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Are we safer now than we were on 9/11?

Published September 11. 2010 09:00AM

Today is the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks upon the United States. As I reflect on the event, I am concerned that our country remains exposed.

It may be more difficult to attack two office towers today, but there are many other exposures. Our borders remain poorly secured with foreign nationals entering the country like water pouring through a sieve. Recent reports indicate that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained fewer people than last year.

In the government's opinion, we are winning the battle on illegal immigration. In my opinion and that of many people in Arizona and Texas, they have just stopped doing their jobs. Our borders remain open to anyone who wants to cross into the United States.

ICE has lost control. As Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has stated, our borders remain very porous. He states that his deputies are outmanned, outnumbered and outgunned by Mexican drug cartels. Significant portions of his county are a no man's land.

The Bureau of Land Management has posted signs indicating that traveling in parts of this county and other areas is unsafe because of drug and alien smugglers. (

Our federal government has failed to defend our borders. They have failed to protect sovereign U.S. territory from foreign invaders. This assault is not the result of a foreign army, rather it is perpetrated by sophisticated criminal gangs intent on smuggling drugs and people into our country.

Given that our open border philosophy, terrorists can easily enter our country. These types of migrants are officially called "Other Than Mexicans" (OTMs). Some articles have been in the news, but the mainstream media has not picked up this story as they should. Here is an article that does:

(( Many OTMs come from Iran, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Afghanistan. If you would like to check the facts from another source, use this link to reference a summary of the article

( or this one

As you can see, this is a known and well-documented problem on our border and it can lead to disastrous consequences.

Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was not a foreign terrorist. He was born here. I will be the first to admit that American residents and citizens who are legally in the United States could also become terrorists. But when foreign nationals enter our country illegally, then I have to accept that they may be here in preparation for terrorist activities.

It is only a matter of time until these infiltrators identify weaknesses in our internal security and execute an event of greater magnitude than downing the twin towers and murdering 3000 of our citizens.

Our borders are porous. There are many people in the world who do not like Americans. We are their targets; there is no doubt about it. What will they strike next? Large gatherings are a tempting target. I was very concerned when I was standing with hundreds of thousands of my fellow Americans on 8/28 in DC.

We were all crowded together between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. A group of terrorists who wanted to make a statement could have done so then. What better targets than American patriots praying together in our nations capital?

It would only take a few people to create mayhem with a few bombs or snipers. It is possible that a stampede would follow. The end result would be many dead and injured broadcast live for the world to see by the many television news crews covering the event.

Many of us go to Fourth of July events and other very large public gatherings. Security for these events, at least from the participants' standpoint, is minimal. I don't know what security was in place on the Mall in Washington on the 8/28. I do know that we made a good target.

There are many other targets that are poorly protected. The Hamburger Festival, the Kutztown Fair, even the Palmerton Festival all have large groups of people milling around in a small area. Thank goodness the terrorists have not decided to attack our civic gatherings.

I believe that there are terrorists pre-positioned here in the United States. Sealing our borders now will not eliminate these people. That said, it is time for us to take control of our borders, assist our sheriffs in their fight against organized crime and drug lords, and stop the flow of illegals entering this country.

Our government tells us of the many improvements they have made. They have unarmed drones flying along the border. We now get accurate counts and pictures of potential terrorists that we have not captured, and have no intention of capturing, crossing the border. Sheriff Babeu asked for 3000 National Guard soldiers to protect Pinal County. All he got was 15 warning signs telling people to avoid parts of the area as it is unsafe.

We don't need warning signs, we need troops and we need them now. It is only a matter of time until another group of anti-American foreign nationals gather together to plan and execute the next 9/11.

I don't know where or when the next event will occur. I don't know what the target will be. It could be our power grid; it could be a petroleum refinery. It could be a school, a church, a hospital or a nursery. I do believe we are being targeted and I know we have to be ever vigilant.

Today, let us all reflect on our vulnerabilities and how we can improve our survivability. Be thankful for your families and keep them near. In the meantime, write, fax or call your congressman to let them know that our borders must be secured, by force if necessary. Bullets, not pictures may be needed to stem the violence on our border.

© 2010 Gordon Smith All Rights Reserved

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