WASHINGTON - Top government officials worry about the possibility of radioactive "dirty bombs" being detonated in large cities. Airlines, scared of losing business, protest that new security measures will bankrupt them. Civil liberties groups fear a focus upon Arab-Americans and Arab travelers will erode basic freedoms.
"Unless governments take basic precautions, we will continue to stand at the edge of an awful abyss."
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
"It is vital that we take every possible action ourselves and in concert with other nations designed to assure against acts of terrorism. It is equally important that we be prepared to act quickly and effectively in the event that, despite all efforts at prevention, an act of terrorism occurs involving the United States, either at home or abroad."
~President Richard M. Nixon
"The trouble with the plans is that airlines and airports will have to absorb the costs and so they will scream bloody murder should this be required of them. Otherwise, it is a sound plan which will curtail the risk of hijacking substantially."
~White House Memo
'Feared legal restrictions were thwarting federal agents from collecting intelligence unless there had been a violation of the law. Suggested relaxing intelligence collection guidelines — something that occurred with the Patriot Act three decades later.'
Associate Deputy Attorney
'Finding the political will to fight terrorism in the absence of a spectacular homefront attack also quickly became a problem. Proposals to levy international sanctions against countries harboring terrorists drew little support from the United Nations.'
~White House Memo
'The terrorism working group was absorbed by the National Security Council. In a 1978 report, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee worried the Carter administration wasn't giving enough attention to terrorism.The United States will not be able to combat the growing challenge of terrorism unless the executive policymaking apparatus is more effectively and forcefully utilized.'
~Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
Looking back our "leaders" were certainly asleep at the wheel while the Carter Administration and U.N. were as useless as ever.