I have no defense. My defense is George Bush.

Jeff Taylor writes a great short piece on the folly of the Patriot Act.

But there is no downplaying the disconnect between actual acts of terror and America's anti-terror policy. The soon-to-be permanent PATRIOT Act, which we are told non-stop is the vital key to stopping attacks, fights terror as prosecutors and politicians would like it to be—as a top-down, centrally-managed form of organized crime. Yet terror exists, and will continue to exist, as an opportunistic, ad hoc phenomenon, no matter how many national security letters are issued.

Besides what I consider the unacceptable subordination of citizens to the whims of law enforcement officials for whatever reason, it won't even work. If there's one thing that terrorists of various backgrounds and motivations have proven to be, it's resourceful. Is the lawman now checking A? Do B. Is the lawman watching X? Attack Y. All it does is make them shift from obvious targets to sneakier targets.

There's no Uniform Code of Terrorist Behavior. There's no general forbidding some actions and promoting others. The slow, heavy-handed approach that scoops up ordinary people day in and day out is exactly the wrong one.

Airport security is a good example. What it's done is make flying a complete hassle for everyone, while not really diverting attacks. But Randall, we haven't had another 9/11—it must be working. Maybe we shouldn't swallow Bush's assertions that another 9/11 lurks in every dark corner. Maybe we should also realize that in the complete absence of security overhauls (which the airlines would not have let happen anyway) the same trick wouldn't work twice. Nobody fought back in the first three planes because before then hijackers were supposed to be obeyed until the authorities could rescue you from some other airport after they'd escaped. While the fourth plane is still a small mystery, the story sounds plausible that some of them had heard via cellphones what was in store for them, and so they fought back.

The same trick that happened on 9/11 won't work again. People know what's coming now. They'll fight back. What would they have to lose?

Power-worshiping conservatives everywhere can't wait to obey more dictates from on high. Anything, anything in the name of security, even if it doesn't work. Ben Franklin and Barry Goldwater both are rolling over in their graves. That's not how a free country operates. It's not even how a country safe from terrorism operates.

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What would you say are the

What would you say are the US's primary weaknesses today? I can think of two, and they are very largely interconnected; certainly one is totally reliant upon the other...

Communications, especially telephone and internet.

Banking, especially international transactions.

An intervention against either of these need not be physical, nor continuous.

A reduction of 30% in the reliability of the telephone system would not cause panic in the streets but could well cause some hardship for business and hence the economy. The loss of a small number (up to 5 say) main intercity trunks would have the potential to overload the other parts of the system. With the increasing use of computer switching (in place of dedicated electronic) there is an increasing potential for hostile hacking. No? How do people get hold of unlisted numbers? How are people able to call free by intervening in the process? What would happen if, say, five computers were set up to call 911 continuously in New York and Chicago?

An attack against the banking system need not be general but might focus on just one international - and one small flaw in system security might be enough.

The US' biggest weakness is

The US' biggest weakness is the reprobates who do their best to give PR and succor to the terrorist enemy. They have free speech and they use it to do everything they can to help those who wish to destroy us...

Should the be censored or jailed? Nope.

But I hope its their families that die in the next terrorist extravaganza not mine. Just like those who allow the Islamist loons to stay in the UK & the US should be the first to die...not the rest of us...

:behead:

But They must do these

But They must do these things-like the Patriot Act-so that those who know no better can go back to sleep.

Two weaknesses are the

Two weaknesses are the hubris of our political leaders and the hyperbole found within comments like Andrew's. Of course, he's right to say that another weakness is tolerance for the intolerant.

if you say so

if you say so

Actually, I just got a

Actually, I just got a preview draft of the Uniform Code of Terrorist Behavior, Revision 3. It comes in at 3 volumes and 738 pages. Green cover and glue binding. Not very portable, but it sits well on the shelf.