Thursday, December 22, 2005

Homeland Security: Getting their Priorities Straight

In the wake of 9/11, Americans were ready to fight terrorism. Our military was on the trail of Osama bin Laden. And Washington gave us the Department of Homeland Defense.

But instead of substance, the suits settled for style. One of their first missions wasn't protecting Americans -- but "branding" their new department. They hired Landor Associates -- the company that came up with FedEx's name and designed the BP logo. The Washington Post reports:

They developed a new DHS typeface (Joanna, with modifications) and color scheme (cool gray, red and hints of 'punched-up' blue). They debated new uniforms for its armies of agents and focus-group-tested a new seal designed to convey 'strength' and 'gravitas.' The department even got its own lapel pin, which was given to all 180,000 of its employees -- with (Secretary Tom) Ridge's signature -- to celebrate its 'brand launch' that June."

The Post reports on infighting and red tape that have stymied the DHS since it's early days. The Department, more than four years after 9/11, still hasn't delivered a list of potential terrorist targets the US needs to protect.

This shouldn't be surprising, with an administration that has tried to rebrand the Iraq War as "the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism" and even referred to the push for the war as a product roll out. (WashPost) [Click on DHS Seal to see Washington Post's brief history of the Department]

No comments: