by Andrew P. Napolitano
Does the government work for us or do we work for the government? Can the federal government take credit for saving us from a plot of its own creation? Tonight, has the federal government kept us safe or does it just want us to think that it has kept us safe?
Since the tragedy of 9/11, numerous crazies and low-level copy-cats have engaged in criminal behavior which they hoped would result in the deaths of innocent Americans and somehow advance the cause of jihad. If you ask the leadership of the FBI, most of whose field agents are tireless, dedicated, Constitution-supporting professionals, it will tell you that it has foiled about seventeen plots to kill Americans during the past ten years. What it will not tell you is that there have been twenty foiled plots; and of them, three were interrupted by members of the public. The seventeen that were interrupted by the feds were created by them.
We all remember the three that were foiled by diligent Americans: The shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, and the Times Square bomber. In all of these cases, the crimes charged were those of attempting to kill and conspiring with others to do so. In all three of those cases, alert Americans on transcontinental flights on or the streets of New York told authorities of bizarre behavior, or actually subdued the threats themselves. There was no foiling by the FBI. The plotters were – thankfully – bumbling fools who had poorly planned their criminal behavior, and who ended up harming no one. All three are serving life terms.