Jewish World Review Feb. 5, 2003 / 3 Adar I, 5763
Does the FBI have the ability to protect us from
terrorists already here?
I alarmed a radio talk show host in Washington, D.C. when I told him that if
there were a war with Iraq, it could be more dangerous to be a civilian in
New York City or Washington than it would be to be a soldier in the Gulf.
Iraqi officials - and doves here and in Europe - have been making two
mutually contradictory arguments: Iraq has no weapons of mass
destruction...but it will use them if America attacks. Iraq has no
connection to international terror groups...but it will launch terror
attacks within the United States if America goes to war.
President Bush was forceful in his State of the Union address. But he looked
tired. Peggy Noonan thinks she knows the reason why:
"Four months ago a friend who had recently met with the president on other
business reported to me that in conversation the president has said that he
has been having some trouble sleeping, and that when he awakes in the
morning the first thing he often thinks is: I wonder if this is the day
Saddam will do it," Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
What the president meant, Noonan's friend said, is if this will be the day
that Saddam launches a terror attack on American soil.
Saddam may have done this at least once before. The late James Fox, who
headed the FBI investigation of the first World Trade Center bombing in
1993, was convinced it was masterminded by an Iraqi agent.
Investigative reporter Jayna Davis has assembled an impressive body of
evidence suggesting Iraqi involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing. Despite
doubters in the CIA, Czech officials still say hijack leader Mohammed Atta
met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague a few months before Sept.
11. A special intelligence unit in the Pentagon has identified nearly 100
other contacts between Iraq and al Qaida dating back to 1992, according to
David Rose of Vanity Fair.
Secretary of State Colin Powell is likely to present additional information
about contacts between Saddam's regime and al Qaida at the United Nations
today. What Powell presents is almost certain to be dismissed by doves,
who view indications of cooperation between Iraq and al Qaida chiefly in
domestic political terms. They are more interested in what can wound George
Bush than in how Saddam might wound the United States. They insist on
courtroom standards of evidence. Saddam must be presumed innocent unless
proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence of prior bad acts should
not be permitted to color interpretation of ambiguous evidence of current
involvement in international terror.
The British suspect Algerian radicals arrested last month in connection with
a plot to use the deadly poison ricin against British soldiers have ties to
both al Qaida and Iraq. What if there are terror squads here, equipped with
ricin or anthrax or smallpox?
The FBI has launched a search for several thousand illegal Iraqi immigrants
who have gone missing, the Washington Post reported Jan. 27.
About 300,000 people of Iraqi origin live legally in the United States,
according to the Iraqi-American Council. The overwhelming majority are
hostile to Saddam Hussein. Presumably, most of the roughly 3,000 Iraqi
"absconders" the FBI is seeking also oppose Saddam. But if only 1 percent
Readers of this column know I have minimum high regard for the competence of
the FBI as an intelligence agency. My regard was not heightened by this
paragraph in the Washington Post story:
"Law enforcement officials said they were surprised to learn, through
records, of the number of Iraqi visitors who have been ordered deported for
overstaying their visas or other violations, but never appeared for removal
Nor was my confidence increased when I learned that the effort to find the
"lost" Iraqis only began a couple of months ago, and only after it was
insisted upon by members of Congress who, the Post said, "openly questioned
the FBI's ability to guard against espionage and terror attacks in the event
of an Iraqi conflict."
I am confident that our soldiers can make quick work of the Iraqi military.
I wish I were as confident of the FBI's ability to protect us from
terrorists already here.
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02/03/03: The "Axis of Weasels"
01/29/03: A bit of the jitters
01/27/03: The world's mediocre intelligence agency
01/21/03: By reaffirming GOP opposition to racism, president demonstrates willingness to confront liars
01/16/03: Why the United States should withdraw all of its military forces from South Korea as rapidly as we reasonably can
01/14/03: Federal incompetence driven by political correctness, not trampling of civil liberties, is what we should fear
01/09/03: Bag this boondoggle: The V-22 Osprey would hurt our national defense
01/07/03: Another Korean war?
12/26/02: Learning from Canada's economic suicide
12/24/02: A moral dilemma: Support a vicious fascist dictator or the poor and downtrodden?
12/20/02: Time to tell the truth: The great movement of blacks to the Democratic Party took place for economic reasons, not because of civil rights
12/18/02: Nothing better illustrates Trent Lott's unfitness for the post of Senate
Majority Leader than his desperate efforts to cling to it
12/16/02: Debunker mentality: It's hard work not seeing ties between Iraq and al-Qaida
12/12/02: GOP ideologues turning on Lott --- better sacrifice the leader than the party
12/06/02: Curing our democracy of afflictions
12/02/02: Conscription, like the horse cavalry, is an artifact of a bygone time
11/27/02: What Saddam faces
11/25/02: Why war with Iraq can be averted
11/19/02: A draft would harm the military
11/12/02: The 2002 elections and Nixon
11/07/02: Democratic overreaction to our recent "cosmically important" election
10/30/02: Show North Korea we're serious: Polish off Saddam
10/22/02: The squealing in the Pentagon is a proof of Rummy's effectiveness
10/16/02: The tactical challenge we face
10/10/02: Silence more despicable than seditious noise
10/08/02: Bu$h and the bu$ine$$ of war
10/01/02: Gore's calculated risk may well get him the Dems' nomination
09/25/02: Schroeder may find the fruits of victory sour
09/25/02: Making Saddam change his spots
09/19/02: Bush's resolve already has paid dividends
09/17/02: Courageous Iranians
09/13/02: If you never served in the military, you have no right to an opinion
09/10/02: Why the 'air marshals' will fail
09/05/02: Resurrecting the "Happy Darky"
08/31/02: Are Bush's inactions against Iraq calculated?
08/23/02: Dems can't take the minority vote for granted any longer
08/20/02: No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right
08/15/02: Mineta's war on what?
08/13/02: When Gore said he wanted to be his 'own man,' what was he thinking!?
08/08/02: Picking a tree for Cheney's hanging
08/06/02: Fears about the Department of Homeland Security are misplaced
08/01/02: The greatest strategic deception since Eisenhower convinced Hitler the Allies were going to land at the Pas de Calais?
07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
07/26/02: Journalists are making sure Americans can't differentiate between the stock market and the economy
07/23/02: Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it?
07/17/02: FBI isn't supposed to stand for Foolish, Blind and Incompetent
07/12/02: The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted
07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
06/21/02: Stirring the security pot
06/18/02: Why the military is so messed up
06/14/02: Vast majority $68.7 billion proposed for weapons will be spent on systems of little use in the war on terror
06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
05/07/02: Want to win the 'war on terror'? Reinstate the draft
05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
04/26/02: Did Bush play his Aces with Abdullah wisely?
04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack … by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same
standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred" …
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections
© 2002, Jack Kelly