Bill Sykes' Newsletter from America.
An ex-Brit gives his views-(without fear
or favor)---of the American Scene
Are we the people better protected from terrorism
than we were in 2001:
question should be definitely asked on this the fourth anniversary
of the September eleventh 2001 terrorist actions upon American
soil, when Muslim extremists committed heinous acts of violence
against the people of many nations who were working in the
United States cities of New York and Washington D.C.
Unfortunately the answer as to whether we are better protected now, remains, " A
On the surface we here in America may appear to be better
protected than we were four years ago but in many cases
this is a false premise as can be evidenced by the terrible
events that took place in London on Thursday the 7th of
July 2005, which surely could be repeated here in America
sometime in the months or years to come. American airport
security gives a false impression that we are being protected
from acts of terrorism by personal identity checks, baggage
and body searches, yet the cargo holds of passenger aircraft
are still filled with questionable and potentially deadly
cargo, stored in containers which are placed onboard practically
every passenger aircraft on practically every flight are
still a vast potentially deadly security problem.
ports and harbours of this land, and even some of our nuclear
facilities, are in many cases wide open to potential terrorist
acts. The financial districts, food production facilities,
water distribution reservoirs, petroleum refineries, and
especially the vulnerable and volatile gasoline tanker
trucks which can be easily hijacked and used as firebombs.
Remember the Timothy McVeigh Okalahoma bombing incident
at the Alfred P. Murray building on April 9th 1995, which
utilized a fertilizer and diesel oil combination truck
bomb that killed one hundred and sixty eight people and
caused injuries to over five hundred others?
Of course we must include rail transportation and the millions of shipping
containers that arrive in our ports on a daily basis which are potential carriers
of weapons of mass destruction, and there are also the facilities that house
everyday necessities of life which can also be considered as potential targets
for foreign, and in some cases not so foreign, terrorist organizations.
Of course we cannot protect everyone and everything at
all times but we surely could be doing a better job than
we are currently doing by financing more protection for
some of our more important industries such as, road and
rail transport systems, ports of entry for shipping containers,
also important facets of the infra-structure such as tunnels,
bridges, electricity generation plants, water purification
plants, sewage treatment plants, all of which need priority
protection from potential terrorist attacks, plus the protection
of our sieve-like borders, if we the people are going to
blithely accept that the United States Government is providing
ways and means of protecting our industries, our infra-structure,
and our lives, but on occasion we find that a great deal
of the monies allocated for homeland security of this country
and its individuals is being miss-spent on pork barrel
projects which only benefit a minority of our citizens
and in general have nothing to do with the adequate protection
of major installations.