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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/10/10

The Uncomfortable Absence of Safety

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"A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. . . . It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous."

Graham Greene (1904-91), British novelist. The Ministry of Fear, book 1, chapter 7, section 1 (1943).

"A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy."

Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), English Catholic conspirator. Quoted in: The Dictionary of National Biography, volume 6, referring to the gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, 5 November 1605, following the dictum of Greek physician Hippocrates.

The recent attempt by an alleged al-Qaeda operative to destroy an aircraft landing in Detroit reminded me of a very simple fact: that there is no such thing as one hundred percent safety from the acts of terrorists.

I came to this conclusion more than twenty years ago when I read the Warren Commission's Report on the Assassination of President Kennedy. One of their conclusions is that if an assassin is willing to die in the attempt, there is no way to prevent, with absolute certainty, the President's assassination.

If the government cannot guarantee absolute safety for the President, how can we, as private citizens, hope for anything close to real security from terrorists, especially when there are members of our government and ruling elites who have a vested interest in keeping us too scared to think?

I have been telling people for years that the only thing that surprised me about September 11, 2001, was that it took foreign terrorists so long to execute a high casualty major operation on American soil. The homegrown, domestic terrorist beat them to the punch in 1995 at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City and did so with far fewer resources in terms of money and equipment.

In fact, I honestly do not believe that international terrorists represent nearly the threat to the United States that the domestic variety do.

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Richard Girard is a polymath and autodidact whose greatest desire in life is to be his generations' Thomas Paine. He is an FDR Democrat, which probably puts him with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the current political spectrum. His answer to (more...)

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