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Mona Gable Headshot

Sexual Predators and Security

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Last night I took a long look at my 13-year-old daughter. She was sitting in front of her computer in her room instant messaging her friends. She had on one of her dad's old sweaters and some baggy PJ bottoms. Fuzzy socks. She still sleeps with stuffed animals and likes to snuggle up and read with me in bed. She is still a child. Still my little girl.

She does not go into chat rooms. She's gotten the lecture now about a zillion times. "Duh, mom,"she says every time I remind her that cyperspace is a candy store for pedophiles. "I'd NEVER talk to anyone I don't know."

But if any pervert even tried to email her, tried to chat her up about his important job or her favorite TV show, asked her to send him a picture, tried to arrange a meeting with her, I would just have to do something drastic. I would just have to hunt him down. And kill him.

Is that clear enough to all you perverts in the Department of Homeland Security?

Perhaps this seems unduly harsh. Call me crazy, but I feel a bit protective when it comes to pedophiles and my daughter's safety. Especially when it comes to 55-year-old men in positions of authority in government. Men who are allegedly using their authority and power and Internet access to prey on vulnerable young girls.

Like my daughter.

I am speaking, of course, about the arrest of Brian J. Doyle, a senior public information officer in Homeland Security. Who was busted by a sheriff's sting unit in Florida trying to hook up on his computer with what he believed was a 14-year-old girl.

When is it going to end? The incompetence. The utter depravity and indifference of this administration. Can you believe these people? Who vetted this man? Where were the background checks? And I thought the ports deal was outrageous. The NSA wiretapping a debacle. Think about it. The department is called...What? Homeland Security. So aren't they supposed to protect us? Make us more secure? Not do creepy and illegal things to our children in our homes?

As usual the Republicans are trying to turn this shocking incident into something that it's not. A terrorist issue. Doyle apparently gave the "girl" his office phone number and his government-issued cell phone number. Which sent House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King into a tizzy. Here's what he said in a statement:

"What if the person on the other end had been a member of Al Qaeda or a similar
terrorist organization and used this information to blackmail Mr. Doyle?"

More like, As if. Now, I know these guys in Al Qaeda are good. But mimicking the dizzying speech patterns of an American teenage girl? Being able to speculate on whether Ryan will get back with Marissa on "The OC"? And is that new bald guy on "Lost" real, or is Hurley just crazy? I really don't see a cabal of Middle Eastern men pulling that off. If they want information badly enough I'm sure there are easier ways to get it.

No, this isn't a story about terrorism. It's a story about sexual predators and the Bush administration.