Homeland Security

Dangerous Dysfunction in the House

This is getting embarrassing. Worse, it is getting dangerous.

First, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blunders the House into an international crisis by threatening to schedule a non-binding Sense of the House resolution regarding a massacre that occurred a century ago in place far, far away.

Don’t forget she did that for purely partisan politics, against the advice of her major foreign policy advisers, including Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), Dick Gephardt and almost every Democratic foreign policy professional of the last 40 years.

Americans Underestimate Terror Threat

Asked in the latest Gallup Poll what are the major problems facing America, an incredible 4 percent said terrorism. Ninety-six percent are living with their heads in the sand. Thirty-three percent cited Iraq, 22 percent mentioned some economic problem, 13 percent spoke of healthcare issues and 9 percent mentioned immigration.

With terror attacks on JFK airport, Ft. Dix, the Sears Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge and a wide variety of domestic targets narrowly thwarted and a terror attack on 10 airplanes flying over the Atlantic averted by the barest of margins, it is incredible that so few voters appreciate the dangers we face.

We Should All Agree on Osama bin Laden

I have waited all week, through Sept. 11 remembrances and a major crossroads in the debate over the Iraq war, for someone to question why President Bush’s own national security adviser called Osama bin Laden “virtually impotent” last weekend on Fox News.

Frances Fragos Townsend said that while the government takes the tapes seriously, bin Laden’s messages were largely “threats and propaganda,” and that “this is about the best he can do. This is a man on a run, from a cave, who’s virtually impotent other than these tapes.”

9/11 Tragedy

Today we are reminded again of the Sept. 11 tragedy that happened six years ago. Over the years many people have tried to justify these dastardly acts of terrorists as being no different from those of serial killers. While there are many similarities between terrorists and serial killers, especially from the standpoint of the victims, there are vast differences in terms of why and how the acts are committed.

Overheard Overhead

Consider the possibilities. If we were using spy satellites that can see inside buildings, as the administration proposes, we could already know what happened between Senator Craig and that undercover policeman in the airport restroom.

Putting aside the question of whether we really want to  see that, we might ask should we. Put a better way, do we want our government to be able to spy on its own countrymen and -women, with ultra-sensitive satellites overhead cameras watching our every move? 

Arab Terrorists Posing As Mexicans in U.S.

The lede sentence in the Washington Times article today entitled “Terrorists teaming with drug cartels” reads: “Islamic extremists embedded in the United States — posing as Hispanic nationals — are partnering with violent Mexican drug gangs to finance terror networks in the Middle East, according a Drug Enforcement Administration report.”

If it’s not enough to make your blood boil that the Bush administration, aware of this report, refuses to make border enforcement a number one priority, there’s more. The article goes on to report: “… an El Paso, Texas, law-enforcement report documents the influx of ‘approximately 20 Arab persons a week utilizing the Travis County Court in Austin to change their names and driver’s licenses from Arabic to Hispanic surnames.’”

Feeling Safer Yet?

In the spring of 2003, President Bush dismissed any questions about Osama bin Laden. “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and don’t care. It is not important, and it is not our priority.” He added: “I am not truly concerned about him.”

He should have been. In a stunning admission of failure, the Bush administration admitted this week that the war on terror is a total bust. “FUBAR,” as we used to say in college.

Terror Alert Raised to Pepto-Bismol Pink

Just a few hours ago, The Chicago Tribune reported that U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he has a “gut feeling” we face an increased chance of a terrorist attack this summer. The Tribune quoted Chertoff as saying, “I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk ...”  He went on to say, “Summertime seems to be appealing to [terrorists]. ... We worry that they are rebuilding their activities.”

Good heavens above, our whole national security effort has been reduced to a feeling in Chertoff’s tummy. Does this mean that the Department of Homeland Security is going to raise the terror threat to Pepto-Bismol pink?

Terrorists seem to like summertime. (Note to self: Scratch summertime as a favorite season of the year.)

Assimilation Fights Terrorism

Using American Muslims as an example, Armstrong Williams explains an incident like the Glasgow airport incident in Europe can be prevented by better incorporating cultures into society.


Secrecy: Lessons Unlearned

Big deal: In the name of openness, the CIA is releasing records of the abuses we already knew about in the 1970s. Well, if you really want openness, how about honesty about the abuses of the 21st century?

How about an honest accounting of the torture, secret prisons, domestic spying, eavesdropping, wiretapping and other invasions of privacy that have become routine business by our national intelligence community? They have only become public to the extent that they have been leaked.

Naive? I'm sure many will say so. After all, these folks will argue, the nation's vicious enemies do not play by such rules and the United States can only protect the way of life we hold so precious by matching brutality with brutality.

But what's naive is that argument.