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January 27th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Has U.S. done enough to protect itself against a major terror attack?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the hundreds of billions of dollars we have spent since 9/11, here is something to think about:

The United States is not prepared to protect itself against the threat of WMDs - at the same time al Qaeda seems intent on another large-scale attack.

(FILE PHOTO) In a recent radio address, Osama bin Laden praised the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner. He also warned of more attacks to come.
(FILE PHOTO) In a recent radio address, Osama bin Laden praised the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner. He also warned of more attacks to come.

A bipartisan commission appointed by Congress is giving the White house and Congress failing grades for not coming up with a rapid-response to deal with disease outbreaks from bio-terrorism... or providing enough oversight of security and intelligence agencies.

The chair of the panel says the U.S. no longer has "the luxury of a slow learning curve, when we know al Qaeda is interested in biological weapons."

Not very reassuring that this report comes on the heels of the failed attempt to blow up an airplane bound for Detroit on Christmas Day - after which President Obama acknowledged intelligence agencies didn't connect the dots.

And, Osama bin Laden is back, praising the attempted bombing. In a new audio recording, bid Laden says it was a heroic act meant to remind us of the 9/11 terror attacks. He warns that more attacks against the U.S. are coming.

Intelligence officials worry that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - which claimed responsibility for the Christmas bomb attempt - may have trained other suicide bombers.

Just last week, Britain elevated its terror threat level to "severe" - its second highest level. At the same time - American officials have described an "unusually high" number of people on the no-fly list trying to board planes bound for the U.S.

Here’s my question to you: Has the U.S. done enough to protect itself against another major terror attack?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Katja from Florida writes:
Nope, we haven't. Our borders are not sufficiently guarded. Our ports are wide open, and the government is playing footsies with countries that would rather see all Americans dead. Our leaders are outdoing each other in ways to look stupid. I hate to say it, but another terrorist attack is only a matter of time.

David from San Diego writes:
We can't stop every attack forever, without damaging our economy and way of life beyond repair. We have done too little to marshal international support for ferreting out terrorists and their training facilities, but done too much "make work" ineffective harassment of people in this country.

Greg writes:
The fact that the only real attempt since 9/11 was stopped and all al Qaeda can do is threaten that more are coming is proof the U.S. has done "almost" enough. What is needed now instead of a threat is a promise from President Obama that if there is another attack, a major Islamic city (to be named later) will be obliterated.

George writes:
Definitely not. It's time to stop being politically correct and stop worrying about offending enemies of this country and start using our military technology to eliminate any and all threats.

M. writes:
No system will ever be perfect. I have no doubt another attack on the U.S. will occur as long as evil exists in the world, no matter how great our technology and how much money we spend.

Michael writes:
The United States is doing all it can to stop the terrorists from attacking, short of stopping its involvement in the home countries of terrorists. As long as it's constantly shaking the radical hives, it's doomed to be stung.

Mike from Crystal River, Florida writes:
Jack, Of course we're doing enough. Just look at the deterrent the administration created. Terrorists will be arrested, given a court-appointed attorney and will be considered innocent until proven guilty, even if they have a bomb in their underpants. That should be enough to stop them.


Filed under: United States
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    No I do not think the US has done enough to prepare for another terror attack particularly if it involves a biohazard. I am one of a few that had extensive training while in the military concerning actions you need to take in case of this type of attack. I have yet to see even the most basic steps discussed by the government in terms of educating Americans how to prepare for this type of attack and having a couple of rolls of duck tape on hand is not going to get the job done. I think we could afford to get a series of public information ads done to publicize appropriate steps to take in case it would become necessary. I would suggest that cooperations and unions donate money to do this effort rather than supporting a political candidate

    January 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  2. Mark

    Jack, Thats like asking have we done enough to stop people from ever killing others everyday. Its always a balance between what we need to do to be as safe as possible without entirely destroying our ability to live life in a free society. Some whould suggest we invoke a military controlled society, marshal law on a continuous basis, or close our borders both ways to anyone. The right question is have we done all that we can to protect our citizens safety while still continuing to remain a free society. We will never be able to prevent all evil acts of terrorism any more than we can prevent all evil people from murdering others. What we can achive is some resonable degree of safety and a system of justice that punishes those that commit these acts of terrorism. Mark- Republican in PA.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  3. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    No it hasn't.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Jim

    Jack,

    Have you done enough to protect your home against determined, clever cockroaches? It's an apt analogy. Terrorists can hide in the cracks and then come out of the walls at times and places of their choosing. America has done a lot to shore up our security since 9/11, but there will always be more to do. It's a tough never-ending task complicated by the fact that we want security AND we want our free society.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    January 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  5. rckeene tooele utah

    It doesn't matter if a republican or a democrat is in office I think we are doing all we can but we can go farther. Just because the administration has changed does not mean we are not as safe. we are all americans.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  6. George Brooks

    definitely not, it's time to stop being politically correct and stop worrying about offending enemies of this country and start using our military technology to eliminate any and all threats. can you say smart bombs boys and girls?

    January 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  7. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    Absolutely not – just the opposite seems to be a more accurate assessment. From the announcement of the closing of Gitmo, to discontinuing approved military interrogation methods, to moving terrorists trials to our shores, to treating foreign combatants as if they were US citizens affording them all legal rights (paid for by US taxpayers), to the total lack of any sense of urgency at airports (ie camera systems not working, security breaches, etc) we have signalled the terrorists that we have dropped our guard.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  8. Mike from Denver

    Nope. Information collection is happening, but the agencies are not sharing so they still do not have a clear picture. If we cannot stop re-runs of previous attacks, how can we stop new methods?

    January 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  9. Donald Watkins II

    No as far as The National Security Organizations working in concert with one another. Terrorism is based on fear. Without fear Terrorist have no power over you. Do I fear them? Absolutely not!

    Bumpus Mills, Stewart County, TN

    January 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  10. Curtis in Philadelphia

    I don't know Jack, is our southern border secure? If only we had, had a former Texas governor who understood the border issue, as president during the 9-11 attacks, then I'm sure that our southern border would be currently locked down tight.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  11. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Until we identify and remedy the root causes of this fight then we will never be safe. And no amount of defensiveness will really be enough. That is what a one sided ideology creates.

    Why don't we become independent of Mideastern oil, end the wars in the Mideast, let the Israelis and Palestinians work out their differences or not, and then let the people of those countries decide how they wish to live and believe?

    January 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  12. Alex in Seattle

    No, but we never can. Just like we have to accept a level of crime in our society because we can't afford a police officer on every street corner 24/7. It all costs money that we don't have. The best we can do is stay vigilant to prevent as many attacks as we can and do our best when the next attack occurs.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  13. George, Houston TX

    Jack,
    The war in Afghanistan is one thing that we can easily outsource to the Indians. It will be much cheaper, and they have the best experience with terror ever since they became an independent country.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  14. Brian in Philly

    We did, but have compromised our position by sending our service men and women overseas. A "terror attack" has never been more of a possibility for opportunistic terror organizations as it is now.

    We need to come home, stop spending on wars, protect our boarders and cut government by 80%.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  15. vdh

    I'd have to say we've done just about every reasonable thing we can do. The truth is, if someone wants to kill you, they will...especially if they don't care if they die in the process; indeed WANT to die in the process (see 72 virgins).

    There are so many ways it could be done: They could poison the water supply of a large metropolis, they could take out major electrical grids spreading panic and chaos, bringing our lives to a screeching halt, they could coordinate a major anthrax attack.

    Bottom line, if there's a will, there will be a way and there ain't nothing we can do about it.

    vdh
    Mansfield, Oho

    January 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  16. Maria

    Probably not. Attacks don't always take place on airliners or railroads.
    We need far more translators who can monitor transmissions and read many eastern languages, especially Persian, sine al-Queda seems to now be focusing on that language as a way of communication.

    We need *one* agency to monitor an international database of known
    terrorists. The CIA, HLS, FBI, Nat'l Security, State Department, Pentagon, Military should all have access to the list on demand and should all contribute anything we know that is remotely suspicious.
    Other countries should have access as well. But not terrorist-suppporting states like Pakistan, Saudi, UAE, Oman, Yemen,et al.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    January 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  17. Barack Obama

    Surely this is a rhetorical question. Obama has demonstrated that he hadn't been paying attention to Afghanastan hence the Taliban and al Queda until his generals made a request that required him to make a decision. In fact, our Supreme Leaders haven't payed attention to anything except their socialist domestic agenda. They're treating terrorism as an ordinary crimminal offense, threatening our anti-terror agents with prosecution for following advice of their attorneys and for following orders years ago, prosecuting special ops and other troops for things as minor as hitting or offending terrorists, indetifying our special forces to our enemys... there is no end to their compassion for terrorists and other forms of ineptitude. I'm not even convinced they're on our side, let alone competently protecting us.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  18. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Yes. For now. We've have not been attacked successfully in over 8 years. But Al Quaeda under Osama Bin Laden is a lot more patient than Americans. They will attack us again even it takes another 20 years. We need to find and kill Bin Laden and the rest of their leadership. That is our best protection against another major terror attack.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  19. Sylvain

    Bet you anything that Ossama Bin laden has a lot of money invested in Counter-Terrorism businesses and makes a killing (no pun intended) at it. If not, he should. Every time Bin Laden speaks, Congress allocates more funding into arms, scanners, artillery and into businesses like Blackwater, Halliburton, Boeing etc. He's like the Warren Buffett of Terrorism. Makes you wonder who else benefits from these so called OBL tapes...

    January 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  20. David in San Diego

    In some ways we have done too much: Take off your shoes, small bottles of liquids, etc. To respond knee-jerk to every previous threat (as if the methods won't change) we should all have to shed our underwear and have colonoscopies just to fly. When will the public and the politicians get it through their heads: We can't stop every attack forever, without damaging our economy and way of life beyond repair. We have done too little to marshall international support for ferreting out terrorists and their training facilities, but done too much "make work" ineffective harrassment of people in this country.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  21. Lou from North Carolina

    We need to bring our troops home, get well, and anyone who tries it again will be turned into glass HOWEVER we won't take two years this time to react.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  22. Ken

    No, we've done nothing, but we've done nothing in a politically correct way.

    Never has doing nothing felt SO good.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  23. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, NY

    Jack,

    Of course we haven't and the reason why is money – too much of it. Airlines paying off Congress to avoid putting air marshalls on every flight or body scanners at every airport.
    Chemical and nuclear power plants avoiding enhanced security by making timely contributions to their most compliant legislators. It will only get better when our Senators and Congressmen care more about the public than their private coffers. Boy, are we in trouble.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  24. john ...... marlton, nj

    No, and until we stop the holocaust of Palestinians we are in danger. Until we stop Israel's financial terrorism against Palestine and the concentration camp conditions the world will be our enemy. Israel is a repugnant evil empire. We need to shut down all foreign aid, demand Israel honor pre-1967 borders and remove settles from the stolen lands. Additionally, to ensure the safety of the United States, the immediate deployment of all troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to Israel to enforce the World's demand that settlements be emptied of squatters. Any effort by Israel troops to repel our effort should be an act of aggression and act of war against the USA requiring nothing less than a massive retaliation.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  25. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Not in the least. Start at the top with Napolitano who has no idea how to keep this country safe. Hire people that know what they are doing, regardless of political affiliations, not some cronie who has their head in the sand.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  26. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    Jack, I looked up what the chances are of an American being killed by a terrorist, its: one in 80,000

    However, 1 in 2 Americans die of heart disease. Terrorism is 'good press' gets some people all rilled up, but the real danger is heart disease in our unhealthy nation.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  27. Karl from SF, CA

    Of course not. God forbid anyone with a brain in their head and a plan for defense should even try to speed up our snail paced Congress. We blew our chances of getting Bin Laden after 911 by diverting into Iraq and we haven’t woke up to the potential of that error. Israel has a working model for beefed up security without all the machines. They use people. We need to do the same and hopefully it isn’t too late to start.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  28. Bill Davis

    Terror attacks, however you define them, are usually against moneyed interests. Why is it we commoners have to bear the brunt of the screening. I think this whole "war on terror" is a distraction. It's little more than scare tactics to keep us sheep in line. As far as I'm concerned, we've done more than the "tactic" merits.

    We live in the silliest country on Earth.

    Bill D.
    Champaign, IL

    January 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  29. sisi

    Nah! WE ALL WANT to be victims! What a silly question Jack! Which country do you want to bomb first? Which specific set of people do you want to profile and harrass first? Second? Third? THIS IS THE PROBLEM with this WAR against terrorism! There is NO specific country, no specific cultural or racial or religious group to harass. It's a bunch of mini Hitlers operating together or seperately on this planet. How do you fight that? You hire the best, you put into practice the best ideas and you PRAY! EVERYONE in this country, from the mechanic in the corner store to the President has the potential of losing someone they love to terrorism. Do you THINK people in our government do not kNOW this? Do you THINK they ignore this FACT of life in 2010?

    Sisi- Florida

    January 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  30. Katja in Florida

    Nope, we haven't. Our borders are not sufficiently guarded. Our ports are wide open, and the government is playing footsies with countries that would rather see all Americans dead. Our leaders are out-doing each other in ways to look stupid (Pelosi anyone?). I hate to say it, but another terrorist attack is only a matter of time. I only hope it won't be as bad as 9/11.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  31. honestjohn in Vermont

    No, sadly to say that we have not done enough. But instead of thinking of our defensive strategy it makes more sense to be aggressive and to destroy Al Queda.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  32. Jeff In Minnesota

    I think the US government is doing what they can sifting through the intelligence. However, the intelligence community are not mind readers, so there will always be some element of surprise in each attack, hence why they are considered terror attacks. And you have to remember that just because terrorist groups are interested in biologicals or dirty bombs, does not necessarily mean that those will be used in the next attack. As of this date, for whatever reason, the attack vector of choice seems to point to an airplane fixation in the US. That is not to say that the attack vector cannot change or that all terror groups are only looking at only airplane attacks. In the case of London and Madrid, public transportation systems (buses and trains) were targeted. But such attacks have not occurred in the US even though we also have such transportation systems in some cities. Experts will tell you that terrorists are very opportunistic and base their attacks on the skills of local assets to construct devices and deliver those devices and the availability of attack materials such as explosives, biological agents, radioactive materials, etc. Terrorists can easily move people around to build and deliver devices, but the availability of attack materials is driven by local supplies as the terrorists do not want to expose their plans by trying to ship in such materials and raise suspicions.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  33. Dennis North Carolina

    you can only protect your self from terror attacks. our borders are to long and our coast lines are to long and open to protect the from terror. we have a open and free society which makes it hard to protect with out taking the word freedom out of our country. we have all the items with in our borders to make a terror attack possible so they do not have to bring a item in except the brains and bodies. we need to make one promise to the terrorists which is that if you attack us, we will destroy you no matter where you are. we do have the power and tools to do this as a promise.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  34. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Probably not. They spend all their time trying to prevent the last attack that they never get around to preparing for the next possible attack. Therefore, true to form, since no one has hit us with a biological threat yet, they haven't prepared to prevent it.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  35. Dianne

    Our current commander in chief is viewed as a pansy and his administration takes vacations during times of crisis – honestly Jack do you feel safer with Obama in the Oval Office? I know that I don't. It is not comforting to know that our President would rather bow to foreign leaders and continuosly apologize for being America than to stand strong and show some strength.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  36. steve- virginia beach

    No. It's going take a lot more to protect us than witty speeches, apology junkets, and reading terrorists Maranda rights.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  37. Joe in Kent Island, MD

    We could spend every dime in the country and still be open to an attack. Look at Israel, about the size of Rhode Island with the best security in the world and they can't even stop attacks.

    The best policy is to maintain good relations and communications with other countries and cultures, and do the best we can to protect ourselves from attacks and over reacting to every story in the rumor mill.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  38. Cousin Vinny Connecticut

    Of course not! Obama has weakened our intelligence, is closing Gitmo, is trying enemy combatants (although we're not 'allowed' to call them that anymore!) in US courts, is treating these potential terrorists like they were car thieves or bank robbers, giving them lawyers and all the rights we have as Americans, even though they want to totally destroy our country, won't profile, is trying Navy seals for 'roughing up a terrorist' and wants to make 'nice nice' with these terrorists! THIS IS INSANE! What the hell were the people who voted for him thinking?! God help us in the next 3 yrs that this man is 'leading' us! His election is the biggest mistake in the history of our nation.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  39. Wayne from New Brunswick Canada

    There is no such thing as absolute protection; if a few people want to do something insane and/or suicidal there is not much you can do about it. There are many ways to accomplish this; you don't need airplanes. The best you can hope for is to prevent terrorists from getting access to WMD. Security measures makes it tougher for terrorists but not impossible. In the big picture, terrorist acts are generally small potatoes as far as wars go; they get the most bang for the buck with the publicity and the irrational fear. The US should fight back with anti-Jihad propaganda.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  40. IAN PA

    Definitely not. This President and his administration have absolutely no clue as to how the Muslim/Arab minds work. Obama will not be able to blame George Bush for the next one, it will be all his own ignorance & neglect of duty.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  41. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Well Jack, when a 'suitcase bomb' or one of your own hijacked planes can be used as a weapon the situation becomes rather difficult !!! The state of your Intelligence has to be upgraded with Arabic translators and such but vigilance and quick response seem the only answers in today's world .Th targets and scope of intrusion is too large to ensure complete security.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  42. david doherty

    Dur, dumb question Jack, and the answer is no. All you have to do is look at our southern border for the answer, this country is so wide open for an attack, al Qaeda probably just can't decide which target to attack first. This country is what you'd call a target rich enviorment. It's like playing hockey without a goalie!

    Dave from Peterborough, NH.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  43. Joe, NJ

    It's impossible to answer the question. We won't know until
    something happens or doesn't happen.
    I just hope we are doing more than enough.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  44. Don from Belleville, Canada

    The USA has done too much militarily by invading country after country, which has increased the terror threat. Heaven only knows how much the CIA has harmed the USA by the many covert operations around the world, the details of which would probably scandalize America.
    But the USA has been seemingly blind to the back door threat, as the terrorists win the "war on terror" stealthily by slowly bankrupting America.
    The USA cannot war its way to safety or prosperity. Why can't they realize that?

    January 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  45. IKHAN

    Jack,
    No matter what the govt does to safeguard against crazies who want to blow themselves up & I believe out govt is doing what is humanly & technologically possible, unless countries leading this fight sit down & get to the root causes, this menace is not going to go away.
    The propaganda (put forth of course by those who profit politically & financially by keeping America at war) that the Talibans ,AlQaeda are after Western civilization is a lot of bull. They want foreign troops out of Iraq & Afghanistan & that is their agenda.
    I read now that NATO is preparing to initiate dialogue with Talibans, that shows that the realization is sinking in that to win this war on terror, military might alone is not enough. International community has to proceed rapidly to solve all outstanding & simmering issues in the middle east.
    Muslim countries are fed up with daily violence in their cities & their help has got to be enlisted as also of Muslim scholars & groups to counter the rhetoric of terrorist leaders using religion as weapon of propaganda to recruit would be suicide bombers.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  46. Greg, Ontario

    The fact that the only real attempt sense 911 was stopped and all al Queda can do is threaten that more are coming is proof the US has done "almost" enough. What is needed now instead of a threat is a promise from President Obama that if there is another attack a major Islamic city to be named later will be obliterated. Then you could arrested the rats that try to escape the sinking ship know as al Queda.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  47. Rick

    Not under this President, he's demoralizing the CIA and completely focused on health care

    January 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  48. Kerry Prather

    Absolutely not! Until we are willing to allow profiling of people coming into this country there will always be room for someone to get through the system. Our visa system for foreign nationals needs to be overhauled to allow strict guidelines for entry into our country.

    Kerry Prather
    McKinney, TX

    January 27, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  49. MG Arizona

    Absolutely YES. There has NOT been any terror attack since 9/11 credit must go to the law enforcement agencies and quite frankly leave the undiebomber incident alone, I doubt if the material the guy was carrying had the strength to blowup anything other than his own underwear.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  50. Frank

    The answer is no we have not done enough. We should leave no stone unturned in hunting down and ridding the world of these lunatics once and for all. With the help of others is possible but alone if necessary. No sanctuary and no negotiation. And in support of that we should use all methods and techniques at our disposal, indluing harsh interogation techniques and prisons like Guantanamo. They no Geneva Conventions rights nor should they get protections offered by the US Constitution. The bleeding liberals that believe otherwise would be stunned to know how the Founding Fathers would have handled this. The Constitution was written for law abiding Americans and intended protection from tyrants. It wasn't written to protect mass murdering jihadists that have no respect for it.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  51. Ken

    How? we dont even know how. The odds are against us finding those who would do such a thing. Surprise attacks are just that ...a surprise. If someone has the know-how, they will....and i doubt very much we'll be able to fend off such an attack in time.(to save us all)Scary truth, for sure. Lets all dig holes...lots of em. Cause we'll need them...to hide in....-and for our dead.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  52. Annie, Atlanta

    I think our government officials are very serious about our safety, or at the very least, theirs'. However, let’s be honest here, how would we or any other country stop it if someone wanted to attack, from without or within? Realistically, that’s impossible.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  53. Ken in NC

    One can never do enough to prevent attacks as long as those that would do us harm are containing to find new ways to harm us. We can only do so much. Much of what we need to do is learn about those that would do us harm and then do what we can in a preemptive manner to neutralize their efforts.

    That doesn't mean more war but more surgical skills applied directly to the threat.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  54. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". FDR

    January 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  55. Marc Schoenfeld

    This administration's preparation for attacks on the homeland does not exist. This President believes in just sitting down and talking to our adversaries in the hopes that if we talk nice they will act nice. President Obama due to his non existent experience in either economics or foreigh policy will place all our lives at risk. He does not understand that you do not negotiate with these people, you simply have to kill them. Democrats have to decide–are they willing to go all out to protect this country and kill our enemies. So far, the answer is a resounding "NO".

    Marc Schoenfeld
    St. Louis, Missouri

    January 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  56. Jay Miller in NJ

    A successful major attack on US soil could require a major military mobilization but already our active duty, reserve, and National Guard troops are over extended. Although the draft has been inactive for a generation, some are now calling for reactivation. Before that suddenly happens, we must reexamine the whole Selective Service System and classification criteria in light of evolving public law regarding gender equality and sexual orientation. Currently only young men are required to register and there's less than 70 % compliance. (Women are deprived of the privilege.) And there are 12 million male able bodies illegals who could and should be required to opt for that as an immediate route to citizenship.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  57. Scott Stodden

    Jack I think that the U.S. and President Obama are so focused on everything that there forgetting there is an enemy that still wants to bring harm and destruction to the United States. The Democrats and President Obama are so focused on creating jobs, reviving the economy, passing stimulus packages that do nothing but spend more money, fighting to rush a worthless health care bill through the Senate, and so many more problems that there forgetting about the war in Afghanistan and forgetting that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qadia are still out there which is why the Christmas Day Attempted Bomber got into the United States and almost killed hunderds of people on Christmas Day, Wake up and do what you said you were going to do Mr Obama.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  58. Bob, Minnesota

    No, Jack. South Carolina politicians are still at it.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  59. Jim in Midwest

    The US government is doing all it can but we all must be vigilant. Most importantly, we must not give in to the culture of fear.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  60. michaeljwjr

    The United States is doing all it can to stop the terrorists from attacking, short of stopping it's involvement in the home countries of terrorists. As long as it's constantly shaking the radical hives, it's doomed to be stung.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  61. james in Idaho

    Jack, the short and simple is no.

    Strangely enough the answer to correcting that mistake is also short and simple; Bring half the troops from Iraq home, to increase security and the ability to deal with crisis here, and send the other half to Afghanistan to really give Al Queda and the Taliban and anyone else who harbors either Bin Laden Himself or knowledge of his whereabouts, some real lumps.

    Trying to explain to the average voting age citizen why that hasn't happened yet however, seems to be too complicated a notion for the bozos in DC to grapple with.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  62. Tony

    The US has done and spent too much fighting Terror, but have spent it all in places where it matters least. Wars in countries where the US military are not wanted will not fight terror, it will errupt more and more acts like the Christmas Day incident. More money should be spent on intelligence within the US and abroad to track terror events before they happen.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  63. Myrtle

    Everything but pray.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  64. Don from Belleville, Canada

    Until the USA wakes up and realizes it cannot war its way to safety or prosperity, there is no such concept as "doing enough to protect itself".
    The USA has done way too much militarily, by invading country after country, and by allowing its CIA to carry out covert operations all over the world, the details of which if known would make every American cringe with shame.
    Meanwhile, the terrorists are winning through the back door by slowly bankrupting America.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  65. James A Keddie

    While I know everyone in Homeland security is working hard to prevent attacks, one can never do enough. It is a constant virgule as the perpetrators are always learning new techniques and seeking to do that which has not been done before… We must always improve. We must always do better.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  66. Zennie Abraham in Oakland

    Jack, with all due respect, that's an ignorant question. The real question to ask, (and I don't think you will read this on the air), is given the rise in hate groups in America, what should we do to curb Domestic Terrorism, especially from White Supremacists who hate that Obama's black?

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  67. Cody P.

    Jack, it's not as simple as that. The US has in place all the tools to prevent these attacks. However, it is the lack of foresight, the pernicious myopia displayed by the intelligence agencies that has allowed these attacks to proceed. Both the embassy bombings, the cole bombing, and 9/11 were all preventable. The US can protect itself, but it underestimates the enemy out of false superiority. In this kind of asymmetrical warfare, fail to prepare then prepare to fail.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  68. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    We don't know what our security agencies have done to protect us, because if they told us their plans then the terrorists would know of them too. But in the end, the protection of Americans lives has been due to the vigilance of Americans themselves. It was citizens that restrained the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber. Our own involvement in arming ourselves, staying informed, and taking action is the first and last line of our own defense. As it should be.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  69. Kevin - Veteran in Illinois

    Jack- In the spirit of the Superbowl... you can have your best team on the field but if your playing against a opponent that hides the ball under their shirt, cheats and wears several different uniforms, how can you find the right people to tackle? If someone wants to harm you, there is nothing that President Obama, Congress, the Police or any agency around the world can do about it. The American people as a whole need to reach out to all communities in the Middle East, learn to appreciate the culture, understand the religion and respect their contribution to history. They key is to find how to establish a peace with extremist, if that's even possible.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  70. Tony

    The US has done and spent too much fighting Terror, but have spent it all in places where it matters least. Wars in countries where the US military are not wanted will not fight terror, it will errupt more and more acts like the Christmas Day incident. More money should be spent on intelligence within the US and abroad to track terror events before they happen.

    Tony
    Minneapolis, MN.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  71. Andrew, Amherst NY

    What 12 Dead and 31 Wounded isn't major to you??

    January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  72. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    No. Sounds like we need a litle more attention to be paid here. Let's hope no one slips up and one of the unusually high number of "no fly list" people are able to board a plane destined for the US or anywhere. I think we should take some lessons from Israel because they have been dealing with this for a longer period of time and have had any problems in decades.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  73. Jem

    Marc, You really know what our President is doing about our security? I'm sure you have all the answers though.. You should run in next time!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  74. James

    The U.S. government has a long, long way to go. For anybody who would blow up themself, that SHOULD tell the true story about the work to be done.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  75. rich stevens

    NO!! Not only is TSA a joke in the airport terminals. The biggest joke is anyone thinking that there are not as many unknown millitants as there are on thier no fly list. Many sitting in rooms in our back yards.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  76. Gigi Oregon

    I think we have strained at an gnat and swallowed a camel. If we talked less and let the proper agency handle terrorism without fan fair America would be better of and more productive. Terrorist love to see their name in the paper. And better yet, how America plans to take them out. It just makes their day...thanks CNN.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  77. Don in Grand Rapids , MI

    If appolizing to everyone in the world by Obama makes the USA secure then we must be the safest country on the planet. And if you believe that, I'd like to sell you csome lake property in Iraq!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  78. Greg - Minneapolis, MN

    The fact that over Christmas a man was able to board a plane to the U.S. with explosives in his underwear is proof that we have not done enough. He flies on a ticket paid with cash, no checked luggage, and someone else to do all the talking for him on checkin. Not only should this have raised all sorts of red flags, but a fireworks display should have metaphorically gone off to alert someone that a more thorough search of both individuals at the checkin counter was needed.

    We need to adopt the Israeli system of screening all passengers, and profile specific behaviors. And above all, NOT divulge the details of what is being done, lest the terrorists use that to our disadvantage. If anyone doesn't like that, they do not have to come here.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  79. jeff jackson, alabama

    The answer is no. Also , no politician
    in America will ever do what it will take
    to win the war on terror. This breed of
    leaders today { Republican and Democrat }
    don't have the moxy of past leaders and
    the people don't have the moxy of past
    citizens.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  80. Socrates

    Not until we're required to fly naked.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  81. Matt

    The best way to protect ourselves was, from the outset, to start a crash program to eliminate our dependence on Middle East oil – with no need for us to intervene in other countries' affairs, and without us supporting corrupt oil dictators, we would have taken away the very reason for Al Queda to attack us to begin with. Eliminating the cause as to why terrorists attack is the best defense of all.
    But there's still big money to be made in big oil, so fat chance of that ever happening.
    Matt
    Saint Augustine, Fl.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  82. Thom

    How can we ever do enough? We certainly would be a lot safer and more secure as a nation, if we would safely withdraw our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and give them all strategic security and intelligence jobs right here in America.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  83. John Sisinger

    We have certainly spent enough but sadly we still have more threats. I say fall back and fortify. With Yemen and Angola now supporting terrorist bases we can't afford to police the world. Afghanistan, Iraq are old news get out of there and start to protect our borders. I f we must do full body scans of everyone destined to the US then do it. If cargo needs to be x-ray'd and inspected then do that too. We are not as fluid as the terrorists are. They can pop-up in hundreds of places with little impunity and general support from locals. This will be our trojan horse if we continue to follow them around the world.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  84. Jim

    Jack,
    we should just let all those on the no fly list board one plane, with parachutes for the pilots only.
    Pilots jump, plane gets shot down, problem of a no fly list solved.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  85. Barbara in NC

    All they can do is all they can do. What do you want? We did get the pirates without forewarning citizens on 24/7 news of what was going to happen .

    I think a lot is done in secret, as it should be, and not make the 24/7 news. Our enemies watch also.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  86. Larry

    Jack,
    Back in Dec. 2001 Defense Secretary Rumsfeld asked Americans for ideas to help fix this problem because his own people were not coming up with good solutions. I was one of 12,000 submissions and to this day we still have the same problem.

    Now the President is asking for a pre-emptive plan of action and, if I may say so, that is exactly what my plan envisioned nine years ago. How can I finally be heard by someone truly interested in a definitive solution?

    LR

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  87. Mitch

    There is no way any institution or government can truly safeguard against anyone who truly wants to cause harm. If you continue to pour liquid over a sealed container, it will eventually leak.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  88. Chuck Wright

    Hey Jack,
    We need to roll out more tough guys in congress and the media. The sky is falling. Lets rattle some sabers and nukes. Defensiveness never keeps up with man's mind for things that need protection from. They can't agree to lock the door!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  89. Jerry

    Jack ,The president and the democrats have the borders as monitered as good as they want them, And any terrorist that get in or any undocumented or Illegal Alien/terrorist is a possible vote for them. And Jack I like how your all changing the name of the PANTY Bomber to the clothing bomber or the Chrismas day bomber, you have got to be politically correct, after all you don't want to make any muslims mad by attaching a terrorist to his PANTIES Jerry/Iowa

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  90. marsm7

    No system will ever be perfect – I have no doubt another attack on the US will occur as long as evil exists in the world, no matter how great our technology and how much money we spend. The only true protection comes from eliminating, or at least containing, evil. Have we done enough to eliminate evil? I say no but, can any one country ever do enough?

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  91. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, if the United States could find and kill Osama bin Laden it would go a long way to confirm we know what we're doing. That we have not, after many years, suggests incompetence. Admittedly Bin Laden's just a symbol but he's making us look like monkeys. We need to take this guy down but nobody seems to be looking for him.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  92. Cody P., Cincinnati, OH

    Jack, it's not as simple as that. The US has in place all the tools to prevent these attacks. However, it is the lack of foresight, the pernicious myopia displayed by the intelligence agencies that has allowed these attacks to proceed. Both the embassy bombings, the cole bombing, and 9/11 were preventable. The US can protect itself, but it underestimates the enemy out of false superiority. In this kind of asymmetrical warfare, fail to prepare then prepare to fail.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  93. Da Bull

    Well Jack, if Obama had not thrown the Bush administration's security policies, DHS's works that did not center on patriotic Americans as the problems, and act like we are not at war with islamic terrorism, as well as ignoring terrorist acts committed since his Inauguration, all of which ignore the securities and lack of all of this for so many years, we would not be having this question posed right now.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  94. Jeff

    Whenever a terrorist attack happens, there is a root cause analysis performed where security measures were compromised...yet no one appears to ever get fired for their lack of adequate oversight. When civilian lives are in danger but no one is held responsible, then a fear everything atmosphere will be cultivated especially since no one will be held accountable for their own shortcomings. If no one's job is at stake then they merely can say that they did all they could to prevent an attack. We all know that when someone's job is on the line they will be much more diligent in their actions.

    That is a weakness in our response to terror and the bad guys know that and will exploit it to their advantage.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  95. Frank, Jacksonville, Florida

    No, the U.S. has not done enough to protect itself against a major terror attacd, which now includes the possibillity of Al Qaeda using an actual nuclear bomb, not just a "dirty bomb". The U.S. needs to immediately implement a multi-pronged offense against terror to include ruthless pursuit of our enemies wherever they are, extreme pressure on our allies and non-allies to aggressively assist in that effort, punitive measures on those countries who harbor terrorists and detention and prosecution of terrorists as enemy combatants. The current administration and Congress must act on behalf of its citizens in furthering this cause and protect the country. If they do not, they are just as guilty of terror and treason as a home-made terrorist.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  96. Lefty Conservative

    No we haven't. I cite H1N1 as an example of this. True H1N1 wasn't caused by terrorism, but if you can imagine the thought of terrorists in possession of H1N1 or something like it, I SHUDDER at the mere thought of it.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  97. Jon L. - Sacramento, CA

    When our Government is handing-over the Panty-Bomber to the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT as opposed to our MILITARY for interrogation – we are FAR from doing enough.

    When our NEW policy will be reading Miranda Rights to captured terrorists on FOREIGN soil – we are FAR from doing enough.

    When this administration thinks a NY City Show-Trial of dangerous terrorists is better than Military Tribunals – we are FAR from doing enough.

    When Obama says we are no longer at WAR with terrorism – we are FAR from doing enough.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  98. dick Williams

    I am sure that President Obama takes his oath very seriously and particularly the part about protecting and defending the people of the US. I do not think much of some others of his advisors or cabinet members. Attorney Holder, allowing trial of terrorists to take place in NYC or on our mainland, and or considering and actually giving terrorists the same legal protection as US citizens, who are felons.
    It seems this only satisfies those who have a strange attitude about terrorists, not the majority of americans.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  99. Kevin L

    No, Neever...this terrorist thing is like the cold; you can take your vitamans and excercise, but sooner or later you catch it.., just when?
    btw, no one's at fault, you just caught a cold.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  100. Matt

    An attack is an inevitability or so we're told and given my recent international travel experience and the far-tighter security at foreign airports I can't argue with the CIA on this. Profiling is both recommended and necessary as are background checks, the image scanners and random strip searching of people under the proper supervision of course.....and not only in airports but also train stations, shopping malls and night clubs....or have people forgotten that these are great targets too?
    bin Laden and his people are determined and although terribly misguided, it is pretty clear that we, as a society, aren't nearly as determined to protect ourselves as they are to find ways to hurt us. An unfortunate reality for a democracy but reality all the same.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  101. Arthur

    There is no fool proof on prevention. We should retaliate on terriosts with swift and deadly force, not prevention only. The only way stops these attacks, which is to hit them hard and deadly. Bin Laden wants to destroy our way of life, and he already did. We spend almost 30 percent of our resource on his orgranization, and delay to renew our own need back home. If they attack us again, we should just pull our troop out, and nuke the area to wipe them out. Play garilla warfair is not our military speciality.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  102. Mike Hrabina, Crystal River, FL

    Jack, of course we're doing enough. Just look at the deterrent the administration created. Terrorists will be arrested, given a court appointed attorney and will be considered innocent until proven guilty, even if they have a bomb in their underpants. That should be enough to stop them.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  103. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We will never be protected against another terrorist attack until we stop meddling in other countries affairs who will never conform to the type of democracy we expect. Israel is a good example of how to protect their people from terrorist attacks and they don't sell wolf tickets,

    January 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  104. Tristan

    I am sorry that you all live in such fear. The solution is in yourself, not in barricading yourself from the outside world. Grow up.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  105. Jeff

    The "undie bomber" nearly kills a plane load of people and we're saved only by God's grace, and you ask THIS question? I can't think of a better demonstration of how badly we are still bungling this job.

    And if that wasn't incompetent enough, we gave this terrorist the same privileges as an American citizen and trying his case in a civilian court. Reportedly after being read his Miranda rights, he immediately shut up. If there are bombings to follow as Osama bin Laden has promised, then we have lost an opportunity to learn more and handed Osama a victory.

    Failure to stop the "undie bomber" was the failure of a security system with glaring holes that still exist even after 911. But the idiocy of giving civilian rights to terrorists and missing the opportunity to interrogate them as enemy combatants is solely the foolish mistake of the Obama administration. And we will pay for this mistake.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  106. jet

    we need to do more to fight Bin Laden. We need to eliminate him this year

    January 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  107. george

    Just take one look at our border with mexico,I would venture to say not. In my opinion the main thing preventing us from being much safer is political correctness and washington failing to do it's job.
    george
    chester,ct.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  108. Daniel

    Not doing enough with Obama in office. The Christmas bomber said more attacks were coming and he knew when but he then was allowed a lawyer instead of being seen as a combatent. Where enhanced interrogation could give us details of these upcoming attacks Obama has halted any chance we would have of finding out these details.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  109. harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    Jack,
    Those willing to die have a great chance of killing those they choose to kill.
    I think we are doing all that is possible to prevent attacks. The odds are in our favor,however, systems don't always function flawless manner.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  110. Tammy Bostick

    There are issues with Security and Protection of the American Citizens against Terrorism. We need heightend Security and Protection against Terrorism for the American People. Prayer is Key and Trusting God to Direct Us as to How to Implement that Security and in what major locations.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  111. G.G.

    We are our own worst enemy.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  112. Gary Dalton

    Who knows? Anyone who thinks about this issue for more than one minute should come to the conclusion that the average citizen wouldn't know what governmental entities at the state, local, or national level have done or are doing to combat terrorism. To give notice or advertise all of the structures and strategies that might be in place would be foolish at best. And, seriously, how many people care enough to dial away from reality TV and sitcoms to find out.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  113. harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    Jack,
    Those willing to die have a great chance of killing those they choose to kill.
    I think we are doing all that is possible to prevent attacks. The odds are in our favor,however, systems don't always function in a flawless manner.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  114. Craig Stuart

    I'm really disappointed that this president has paid off (bribed) the insurance industry and now they want to force the legal citizens to buy medical insurance just so the illegal aliens can continue receiving free medical care. The illegal aliens are criminals and they and their children should be prosecuted and expelled from these United States. Now since the mayors of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles have said they would not uphold the law of the land they should be prosecuted and put in prison with their illegal friends. I used to have a lot of faith that you would say something about this situation but alas you've said nothing so I thought I would drop you a line to remind you of the tremendous amount of criminal activities and load upon our system these illegals have caused.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  115. Rose

    Are we sure we know who really caused 9/11? Since the official report of what happened on that day was so flawed, it seems more prudent to have a real investigation to discover who really caused the damage on 9/11. Then we can be prepared for further "terrorism."

    RK, London

    January 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  116. Barbara

    NO...and Hell No!

    What about the 35 camps that we know of in the USA, and also the 22 states that the terrorist leaders say have Jihadist camps?

    Why isn't Congress making law that will stop these camps that supposedly have WMD's and are training Muslims to kill Americans!?

    Prevention is always the BEST CURE!

    If Congress will NOT do something about them...then this is another reason to FIRE CONGRESS! No matter what party...if they are not listening to the PEOPLE...their bosses...then KICK EM OUT!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  117. Jack Prince

    No, we are making myopic and misguided movements toward expensive body scanners at major airports. Why do we forget that one 9-11 hijacker cleared security in Portland, ME?!! With about 600 commercial airports in the US, we must realize that the "weakest link" concept applies. Common sense does not seem to prevail when politicians are involved.

    Jack
    Wayne, PA

    January 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  118. Wendy

    Sure, the government is doing something to protect us. Do you really think the government is just sitting somewhere idling their fingers waiting for another attack on the country. No, there are government officials that work every single day to protect this country. Sure they could do a lot more especially with the borders. Not sure why that is such a debacle but I truly do not believe they are doing nothing but wasting tax dollars. Plus, how do you truly protect the nation from people/person that want to harm you. I read everyday about Americans killing Americans. Do you think the local or state officials did not want to protect these victims of crimes. There is no way to protect everyone and everything.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  119. David

    Short of killing millions who hate us, there is nothing that will give us safety or security. Time to lock , load, set the selector switch on full auto and start stacking bodies.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  120. G.G.

    We are our own worst enemy . We don't even know who a terrorist is if they introduced themselves to us.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  121. Mark P. Kessinger

    Jack, the simple truth of the matter (which most of the country doesn't really want to hear), is that if a terrorist is determined enough, he or she will find a way to do something. And we hand the terrorists another victory every time we collectively wet ourselves in response.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  122. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    Perhaps this time I will get my comment posted........

    Jack, to answer your question, YES! We have, what else is there but live in a police state? If we lose our freedoms then the terrorists have won!

    I am not falling for fear mongering. I looked up what the chances are of an American being killed by a terrorist attack, its one in 80,000!

    Considering that one in two Americans dies of heart disease, what we should be preventing is heart disease by promoting a healthy lifestyle! I will leave the fear mongering to the media & the GOP.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  123. grrace

    If we still allow Cheney to walk around and spew his hatred for the U.S., if Cheney has not been prosecuted for torture yet, then the answer is NO.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  124. Marvin Lee-Arcadia, California

    Strict immigration policies do not deter terrorists. Billions of dollars are wasted on the U.S.-Mexico border that is inefficient and have no signs of terrorist threats. Airport security is a great buffer, but does not stop a terrorist. The best method is to rely on human intelligence through the FBI and NSA to ensure U.S. residents are not terrorists. Outside terror can be stopped, but domestic terror is overlooked.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  125. Don Nelson

    Jack:

    Unfortunately or conveniently this question is a diversion from the real threat to this country, an undermining government who supports the special interest and wealthy to the detriment of the rest of us. With all of the history of the last year, it is apparent that most of us are fodder for the ruling class, make no mistake about it, there is one. Seeing our sons & daughters off to a war without an apparent direction is at best irresponsible, at worst it makes my point obvious.

    I am truly a pissed off American, one who lived thru the 60's in of all places Berkeley, now looking back, think I got it wrong.

    For us to focus on an external terror threat is news fodder, that keeps most, if not all of us, from seeing the real threat. Tell me I am wrong.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  126. rrock

    Having worked with homeland security I can attest that there is a lot of money spent on appearances and little on effective measures. It is a bloated bureaucracy that is not very efficient.

    It is like checking your passport 3 times in the security line and frisking an 80 year old lady but not putting a potential terrorist in the security database.

    It is like spending a trillion dollars invading some countries and supporting corrupt governments but having mostly open borders.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  127. Matt, San Diego, CA

    Jack,

    Doing 'enough' as you put it would imply that terrorism is kept at bay. While the US can never do 'enough' to combat terrorism, the REAL question which of course you avoided is "Can the US do enough to combat terrorism without sacrificing what the US is. The land of Freedom, Liberty, and Prosperity". While you could make the arguement Bush made, that having no second major terror attack on US soil proved the policies worked, how many of those policies were ineffectual at combating terrorists and were instead a great inconvenience and an assault on the rights of American Citizens? What we need, Jack, is to combat terrorism in-step with our values as Americans, not the policies of torture, pre-emptive strikes, military occupation– these are not American values, although it does remind me a bit of the 3rd reich. Are we doing 'enough'? Apparently YOU don't think so. I however feel that if we do much more, the terrorists have won because we all live in fear of the boogeyman Osama bin Laden. Want to combat terrorism and win? Stop being terrified.

    -Matt

    January 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  128. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Jack,
    President Bush did a great job protecting this country from another terrorist attack. The Bush Doctrine is the right mentality the U.S government needs to have.

    Since President Obama took office, he has focused solely on the economy (which is understandable given the mess were in) but that allows terrorists to try to carry out their plots. Thank God that that airliner didn't blow up on Christmas Day and I think the president's eyes are open now!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  129. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    The White House and Congress should have learned by now that "throwing hundreds of billions" at problems does necessarily solve problems. Bin Laden started off with a mere quarter billion. Who's spending money more effectively and prudently? It is certainly not us. Our government is going to have to change its way of doing business if it is to survive.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  130. Dimslie

    Of course not. If we were serious about it, we wouldn't be giving the same scrutiny to young Middle Eastern men that we do to little old Jewish ladies headed to Miami Beach for a Majong tournament. We also wouldn't be electing Democrats. Both of those absurdities will eventually change but, we're going to have to watch a lot more innocent Americans die before that happens.

    Now, sit back and watch the Democrats make some inane posts to prove my point.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  131. TJ

    YES!!! Too much so. Can anyone say, "Terrorism industrial complex." Lets frighten everyone out of their minds so the gov't will be forced to spend trillions of dollars on terror prevention, that way we can make it look like congress is spending way too much, force them to cut taxes and thus spending on social programs like education and medicare. The public stays stupid and in the lower to middle class (because they have to spend so much on medical care), and thus more easily controlled. And the mega-corps get to run the people in office and make insane amounts of money. Fear is big business's golden ticket.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  132. OMG

    Judging by these comments, it looks like the tide is turning for this administration. No Jack, Obama is viewed to be weak by the terrorists.

    Don from Canada, why don't you just stay in your socialists haven before we send the girl scouts to invade and take over???? One troop should be enough.

    And MG Arizona: "I doubt if the material the guy was carrying had the strength to blowup anything other than his own underwear." Sir, do you know anything about aircraft? They are pressurized. Put a firecracker in a closed can and set it off...you will notice a lot more damage. This guy did have enough explosives to bring the plane down.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  133. Stewart in OR

    No – Truth is – Homeland Security is a pretty boring job, and will always have holes in it. We needs to address the immediate symptoms, i.e.,, security issues, but also aim at the core problems.

    Youth of the world are our target market for the core problem – I've not noticed any suicide attacks by middle age or older people. Youth are mentally open subjects and want to do something – that's were terror groups – once small – became larger because of all of the White House/Media attention (at the wrong time).

    Suppressed youth (via poverty, politics, society), are the most vulnerable and easiest targets for terror groups. The keys to recruiting youth for good is opportunity to belong to something bigger than their perceived self. We can do that through education, how we work with other countries, and slow media focus on shock features that just try and make ratings increase (this is the least likely to change).

    In closing, an American joke – "Do you know the difference between a 30 year old and a 40 year old? – The 30 year old wants to save the world, the 40 year old just wants to save himself......"

    January 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  134. fred davis exiled az

    No system is 100% safe. Even during the so called safe Bush years ,many experts said it was only a matter of time before we would be attacked. Nothing will change until the root causes of our corporate interference around the world and support for Israel's illegal treatment of Palestinians ceases. Get some people on who really know what is happening. I sent CNN a list of extremely capable people who were never given air time.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  135. bill

    First off, why is it always Bush's or Obama's fault – we ascribe a bit too much authority to the executive branch.

    What would you have Obama do ? There is nothing to be done to make us 100% safe – those days are long gone thanks to terrorists. In the long run, we should make every effort to marginalize and isolate the terrorist in their own society.

    One thing the administration could do is start holding people more accountable. It get tiring hearing how we messed up but will do better next time.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  136. Conor in Chicago

    We will never protect ourselves enough because you will always have powerful people who profit from fear, war, and turning America into a police state. Rest assured if we every have another terrorist attack in this country I will be convinced that it is someone alligned to the Neo-Conservative Movement, Military Industrial Complex, or the Oil Conglomerates that propogates it.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  137. Benjamin, Cary, North Carolina

    Jack, I see some fool in a post is blaming all illegals, and terrorist on Obama and the Democrats. I think it was george bush Who brought in 30 Million Illegals. Were some of them Terrorists?

    In addition, how would the average Joe, working class almost middle class fellow like Me know what the Government is doing. At least with Bush, Chaney and GoldMan Sachs, We knew what they were doing....raiding the treasury, 401K Plans, and trying to get their hands on Social Security funds.....Truely American Acts.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  138. Thom, Rhode Island

    (Forgot to state my location before)

    How can we ever do enough? We certainly would be a lot safer and more secure as a nation, if we would safely withdraw our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and give them all strategic security and intelligence jobs right here in America.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  139. Dave

    No Obama is seen as an apologist, weak and not to serious about fighting terrorism. He and his so-called security team cna't even say the word, especially that Homeland Security woman.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  140. ELLA VAN ZANTE

    Answer to your question DEFINITELY NO. I am 3rd generation of usa and i am 70 years old. This so-called war is crazy. It seems we would rather spend millions of billions of dollars on homeland security instead of a real war. Bin Laden should have been killed along time ago. With all our smarts we can't blow up his training camps that we know he has and where they are. Europe is now on high alert and the whole world can't stop this. They are not criminals – it is war. In my time we had a world war with another evil he was called HILTER and we had a real war.
    We went into Irag to change their government and rebuld their country??? What does that have to do with our war with Bin Laden and el Quada????

    January 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  141. Greg Turman

    President Obama's European friends sent him the Nobel peace prize in honor of his election as president of the U.S.A.

    For Christmas, the president's Euro pals put a man made disaster on a big jet bound for Detroit with no passport , no I.D. , no nothing but a bomb in his drawers.

    As long as Osama Bin Laden keeps hiring dysfunctional , emmotionally disturbed idiots to do his dirty work, we have an even chance to stop them in the U.S.

    Yours Truly,
    Greg Turman
    "Can You Visualize Whirled Peas?"

    January 27, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  142. David Bryant

    I remember an acronym from the Cold War called MAD or mutual assured destruction. This concept kept the peace between the US and USSR for decades. Countries harboring terrorists should be put on notice they will be assured of destruction if an attack on the US originates from their territory. This should be a wake-up call to the leaders of these countries to stop ignoring the problem.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  143. Shane

    No, everything we do is knee-jerk. And at what price do you 'fight' the unseen. By all accounts, based on our reaction to it....they have collectively kicked our whiny *ss's.
    It's simply NOT in the best interests of anybody, to sreen/be suspicious of.....everyone. THINK about it, do YOU want to exist like that, YOUR children....doubt full, really that you do, YOU are just excepting that, it is the ONLY way to deal with this. IF there is anything really TO deal with....again....THINK about it.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  144. Paul

    Terror is a myth they are fighting us because we have bases in Saudi Arabia, we over threw the Shah In Iran, we constantly favor one government over another. We need to stop, get out, leave, and never go back.... only for vacations.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  145. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    The US has not been as proactive as they need to be in controlling legal and illegal immigration and establishing a national identity card which would verify the identities of our citizens. History has proven that nations and civilizations of the past were weakened by not containing and controlling their borders. It was Rome's and others undoing, and it will be ours are well.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  146. Carl in Ames, Iowa

    No.Paying respect to the 9/11 Commission Report would be a good start.However, who even remembers it or why we needed it ?

    January 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  147. Gary

    No matter what else we think of George Bush, I would feel much safer right now with his finger on the trigger.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  148. Joe Miller

    I think we are really hurting when it comes to defending against terrorists on our home soil. On the night before Thanksgiving 2008 (while the Mumbai attacks were taking place) the Homeland Security Office in Atlanta was completely closed and providing no forwarding number! And, the FBI office in Atlanta had no Agent on duty until 8:00 AM! I do really hope things have gotten better, but I fear the Bush administration was too focused on Iraq and the Obama administration is too focused on Healthcare!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  149. Brad

    What does it matter? The terrorists have already won and all we've done is feed into the terror.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  150. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    We have spent millions of tax payer dollars , and got into two wars, and you ask if we are safe? The C.I.A is not able to keep even our president safe, they have no way of knowing what weapons Iraq had. The I.N.S. taps our phones , they look over our bank statements, they spy on us from outer space and you ask if I feel safe ??? NO

    January 27, 2010 at 6:59 pm |