Can it be that the United States has met its match in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula? The group's lack of a direct hit thus far seems more bad luck than effective counter-terrorism, writes Christopher Hitchens for Slate. In the meantime, AQAP has used our own desire to protect ourselves to sow disarray—see the "feeble-minded" half-protest this weekend of ever-stricter, but thoroughly reactive, airplane security tactics, Hitchens writes. We lack the will or creativity to preempt threats: AQAP sends toner, so we ban toner. They use liquids, we ban liquids.
Yet the fact that we are (understandably) unwilling to institute cavity searches means an anal-bomb of the type that almost killed a Saudi Prince will probably strike a Western target soon. America is caught between submitting to an appalling invasion of privacy or virtually guaranteeing a deadly attack. "The new tactics and propaganda of the enemy show them to be both inventive and imaginative," Hitchens writes. "The response of our security state shows it to possess no such qualities."
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