Federal response to recent terrorist attacks is being made in terms of homeland security, a new policy concept, and it is supposedly being coordinated by a recently established presidential homeland security office. At the moment, the concept is one of evolving meaning, but may be used, like national security, to justify the exercise of prerogative power in ways harmful to constitutional arrangements of government and guaranteed citizen rights. The presidential coordination office has been mandated in such a manner as to seemingly frustrate both congressional access to its director and congressional efforts to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.