For twenty years – long before 9/11 – the danger of terrorists armed with surface to air missiles shooting at passenger planes has been the secret fear of many top political leaders. In the late 90s, a terrorist network was nabbed trying to bring them into Newark Airport, but the airline industry and the government have done nothing to equip passenger airplanes with any defense against these always deadly missiles.
Now Barack Obama has committed the ultimate sin: He has let 20,000 surface-to-air missiles escape from military depots in Libya. According to ABC News “U.S. officials had once thought there was little chance that terrorists could get their hands on many of the portable surface-to-air missiles that can bring down a commercial jet liner. But now that calculation is out the window, with officials at a recent secret White House meeting reporting that thousands of them have gone missing in Libya.” An estimated 20,000 of these “portable, heat-seeking missiles have gone missing from unguarded Army weapons warehouses.”
Senator Barbara Boxer, of the Senate’s Commerce, Energy, and Transportation Committee said that “matching up a terrorist with a shoulder-fired missile, that’s our worst nightmare.
And now, thanks to Obama’s carelessness and his unnecessary decision to intervene in Libya, it may be our future reality.
ABC News describes the missing missiles as “four to six-feet long and Russian-made, [they] can weight just 55 pounds with launcher.” They are accurate within a range of more than two miles. That a terrorist could sit on a boat off JFK airport and shoot down a passenger plane as it ascends could now be a real possibility.
In the Iraq War, during the run-up to the 2004 election, there were reports of unguarded US military depots from which insurgents allegedly stole thousands of explosives. The story broke in the week before the election and Kerry took down all his other ads and focused on this issue, first reported in the New York Times. By Election Day, it was proven that the report was bogus, adding to Kerry’s woes. Now, faced with this massive blunder and security threat, we hear nothing but the sounds of silence from any of the mainstream media except, to its immense credit, ABC News.
We need to assign a top priority to hunting down these missiles. In Afghanistan, our troops jumped through hoops to corral all the Stinger Missiles left over from the Russian War. This potential leak of these dangerous weapons is vastly more threatening. Obama needs to face this issue squarely and publicly. And we all need to learn the cost we may pay from having elected a rank amateur as president.