On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump announced an important addition to his security team. Thomas P. Bossert will be the president's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism. Bossert will be coming into his position with an in-depth familiarity of it, as he served in a similar, albeit more junior, position in the Bush administration.
In his role, Bossert will advise the president on domestic security issues and cyber threats, the latter of which is an increasingly relevant issue given that whole Russia interfering in our election thing. He will serve as a domestic counterpoint equal in status to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's pick for national security advisor. (As a reminder, Flynn has previously called Islam a "cancer" that needs to be "excised," and has pushed conspiracy theories on social media.) Under President George W. Bush, Bossert served as deputy homeland security advisor. According to a press release from the Trump transition team, Bossert worked during that time to develop the country's cybersecurity strategy, helped to author a report on the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, and co-authored the National Strategy for Homeland Security of 2007.
And since Bush left office, Bossert has held a few different positions in the federal government at places like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as running his own homeland and national security consulting business, although he seems to mostly have kept a low profile.
Many liberals probably never dreamed that they'd sigh in relief at a Bush administration bigwig regaining government power, but in comparison to Flynn, Bossert seems like a responsible choice. A quick scroll through his Twitter (where he has fewer than 500 followers) reveals nary a conspiracy theory! And a New York Times story on him included some bipartisan praise for Bossert, from both Republicans and Democrats who have worked with and respected him.
In the press release, Bossert expressed the usual gratitude before going into further detail about cybersecurity, saying,
We must work toward cyber doctrine that reflects the wisdom of free markets, private competition and the important but limited role of government in establishing and enforcing the rule of law, honoring the rights of personal property, the benefits of free and fair trade, and the fundamental principles of liberty. The internet is a U.S. invention, it should reflect these U.S. values as it continues to transform the future for all nations and all generations.
In the past, the person holding this position has often been the first to brief the president on any terrorist attack happening within the United States. It's an incredibly important role. Let's hope that Bossert can use his past experience to fill it wisely.