We've been waiting for the other shoe to drop for eight years now. After the 9/11 attack we have known that they were coming again. Have we muddled through reasonably well during that period? I'd like to think so.
We've cleaned up some of the inter-agency bureaucratic snaffle-grabs that made it impossible for a clear picture of what the threat was to emerge. It's still a very parochial business but it got a bit better. They talk to each other a little bit now.
We got serious about intelligence gathering and somewhat stifled the enraged screams of political correctness. The threat that is greatest in our country CAN be racially profiled! It isn't a little old lady. It's a young man of Middle-Eastern extraction, with a beard. He's a practicing Muslim. He travels overseas a bit. He's technologically wired into the system. He's got a cell phone and a laptop. He may or may not have a visa.
What we've been slow to realize is that the threat isn't localized to New York, Washington or the coastal areas. Here's one aspect:
The Denver Airport Shuttle Driver
Denver is heartland. It's a perfect place for deep cover and as a base for your travels and activities. It is an accepting community with lots of high tech communications access, not much suspicion, and a diverse population that isn't simply black or white.
Localized? An abberation? What about this one:
Dallas Skyscraper Bomber Stung
OK, he wouldn't have been caught in the profile...no beard. But you've got a young man, middle-eastern, muslim, and, by the way, HE'S AN ILLEGAL!!! And we knew he was an illegal!!! We just didn't have the cojones to do much about it.
That would have been noticeable. A carload of explosives in front of the downtown Dallas Bank building would have been a lot more impressive than the OKC Murrah office building bomb.
So, Dallas, Denver, where next? But at least we've stopped "torturing" them, we don't detain them in Gitmo anymore, and we're reaching out with open arms by throwing Israel under the sputtering Iranian bus.