Thursday, January 7, 2010

Government Failure in Antiterrorism? A: More Govt!

"To judge from the news accounts, Umar Abdulmutallab did everything to get himself caught except wear an Osama bin Laden T-shirt onto that Northwest Airlines flight Christmas Day. Yet the danger didn’t dawn on anyone until he allegedly set himself on fire while trying to detonate the explosives hidden in his underwear.

"So the solution being proposed is the one we hear whenever the government fails: Give it greater power.

"This is a common liberal impulse. The public schools aren’t educating students adequately? They need more money. The stimulus didn’t rev up job creation? Pass another one.

"But when it comes to national security and law enforcement, the same tendency afflicts many conservatives. They generally think the federal government could screw up a three-car funeral, but they expect it to perform with flawless efficiency in finding murderous fanatics. And if it fails, they look to expand its authority to do the job it botched....."

--Conservative columnist Steve Chapman

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