Here's an article from MSNBC.com on this:
BUSH PRESIDED over the swearing-in of Ridge as head of the new Office of Homeland Security at a White House ceremony. Ridge, who resigned as governor of Pennsylvania a few days ago, said he took the job fully realizing that “the size and scope of this challenge are immense.”
He said his new job was to “detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks — an extraordinary mission, but we will carry it out.”
Bush promised that civil liberties would not fall victim to new security. “We will defend our country, and while we do so we will not sacrifice the freedoms that make our land unique,” he said.
JUSTICE SUBS FOR CHENEY
Vice President Dick Cheney had been scheduled to administer the oath to Ridge, but Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stood in for Cheney, who was being kept away from the White House at a secure location for security reasons.
To demonstrate that Ridge will have his ear, Bush gave him a West Wing office just a few paces from his own. His instructions to his new Cabinet-level officer, who attended his first senior staff briefing Monday, was to develop a “coordinated, integrated, national strategy to combat terrorism,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Ridge will have a staff of nearly 100 people, most of them currently working for the White House or other agencies, and a dozen employees of his own. He will report directly to the president, McClellan said.
Critics have questioned how much clout Ridge will have. Although Bush named him to his Cabinet, Ridge is not one of the 14 Cabinet members installed under federal law, each with his own budget and authority. Each president may designate any number of other top advisers as “Cabinet level,” and that is what Bush did with Ridge.
McClellan said Ridge would have “significant input into the budgets of agencies involved in homeland security,” although his own budget would be part of the White House’s. “Governor Ridge will have all the authority he needs to get things done,” he added.
TACKLING DOMESTIC TERRORISM
One of Ridge’s challenges will be to foster better communication and cooperation between the FBI and the CIA. Decades of rivalry between the agencies led the Clinton administration in 1995 to order a new shared role between the two agencies’ counterterrorism efforts, but full cooperation has yet to be achieved.
A Homeland Security Council consisting of Bush, Cheney, Ridge and various agency heads will tackle domestic terrorism, much as the National Security Council advises the president on international affairs.
As the nation went to battle, the administration sought to heighten Americans’ awareness of possible terrorist retaliation, without alarming them.
“The American people need to be alert — threats do remain,” White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. “This is a war.”
At the same time, administration officials sought to project an air of normalcy. Bush planned Monday to celebrate Columbus Day at the side of singer Liza Minnelli. But such snapshots of normal life were belied by a nationwide alert imposed Sunday amid fears of another terrorist attack in the United States.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said Monday that the Justice Department had alerted 18,000 law enforcement agencies and 27,000 corporate security managers to take “strong precautions and other appropriate steps to protect the American people while we win this war.”
He also said the Immigration and Naturalization Service had increased border security.
Sunday, U.S. military aircraft patrolled professional football games, landmark buildings were closed and Cheney was moved for a time to an undisclosed location as a security precaution.
Television’s Emmy Awards, postponed once because of the Sept. 11 attacks, were indefinitely postponed after the first day of strikes coincided with the telecast’s rescheduled date. Security fears were not a factor, according to organizers.
The State Department warned Sunday of the possibility of “strong anti-American sentiment and retaliatory actions against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.”
SECURITY IN ACTION
The state of alert was dramatically illustrated Monday afternoon when two U.S. military jets scrambled to escort an American Airlines jet on its approach to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after an altercation was reported on board.
Government sources told NBC News that the incident, in which a passenger tried to enter the cockpit of the Boeing 767 flying from Los Angeles, was the “act of a deranged person” and was not terrorist-related. The passenger was taken into custody after Flight 1238 landed at O’Hare, NBC’s Jim Avila reported from Chicago.
Two F-16 fighter-jets were dispatched to meet the jetliner as it approached Chicago, the Chicago Aviation Department told a local radio station, accelerating so rapidly that their sonic booms startled Chicagoans.
Emergency Medical Services Plan 1, the highest level of emergency preparations, was instituted at O’Hare, where five ambulances raced to the scene, local news organizations reported.
The F-16s turned out not to be needed, but NBC’s Robert Hager reported that their use served as a reminder that U.S. officials changed U.S. policy after the Sept. 11 attacks to allow military pilots to shoot down airliners if they posed a serious threat to civilians or domestic structures.
NATO TO PATROL U.S. SKIES
NATO officials said that at Washington’s request, the alliance would soon deploy AWACS surveillance planes to U.S. airspace to conduct anti-terrorist operations - an unprecedented use of foreign forces to safeguard domestic security. Meanwhile, cleanup crews at the shattered World Trade Center rejoiced at news of the U.S. strikes on Afghanistan and marchers at peace rallies worried and wept. And many Americans wondered uneasily what lies ahead.
“It’s about time,” Jimmy Morrison, working at the Trade Center site, said after learning of Sunday’s strikes. “They’re about three weeks late in my opinion.”
Less than two miles away, hundreds of people began a march through midtown Manhattan calling for peace.
“The people who are going to be hurting are not the people who started this,” said Stuart Rockefeller, one of the marchers.
Peace rallies took place in cities across the country, including Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis and Los Angeles. About 300 people attended an anti-war rally in Seattle, some of them displaying U.S. flags and others holding a sign that read “Patriots for peace.”
NBC’s Virginia Cha, Pete Williams, Jim Maceda and Robert Hager; MSNBC’s Mike Brunker, Alex Johnson and Bobbi Nodell; and The Associated Press contributed to this report.