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Posted: November 12, 2010 12:00 a.m.

Terrorists are just criminals

Until the recent FedEx terrorism scare I never realized how cheap and easy it is to be an international terrorist.

I went online and to drop off a 5-pound package bound for Sanaa, the capital of Yemem, was only $198.72. That was dropping off the package at a FedEx location but I assume scheduling a pickup would not change the shipping rate.

You should not run out and become an international terrorist but it illustrates how silly the response has been to the incident.

The people who made the bombs in question spend some time and effort, say less than $500 in materials, less than $500 in shipping cost. So call it $1,000.

Our response? We are going to spend millions of dollars every month over years for hand-wringing policy wonks to write papers and attend meetings. Not to mention the news space wasted on covering such hand-wringing events.

Let’s see, $1,000 in terrorist cost versus tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in our cost.

Who won that exchange?

No one wants to get blown up, but the shipping companies, with their reputations at stake, should be our first line of defense. The second line of defense, the one that worked in this case, is old-fashioned police work with informants.

We were not protected by hand-wringing policy makers and their aides, assistants and other paper generating familiars.

We were not protected by the NSA listening in on all communications worldwide in real time.

We were not protected by the alphabet soup of intelligence agencies who still don’t share information.

Let’s ignore (and defund) the hand-wringers and fund local police agencies.

Terrorists are just criminals, and should be treated as such.

 

Patrick Durusau is a Covington resident. His column appears regularly on Fridays.

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