Skip to comments.It's Time to Stop Beating the FBI - They Warned Us ... We Just Weren't Paying Attention
Posted on 10/14/2001 1:23:09 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
Since September 11th, I've had quite a few letters from people who want to comment, vent their frustration or pour out their heightened sense of patriotism. A recent example from Bruce, a Utah reader, arrived yesterday in his "Open Apology" to the State of Israel. He wrote:
We, the People of the United States, in order to help our president form a more perfect coalition of countries to fight international terrorism, do issue the following apology to the people and nation of Israel. Knowing that our government is a government "of the People, by the People, for the People", we exercise that authority to issue this apology.
First, we apologize for all our past presidents who have urged and demanded that you be 'patient' and 'understanding' when you have been assaulted by terrorists. The harm our presidents have done to you in the past years is unforgivable.
Now that we have seen the face of terrorism up close, we apologize for forcing you to look into that face as many times as we have. We were ignorant, but not any longer.
Bruce has noted an eduring American trait. We do have an unfortunate tendency to lecture others about being patient, but when confronted with the same problem, we rarely follow our own advice. He goes on:
Now that we are facing an Olympics that may be one of the next targets of terrorism, we apologize for consoling you in 1972 with the meaninglessly-muttered thought that your Olympians died bravely. We will not react that way if it should happen again.
Now that our mothers and wives and sisters and children still lay beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center, we are very sorry for not coming to your aide as your markets and restaurants and dance halls and schools and buses in your country explode with alarming frequency.
Second, we apologize for not taking a stand against terrorism sooner. We apologize that it took the most horrible terrorist attack to date to wake us up. We have lived in comfort and without fear for so long that it has taken something very horrible to wake us up. But we are awake now.
Third, we apologize for our current president continuing the mistakes of former administrations by turning a deaf ear to the only country that has any real experience on the subject of terrorism.
We recognize that there is no other country on earth that has been so willing to assist the Untied States when it has been insulted by a warring country or organization, and yet has been turned down every time. This defies explanation.
We recognize that El Al Airlines, your national carrier, has not had a hijacking since 1969, and we are baffled as to why our Federal Aviation Administration turns a deaf ear to El Al when they volunteer to assist them. Perhaps this is the kind of pride that will force more of our airplanes out of the skies.
We recognize that your intelligence gathering rganizations are the best in the world, and yet our government continues to ignore them as if they were children making up lies to get a brother or sister in trouble. We too are baffled.
We recognize that our president, in a effort to gain support from the Arab-Muslim world, is actively courting those very same countries that have in the past and still do actively harbor and train terrorists to enter your country and kill you. As a nation, we are shaking our head in amazement.
We recognize that our president has not yet added the four terrorist groups that are actively dedicated to your extermination to his list of terrorist organizations to be dealt with. We recognize that these four organizations have caused more death and carnage than any other group, prior to September 11, 2001. We promise you that we will not remain silent on this matter.
Actually, this is not accurate. Our President was not the one not paying attention. WE just weren't listening. Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups determined to destroy Israel ARE on America's terrorist list. In fact, on May 10, 2001, then FBI Director Louis Freeh presented a statement before the United States Senate Committees on Appropriations, Armed Services and Select Committee on Intelligence entitled Threat of Terrorism to the United States. Freeh said::
"Loosely affiliated extremists, motivated by political or religious beliefs, may pose the most urgent threat to the United States. Within this category, Sunni Islamic extremists, such as Usama bin Laden and individuals affiliated with his Al-Qaeda organization, have demonstrated a willingness and capability to carry out attacks resulting in large-scale casualties and destruction against U.S. citizens, facilities, and interests, as demonstrated by the August 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in East Africa. Al-Qaeda is a well organized and financed criminal network comprised of structured, hierarchical cells in numerous countries around the world. However, the threat from Al-Qaeda is only part of the overall threat from the radical international jihad movement.
This movement is comprised of individuals from varying nationalities, ethnic groups, tribes, races, and terrorist group members who work together in support of extremist Sunni goals. One of the primary Sunni goals is the removal of U.S. military forces from the Persian Gulf area, most notably Saudi Arabia. The single common element among these diverse individuals is their commitment to the radial international jihad movement, which includes a radicalized ideology and agenda for promoting the use of violence against the "enemies of Islam" in order to overthrow all governments which are not ruled by Sharia, or conservative Islamic law.
The accusation that President Bush has "not yet added the four terrorist groups" intent on destroying Israel is not accurate. Freeh warned in May:
The second category of international terrorist threat is made up of formal terrorist organizations. Typically, these autonomous, generally transnational organizations have their own infrastructures, personnel, financial arrangements, and training facilities. These organizations are capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns on an international basis. A number of these organizations maintain operations and support networks in the United States. For example, extremist groups such as the Palestinian Hamas, the Irish Republican Army, the Egyptian Al-Gama Al-Islamiyya, and the Lebanese Hizballah have a presence in the United States whose members are primarily engaged in fund-raising, recruiting, and low-level intelligence gathering. In July 2000, an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation led to the arrests of 23 individuals alleged to be supporters of Hizballah in Charlotte, Concord, and Lexington, North Carolina. These individuals were charged with a variety of offenses, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, immigration and visa fraud, bribery of government officials, and money laundering.
Hizballah is responsible for the deaths of more Americans than any other terrorist group, including the terrorist network of Usama bin Laden. Among the notorious acts committed by this group are the 1983 truck bombings of the United States Embassy and United States Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon, the 1984 bombing of the United States Embassy Annex in Beirut, and the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, during which United States Navy diver Robert Stehem, a passenger on the flight, was murdered by the hijackers. To date, however, Hizballah has not carried out a terrorist act in the United States.
We can't blame President Bush. We need to blame ourselves and the American media which didn't bother to report Freeh's letter. Under State Sponsored Terrorism Freeh noted that the:
Department of State lists seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Cuba, and North Korea. Of these, Iran represents the greatest terrorist threat to the United States. Despite a moderation in its public anti-U.S. rhetoric since the election of Mohammed Khatemi as president, the Government of Iran remains controlled by conservative clerics opposed to reform and normalization of relations with Western countries.
The Government of Iran continues to target dissidents living outside the country and supports financially and logistically anti-Western acts of terrorism by others. Syria has not been directly involved in conducting terrorist activities for a number of years; however, the country still provides safe haven to international terrorist groups and rogue extremists. Cuba and North Korea appear to have significantly reduced their direct involvement with terrorism due to the rapidly diminishing capacity of their economies to support such activities.
We were told. We just didn't listen.
To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement on Terrorism by FBI Director Louis Freeh May 10, 2001 -http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress01/freeh051001.htm
The news media are largely to blame.... back in may it was 24/7 coverage of Chandra Levy! Freeh's letter and his testimony were summarily dismissed because FBI director Freeh was atop the media dis-list!
But what a night and day difference a case of anthrax makes! The media is now on full-scale hysteria, reporting every incident as authentic, never questioning the source, until it's proven false.
A free press is one thing, a press that plays fast and loose is quite another!
Maybe I was too harsh on the FBI. Their analysis appears to have been right on the mark.
If only we could have been forewarned around Sept 9 or 10th......
I don't know what you said that may have been too harsh, but don't forget: the FBI/Justice Department had evidence that foreign nationalists were training in our flight schools, yet failed to do anything about it. One could make a case that having analyzed the situation correctly, but FAILING TO ACT, makes their performance seem much worse.
And that would be a very easy case to make.
However, it seems to me that FAILING TO ACT is a charge that could be made against many Executive branch agencies and, certainly, against Congress.
Unfortunately, in every government, politics is more important than action. It's not what you do, it's what people think you do. The Klintoon administration took that approach on everything, and it seems to have filtered down to most Executive branch departments and agencies.
Bush won't be able to reverse the role of politics in government because politics is built into government. However, perhaps, he will be able to get some governmental agencies to see that there are times when politics isn't the most important thing. (I can dream, can't I?)
Too much emphasis has been made on making the FBI into a social experiment, instead of concentrating on results.
In other words, if you are an Agent that fits a certain diversity profile, yet, you suck as an Agent, does supervision turn the other way, in order to promote the social experiment, over the actual effective results that the organization can muster?
Then, meanwhile, wasting time blowing up certain americans to be greater threats than they really are, just because they are easy-pickings for even the most incompetent Detective work, and the most dangerous targets move around freely.
Prime example was Koresh, (although the ATF was heavily involved), who could have been more peaceably arrested anytime, outside the confines of that now infamous compound in Waco, yet, a siege-mentality was used from the beginning, and cost the lives of several Government Agents right off the bat.
Neil Smith has been incisive in making the case for a diffuse defense against the diffuse threats that our nation confronts. One of those diffuse threats is street crime. Another is terrorism.
Any number of commentators have noted that if there had been just one man with a gun on each of the four Black Tuesday flights, the atrocities at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon would not have occurred. Imagine if a reasonable fraction of Americans in legal good standing -- say, 10% to 15% -- went armed at all times. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to execute an outrage like Black Tuesday.
Now, when it comes to persons who are merely "suspicious" but have not yet broken the law, things are a little tougher. Still, American citizens have as much responsibility to be alert to threats to themselves and their neighbors as any government hireling of any altitude.
Remember that government employees, from local crossing guards all the way to the Director of the FBI, have no rights nor powers that the rest of us don't possess; they merely get paid to exercise them.
Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit the Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com
No offense, but I don't buy that. They have weapons and the right to carry them concealed, they have sophisticated eavesdropping equipment, they have the authority to restrain, arrest and interrogate. And, there's a reason they get paid for it--BECAUSE IT'S THEIR JOB!!
There's no question that the FBI, CIA and even the military have become overly politicized and politically corrected, but it's about time that was turned around, don't you think?
I'm just about fed up with people making excuses for these lamebrains.
The FBI has gotten complacent after years of demands by the PC. The first duty of the Federal Government is to protect us and they've failed at that duty. All branches. All departments. Thanks to the ubiquitous policy of no one having to take responsiblity anymore, they've also suffered none for it. That's a problem.
Right on target.
It is the same as a 'Giant' neighborhood watch, and neighborhood watches do reduce crime, because Law Enforcement cannot possibly be everywhere, at all times.
At the same time, Millions of working, tax-paying Americans, are busy working at their respective jobs, and cannot possibly take the time to examine the documents of Foreign Nationals trying to enter the USA, or tailing certain 'targeted' individuals, on a round-the-clock basis.
Neither can the FBI Field Agents, if they are not assigned to do so, which is probably not so much a failure of the low-level Agent in the field, as it is a Failure of Our Politicians to put the right Supervisors on the job.
The blame game is only productive IF, the shortcomings are indentified, and corrected.
I heard it reported that Washington Politicians are now engaged in a rush to erect an 800 Million Dollar security perimeter around certain important Capital Buildings, and that is all well and good, what about the rest of us? That cannot afford to live in a newly reinforced Secure Environment?
Now, more than ever, the Government needs to fufill its reponsibility to protect America with the tax money they take, as well as to stop passing laws that take away Americans rights to protect themselves, while they spend more money to protect Politicians.
As to extra "rights" exercised by these government employees, please allow me to split a hair. We have the very same rights. At the moment, those rights are being unConstitutionally abridged. This is a separate problem from the performance of Federal agencies, I think... unless you want to talk about the BATF, and please, not this early in the morning.
Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit the Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com
Yes there is some middle ground. I don't think they are thugs or pansies. I think the FBI is incompetent. Incompetentcy doesn't make them bad people just they are not getting the job done for us.
These incompetent signs were starting to show the last ten years or so.
After many years of searching and with evidence and sketches, they were unable to catch the Unibomber Ted Kazinsky. (The unibombers Brother turned him in)
The Atlanta bombing investigation resulted in the Richard Jewell fiasco. Since then the FBI has not been able to get the perpertrator.
In the case of the Tim McVeigh Murrah building bombing a local cop caught McVeigh not the FBI.
Granted they might have caught Mc Veigh given enough time. The FBIs conclusion that only those under arrest McVeigh, Nichols, Fortier,were the only ones involved without a much longer investigation is shoddy to say the least.
Locally here in the Boston area we have Whitey Bulger an FBI informant and murderer who is being sought by the FBI for years on their most wanted list and is still on the loose.
The FBI has some successes undoubably.
The FBI missed a major conspiracy involving possibly more than a hundred Mid East males who don't blend into this society and come from overseas from countries that are enemies of the USA. Even when the FBI had some conspirators in custody they couldn't connect the dots. Now that's incompetency. - Tom
Sounds like a set-up for future reparations cases. The old "you stood by and did nothing, now you must pay" culture of victimology we are so used to.