You've seen that guy in cartoons and perhaps on the street with the sandwich board that says, "Repent, the end is near."
Attorney General John Ashcroft (search) and FBI Director Robert Mueller (search) might as well have been wearing that sign on Wednesday as they held a joint news conference to give the terrorism equivalent of a tornado warning.
Terrorists, possibly linked to Al Qaeda, are in this country, they said, and there is a strong likelihood we will get hit again -- possibly harder than on 9/11 -- sometime this summer. Some will say this is just "chicken little" hysteria. But this is real and the social and political sky could actually fall, along with the stock market and many other things that give America its unique character.
What interested me in the "show and tell" session with pictures of terror suspects was that all of them hold passports from nations that have good relations with the United States.
And one is an American.
Some terrorists, no doubt, have become U.S. citizens. They know our country better than some of us know it. It is amazing that some can live here for years and never be impressed by what America offers. They have been indoctrinated like in the film, "The Manchurian Candidate."
No amount of information, love, acceptance or experience can stop them from their robot-like mission to kill us.
If we get hit and hurt again, we're going to have to rethink the way we handle immigrants and certain groups who won't assimilate and become Americans, but instead hold to their agendas and objectives.
Some of these terrorists are being recruited in this country. If we are hit again, we should seriously consider shutting down the places where terrorists are bred and expelling those who preach sedition and mean us harm. The alternative is to continue to die while playing civil liberties games that will only insure more of us are killed.
Maybe the end really is near!
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.