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Homeland security still important

September 15, 2010
The Daily Mining Gazette

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's weekend observation that the United States will never be immune to terrorist attacks provided fodder for a substantial amount of comment by news analysts. Their bottom line in most cases was that her statement was a truism - that a nation this large, with as many enemies as Americans have, can never be entirely secure.

That certainly is true. History demonstrates that a tiny minority of people are eager to use violence in pursuit of social and/or political goals. The assortment of causes for which they are willing to act is endless. It is impossible, particularly in view of this nation's tradition of individual freedoms, to erect an impenetrable shield against terrorists.

That begs the obvious question, however: Is President Barack Obama's administration doing enough to protect us against the current threat - Islamic terrorists?

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, efforts to prevent terrorist assaults have intensified. Many plots have been foiled.

But the roots of Islamic terrorist campaigns - several highly organized groups including al-Qaida - remain alive and well. Their bases are located throughout the world, primarily in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Except in rare cases, it appears little is being done to hunt down and exterminate the terrorists.

That is not a partisan observation; both Republican and Democrat presidents have tended to shove the problem onto the back burner until it manifests itself through bloody attacks.

Napolitano and Obama, in consultation with leaders in Congress, should undertake an objective analysis of whether U.S. initiatives are mounting the best defense - an offensive against terrorist groups.



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