Former South Bay Congresswoman Jane Harman returns to Capitol Hill

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File: Former Rep. Jane Harman

The U.S. Senate called on a veteran from the intelligence wars for her perspective on what works — and what doesn’t — at the Department of Homeland Security. Former South Bay Congresswoman Jane Harman had a lot of suggestions.

Jane Harman retired from Congress last year to head the Wilson Center, a D.C. think tank. But the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee invited her back to give a former insider’s outside opinion of how to better protect the country from terrorism.

Maine Senator Susan Collins named a long list of potential threats: weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, cargo security, cyber attacks. She asked Harman if she was Homeland Security Secretary, what would be her top priority?

Harman had a long list, putting "lone wolves" at the top: "people with clean records who are radicalized on the Internet." She said bigger attacks are harder to pull off because of steps taken over the past decade. But she said she's worried radiation materials and machines used in hospitals which could be compromised and made into dirty bombs.

Harman says cyber security is a looming threat, but rather than passing legislation to address it, Congress is stuck debating privacy issues and the role of government.

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