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Senior government intelligence analyst calls for censorship

In a war situation, it is not business as usual. Use some common sense. Certainly, if a reporter or academician believes that he or she has discovered a vulnerability or flaw in one of our sectors or systems, it is important to let others know. It seems reasonable to me that a process should be established where such articles are filtered through a government agency such as the proposed Department of Homeland Security. A skeptic would call this censorship; a patriot would call it cooperation. This type of cooperation existed during World War II and believe me, this current war is a "world war" also.

By Dennis Pluchinsky

I accuse the media in the United States of treason.

I have been analyzing terrorism for the U.S. government for 25 years. My specialty is "threat analysis." This is a rather difficult field that requires the imagination of Walt Disney, the patience of a kindergarten teacher, the mind-set of a chess player, the resolve of a Boston Red Sox fan, the mental acuity of a river boat gambler, and the forecasting ability of a successful stock market analyst.


Many of these articles have clearly identified for terrorist groups the country's vulnerabilities -- including our food supply, electrical grids, chemical plants, trucking industry, ports, borders, airports, special events and cruise ships. Some of these articles have been lengthy and have provided tactical details useful to terrorist groups. No terrorist group that I am aware of has the time and manpower to conduct this type of extensive research on a multitude of potential targets. Our news media, and certain think tankers and academicians, have done and continue to do the target vulnerability research for them.


Courtrooms can also give terrorists windows into our thinking and methods. In the 1980s when German terrorists from the leftist Red Army Faction (RAF) were tried in Germany, the prosecution had to detail all of the evidence, including how they linked the terrorists to specific attacks. Forensic experts from the German BKA (comparable to the FBI) described in the open courtroom how they extracted fingerprints from items left at the attack sites. At the time, there were RAF sympathizers and supporters in the courtroom who took notes. It did not take long for the RAF terrorists still at large to change their methods -- wearing gloves and spraying their hands with latex so that they would not leave any fingerprints.

The U.S. media are providing a similar service for al Qaeda. I am sure that al Qaeda will fix its mistakes and mannerisms before its next attack in the United States. I say the following with a heavy heart, but if there were an "Osama bin Laden" award given out by al Qaeda, I believe that it would be awarded to the U.S news media for their investigative reporting. This type of reporting -- carrying specifics about U.S. vulnerabilities -- must be stopped or censored.

I propose that the Department of Homeland Security establish a program where academicians, reporters, think tankers or any citizen could contact the department and inform them of security vulnerabilities. If the department determined that these vulnerabilities indeed existed, then it could award "Homeland Security Protective Security" certificates to individuals or "Homeland Security Gold Stars" to newspaper or Internet sites that put the country first during a time of war. If displayed on its banner, this star might increase circulation.



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