Gary Hart and Warren Rudman headed a bi-partisan Defense Department commission which presented its warning of a major Al Qaeda attack pending in January, 2001, as Bush assumed the presidency.

The report here citing the warning also mentions why it is almost impossible to deter such attacks:

“Among the most vulnerable areas: Shipping containers, seaports and border crossings; energy distribution facilities like power plants, pumping stations and pipeline compressor stations; food and water supplies; state and local law enforcement agencies lacking intelligence information, equipment and training; and a public health system unable to quickly detect, contain and respond to chemical or biological attacks.”

The Bush administration set aside the commission recommendations:

“But on Wednesday, two former senators, the bipartisan co-chairs of a Defense Department-chartered commission on national security, spoke with something between frustration and regret about how White House officials failed to embrace any of the recommendations to prevent acts of domestic terrorism delivered earlier this year.”

9/11 followed thereafter.

Today the NY Times reports that our top security official predicts another major attack on us shortly:

Senators Warned of Terrorist Attack on U.S. by July
America’s top intelligence official said he was “highly
certain” that Al Qaeda or one of its affiliates would
attempt a large-scale attack on American soil within the
next six months.

Connecting the dots here, there is probably no way to deter such an attack — we may hope for good luck, say, of someone informing us what is coming so we can block it. But we can’t expect good luck always to do so.

Be prepared!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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