Don’t show terrorists all our cards
Whose idiotic idea was it to tell the terrorists how much money is being allotted to each city to fend off a terror attack?
It's like a football team on defense telling the team with the ball, "OK, we're concentrating on stopping the run because our defensive backfield isn't swift enough to block passes."
You think quarterback Osama bin Laden wouldn't call a pass play?
Nevertheless, with a lot of hoopla, the Homeland Security Department announced to the world exactly how much money it was doling out to various states. Bin Laden now knows, for instance, that not only is Honolulu getting $9 million less than last year, but it is at the bottom of the list of 46 cities in perceived threat levels. Osama and his buddies also learned that Homeland Security funds have been drastically cut for New York City, which they have already struck TWICE.
I don't know the particular knuckleheads at Homeland Security who decided to release this information, but I'd love to play poker with them. When it comes to poker and defense against terror, a sound strategy is to keep your cards close to your vest, preferably one made of Kevlar.
Gov. Linda Lingle, apparently trying to put an upbeat spin on Hawaii's funds being cut, said it was probably good news that Hawaii isn't considered a high-level terrorist target.
What I'm sure she realizes, along with officials from other cities and states that have been deemed "low risk," is that very designation instantly puts them at higher risk.
Say I'm a terrorist (but not to the FBI) and I'm looking for some place to attack. I see in the American media that the cities considered high-risk targets are Memphis, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, and that millions of dollars have been poured in to those cities for protection. On the other hand, little old Hawaii and Rhode Island are considered less of a target, and resources have been taken away. Who am I going to hit?
And can we go at least one news cycle without announcing how porous our borders are?
I believe in open government and transparency of the federal budget, but come on, we don't need to issue X-ray specs to the terrorists.
New York Congressman Peter King whined that the "Department of Homeland Security and the administration have declared war on New York" by cutting funds there. I don't think they declared war, but they did put big fat targets on a lot of named cities.
Just in case Osama is reading this -- I understand he's a huge fan of American humor columns -- I'd like to point out that Hawaii is the most fortified state in the union. You can't walk 10 feet without bumping into a military base. We've got enough Navy, Marine, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, police and Boy Scout firepower to take over a moderate-size country. Unlike states such as New Mexico and North Dakota, our borders are 2,000 miles thick, not to mention, deep. They've got guard dogs on the Mexican border; we've got sharks.
And since Hawaii already has been the target of a rather famous secret attack, the residents here take security pretty seriously. Our airport security screeners are mean and determined, and they've got very cold hands. We don't need a few million bucks from the Homeland Security morons; we've got nukes. I don't want to brag here, but how many attack subs does Disney World have?
Bluster aside, it's best to not broadcast every little thing we're doing to protect the country against terrorist attacks.
If you want your opponent to think you're holding aces, you don't let him see you've got pocket 2s.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org