Conservatives to Napolitano: Resign 

A group of conservative leaders, including one Republican member of the House, is calling on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to resign. In a letter to Napolitano, the group accuses her of having made "decisions that are at best highly questionable, at worst erroneous -- sometimes dangerously so" and of having displayed "a lack of understanding of the perilous realities which threaten us as a nation."

"Your reaction to the Christmas Day failed suicide bombing of Northwest Flight 253 was just the latest of these instances," the letter says. Noting Napolitano's initial insistence that the "system worked" in the incident, followed by her later retraction, the leaders write, "These sorts of wild vacillations serve no one well, and leave Americans feeling unsure of the people and the government charged with protecting them."

The letter is signed by Rep. Michael Burgess, Republican of Texas, as well as conservative activists Grover Norquist, Gary Bauer, David Keene, Richard Viguerie, Morton Blackwell, and a dozen others.

In addition to the Detroit terrorism incident, the letter cites Napolitano's April report on "rightwing extremism," which the leaders tell Napolitano "would have been a joke were the consequences of your irresponsible focus on conservatives and military veterans as dangers -- to the near exclusion of actual terrorists and other real threats to our security -- not so dire." The letter also brings up Napolitano's announcement in March that terrorist attacks would henceforth be known as "man-caused disasters."

Taken together, the leaders conclude, "These consistent exhibitions of irresponsible word and deed leave us no choice but to ask that you step down. Americans need a Homeland Security Secretary with a firmer grasp of the position and its importance."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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