NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Anti-Terrorism Calls for Harsher Measures

September 14, 2001

Given the results of the terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, observers argue it is time to adopt the plan put forward by a special congressional commission on terrorism but rejected by the Clinton administration. The measures, they contend, are now necessary. They include:

  • Abolish the 1995 guidelines forbidding the CIA from recruiting informants who have been involved in human rights violations -- because getting information is critical, and bad people are most likely to find out what other bad people are doing.
  • Permit the FBI to conduct physical searches of foreign agents without the cumbersome procedures now demanded.
  • Hire more linguists to translate the voluminous computer files seized on raids on terrorists hideouts.
  • Monitor foreign students across the country -- and if one drops out or suddenly changes his major from English to nuclear physics, that should be investigated.

It is also important to stop the flow of funds to terrorists from nongovernmental organizations, some of which pose as benign, do-good groups.

Finally, suspected terrorists should be tried in open court if possible, or if not before the Alien Terrorist Removal Court that was created in 1966 to expel dangerous people from the country. The U.S. has no obligation to keep people here who threaten the safety of its people.

Source: Lee Cullum, "Proposals Don't Seem So Harsh Now," Dallas Morning News, September 13, 2001; "Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism," Report of the National Commission on Terrorism, June 2000.

For text of the National Report on Terrorism


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