It is my great pleasure to welcome Terry Turchie as our latest writer. Terry was the lead FBI investigator in the 18 year hunt for the Unabomber, he also ran the hunt for Eric Rudolf. Terry, it is wonderful to welcome you to our humble site. Simon Barrett – BNN Editor           

The terror threat is real. The same international terrorists who attacked the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 still run free. They have every intention of hitting America again. Their desires are just as intense as before September 11 and all they need is opportunity. Through four decades of misguided policies, corruption, obstruction of justice, unnecessary invasions, torture, and partisan bickering, America’s two major political parties set the stage for the successful terrorist operation directed against the United States on September 11. The same combination is setting the stage for the next attack.

In “Homeland Insecurity, How Washington Politicians Have Made America Less Safe,” my co-author, Dr. Kathleen Puckett and I, try to explain why, despite the critical dangers facing America, politicians in Washington D.C. have failed to properly protect us.

“The reason has far more to do with psychology than ideology. The pursuit and protection of their own political power drives them. The motivation behind their faulty analysis and ineffective strategy is preserving, protecting, and enhancing their own power.”

For over four decades, from Watergate to 9/11, Republicans and Democrats have mishandled domestic and international terrorism, creating substantial dangers for all Americans. The Republican Party, as evidenced by illegal wiretapping, widespread surveillances of American citizens and lying to FBI agents, missed countless opportunities to effectively address foreign and domestic terrorism. The Watergate crisis of the 70s, Iran-Contra of the 80s, and misinformation provided to the American public to justify the Iraq invasion in 2003, has left the nation distrustful of the government. The rule of law has been displaced by the law of man, seriously eroded transparency in government. The terrorists who attacked America on September 11 could not have asked for more.

The Democratic Party has closed its collective eyes and chosen to ignore the threat of terrorism. The success of the attacks on 9/11 can certainly be traced to the aftermath of Watergate. The destruction of American’s domestic intelligence collection capacity as a result of Senator Frank Church and his hearings was followed by decades of Democratic Party elected officials ignoring the threat posed by international terrorists. In the years preceding September 11, President Clinton heard numerous warnings from FBI and CIA officials about the growing threat posed by al-Qaeda. Terrorist attacks throughout the world were proof that terrorism was not going away.

The examples are numerous- the first attack on the World Trade Center in February, 1993; attempts to hit landmarks in New York in July, 1993 that were prevented by an FBI investigation; attempts to place bombs on board American airliners in 1994; the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995;  the Olympic bombing in July, 1996; the attacks on American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in August, 1998; the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in October, 2000; and attempts by an international terrorist to gain entry into the United States from Canada in December, 1999, all served a s a warning to the Clinton Administration of the growing threat of terrorism to Americans at home and abroad.

Sadly, Monica Lewinsky was testifying before a Federal Grand Jury about her relationship with President Clinton just one day after the attacks that killed 200 and injured 4000 in Kenya and Tanzania in August, 1998. President Clinton denied the affair.  On August 17 he finally admitted that he lied to the American people as well as to the grand jury and the FBI. His attention was not focused during this time on the protection of Americans. It was focused on his own self-protection from the scandal he had created. As if to underscore his clueless state about terrorists, President Clinton pardoned two convicted Weather Underground members serving time in prison for domestic bombing activities in the 1970s during his final days in office.

It’s fair to ask whether either party has learned from its past and can protect Americans in the future. The answer is not encouraging. Despite the expenditure of trillions of borrowed dollars since September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda continues free to plot, plan and implement attacks on the United States, cargo placed in the cargo holds of airplanes is not fully screened for explosive devices, and the government has not developed one single program aimed at soliciting the assistance of the American public to prevent terrorist acts and help solve terrorist related crimes. Yet, history illustrates that an aware and engaged public is the single most significant resource in the fight against terror.

Even the new Secretary of the vast Department of Homeland Security seems unaware of the true reasons for her agency’s existence. Janet Napolitano went out of her way during Congressional testimony on February 25 to avoid using the words al-Qaeda and terrorism, instead discussing the Department’s role in earthquake and hurricane assistance. No one in America should find her testimony convincing. America cannot hide from terrorism by concealing the truth of its existence. America’s citizens know that.

It is difficult to imagine that those leading our country today do not. Her disturbing testimony is reminiscent of the early days of another Presidential administration just eight years ago that downgraded the nation’s counter-terrorism effort as it rode into office. We all recall the disastrous results to our national morale and our economy- an economy that today could never withstand the consequences of another attack on America. Our politicians have already spent the last of our economic bullets. Our armed forces are fatigued from years of deployment. And our patience for political corruption, ineptitude and lack of transparency from government officials is forever gone.

Terry Turchie

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