Discovery Institute board member Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator for Washington state and member of the 9/11 commission, writes at The Seattle Times about the steps we should take to combat terrorism here at home.
Writes Sen. Gorton:
More than 10 years ago, the 9/11 Commission determined that the American tragedy took place, at least in major part, because we ignored al-Qaida’s explicit declaration of war against the
United States and because of serious defects in our intelligence system.
The director of the CIA at the time summed up the situation in midsummer 2001 as “the system was blinking red.” But no one predicted either the nature or the exact timing of the 9/11 attacks, so no real defenses were mounted.
U.S. actions and reforms after 9/11 are largely responsible for the fact that we have suffered nothing comparable to 9/11 for 14 years, a fact for which both administrations deserve credit. Still, these reforms have not prevented less elaborately planned but still horrific incidents like the San Bernardino attack and the Boston Marathon bombing. And those reforms do not guarantee against additional incidents or an even larger one.
So we face a challenge today both new and similar. While the San Bernardino attack could be inspired, rather than planned, by the Islamic State, that group claims that it has operatives in the U.S. ready to take action. In many respects “the system is blinking red” — but obviously with no more specifics available than we had in the summer of 2001.
So what do we do to defend more rigorously against the next such potential attack?