I try to err (and I do make mistakes) on the side of caution, because we are talking life and death here. Ultimately, I realize that I cannot protect everyone or prevent a determined person from killing either himself or other people. All individuals must take responsibility for their own behavior; but I do the best that I can.
Over the years, I have been both condemned and blessed by people when I intervened to prevent something bad from happening.
I have learned to take even the most psychotic and delusional people very seriously--perhaps even more seriously than a normal person; because when someone is out of touch with reality they tend to be more unpredictable, and their behavior even more irrational than usual. This is particularly true when the subject of wanting to kill others or kill themselves comes up. Just because someone is insane, it does not make them harmless.
That is why I read with interest Ralph Peters column this morning about the recent arrests of terrorist wannabes in Miami:
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.
Those who minimize the arrest of these "nuts with delusions of grandeur" are themselves not operating with a full deck. Weapons (particularly WMD) in the hands of "nuts" are far more dangerous and more likely to be used than in the hands of someone without the disordered, paranoid and delusional thinking.
Since 9/11 we have been--quite rightly-- taking the madmen of the world seriously. That is why we have had no further attacks yet on American soil. Those who want to pretend--for political and ideological reasons--that the fact we have had no further attacks in our country has nothing whatsoever to do with the actions of the evil Bushitler fascist administration, will go on belittlening and undermining everything that adminstration is trying to do to keep us safe.
Sometimes the insane behavior of the Democrats and the left in general makes you wonder who the real madmen are.