I wonder if our “Office of Homeland Security” has experts sitting around thinking like terrorists.

If I was the director of that office, there are many things I would do differently than Tom Ridge.

For starters, I would train and arm all cockpit crews in major airliners. I would instruct cabin crews in self-defense techniques. I would begin promoting a massive civil-defense effort designed to protect the American people – not just government officials – from the effects of weapons of mass destruction. I would use my office to urge that all troops come home from Germany and other far-flung locations where they protect the borders of foreign nations and use them to protect our own borders. I would urge Americans to arm themselves and I would urge the president and Congress to repeal all national firearms restrictions as unconstitutional and unwise in times of war.

But that’s all common-sense stuff that no government official – no denizen of the beltway – would ever consider.

So, I doubt very much that anyone under Ridge is thinking like a terrorist.

What do I mean by “thinking like a terrorist”?

In war, good generals try to predict their enemy’s behavior – their next likely move. They try to anticipate worst-case scenarios. They examine their own vulnerabilities and identify weak spots that will attract attack.

On Sept. 11, the terrorists found such a weak spot. While it is essential to fix the vulnerability once it is attacked, it is equally important to locate the vulnerability that has not yet been exploited.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the devastating attack on America, everyone is anticipating another blow. Even our highest officials speak about it as an inevitability.

But I doubt very much the next attack will resemble the first. It might. However, thinking like a terrorist, I consider it unlikely the next blow will involve airliners and hijackings – though, I believe, President Bush and Ridge have still left the skies vulnerable by not taking the most sensible and cost-effective precaution of arming cockpit crews.

Why did the terrorists skyjack four airliners? Because they could. They knew they would face no armed opposition in the air. The U.S. government made that impossible by screening all the passengers and prohibiting the pilots from being armed. It’s worth repeating, as WorldNetDaily reported earlier, that only two months before Sept. 11, the Federal Aviation Administration put the final nail in the coffin of armed pilots with an unwarranted, unprecedented sweeping new restriction.

Where else will terrorists be completely safe?

The answer is, in any other disarmed environment – which, unfortunately, is a growing number of possibilities.

If you take police out of the equation, Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, has been totally disarmed. There’s no way there are enough police to prevent an attack by terrorists or even to minimize its effects. It’s time for the Congress of the United States, which has political jurisdiction of Washington, to free residents to defend themselves, their homes, their lives, their children, their property. Law-abiding citizens ought to be encouraged to be vigilant watchdogs of their own communities and protectors of their own homes and neighborhoods.

The nation’s government schools are similarly vulnerable, though most of these don’t even have police or other armed personnel protecting them from attack. Just look at the murder, terror and mayhem a few crazy kids have managed to commit without a great deal of planning, without much sophistication, without even a cause. What could determined terrorists do? Imagine what well-financed, experienced killers whose highest objective is to give their own lives while taking others could do.

This is what I mean by “thinking like a terrorist.” September is right around the corner. The next shoe is almost surely going to drop soon. America is still preoccupied with how we missed all the clues leading up to the last terrorist attack. Even though everyone is expecting something to happen, I wonder how much more prepared we as a nation really are.

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