Thomas Sowell

The last time we flew into Israel was from Cairo, where the Israeli security officials at the Cairo airport detained the lady in line in front of us for 45 minutes, opened her luggage, spread the contents across the counter, and asked her all sorts of questions. When they had finally finished with her and my wife and I stepped up to the counter, the official in charge waved us on impatiently, saying, "Hurry up, you'll miss the plane."

This was no special treatment for us. They had no idea who we were. We were just not the kind of people they spent time on, for whatever reason.

Recently, an Israeli security official was interviewed on Fox News Channel by Mike Huckabee. The official said that he has testified before Congress and offered to help with suggestions on how the American airport security system could be improved-- and he clearly thought it needed a lot of improvement.

Apparently the only response he got from American security officials was a polite letter. "They didn't tell me to go to Hell," he said. "They were polite."

There is no stronger indication of danger than officials who don't want to hear what anybody else has to say, even when those who offer to help have a system that works better than ours.

The fundamental issue goes beyond the Fort Hood massacre or the Christmas bomber. These are just symptoms of a larger set of attitudes and expediences reflecting the same outlook.

Putting terrorists on trial in American criminal courts, under rules designed for American citizens, tells you all you need to know about whether the Obama administration is serious about security or is still playing the political correctness game.

Terrorists are not covered by the Geneva convention for the simple reason that they do not abide by the Geneva convention. They are enemy combatants and you do not turn enemy combatants loose to go back to killing Americans while the war is still on-- not if you are being serious, as distinguished from being political or ideological.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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