Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on December 10, 2001

Well, I must say that I'm proud of my latest accomplishment. I managed to listen to Sen. Hillary Clinton's interview on "Meet the Press." I must admit that I felt a little ill, but I didn't end up driving the porcelain bus.

I also found myself agreeing with at least one thing she said. Host Tim Russert asked Sen. Clinton if a war on terrorism shouldn't have been declared after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Sen. Clinton started with her oft-repeated defense of her husband's administration: the cruise missiles that we fired into Afghanistan after the African embassy bombings just missed Osama bin Laden by a few hours. This, despite military officers saying that, at the time, the chances of hitting bin Laden were 1 in million.

What comment did I agree with? Well, I think Sen. Clinton was right when she said, after the 1993 bombing, that the U.S. public would not have tolerated the heightened security measures at airports and the searching of luggage, etc.

However, I would argue that hijacking planes to turn them into guided missiles will never be done again. The terrorists succeeded the first time because pilots and the public had been trained that the plane would land, there would be negotiations and they would either be freed or Delta Force would come in. The possibility that hijackers did not see the passengers as hostages never entered our imagination. Author Tom Clancy, in an interview after the Sept. 11 attacks, said that he would never have written that plot into one of his novels because it just wouldn't have been believable.

The public knows now that if hijackers attempt to take over a plane using knives, guns or anything else, attack them. Killing them and retaking control fo the plane is the only way that you have any chance of survival.

Check bags for bombs, guns, weapons. Try to prevent terrorism by diligent searching of passengers, but don't take it to the most ridiculous extreme. Confiscating razors and toenail clippers is silly.


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December 2001



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