Safe at Home?

The media lead today seems to be that the information behind the elevated terror alerts (search) is old. Some is, but much is not.

The complaint after Sept. 11 was that intelligence didn't put together the information it gathered from multiple sources and see that an attack was imminent. Now, they've done just that and are being accused of hyping it for political purposes. Maybe they are.

But maybe they've done just what people wanted. They arrested Musaad Aruchi, a nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammed (search) on June 12th. He told them he was sure New York and D.C. would be hit pretty soon. On July 13 they arrest Muhammed Naeem Noor Khan and find Web sites, e-mail addresses in Turkey, Nigeria and Northwest Pakistan, photos, sketches and written documents. On July 25 they arrest Ahmed Guilani, who was wanted for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Then, the Pakistani information minister announces arrests of senior Al Qaeda (search) members there. Analyzing all that they uncovered, intelligence officials say they were able use old information, new information and recent arrests and interrogations to corroborate in-house intelligence.

That’s why I'm paying attention to the alert.

The final 9/11 report recommends a national intelligence czar. Pres. Bush and Sen. Kerry agree, but differ in details. Sen. Kerry wants the czar based in the White House. Pres. Bush doesn't. He says he wants the department be autonomous so people can't claim it is unduly influenced by politicians. That makes sense to me, since people complained that the Bush administration pressured our intelligence community to give it information to back a supposed predetermined decision to go into Iraq.

Pres. Bush doesn't want the czar to hold the intelligence purse strings. Sen. Kerry does. He says the czar won't have the ability to direct intelligence if he doesn't control the money to fund it. That makes sense to me, because it has long been argued that good intelligence ideas were dropped for lack of funding. The tough part is getting the Defense Department to cede money control.

The bottom line is that these are important issues. Regardless of Party, or agenda, we have to make our politicians put America first.

Again, I urge everyone to read the entire Sept. 11 report. Just reading the recommendations does not come close to informing you about the most important issue facing us.

[To read the full report, click here. To read an executive summary of the report, click here. Adobe Acrobat is required to read both pdf documents.]

Finally, Terry Bradshaw was supposed to be on the show. WHERE was he? WE have no idea. Just didn't show. That's Terry. Flaky but we love him.


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