THE POLITICAL INTEREST: WITHOUT A CLUE

WHY CONGRESS BALKS AT A METHOD FOR TRACING BOMBS

For a moment, think the way a cop thinks. after a bomb has gone off, you plunge first into the horror itself. Then your fury is directed at Congress. For more than 20 years, and again last week in the wake of Atlanta and Flight 800, Washington lawmakers have denied police a tool that could immeasurably help them solve the worst crimes of terror.

By their nature, bombs obliterate. Detectives sift the residue for clues, a job that would be far easier if microscopic chemical agents called taggants were present at the scene. Taggants are like fingerprints or bar codes. Mixed...

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