Nancy L. Meek

Prelude: “In his commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy last month, President Bush was right to express concern that Al Qaeda is trying to bring terrorists into the United States. He was wrong, however, to claim that fighting in Iraq somehow helps stop such attempts. In the absence of a secure border and verifiable biometric identification systems, preventing terrorists from getting in to this country and setting up sleeper cells here is almost impossible. Maybe we will get serious after the next attack.”

Richard A. Clarke, former head of counterterrorism at the National Security Council. He is also the author of “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror.”

FAMILY OF AL KIDA, GENUS OF LIES

Is it time to reap the harvest
in this garden we call home,
lest dormant seeds awaken
and we find we’re not alone,
but infested by Al Kida
which will kill you if it can
as more and more drift past
the borders of our land?

As we glorify diversity
and feed the plants next door,
which we don’t know from Fauna
(despite our garden poor),
how can we pluck the tares
from our garden choked with Lies
still drifting from the East
where Al Kida never dies?