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Ralph Peters is a regular columnist with the New York Post. Register here for access to the Post's Online Edition.



PETERS Thank The Feds
by Ralph Peters [author, novelist] 6/27/06

With the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaching, we need another vote on Capitol Hill: a vote of thanks to the federal career employees who've kept us free from terror attacks while politicians blathered, appointees bungled and our enemies did their best to kill Americans.

It's time to give credit where it's due, to the ever-criticized, never-thanked feds, from the FBI agents who busted the Miami Seven last Thursday, through the intelligence professionals working diligently amid all the political flak, to the Border Patrol agents who daily face some of the most miserable tasks in government.

Ralph Peters - Contributor
Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of 19 books, as well as of hundreds of essays and articles, written both under his own name and as Owen Parry. He is a frequent columnist for the New York Post and other publications. [go to Peters Index]

This isn't to slight the great work down at the state and local levels. But it's the feds who get attacked no matter what they do. If they devise innovative ways to take down terrorists, a trash-America paper blows the secret on Page One. Yet the same voices warning so self-righteously of "threats to our civil liberties" will be the first to screech that the government failed when terrorists strike us again.

The feds aren't perfect. Only God is. But in our War on Terror the greatest proof of success is a negative - the absence of attacks. And since the horrors of 9/11 (so soon forgotten by so many), al Qaeda and its surrogates have not been able to stage a single strike on American soil. And it isn't because they haven't wanted to hurt us.

The viciousness which those on the left aim at honest - and underpaid - federal employees was on evidence again this weekend. After the Thursday bust of the al Qaeda wannabes down in Liberty City, it took less than 48 hours for the critics to mobilize. By Saturday, we were being told that those arrested weren't a serious threat, that they'd been entrapped, that they're just misguided youths who need a hug.

The entrapment charge won't hold up. If there's one thing the FBI understands, it's how to build a case. But the left will nonetheless champion murderous thugs again ("Free Mumia!"). We'll hear ad nauseum that the Miami Lice were incompetent, that they had no weapons or money, that it was all talk.

Now consider how Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols & Co. would have come across had they been popped for conspiracy three or four months before the Oklahoma City bombing - namely, as nuts with delusions of grandeur. Jobless and living on the edge of poverty, McVeigh and Nichols would've seemed pathetic, not deadly. Losers. Like the perps in Miami.

It only took a pile of cheap fertilizer, an old vehicle and one committed killer to bring down the Murrow Federal Building, kill 168 people and shatter thousands of lives. And it wouldn't have taken very much for those half-baked fanatics in Miami to kill hundreds, if not thousands.

Then we would've heard endless shrieks of "Intelligence failure!" The Pelosi-Dean-Kerry Surrendercrats would've damned the Bush administration as asleep at the wheel and incompetent. And the elite media would've expressed outrage that no undercover programs were in place to detect terrorists before they struck.

The FBI did exactly the right thing in Miami: It took madmen seriously. Yet the agency damned for overlooking Zac Moussauoi pre-9/11 is now under attack for busting up a terror ring before it achieved operational capabilities.

What do the critics want, besides putting cowards in office? Even if the Miami Seven could only manage to bomb a suburban Starbucks, instead of the Sears Tower, wouldn't we want to stop them?

It isn't the scope of their vision or their lack of resources that matters - it's their intent to kill innocent Americans.

It's both legitimate and necessary to criticize our government when criticism is deserved. But fair's fair. When the men and women charged to protect us 365 days a year get it right, they should be applauded, not pecked at by critics who never did a single act of service to this country in their lives.

The courts will decide whether the Miami Seven are criminals or not. They'll get a fair trial at the expense of those they wished to kill. But the FBI has already been condemned by the terrorist-huggers. We are a miserably ungrateful nation.

If Sept. 11, 2006, passes without a terrorist attack on our soil, Congress should thank our homeland defenders with a formal resolution. Before the November elections. And let's see who votes against it. CRO

Ralph Peters' latest book is New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy. His next book, Never Quit the Fight, is due out July 10.

This piece first appeared in the New York Post
copyright 2006 - NY Post

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