I was disappointed by Barack Obama’s response last evening but felt he answered the only way he could. He indicated we were safer (but not by how much) and then went on to point out that we still have real vulnerabilities in cargo through ports, airlines, etc., because of inadequate screening. In Barack’s defense, to have answered otherwise would play into the Republican fear, uncertainty, doubt game that they execute so well.
I would have preferred that Barack say, “No, we’re really not safer and the threat of another terror attack on U.S. soil remains largely unchanged.” Why? That’s the truth. But, after spending billions and billions on this, would the American people stomach the truth?
The Bush Administration created the hugely inefficient Department of Homeland Security which is such a behemoth that it can barely get out of its own way to support hurricane relief. We are only a bit safer as we’ve really only done cosmetic changes. For example, if you think the TSA is going to make you safer flying, look at the media reports of all the tests successfully putting weapons through airport passenger security check points. The U.S. provides the illusion of security, not security.
El Al Airlines–the Israeli airline–provides true security. But, it is a level of security that American travelers would never tolerate. With El Al, you show up for a flight 4-5 hours before a flight and go through multiple screenings including interviews. Their planes are not parked at the gate at the airport; they park them out on the tarmac away from the terminal where armed people both on the plane and on the ground secure the planes when they aren’t in use.
We should not conclude that we are safer simply because we’ve not had an attack on U.S. soil like the 9/11 attack. Those who seek to undermine the U.S. are patient and know that we continue to be complacent about security. Think of it like computer virus software which needs to be updated daily. There are constant, new threats to the safety and security of your computer. Someone is always trying to exploit a new weakness that they’ve uncovered. Homeland security is no different and much more challenging.
Has the U.S. demonstrated a level of commitment to potential terror threats? Or, have we created the illusion that we’re safer? We have a long journey ahead of us that will require substantial funding and persistence.
What do you think? Democrat Dave