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Thursday, December 31, 2009

TV interview on Bomber's Trip to Houston in 2008 - Changes needed

Yesterday I got a call out of the blue from the Houston Fox 26 TV station about the Flight 253 "underwear bomber" who paid a visit to Houston in August 2008. Here is the video, with my 15 seconds of hot air:

I was their terrorism analyst on 9/11. Why? Because I was one of the few talking about these threats since the early 90's. I had previously been their Mideast expert during the first Gulf War in '91.

It is obvious that we have to upgrade our technology. It is obvious that the system set up after 9/11 to insure sharing of information between agencies still is not working as it should. This includes getting intelligence from allies - apparently the British have a policy not to share their visa information with the U.S. If they had done so, and our system was computerized, it would have raised yet another red flag.

Now that we survived the train wreck of last year's economic disaster, it is time to focus on fixing this system as well as the financial one (which still needs attention to avoid a repeat of Wall Street recklessness).

Thank God this decade is over. It was a decade that doubled our national debt in 8 short years - by giving tax breaks to the wealthy financed by debt, waging two wars, financed by debt, and in 2004 enlarging the Plan D drug plan, also financed entirely by debt. Imagine running a business that way. It wasn't sustainable. It wasted an opportunity to pay for it when we did have money. That's another reason it all crashed in late 2008.

In the next decade we can't rely on 20th century technology. We will have to advance our technology and our global intelligence. We have to do nation building or continue to fail in Afghanistan. Bush was opposed to nation building; Obama has been cool on it. But nation building is what put Iraq back on the path so our troops can leave. It's what bought Europe and Japan back after WWII. It is the only solution.

We will have to be a lot smarter in the next decade just to keep up. We now face a wealthy China and an empowered India whose economies will exceed ours before this century is out. Even Russia is exhibited some vision - planning on tackling an asteroid on a near collision course with Earth. It's bad when Russia has more vision than we do.

We need a global strategy --militarily, technologically and economically-- to get back into the lead after our treasury was squandered in the last decade.

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