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Security Chief Signals a Shift in Approach to Terror

The United States government cannot protect the American public from all possible terrorist attacks and instead must focus on trying to prevent more serious or catastrophic strikes, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday. “Threats are important, but they should not be automatic instigators of action,” Mr. Chertoff said in his first extensive public comments since taking over the department a month ago. “A terrorist attack on the two-lane bridge down the street from my house would be bad, but would have a relatively low consequence compared to an attack on the Golden Gate Bridge.” Mr. Chertoff’s remarks, in an interview and a speech at George Washington University, reflected his view that the Department of Homeland Security must transform itself from an enterprise set up in reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks to one engaged in a more focused, sustainable and reasoned battle against terrorism. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. Full Story

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