Willful Neglect: The Dangerous Illusion Of Homeland Security

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9781599219066: Willful Neglect: The Dangerous Illusion Of Homeland Security
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Former CIA case officer and author of Operation Hotel California and the forthcoming Beyond Repair, Charles S. Faddis takes a look at the state of homeland security and attempts to answer the question, “Are we really any safer than we were on 9/11?” While not a security expert, Faddis knows more than most about the subject and he does understand terrorism. He has also run numerous offensive operations in his 20 years with the Agency, so it’s easy for him to stand in the shoes of a terrorist and appraise targets. To date, he has taken a look at military installations, passenger rail, freight rail, chemical plants, LNG facilities, and water treatment plants. He’s just started to look at dams, and next up will be nuclear power plants. He went into this project very skeptical of what he would find. Several months later, he is terrified. The picture is not pretty.

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Charles S. Faddis, the Central Intelligence Agency’s most respected former Middle East counterterrorism officer, was trained through years in the field to stand in the shoes of a terrorist and appraise targets. In Willful Neglect, he applies a critical lens to the state of America’s Homeland Security system and asks, “Have our vast new bureaucracies and the billions spent since 9/11 translated into real protection? Or has complacency set in?”
Faddis methodically assesses the actual protection afforded our vital infrastructure—military installations, passenger and freight rail systems, chemical plants, liquefied natural gas facilities, water treatment plants, dams, and nuclear power plants. America is still a land of opportunity, he finds—for its enemies.
Faddis points to countless situations in which “security” measures have nothing to do with the threat of terrorist attack. For example, sensitive facilities are “protected” by mere signage, and by guards who ask to look inside purses or peer inside a car—not exactly a match for a group of Al-Qaeda operatives carrying AK-47s and driving a truck jammed with thousands of pounds of explosives.
While we are drawing new lines on wiring diagrams and formulating plans to convene task forces that will propose further study, Faddis warns, Al-Qaeda is moving forward with concrete plans. We need to confront those plans with defensive measures no less concrete. We need to hire more guards, equip them better, and give them enhanced training. We need to put in place physical barriers, and move particularly dangerous facilities away from major population centers. We need action, not equivocation.

From the Back Cover:

Are We Really Any Safer than on 9/11?
A top veteran CIA operative scrutinizes the preparedness of  America’s critical infrastructure—from nuclear power plants to water treatment facilities. What he finds will terrify you.

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