This is several layers of bogus, including your own evaluation, Bruce.
1) There exists such a thing as a LOCKING HYDRANT. These are common, especially in urban areas.
The goal is to prevent unauthorized water usage, especially by contractors, which is expensive. However the locks are an added cost too.
2) The issue here is that the hydrants were "dry hydrants" which is a common rural practice. You cannot afford to leave that many hydrants 'hot' just in case there is going to be a fire. There are maintenance and system pressure issues involved.
I have sites with wet hydrants and dry hydrants. The Texas practice of painting dry hydrants black is a good idea. In California they are sometimes labeled. However, if you paid attention in Fire Technology 1 you can tell the difference by sight, too.
3) If the rural FD did not know their district well enough to carry basic unlocking and hydrant tools, SHAME ON THEM! jmefireequipment.com/department/268/1/Wrenches-Tools.aspx
Whoever stocked their apparatus should be ashamed of themselves. (You ALWAYS carry hydrant wrenches!) Whoever trained them should go do some remedial classes. Whoever didn't map out the water sources in their district should pay for a new house for this clueless homeowner. ISO called, they want their fire protection rating back.
4) One advantage of a dry hydrant is that the valve is underground and largely protected from freezing and from motor vehicle accidents. A wet hydrant can freeze (not common here in California) but if sheared off in a car wreck, will waste large amounts of water and require the mains to be shut off for repairs. Not so with a dry hydrant.
5) Dry hydrants do not prevent terrorism. They can be opened with commonly available tools. (How common: let's put it this way, I've purchased them without credentials or comment.)
If you're going to attack a water system, you do it at the water plant or at the storage tanks . . . which have virtually no security anyway.
Arson is a much more credible threat. If one tampers with fire systems at the same time, that is a worse problem.
The one accurate point is that the decision to use dry hydrants is a system issue influenced by standard operating practices and economics, with a tinge of politics. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TERRORISM. So when Clay Hodges blames this on terrorism, he's stretching credulity at best.