... the savages have declared war, and it's far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York (where the residents would immediately surrender).
--Ann Coulter, 8/10/04
The New York Police Department may soon be swooping down over the five boroughs in helicopters armed with super-powerful sniper rifles that can disable trucks, explode concrete barriers, and blast through the glass of airplane windshields.
Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that the Police Department purchased Barrett .50-caliber semiautomatic rifles, to mount the weapons on police helicopters and help protect the city from terrorist attacks.
--New York Sun today
Here's the rifle, Ann. Hope it's, er, substantial enough for you.
How much opposition to this is the mayor expecting from America-hating liberals in the city? How controversial does he think this will be? He thinks it's going to be so controversial that he's doing it ten weeks before a mayoral election.
Oh, and if you have a chance, dig up the article on NYC police commissioner Raymond Kelly that ran in The New Yorker earlier this summer. It's not online, but here's a Q&A with the author:
...There are N.Y.P.D. detectives permanently stationed overseas, for instance, in half a dozen different countries. Ray Kelly, the Commissioner, has gone way outside of the traditional police-recruitment channels, looking for people with military, intelligence, and diplomatic backgrounds, people with deep knowledge of international terrorist organizations. What's more, he has comprehensively persuaded the entire department to think of counterterrorism as a fundamental part of what cops call the Job.
...in the languages considered critical to counterterror work today -- Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, and so on -- the N.Y.P.D. has deeper resources than the Feds.
...The Administration's efforts to reform our national-security agencies since the catastrophic failures that allowed the 9/11 attacks to succeed -- I'm talking about the creation of the Homeland Security Department, as well as the attempts to radically restructure both the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. -- have been, so far, a disheartening spectacle. You start to wonder if we're dealing with bureaucracies that are so dysfunctional they're simply impervious to reform. The reorganization of the N.Y.P.D., by contrast, has been fast, fairly smooth, and basically self-driven. You get the sense that the N.Y.P.D., big as it is, can practically turn on a dime. David Cohen, who is the N.Y.P.D.'s Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence, spent thirty-five years at the C.I.A.-- he rose to become director of operations there -- and he told me, "The N.Y.P.D. is on a hair trigger. The air gap between information and action is the shortest I've ever experienced." ...
[Kelly is] also willing to go right around Washington, and develop close department-to-department relationships with security services around the globe, which is a big part of what makes the N.Y.P.D.'s counterterrorism work so sophisticated. They're getting fresh information and ideas all the time from all over. The Israelis, who are generally considered to have the savviest counterterror operation in the world, work exceptionally closely with the N.Y.P.D....
Coulter, I'm sure, is more impressed by a flight suit.