You’re not getting a sorry: Police Commissioner Kelly, NYPD have kept us all safe
Critics of ‘spying’ on Muslims are missing the bigger picture
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
By Mike Lupica
Monday, February 27, 2012, 6:00 AM
Despite some controversial tactics, Police Commisioner Ray Kelly and the NYPD have kept the city safe – and he doesn’t have to apologize to anyone.
They came over from Jersey 19 years ago in a yellow Ryder van that had a bomb in it, some of them from a walk-in mosque over a store on Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City, and parked in a garage underneath the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and that is the first time radical Islamists tried to blow up lower Manhattan.
It was the first time Ray Kelly was serving his city as Police Commissioner, and that night he was in the North Tower with a Port Authority engineer, after a day when only six were killed at the World Trade Center instead of thousands.
“Don’t worry,” Kelly remembers the engineer telling him, “these buildings will never come down.”
That day is part of the permanent history of the city now. So is Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind cleric from Brooklyn and Jersey who helped mastermind it all, and Ramzi Yousef and Eyad Ismoil, who were in the Ryder van. Their own history? It involved using the mosques at which they worshiped and the decent and law-abiding Muslims who worshiped around them as cover.
That was Feb. 26, 1993. Now it is all this time later and Sept. 11, 2001, is in between, and Kelly is once again the Police Commissioner of New York, the best the city has ever had, at a time when Kelly’s city needs him most. And, apparently, Kelly is supposed to apologize to big New Jersey politicians because they don’t like the NYPD going over to Jersey and occasionally engaging in surveillance of Muslims.
Sen. Robert Menendez leads the charge on this, so does Cory Booker, mayor of Newark. Gov. Christie has weighed in. The idea is that Kelly and his undercover cops have over-stepped their bounds, that they are targeting and profiling Muslims as a way of keeping New York safe.
“As far as I can tell, it was a knee-jerk response,” Kelly was saying yesterday. “I frankly can’t tell you what made them react the way they did. Maybe it was just political instincts at work. Whatever their motivations, they’re wrong.”
Kelly was asked if he plans to apologize to anybody and said, “Absolutely not.”
He said: “We are going to continue to do whatever we need to do, within the law, to protect the people of New York City. New York is where they’ve come before, and where we believe they want to come again, to hit us again and kill us.”
Then Kelly was talking about Feb. 26, 1993, again.
“It should have been a huge wake up call,” he said. “But because the guys behind it were caught so quickly, people just thought they were inept, and nobody would ever try again. Then it was eight years later and I’m watching from the Bear Stearns building as the first tower fell and remembering what the engineer told me that night about the buildings never coming down. So apologize for doing what I’m paid to do, for being realistic about the way we protect this city, and what we know about the way radical Islam works? Not happening.”
You wish President Obama would show this kind of starch with Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, tell him that the burning of the Koran was an accident, and that not only is he not apologizing, he’s waiting for Karzai to apologize to this country for two of our military officers getting shot in the head by an Afghan soldier. And if Karzai can’t find a way to do that, maybe it’s time for us to get out of his country and let him figure things out for himself with the Taliban.
Nobody is saying the NYPD is perfect, the force is too big and the city is too big and too complicated. But there is suddenly the insulting idea, and not just from Jersey, that Kelly is the one crossing the line of racial and religious profiling, even as he has done everything in his power to keep the city as safe as possible at the most perilous and dangerous time in its history.
“Do some of the things I hear offend me?” Kelly said. “They do, because I’m proud of our record, the way we’ve gone into all sorts of communities in New York City and that includes the Muslim community. I have two liaisons into the Muslim community I hired personally. And we frankly talk to a lot of people of that faith who say the same thing a lot of people say: Thank you for protecting us.”
The guys who came for New York 19 years ago came from working class neighborhoods, and from that mosque on Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City. It doesn’t mean every Muslim in every place like that is a suspect now. It also doesn’t mean Ray Kelly isn’t allowed to send his guys over there. Not only should he not apologize for doing that, he should tell any politician who doesn’t like it to kiss his ass.
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