What does the Journal mean by pre-emption?

Regarding the Congressional report on the September 11th attack, the Wall Street Journal concludes:

Osama bin Laden succeeded not because U.S. intelligence had no information on his plans but because of a mindset that viewed terrorism as a painful but endurable risk that could be punished after the fact. The real importance of this report is that it makes the case for pre-emption.

I agree, though it’s not clear what the Journal means here by pre-emption. Does it mean keeping terrorists and terrorist sympathizers out of America in the first place (notwithstanding the Journal’s own call for open borders), as well as instantly arresting any terrorists who are here as soon as we suspect who they are? Or does it only mean pre-emptive attacks on terrorist headquarters abroad, while we continue to let the terror-supporting populations flood into America?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 02, 2003 09:42 AM | Send

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