December 16, 2004
The outgoing Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, has suggested more citizens need to be involved in collecting information about suspicious activities because the government cannot do it all.
Somewhere between ignoring everything and Orwellian spying on our fellow citizens, he is right.
In Israel, individual citizens are frequently the source of information about terror plots and suspicious packages.
That information disrupts planned terror attacks.
How would it work in America?
Ridge says meter readers, E.M.S. drivers, law enforcement and private sector personnel need to be on the lookout for information which may be useful.
Ridge says, "There are just too many schools, churches, stadiums, bridges, tunnels, roads, subways. We have to be able to find the bad guys before they carry out their acts, and that can only be done through intelligence. The financial resources of our nation and our states should be increasingly devoted to this effort."
He is right.
Now comes the hard part about just how to do it while maintaining personal freedom.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.