RealNews

Domestic Security: The Line Starts Here

ONLY three months in town, and Charles E. McQueary has found himself just about the most popular man in wartime Washington. Powerful lobbyists and corporate executives track down his new telephone number and call him unannounced; strangers buttonhole him in the halls of Congress, hoping for a few precious minutes of his time. Dr. McQueary, a former executive of General Dynamics and Bell Laboratories, is the newly confirmed undersecretary for science and technology in the Department of Homeland Security. In that job, he will influence how the giant new agency and the rest of the federal government spend tens of billions of dollars on technology to defend American soil from terrorist attacks. A genial, Texas-born engineering Ph.D., Dr. McQueary is now the government’s chief contact with the scientists, technicians and entrepreneurs who are searching for ways to help their companies profit from the public’s understandable fixation with keeping their families and communities safe from terrorism — a threat that probably has grown as a result of the war with Iraq. Dr. McQueary got a taste of his newfound celebrity when, seconds after he finished testifying at his Senate confirmation hearing last month, he was approached in the hearing room by an entrepreneur who wanted to promote data-mining software that might help in the government’s hunt for terrorists. Full Story

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OODA Analyst

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