By Bob Weaver

Seven years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the perpetrator Osama Bin Laden has yet to be found.

Instead, America's government went to war with Iraq, supposedly because the country was a threat to the US with weapons of mass destruction.

Gen. Colin Powell took the government's case to the United Nations, to prove to America and the world about Iran's threat.

It just wasn't true.

What is true, we could spend a trillion dollars on the Iraq war, for reasons that have changed over time. Lives will be lost, with most Americans questioning why we're there.

Still, a large number of American's believe that Saddam Hussein and Iraq was responsible for 9-11, because of Washington's spin on the war.

A report released this week warns Americans that the federal government has made only limited progress toward preventing a catastrophic nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S.

The report card was issued this week by 22 former U.S. officials, members of the bipartisan Partnership for a Secure America.

It gave the United States an overall grade of C.

"We can no longer afford to hope that our patchwork of programs and initiatives will naturally cohere into an effective whole," said the report.

"The United States cannot be safe working alone," it said.

The panel was led by Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic congressman from Indiana and vice chairman of the 9-11 Commission, and Warren Rudman, the former Republican senator from Washington and co-chairman of a 2001 blue-ribbon commission on terrorism.

"The threat of a new major terrorist attack on the United States is still very real," Hamilton, Rudman and former Republican New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9-11 Commission, wrote in the report's introduction.

A nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in the hands of terrorists was "the single greatest threat to our nation," they said, and concluded, "We are still dangerously vulnerable."

The report marks the latest effort by former leaders of the 9-11 Commission and other national security experts to re-focus efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction after years of bureaucratic drift.

In a similar report card issued in 2005, the 9-11 Commission's successor gave U.S. counter-proliferation efforts a D.

The partnership's advisory board includes several 9-11 Commission members, national security advisers to Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton and former senior lawmakers and officials whose service stretches to the Kennedy administration.

While airline travelers deal with not having liquid vials in their luggage, strip searches and being scanned, we still have the long-time practice of millions of illegal Mexicans (or whomever) that continue to cross our southern border, a head-turner that provides cheap labor to American companies.

I guess it is unlikely a terrorist would consider such a plan.

Immersed in a 24/7 polarized political battle for the presidency that has lasted nearly two years, campaigns which focus on vote-getting rhetoric and re-focused minutia, it is highly unlikely the government will rise to the call to prevent terrorism and take those measures that such commissions and independent groups have recommended.

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