More Hyperventilating about Terrorism

Over at DailyKos, Frank Rich’s article about terrorism received a great deal of praise. Essentially, Rich argues that the administration should be less concerned with terrorism in Iraq and more about preventing terrorism here. I thought it was a stupid article. He also mentions that Tommy Thompson wonders why our food supply hasn’t been hit yet.

Here’s the simple answer: because Al-Queda can’t. As I’ve argued, the high-tech, WMD route is really, really hard (except for the denizens of “24”). There are low tech ways to kill lots of Americans, but these haven’t been used yet because I don’t think they have the capability to do so. If they did, they would have by now.

The Sept. 11 Massacres were the perfect storm of terrorism: a president more concerned with missile defense than terrorism, abyssmal airline security (which hasn’t changed), bureaucratic ineptitude and decrepitude, and just bad luck. Al-Queda aren’t masterminds. Many of the terrorists used their own names which were on watch lists (not that it made a difference). They “snuck in” by overstaying student visas (a competent INS should catch this). Our airline security allowed all sorts of dangerous things onto planes (and the screeners were unqualified). These are hardly Jack Bauer-quality bad guys. They got real lucky: like the IRA used to say, “We only need to get lucky once.”

We need to recognize this, and stop hyperventilating about terrorism.

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