We found ourselves, as Americans, reminded today that there are people out there who want us all dead. Based upon intelligence reports, al Qaeda tried to bomb at least two Jewish places of worship in Chicago. Much like the Christmas Day bomber of last year, the terrorists’ plot was foiled.
Some may say that this attempted terrorist attack proves our security measures to protect our borders are a failure. In my opinion, this latest failure by al Qaeda proves how well our intelligence agencies are performing a task which in all reality should be nearly impossible to achieve.
Yes, our security measures are not 100% effective. This won’t be the last time al Qaeda – or another terrorist group – tries to harm Americans on our own soil. And eventually something will slip through the cracks. Any bookie or mathematician would tell you it is a simple numbers game. No security system we put in place will ever guarantee our safety without a doubt. There will always be blind spots as we are a country with relatively open borders. A simple fact which I hope never changes.
Hundreds of thousands of people fly into the United States daily. Approximately 90,000 flights occur within U.S. airspace each day. More than 70,000 cargo containers enter U.S. ports every day. Not to mention the tens of thousands of cars and trucks which cross our borders with Canada and Mexico on a daily basis. As well as all the cruise ships which dock at American ports and unload passengers carrying suitcases.
I do not support the stripping of our freedoms which came about via the passage of the Patriot Act and subsequent interpretations of it. Both Presidents Bush and Obama have used it to continue to slice away at privacy previously afforded every American by the U.S. Constitution.
However, neither will I deny the success which our intelligence agencies have had at preventing further attacks since 9-11. Nine years after the fall of the Word Trade Center’s twin towers, we find ourselves in a world where al Qaeda has become so disorganized and ineffective that the organization is now reduced to trying to mail bombs from Yemen via UPS and FedEx to churches in Illinois.
Protecting American citizens has had a heavy price, but this is actually a government bill which seems to come with a positive outcome as well. The results speak for themselves. May that fact never change either.
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