Feeling in-secure | Front Porch | Indy Week
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Feeling in-secure 

I grew up believing America was pretty near perfect. Now, I know it's not perfect, but I still believe we live in the strongest and best country in the world. I'm just a little worried lately about our national security. Do these FBI and CIA guys really have a clue?

Already, I know White House security is somewhat slack. When I was around 5, my parents took us to visit the White House. President Kennedy was in office. Being an independent young lady, and being disinclined to follow our guide around, listening to grown-up prattle about war rooms and china collections, I ducked under a velvet rope across a stairway, and went up.

The same age as Caroline at the time (I'm much younger than she is now), I'd asked my mom to write to her a few months earlier, and offer to have me come to Washington to play with her. I had received an answer from Caroline's daddy, saying that Caroline thanked me for my concern, but she had friends over to play frequently, so not to worry. Well, I was no fool--I knew Caroline had probably never seen the letter, and was probably dying for playmates. So, I decided to run up and say Hi while I was there, and we'd play until the grown-ups were finished downstairs.

I figured that the bedrooms were up one floor, and I'd peek into each one until I found hers. And, that's exactly what I did... Are you hearing me? ... I, a small child--albeit an adorable one--was peeking into off-limits rooms at the White House for at least 15 minutes, before I was interrupted by a smiling, but firm Marine, and returned to my parents. I mean, if a 5-year-old can do it, what's to stop a grown-up bad guy? Or even an adorable little mini-terrorist? I assume that in the intervening years, the White House security detail has tightened up. In fact, I would hope my daring escapade has been the subject of many a secret service training video. But, are we using our heads elsewhere?

I recently saw reports on TV about six suspected terrorists who'd been arrested near Buffalo. Katie Couric was interviewing one of the men responsible for ferreting out this group. One of her questions was more frightening than the bad guys: "Well, besides the fact that these men trained at bin Laden's terrorist training camp, what evidence do you have that they are in fact terrorists?" Huh?

My thoughts: "Well, Katie, besides the fact that you make, like, four skillion dollars per cleavage shot on TV, what evidence do you have that you are in fact brainless?" As Raymond's father would say, Holy crap! Are we still that clueless? Can you hear bin Laden chortling into his turban?

Anyway, the poor FBI/CIA guy was stunned speechless, as was I, and hopefully most of her audience, but he recovered and answered coherently. However, on another morning show, in response to a more intelligent question about evidence, another guy answered, "We intercepted a transmission from the men to a contact in Yemen, stating that they had 'received the watermelon.' We believe watermelon is a code word." Ya think???

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