Richard Clarke, former terrorism czar and now an ABC News consultant, told the network that the screening devices in Nigeria and at other airports need to be upgraded to more modern systems that penetrate clothing and reveal internal organs. They are expensive and intrusive and certain "civil liberties" groups might go to court to block them. Abdulmutallab's profile should have extended beyond his religion. Press reports say he paid $3,000 cash for his ticket and checked no bags. Some of the 9-11 hijackers paid cash for their tickets and checked no luggage.
This latest incident and the killings at Fort Hood, Texas, by a Muslim Army officer ought to be a verdict on the Obama administration's strategy of apologizing for America and reaching out to Muslim nations. None of it has mollified terrorist states or terrorists operating within those states, or for that matter potential terrorists operating within the U.S.
Administration officials have acknowledged the strong likelihood of terrorist cells in the United States. The question should not be how to make terrorists like us, but how to find them, eliminate them and, most important of all, keep them from entering the country in the first place.
The Obama administration, like the Clinton administration, continues to view terrorists as criminals who ought to be subject to the American judicial system. In fact, they are soldiers in a war unlike any this country has ever faced. Until we start treating these people as soldiers and not criminals, there will be more incidents like this, as there have been previous ones. Without a serious approach to domestic terrorism, the next attempted attack on an airliner might succeed, as did the ones during another less serious time which gave us 9-11.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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