Jewish World Review Jan. 14, 2003 / 13 Shevat, 5763

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Federal incompetence driven by political correctness, not trampling of civil liberties, is what we should fear | If there is another major terrorist attack within the United States, the various Democratic presidential aspirants hope to profit from it. They have been accusing President Bush of not doing enough to protect the homeland. "Washington is not doing enough to make America safe," said Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

"The American people are only slightly safer today here at home than we were on Sept. 11, 2001," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachussetts said Bush had "squandered" the year since the attacks by failing to make "the preparations necessary to deal with an obvious problem of growing terror."

There is plenty to criticize in the Bush record on homeland security, but Bush's principal failing is that he hasn't moved fast enough to reverse foolish policies put in place by earlier Democratic administrations, which may explain why Democrats have been long on rhetoric, but short on details of what they would differently.

The manhunt currently under way for up to 19 Muslim men thought to have entered the country illegally around Christmas eve emphasizes that far and away our most important task is to gain control of our borders. The gargantuan size of the problem is illustrated by the fact that the range of estimates of the number of people in this country illegally - 10 to 13 million - is greater than the population of Chicago.

To gain control of our borders, there must be a substantial increase in the number of personnel who guard them, and a change in laws and administrative rules to expedite deportation of illegals.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Border Patrol, the agencies principally responsible for protecting our borders, must be at least doubled, arguably trebled, to give us a reasonable chance to prevent more illegals and potential terrorists from sneaking into this country, much less to hunt down illegals already here.

But more important than an increase in manpower and money is a change in leadership, and removal of restrictions which prevent the conscientious from doing their jobs properly. Good leadership can make important strides with inadequate resources. Poor leadership will squander even munificent resources.

The INS is unquestionably the least competent federal agency. These are the wonderful folks who, months after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, granted permission for two of the Sept. 11 hijackers to attend flight schools here. These are the folks who last fall granted U.S. citizenship to a known terrorist under investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. These are the folks who ordered the release of Beltway sniper John Lee Malvo after the Border Patrol had nabbed him on an immigration violation. These are the folks who lost track of 2,000 resident aliens wanted for questioning in the wake of Sept. 11. We could protect ourselves better by flushing money down the toilet than by spending it on the INS until there is a major change in leadership. Perhaps it will be provided in the new Department of Homeland Security. We shall see.

The failures of the FBI prior to Sept. 11 have been widely publicized. The situation is worse than most Americans realize. Few paid attention last month when FBI Agents Robert Wright and John Vincent said their superiors had blocked them from opening a criminal investigation of terrorists suspected of taking part in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998.

The many journalists who lionized Minneapolis FBI Agent Colleen Rowley and the few who paid attention to what Wright and Vincent had to say did not mention the principal reason why the FBI has dropped the ball so often: Idiotic guidelines put in place by Attorney General Janet Reno in 1995 forbade FBI agents gathering intelligence on terrorists from sharing information with FBI agents working on criminal cases involving terrorists.

Americans will not be secure until we realize that what we have to fear most from the federal government is incompetence driven by political correctness, not a trampling of civil liberties. We need to worry less about hurting the feelings of terrorists, and more about the harm terrorists can do.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Jack Kelly's column by clicking here.

01/09/03: Bag this boondoggle: The V-22 Osprey would hurt our national defense
01/07/03: Another Korean war?
01/02/03: Ostriches
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