, say something' program. Of course if true, both would be disgusting and worthy of mass firings. Playing politics with something this serious would be terrible.
Possibility three is that this assistant chief is a humble guardian of the port of San Diego not prone to politics and spin or used to doing interviews, and he just lapsed into some brutal honesty. The raw un-edited video suggests the latter, especially his heart-felt recall of 9/11 (here's the original story).
If three is to be believed then certain devices of 'mass effect' have already been found coming into America while everyone was busy watching Dancing with the Stars and America's Got Talent.
So here are a few observations. The official DHS statement in reply..
A nuclear device has never been found in the US.. didn't rule out bio weapons or radiological substances (nuclear is obviously more than just radiation) nor chemical weapons.
Notice also what the assistant port chief DID say. He used the term "weapons of mass effect", which is a bit non-standard for the press. Was it his way of saying WMD or technically something different? According to DHS it looks to be insider lingo. "Nothing has been found this past fiscal year", meaning something could have been found in previous fiscal years at that very location. It just wasn't a functioning nuke.
DHS public affairs said Chief Haller was 'just nervous' and 'misspoke'. Maybe. But if so, he doesn't seem to be the kind of person needed in a top position like that. If on the other hand he was just trying to answer a question without lying what's next? Unquestionably it's a stark reminder there are still Islamic fanatics trying to spread murder for their god by scoring the big one on Great Satan (and the next one will have to top 9/11). It's also a reminder they haven't succeeded yet. We still have vigilance and better toys.
There's actually a fourth possibility involving a conspiracy: they've lost one and this interview was designed to quietly spread the story to open some eyes without causing undue panic. The DHS statement emphatically said no nuclear devices had ever been "found" in the United States but that wouldn't preclude one from being lost. Will leave that one with Alex Jones.
All of this also begs the question of whether our current leadership is up to the task. This video is making the rounds regarding a Newsweek columnist's view of how the president mishandled the Egyptian revolution...
Tom Maguire seems to suggest this leadership issue also touches on the core of the birther argument--that is, if a long form birth cert is required to play Little League baseball then why is it beyond appropriate to ask one of a POTUS? Why would a POTUS resist? Does such reluctance or desire to play politics suggest an unserious administration unqualified to assume their lofty roles in an age of nuts trying to smuggle in mass effect weapons to our ports?
It's entirely possible the Newsweek piece was a shameless attempt to tact back right for readership (based on their dismal bottom line) but Ferguson makes one point that's hard to refute--there appears to be no current strategy. None of the MSNBC panel members seemed to have any coherent rebuttals of this point. If Islamic terrorists have and continue to try to smuggle WMDs into America what's the smart power solution towards draining the Middle Eastern swamp? As he said, it can't just be "I'm not Bush, love me".