A prime example Democrats cite to depict President Bush as inept in keeping America safe is that, after five years, “we haven’t gotten Osama bin Laden.” It’s one of Nancy Pelosi’s “go to” themes, as if the Democrats – if elected to a majority – would immediately “get” the world’s number one fugitive. How conveniently she and her minions forget that Bill Clinton failed to snag bin Laden during his entire presidency, when the mass murderer was much more out in the open.
But as history tells us, not finding fugitives – even in the most highly publicized cases and with the full force of government investigative agencies on their trail – should be expected.
In 1934, Adolf Eichmann was appointed to the Jewish section of the SS, the security and military organization of Germany’s Nazi party, quickly becoming a chief architect of “the final solution,” and ultimately taking great pride in the death of six-million, mainly European Jews. He escaped the Nuremberg trials and the “Avengers,” a group that tracked down and brought over a thousand Nazis to justice. By 1945, with former Nazis helping him to move to Argentina, all trace of Eichmann had vanished. It was not until May 11, 1960, that Israeli authorities, led by the Mossad, captured Eichmann, and it was not until 1961 that a court in Israel condemned the war criminal to death by hanging. It took fifteen years to capture and bring to justice one of the most heinous criminals in human history.
In 1986, Sweden’s Prime Minister, Olof Palme, was walking home from a Stockholm movie theater with his wife – in the middle of a bustling western city, not in a mountainous region in the remotest part of the world – when a lone gunmen shot and killed him. Twenty years have passed and no one has been charged with the crime.
In 1995, Bosnian Serb nationalist Radovan Karadzic was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague for war crimes and genocide. In spite of a $5 million reward offered for information leading to his capture, he has still roamed free for the last almost-12 years.
During the 1996 Olympics, Eric Rudolph detonated a bomb that killed one person and injured 111. Two years later, “the Olympic park bomber” made the FBI’s Most Wanted List, with a million-dollar bounty on his head. Again, it took the “best and the brightest” crime fighters seven years to find Rudolph, hiding in an American mountain range – and not the caves and hills of South Waziristan.
In 1916, the Mexican revolutionary, Pancho Villa attacked the 13th U.S. Cavalry in Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 people. In response, President Woodrow Wilson dispatched General John J. Pershing, with 6,000 men under his command (plus several divisions of Army and national Guard troops), to capture Villa. Pershing never found the fugitive and the search was eventually called off. Villa was assassinated seven years later.
In 1978, the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, sent through the mail the first of several deadly bombs. For the next 20 years, he continued his rampage of terror and murder. Although the target of the most expensive manhunt in the FBI’s history, the former academic eluded capture for two decades before being apprehended in Lincoln, Montana.
Surely Democrats know these stories – that apprehending the worst villains of our times is often impossibly difficult and almost always a lengthy, complicated process. Yet they ignore these facts in favor of politicizing America’s inability, as yet, to “get” bin Laden, thus – indefensibly – weakening America’s Commander-in-Chief in a time of war.
The difficulty in apprehending Osama bin Laden is not unusual. As the above examples attest to, capturing killers is tough enough when they’re on our soil. When they’re ten thousand miles away, hiding in dank caves and surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of armed, hard-core Taliban militia forming concentric defensive rings protecting them, in the toughest terrain on earth — it’s that much harder.
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