A four-star general on the Homeland Security team warned Iowans this week not to drop their guard against terrorism. Air Force General Ralph Eberhart commands NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command headquartered in Colorado. Visiting Des Moines, Eberhart said it’s easy to stay committed with the image of the twin towers fresh, but time will be the true test. Don’t misconstrue success up to now here at home to mean the threat’s gone away, he advises, because if we don’t “keep our dukes up,” they’ll attack us. General Eberhart says new technology should make security measures, like airport screening, less intrusive in time. Eberhart says we can do everything we need to do without xchanging the constitution or our rights, but in some cases security can also permit convenience, even if it’s using technology we already have in new ways. General Eberhart spoke at a Rotary Club meeting in Des Moines, and also met with Iowa’s Homeland Security Director. Ellen Gordon said she hopes Iowa’s business leaders who heard the general’s speech understand their role in keeping Iowans safe. Private industry owns more than 90-percent of the “critical assets” in Iowa, and Gordon says they must take security seriously and increase it when appropriate. Gordon says government can’t protect every critical asset all the time, but if we can keep the terrorists guessing it’ll be harder for them to strike.
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