WASHINGTON (JTA) — The secretary of homeland security said that in the war on terrorism, "ultimately you have to say there’s some things we just won’t do."
Janet Napolitano, answering a question at the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Conference here about judging the true effectiveness of current anti-terrorism measures and whether infringements on civil liberties might be necessary, acknowledged that other than citing a lack of terrorist attacks, such evaluations are difficult.
"It is impossible to measure a negative," she said. "It’s easier to say what you caught. It’s impossible to say what you prevented."
Napolitano added that the Obama administration had a "strong commitment to making sure we do everything in our power within the Constitution" to keep the country safe and that "utimately, you have to say there are some things we just won’t do."
The secretary also discussed the vast scope of the Homeland Security agency, which has 20,000 employees and is in charge of everything from responding to natural disasters to immigration.