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Get real about threat preparation

September 19, 2007

Re "Al Qaeda grows by adding affiliates," Sept. 16

This article emphasized what we all know -- that Al Qaeda isn't just playing hide and seek in mountain caves but regrouping, refinancing and planning its next attacks. It is doing this while we are losing nearly 4,000 soldiers in Iraq, deflecting our attention toward Iran and burning through billions of dollars.

Are we prepared for another attack? Our airports have such tight security now that sometimes it takes longer to get processed than to actually fly to your destination. But who are we targeting? Every grandma from Nebraska who brings shampoo in her carry-on luggage?

Let's look at the trade-off here. What is the probability that Grandma is really an Al Qaeda agent with a bomb in her shoes? Should we be spending millions checking out every mom, kid and least-probable person while Al Qaeda is spending its time and money so much more wisely? Call me paranoid, but I think we should bring our troops home and stop spending millions in Iraq and on airport security investigating everyone's toothpaste. Let's be sensible. Let's use our resources and prepare for the real threat.

Marjorie

Charlop-Christy

South Pasadena

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