Magazine August 30, 2010, Issue

On Thin Ice

Stewart Baker (L), Assistant Secretary for Policy at Homeland Security, and Rear Admiral Thomas Gilmour talk before briefing a Senate Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., February 27, 2006. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism, by Stewart A. Baker (Hoover, 375 pp., $19.95)

A hundred years ago, Europeans could not have imagined the horrors that lay ahead for them. Our current century was ushered in with an awful demonstration of what may lie ahead for us; can we make the adjustments necessary to avoid the worst? “I’d like to think we can do that before there’s been a disaster,” writes Stewart Baker, “but, really, I’m not sure we can.”

That prognosis is more than a little unsettling, given Baker’s résumé. As general counsel to the National Security Agency (the Pentagon’s foreign-electronic-surveillance arm) during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, he was a staunch privacy advocate.

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola is a research associate professor and the director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management Program at Florida International University and a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. From 2017 to 2019 he was the associate director for regulatory reform at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

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