When I was in school, a D+ would have sent me home crying to mommy. So who is the U.S. crying to in response to the Council on Global Terrorism’s recent report card, covering subjects ranging from “Combating Islamic Extremist Terrorism” to “Balancing Security and Core Values”? No better than a D+ in either of these subjects, by the way.

Five years after 9/11, the NY Times reports on a classified National Intelligence Estimate – a combined appraisal by 16 internal spy agencies – that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has contributed to the spread of Islamic extremism and that “the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.”

So having my Tom’s of Maine toothpaste summarily tossed into the trash over Labor Day by a hard-working airport security guard makes me feel like I’m back in school – watching one of those students who’s scribbling furiously, but it all comes out looking like nonsense. If our country’s not making the grade, then it’s up to us to look beyond efficiently packing our carry-ons and hold our government accountable.

It’s also up to our press and media outlets to do the same. Over 350 people rallied in Philly with the ACLU to defend the Constitution on Sept. 17, calling for government accountability and Congressional oversight to ensure that our civil liberties are being protected in a time of heightened security. And where was the press for this event? Playing hooky.

Jess in Philly