Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tools to Combat Terrorism

Pres. Bush, in his short Greenbay, Wisconsin, speech today on the London terrorism bust of Islamists planning to bomb 10 airplanes, stated that security agencies have been given the tools to combat the terrorism threat. He touted the sharing of information between Britain and U.S. agencies. I don’t doubt that there was a significant sharing of information because Britain did not arrest 21 suspects without a considerable amount of investigation that must have occurred over an extended period of time.

Technically, Pres. Bush is correct about intelligence agencies having been given the necessary tools. One of those essential tools is the Patriot Act, which is far less effective than measures instituted in some European nations. Nevertheless, the Patriot Act is a good step in the right direction. Unfortunately, tools at your disposal must be used to be effective.

There are two major impediments to the successful discovering and dismantling of terrorist cells, be they Islamic or other. The first impediment is the failure of the U.S. national intelligence agencies to unify in some manner and work as one efficient organization. The second impediment is the failure of every state and local law enforcement agency to demand a seat at the table of terrorism detection. The terrorists are among us, and it is the local law enforcement agencies which have the greatest opportunity to discover them. But to be most successful, federal agencies, which have the primary jurisdictional responsibility on terrorism, must embrace the local law enforcement agencies.

British MI5 & MI6 probably have their internal conflicts like our intelligence agencies. But, my sense is that Britain might well be doing a better job than the U.S. on these matters.

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