– Thomas Nephew at Newsrack has a great addition to the list of recommendations on homeland security I started two days ago (scroll down for the posts). Nephew says we should treat the ability to handle surges of patients (due to attacks) as a national priority of defense preparedness — just as Eisenhower sold the Interstate system as a necessity of homeland defense.
Shoe boy and Hamas
– Shoe boy Reid used the explosive of choice of Hamas, says the Times.
– The Guardian: “Moussaoui and Reid had a more substantive relationship than just going to the same mosque,” said a US intelligence source. “They went to the same training camp in Afghanistan, where Reid had explosives training. Plus there are records of telephone calls between Moussaoui and Reid.”
– The Telegraph: “FBI agents are investigating the possibility that the shoe bomber Richard Reid was trying to mark the anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing with a suicide attack. He first tried to board a Paris to Miami flight on Friday, Dec 21, the 13th anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people in 1988.”
Enjoy Andrew Sullivan‘s wrapup of 2001.
Laboratories of death
– The Times of London says it has the evidence that bin Laden et al were working on creating dirty nuclear bombs and biological and chemical weapons in their Afghan workshops. More and more.
More homeland security fumble fixes
– I’m finally getting through the latest Economist and they have yet more complaints — and fixes — for Tom Ridge’s Office of Homeland Security (see my own complaints and fixes yesterday, below).
“Preparations against another terrorist attack range from the patchy to the poor,” says the Economist. “Compared with the $15 billion doled out to the airline industry, the cash [legislation provides] for things like emergency health care is puny….”
They say we need:
– Better nuclear power plant security.
– A bolstered Coast Guard, “the weakest part of America’s border defenses.”
– Plans for evacuating cities and, importantly, schools.
– Plans for emergency communications.
– Far better communication and coordination among law-enforcement agencies, federal and local.
– New plans for hospitals to take sudden floods of patients and even plans for hospitals and health officials to get email!
To start slow and build cautiously will be fine, they conclude — “so long as the terrorists take their time too.”
– A report says shoe boy bought his materials on the Web. So glad that ecommerce is working. Thank goodness, he was also incompentent; the fuse was wet.
The camcorder goes to war
– A perceptive piece by Thomas Sutcliffe in The Independent on the power of video in this war: from the images of jets flying into the World Trade Center that happened to be captured to the moments when bombs interrupt news video in Afghanistan to the bin Laden videos, showing us his hate and lies.
John Walker’s parents, meet Richard Reid’s parents
– Shoe boy’s mother is, of course, shocked.His father: He’s “not a bad lad.” Expect to hear soon from the parents of the Australian turncoat and the parents of the frozen French corpse found in Afghanistan.
Airborne idiot roundup
– From Ananova: A Japanese man on one flight makes a bomb crack. Jail for him. A man on an Argentine flight makes a fireball threat. Flight diverted. Handcuffs for him. Meanwhile, from the Times of London, a report on the Bush guard refused a seat on a Dallas flight “because the pilot queried the agentís credentials. After 75 minutes of questioning by the pilot and other airline security staff the presidential guard, who was carrying a gun, missed the flight from Baltimore on his way to join staff protecting the President on his ranch for the new year holiday. The move brought a complaint from the Council on Arab-Islamic Relations. ìThey didnít see an American, they didnít see a law-enforcement professional,î a spokesman said. ‘All they saw was a racial and ethnic profile they didnít want on their flight.'” Oh, come on. If anybody should understand caution it’s this guy. The pilot was 100 percent correct. You take no chances when it comes to letting an armed man on a flight today, ferchrissake.
India v. Pakistan = trouble
– I agree (again) with Joshua Micah Marshall that the terrorist attack on the Indian parliament is leading to very serious trouble. See the drumbeats of war at the Times of India and Pakistan’s News International and Frontier Post.
– Will Vehrs is on this case, too.
Doctor, shield thyself
– The amazing story of the hospitalized Taliban prisoners who’ve been holding off the opposition with guns and grenades taped to their bodies is heading to a climax. What an amazing tale.