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Opinion: Homeland security

Monday, August 1, 2005

The (Rochester, N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle

At a time when once improbable suicide bombings in this country are now believed by many to be inevitable, it's unsettling how critical homeland security policy decisions are still being made. ...

For starters, President Bush needs to call in his homeland security chief, Michael Chertoff. Tell him, for example, that a border patrol official's recent embrace of the idea of a civilian border patrol made a lot of people nervous.

And Congress isn't helping matters, either. It needs to give more thought to homeland security legislation. Take new federal laws requiring passports for people crossing borders into the United States and a new national ID card mandate. People are confused. ...

Why weren't issues surrounding passports and ID cards ironed out beforehand? And why is Chertoff dismissing the merit of improving public transit and port security? His lame reasoning is that aviation deserves greater priority because more people could be killed if a commercial airliner went down.

The recent terrorist strikes in London ought to be a lesson for the U.S.

But if substantial improvements aren't made soon, there's bound to be a lot of worthless finger-pointing if the feared attacks on American soil occur in the current state of unreadiness.


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