Of course I'm glad that the people of Portland were kept safe by the valiant efforts of the FBI. The town's tree-lighting ceremony proceeded without incident. But I almost wish that the "alleged" terrorist had succeeded in carrying out his plot undetected -- and that the bomb had gone off prematurely, en route close to the site, killing no one but the terrorist himself.
Because maybe that's what would have woken up the citizens of this country, especially those like the people of Portland. Sadly, they still seem in denial.
The attendees of Portland's tree-lighting ceremony had no clue that the very efforts rejected by their town leaders saved their very lives that night.
What is not being widely reported is that the city of Portland soundly rejected anti-terrorism efforts:
"In 2005, leaders in Portland, Oregon, angry at the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror, voted not to allow city law enforcement officers to participate in a key anti-terror initiative, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. On Friday, that task force helped prevent what could have been a horrific terrorist attack in Portland. Now city officials say they might re-think their participation in the task force — because Barack Obama is in the White House."
Might re-think it?! Now that Barack "Hmm-let's-overthink-this-before-we-take-action-oops-too-late" Obama is Prez?! Clearly, these people have no clue what is going on in the real world.
I read this observation about the reaction of one resident of the city. It related in part:
"We have a neighbor who was at the lighting and who today dismissed the significance of this incident, saying, 'So, he never really had a bomb. The FBI got him to do it.' Sure, the FBI framed him. Or maybe this Somali did it as revenge for Black Hawk Down. Or maybe it is because I have a banana in my freezer. Enough with the excuses, already. How many Americans must die before we as a people take seriously this Islamic terrorist threat?"
The FBI didn't make the Somali-born terrorist do anything. He expressed regret that the bomb was not going to kill more people. He didn't care that there would be many children present. He pressed the button of his own free will, and when it didn't work, they suggested he step out of the car and try it again. He did -- not hesitating for a moment.
This wasn't New York City. This wasn't Washington, D.C. This was Portland, Oregon. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. No one is safe. And the FBI can only do so much. Especially when towns refuse to cooperate.
Time to wake up, Portland -- and every city, every citizen across America that thinks we are not in peril. This is not about fear-mongering. This is about being aware. Not deflecting true threats as being created by those doing their dandiest to keep us from harm. There is a threat and we must stand up to it -- not stand in the way of those working hard to protect us.