What makes the foiled London-Pakistan plot seem more of a serious threat -- though not so serious it disrupted Tony Blair's vacation -- is that the British vouched for it, not Attorney General Gonzales and his Keystone Kops. This didn't stop Michael Chertoff from grabbing credit in his promotional sprint through last Sunday's talk shows. "It was as if we had an opportunity to stop 9/11 before it actually was carried out," he said, insinuating himself into that royal we. But no matter how persistent his invocation of 9/11, our secretary of homeland security is too discredited to impress a public that has been plenty disillusioned since Karl Rove first exhibited the flag-draped remains of a World Trade Center victim in a 2004 campaign commercial. We look at Chertoff and still see the man who couldn't figure out what was happening in New Orleans when the catastrophe was being broadcast in real time on television.I can only hope so. In this country where we are taught that we live in the home of the brave and the land of the free, using the issue of terrorism for political gain is not only dishonest, but immoral. Terrorism in one form or another has existed forever. Terrifying citizens into giving up constitutional rights is definitely a way we will lose in the war on terrorism.
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