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Judging from news reports and the portrayal of villains in our popular entertainment, Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism.... None of these beliefs are based in fact.... While terrorism is not vanquished, in a world where thousands of nuclear warheads are still aimed across the continents, terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way.
The rightwing is resurrecting an op-ed I wrote in July 2001. I stand by the full article. It is still relevant today. I am accused, incorrectly, of ignoring the threat of terrorism. In fact, I correctly noted that the real threat emanated from Bin Laden and Islamic extremism. President Bush, for his part, ignored the CIA warning in August 2001 that Al Qaeda was posed to strike inside the United States.
I think they should talk to everyone that they feel they have a need to talk to. I mean, look, this is war. This is not a legal proceeding. This isn't the O.J. Simpson trial. The folks that attacked us -- they murdered Americans. And we've got to recognize that in wartime, we should do things differently.