Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Yom ha Shoah-Palestinians Refer to Jews as Virus

Gary Fouse

Hat tip  Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers

Leave it to the Palestinians to conjure up modern-day Nazi style images of the Jews in Israel. As Israel marks the Holocaust and the loss of 6 million Jews, the Palestinian tweeters and artists are outdoing themselves with cartoons equating Jews to the Corona virus.

Let's try to draw some comparisons. Suppose we were to produce cartoons attacking the Chinese people for the Corona virus? How fast do you think that would be condemned? Yet, the noble Palestinians could produce this trash and get away with it.

Rather than go on a long rant about all the anti-Jewish hate I have seem come out of the pro-Palestinian lobby over the years, let me just say that these images say much more about the Palestinians and their "cause" than they could ever say about Jews.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Do We Need a New Agency to Tackle the Pandemic Threat?

Gary Fousesquawk

Hat tip Sultan Knish

Daniel Greenfield at his blog, Sultan Knish, has an interesting article on how we should address the likelihood of future virus attacks. Once we get through this one, we have to expect that it could happen again-especially if this turns out to be man-made. In this article, Greenfield suggests a new government agency to specifically attack the threat of viruses.

While I share Greenfield's skepticism of the myriad of US Government alphabet soup agencies, I agree with his idea that a new agency be formed.

As I commented in the reader thread, I myself was part of an alphabet soup agency (DEA). During my career, I spent a total of ten years working under the State Department umbrella, three years in Thailand, five years in Italy, and two years in DEA's International Training Division. I will simply say that I don't place much confidence in the State Department, and that is no slap at the many foreign service officers who spend years in God-forsaken places trying to carry out US Government policy and make the world a better place.

Greenfield touched on the 9-11 intelligence failures. Much of that was due to the failure of the CIA and FBI to work together and share intelligence, I know personally that has been a long-standing problem even beyond the artificial wall that was imposed between them during the Clinton administration by Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who inexplicably went on to be part of the 9-11 Commission.

I strongly believe that we need a new agency with intelligence capability and criminal investigators with enforcement powers to specifically address this issue. We are now living in a new world, and we cannot afford regular pandemic occurrences in the future.

But how to create this agency and get highly-qualified personnel? I offer as a possible example the government merger in 1973 that created DEA.

During the Nixon administration, it was decided that there was too much overlap, competition, and lack of cooperation between the government agencies involved in the "War on Drugs".  At that time, there was the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) in the Justice Department and the US Customs Agency Service in the Treasury Department. With Customs, there were hundreds of agents specifically assigned to fight drug smuggling. I was one of them, stationed in San Pedro, California.

Often we worked with BNDD on joint cases where we both had information on the same violators. Just as often we did not work together. The relationship between our agencies was not good. There was more competition than cooperation, and only the bad guys win in that scenario.  The solution for the Nixon administration was to have a government reorganization-merge 500 agents from Customs who had been working drugs with BNDD into a new Justice Dept. agency. Thus, in July 1973, DEA was born, and I was transferred to my new office and my new agency. We basically were absorbed into the BNDD infrastructure with a new name. Looking back, I think it was a good move. It was difficult at first, but DEA grew into one of the most respected law enforcement agencies in the Federal government.

So a new agency would take in agents from different government agencies, people with particular skills like intelligence analysts, chemists, and people with overseas experience and language skills. DEA, for example, has many diversion investigators, who deal with the unlawful distribution of legal controlled substances. Would that mean that a lot of people would have to switch agencies against their will? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. I did not want to leave Customs, but I had to and it turned out well for me. I had a good career in DEA. I suspect just as many people would be thrilled to take on such an enormous task given the urgency of this situation.

Over the years, different administrations have seriously considered merging DEA into the FBI. (The FBI was even given concurrent drug enforcement jurisdiction along with DEA.) That was not a good idea, and such a merger never happened. For certain crimes, like drug trafficking, we need a single-focus agency. The FBI, with its myriad of crimes that they investigate, many white collar, are a different culture than that of DEA. Like drug traffic, this new threat requires a single-purpose agency. Of course, other agencies like the DEA and FBI must cooperate and share information. In-fighting between law enforcement agencies has long been a problem not just in America but many foreign countries as well. We simply cannot afford that.

As I said above, we are living in a new world, and we are going to need wisdom from our leaders. Whether the Corona virus came from bats in Chinese food markets or a lab in China, we all have to deal with it. We will need to work with our foreign police and intelligence colleagues the same as we do with drugs. That's not globalization; that is common sense. Our leaders at every level will need to be prepared with the steps they will take the next time around. We need planning and preparation. We need new ideas, and we need a new agency.