File 911: Homeland Security
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Thomas J. Bray, "Squawking Heads" (10/30/01). Chicken Little, the American media and the dangers of risk aversion.
Wall Street Journal, "The Ashcroft 'Fatwa'" (11/29/01). Nonstop liberal and libertarian attacks on the Attorney-General show little grasp of what he has really done.
Rich Lowry, "Guilty of Enforcing the Law" (12/6/01). Liberals complained that Attorney General Ashcroft wouldn't follow the law; now they complain that he does.
Wall Street Journal, "Profiles in Timidity" (1/25/02). Federal policy guarantees that men who look like the 9/11 hijackers will be the least scrutinized by airport security.
Linda Gorman & Dave Kopel, "You've Got Identity" (2/5/02). Whatever its theoretical merits, a national identity card will in practice damage homeland security.
Joe Souchery, "Too Much Security Is Scarier Than Dirtbags" (2/10/02). "I'm perfectly willing to accept the idea that we are engaged in a new kind of war. That's what we've been told. OK, then the government needs to back off and trust us more, not less. We're not the ones who are supposed to be on the run."
Reid Collins, "What Would Have Worked" (2/12/02). Letting qualified passengers carry concealed firearms on board airplanes would do more to thwart hijacking than all of the FAA's lame security measures.
Jonathan Foreman, "Homeland Insecurity" (3/5/02). The daring and imagination that have imbued the war effort abroad have been conspicuously lacking at home.
John R. Lott, Jr., "Security Games" (4/2/02). As the air marshal program flounders, protecting less than one percent of flights, the time has come to give pilots the means to defend themselves and their passengers.
Amir S. Afkhami, "The Enemy Within" (4/4/02). Terror can be dampened by going after the terrorists' assets.
Daniel T. Griswold, "There You Go Again" (4/16/02). Why cracking down on immigration will do nothing to make us safer.
Daniel Pipes, "Are We Safer?" (4/30/02). "As the sense of vulnerability and resolve of seven months ago dissipates, Americans are returning to business as usual. Sept. 11 increasingly feels like a remote nightmare without much relevance to the present circumstances. To which I predict: If things proceed in this direction, there can only be one certain result - further assaults perpetrated by militant Islam."
Jon Hilkevitch, "Of All People, Seniors Fit Profile" (5/4/02). According to the FAA's computers, an octogenarian grandmother is a more likely terrorist than a 25-year-old Arab toting Moslem Brotherhood tracts. Go figure.
Eli Lehrer, "Armed Pilots" (5/22/02). "In recent years, the United States has become a much safer nation thanks to community-policing philosophies that rely on partnerships between citizens and law enforcement. Acknowledging that a security agency, even a very good one, cannot do everything itself is the first step towards effective policing. And letting pilots carry weapons is just the sort of modest acknowledgement of its own limitations the TSA ought to make."
David Tell, “The Specter of Terrorism” (6/8/02). The President's homeland security proposals have flaws, but hysterical civil libertarianism won't identify them.
Brendan Miniter, "Shake It Up" (6/10/02). "The president's plan to create a new Department of Homeland Security struck a blow against mindless, careerist drones who stand between us and our safety. It did not, however, win the campaign against them."
David Harsanyi, "The Left's Acrobatic Logic on Terror" (6/10/02). Leftists "are employing acrobatic logic: blaming the CIA, FBI and President Bush for not doing enough, but then reacting hysterically to any step they take to prevent the next attack."
Michael Fumento, "Terrorist Roadmaps" (6/12/02). ". . . if ever a U.S. chemical plant goes boom because of a terrorist attack, at least we won't have to demand who knew what and when. Congress and the EPA knew everything, they knew it all along, and they let it happen"
Cal Thomas, "Jailhouse Islam" (6/19/02). Should prisons allow Saudi-funded Islamofascist clerics free access to inmates?
Jed Babbin, "Ring Around the Pox" (7/16/02). Viewing bioterrorism as a public health problem rather than a national security issue could cost "hundreds of thousands of lives".
James Taranto, "The New Red Scare" (8/14/02). Effective counter-terrorism will not lead us step-by-step to dictatorship.
Gary Hart, Warren B. Rudman et al., "America Still Unprepared - America Still in Danger" (10/26/02). An alarmist but cogent report by a Council on Foreign Relations task force, urging security measures that might save thousands of lives but would certainly make CAIR and the ACLU livid.
Daniel Pipes, "The Enemy Within" (1/24/03). Special scrutiny of Moslems offends American sensibilities, but experience shows that it is essential while the war lasts.
Matthew Bunn, Anthony Wier & John P. Holdren, "Controlling Nuclear Warheads and Materials: A Report Card and Action Plan" (3/12/03); Fred Hiatt, "Ignoring the Unthinkable" (3/17/03). Pessimistic views of American efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear capability. From the Bunn/Wier/Holdren report (which Hiatt summarizes): "It is simply not the case that the U.S. government is doing everything in its power to prevent a terrorist nuclear attack on the United States from occurring. . . . Between occasional initiatives, the level of sustained, day-to-day engagement from the highest levels . . . has been very modest (as, indeed, it was in the previous administration, and the one before that)."
Marshall Billingslea, "Waging War on Terrorism" (4/11/03). The head of the Defense Department's unconventional warfare branch sums up progress against al-Qaeda and its siblings. "The United States and its allies have made significant progress in destroying and disrupting key parts of the international terrorist network with which we are at war. Al’Qaida is an organization under great stress, with a leadership that seems increasingly less able to plan multiple large scale attacks because they are focused on the more immediate problem of evading coalition capture." But, lest we grow too confident, "Al’Qaida and other related terrorist groups today remain intent on conducting devastating attacks against the United States, our friends and allies. At least some of their planning seems to contemplate the use of chemical or biological agents, in addition to their proven practice of using low-tech, conventional explosives to mount attacks with devastating consequences."