Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"We are going to get hit again"

That's the headline of an interview in Newsweek with Vice Admiral (ret.) John Scott Redd, who heads the government’s National Counterterrorism Center. I must admit I can't keep straight all the various security agencies this country relies on to help us stay in the land of the living, but I presume the top banana at an organization with this title must be in the loop. Admiral Redd says:
We’ve got this intelligence threat; we’re pretty certain we know what’s going on. We don’t have all the tactical details about it, [but] in some ways it’s not unlike the U.K. aviation threat last year. So we know there is a threat out there. The question is, what do we do about it?
He then answers his question:
And the response was, we stood up an interagency task force under NCTC leadership. So you have all the players you would expect: FBI, CIA, DHS, DIA, DoD, the operators—the military side comes into that—participating in an integrated plan, but integrated in a much more granular and tactical way than we’ve ever done before.
I don't know what a granular plan is, but I know a task force when I see one. That all these alphabet agencies are trying to play from the same score is good, but is it really the most effective way to protect the country?
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The interview suggests the assumptions behind the government's counterterror activities. The main assumption is that the terrorist threat comes from one gang, Al-Qaeda, and that nothing can be done to stop them coming into the United States unless there is proof that will stand up in a law court.

I will give you good odds that when we are "hit again," as Admiral Redd is convinced will happen, the participants in the plot will turn out to have no evident connection with Al-Qaeda. They will be "regular guys" like the perpetrators of 7/7 in London. They'll have baseball teams they root for, good driving records, no criminal background.

It's worth noting that the last two intended terrorist plots that were prevented (Fort Dix, JFK) were stopped because of a snitch and a tip-off, respectively. Fine. We need all the help we can get, and the police and security agencies involved are entitled to take a bow for exemplary action using the sources they had.
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The fact remains that there is no way to guarantee public safety against terrorists — all you can do is improve the odds. And the odds would be significantly improved if the terrorists never got into the United States at all.

There's no way to guarantee that, either, but there's something that would be a giant step forward. I'm sure you see where this is leading. We should stop Muslim immigration. Period. And check out very thoroughly any visitor from a Muslim country or a country with a large Muslim population, or who has an Arabic name, or who for any other reason arouses suspicion. That is feasible. Infiltrating every sleeper cell isn't.

Of course, it's drastic. Of course, it will inconvenience many innocent people. But nobody has a right to immigrate here, so would-be Muslim immigrants have no legitimate complaint. And if someone doesn't want to put up with questioning about why they are visiting, for how long, where they're going, and whatever else we want to ask them, they don't have to come here.

Naturally the ACLU and its acolytes will go off their heads. Discriminatory! Well, yes. That's the point. We're not up against a gang called Al-Qaeda, as though they were the Mafia or drug smugglers. We are, as the admiral admits, in a war. One with, as he puts it delicately, "
a strong ideological content." Which is as close as he can come to saying out loud that Islam is a totalitarian system with a top layer of religion, and it's coming to get us.
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Most Muslims aren't terrorists, but terrorists can easily pass for "moderate" Muslims. The next "hit" is being planned at this moment, and the planners will be trying for a grand slam. It's a point of honor for these blokes to raise the score each time.

Admiral Redd says, "We have come a long way. But these guys are smart. They are determined. They are patient. So over time we are going to lose a battle or two. We are going to get hit again, you know, but you’ve got to have the stick-to-itiveness or persistence to outlast it." Sorry, sir, but that's not good enough. I don't want to outlast an enemy that would like to take the lives of thousands or tens of thousands of us. I want to make it as close to impossible for them to succeed as we can. And it will be a lot harder for them to succeed if they're not here.
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1 comment:

Tanstaafl said...

I look around this country and see how many complicated, enormous, expensive things we've accomplished. The Hoover dam. The national highway system. We put men on the moon. We spend hundreds of billions on Iraq, aircraft carriers, police, UAVs, etc ad nauseum.

But at every turn when it comes to the single most cheap and easy thing we could do to improve our safety - stop immigration, especially Muslim immigration - we get nothing but nonsensical excuses.

It would be impossible. Too hard. Too expensive. We just can't. And by the way, did you know your suggestion is hate speech? What are you, a hater?

The absurdity is coming to a head. At some point soon the liars are going to have to admit it, or they're going to be sending all us "haters" to a gulag for reeducation.