In light of the responses engendered from the posting of last week's article, "The True Meaning of the Latest Foiled Terrorist Plot", OPEDNEWS, October 30, 2010, let's be clear, this author has few illusions relating to terror and the U.S. complicity in fomenting it.
Terrorism after all doesn't operate in a vacuum as some sort of spontaneous combustion that erupts on its own. Something has to be the catalyst to bring it about. So it is no mystery to this writer that much of the terrorism we witness today is done in reaction to our policies i.e. America's hegemony in the Muslim world, our resort to torture of detainees at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib in Iraq, our support of oppressive Arab governments (Egypt, Saudi Arabia), the coups we instigated (Iran in 1953), our wars and occupations in Muslim countries (Iraq and Afghanistan), our missile strikes and drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen not to mention our unequal support of Israel in their occupation of the Palestinians.
9/11 didn't happen because "They hate us for our freedom" (the inanity we heard from George Bush). And in response to the American woman who asked plaintively that fateful day, "Why do they hate us so much?" it's because of our policies and actions in the Muslim world.
We created the likes of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and his radical jihadists (as well as its many offshoots) who use terrorism against us. And our wars and occupations only serve to exacerbate terrorism creating an endless number of new extremists willing to die in opposition to us.
So that's a thumbnail sketch of what's behind much of the terrorism used against us.
All that said the aforementioned represents just one horn of the dilemma of terrorism. The other horn has to do with the real need of protecting the American people by legitimately attempting to intercept and prevent terrorist attempts before they are carried out. Now whether our official policies and actions work contrary to our interests, are creating to instability in the world, are illegal and run counter to the Geneva Convention and the U.N. Charter or are malevolent and meant to foster an endless war on terrorism (to sustain our bloated defense industry and the militarists in Congress and the Pentagon war machine) are not the focus of this short piece.
But regardless of our "goodness" or lack thereof in the world, the idea of our government intentionally allowing terrorism plots to succeed (9/11) or intentionally fabricating an event such as last weeks interception of PETN explosives contained in computer printer cartridges that originated from Yemen is too terrible to contemplate. From here that is a sign of paranoid delusion on the part of those who seriously believe everything is a conspiracy theory.
We should not equivocate bureaucratic incompetence i.e. the inability to prevent 9/11, particularly when we discover there was actual intelligence that wasn't disseminated  that could have prevented the attack.
As this author wrote last week, "our fighting wars in Muslim countries"create new terrorists who want to retaliate and attack us. Our wars in Muslim countries compound and increase the terrorism against us". Parenthetically, there is the need to prevent retaliatory terrorist attacks against innocent Americans and thus the need for "timely intelligence and cooperative efforts by and between civil authorities". The very thing that was not done prior to 9/11 as Lt. Col Shaffer points out in his book.
 See Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's account of "Able Danger" an intelligence program revealed in his book, "Operation Dark Heart", Thomas Dunne Books, September, 2010 where his work (and others) as intelligence analysts identified Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attacks as a potential terrorist threat in early 2000. "Able Danger" was terminated in January 2001 (according to Shaffer) because of "bureaucratic" reasons. He explains, "we could have played a role in stopping the 9/11 attacks." ( pg. 176)