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  • The threat of radical Islam.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on January 11th, 2015 (All posts by )

    Some commentators talk about the threat of “terrorism” but it is coming from one source; radical Islam or “takfiri Islam” if you prefer.

    However, a growing number of splinter Wahhabist/Salafist groups, labeled by some scholars as Salafi-Takfiris, have split from the orthodox method of establishing takfir through the processes of the Sharia law, and have reserved the right to declare apostasy themselves against any Muslim in addition to non-Muslims.

    These people are the threat although the fact that most Muslims are unwilling to speak out against this group is worrisome. Today, the new Chairman of the Homeland Security said he expects more attacks like that in Paris last week.

    “I believe… larger scale, 9/11-style [attacks] are more difficult to pull off – a bigger cell we can detect, a small cell like this one, very difficult to detect, deter and disrupt which is really our goal. I think we’ll see more and more of these taking place, whether it be foreign fighters going to the warfare in return or whether it be someone getting on the internet as John Miller talked about, very sophisticated social media program then radicalizing over the internet,” McCaul said.

    Some of these are “lone wolf attacks” like the the 2002 LAX attack by a limousine driver from Irvine, near my home.

    The assailant was identified as Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national who immigrated to the United States in 1992. Hadayet arrived in the United States from Egypt as a tourist.[citation needed]

    Hadayet had a green card which allowed him to work as a limousine driver. He was married, and had at least one child. At the time of the shooting, Hadayet was living in Irvine, California.

    A more devastating “personal jihad” attack was the Egyptair Flight 990 attack in 1999.

    This has been minimized as an example of rage at a coming demotion by the second officer but the NTSB disagreed;Two weeks after the crash, the NTSB proposed handing the investigation over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as the evidence they had gathered suggested that a criminal act had taken place and that the crash was intentional rather than accidental. This proposal was unacceptable to the Egyptian authorities, and as such the NTSB continued to lead the investigation. As the evidence of a deliberate crash mounted, the Egyptian government reversed its earlier decision and the ECAA launched its own investigation. The two investigations came to very different conclusions.

    Two weeks after the crash, the NTSB proposed handing the investigation over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as the evidence they had gathered suggested that a criminal act had taken place and that the crash was intentional rather than accidental. This proposal was unacceptable to the Egyptian authorities, and as such the NTSB continued to lead the investigation. As the evidence of a deliberate crash mounted, the Egyptian government reversed its earlier decision and the ECAA launched its own investigation. The two investigations came to very different conclusions: the NTSB found the crash was caused by deliberate action of the Relief First Officer Gameel Al-Batouti; the ECAA found the crash was caused by mechanical failure of the aircraft’s elevator control system.

    This occurred prior to the 9/11/2001 WTC attack and the Egyptian objection to the findings was less controversial.

    The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recorded the Captain excusing himself to go to the lavatory, followed thirty seconds later by the First Officer saying in Egyptian Arabic “Tawkalt ala Allah,” which translates to “I rely on God.” A minute later, the autopilot was disengaged, immediately followed by the First Officer again saying, “I rely on God.” Three seconds later, the throttles for both engines were reduced to idle, and both elevators were moved three degrees nose down. The First Officer repeated “I rely on God” seven more times before the Captain suddenly asked repeatedly, “What’s happening, what’s happening?”

    I believe this to be the first of a series of attacks by Egyptian perpetrators culminating on 9/11/2001.

    The next question concerns TWA Flight 800 in 1996.

    This was attributed to a fuel vapor explosion in s fuselage fuel tank that was empty. Others don’t believe this.

    TWA Flight 800 conspiracy theories exist, the most prevalent being that a missile strike from a terrorist or U.S. Navy vessel caused the crash, and is the subject of a government coverup.

    There has been considerable discussion of an observation that a missile track was seen by several ground observers.

    Many eyewitnesses described seeing something heading toward the plane before it exploded, and the suspicion of terrorism was almost instant. The biggest investigation in aviation history, at that time, ensued.

    Accident investigators said Wednesday, July 2, they would not re-open the probe of the mid-air explosion that brought down TWA 800 nearly 18 years ago on July 26, 1996, killing all aboard. The decision by the National Transportation Safety Board dashed the hopes of a documentary film team claiming to have uncovered solid proof that investigators erred in concluding it was an accident.

    The government spent four years and millions of dollars in that investigation and 18 years later, many still question whether they got it right.

    Some of the evidence and the FBI reports have not been made available.

    Of the 755 witness reports that the FBI have made public, accounts vary widely but hundreds describe what they thought was either a flare or fireworks heading up toward the plane before it exploded. A few witnesses even used the words “missile” or “rocket.”

    After the NTSB report, which took a year to produce, there are still serious doubts about the conclusion.

    CDR. William S. Donaldson, USN (ret.), challenged the official NTSB position on the cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800 in a series of letters to James Hall, Chairman of the NTSB between April 1997 and December 2000. During those four years, CDR. Donaldson worked with other Retired Aviation Professionals, including some previous crash investigators as well as persons inside the NTSB investigation itself. CDR. Donaldson has extensive experience as a Naval crash investigator and he and others concluded that the NTSB’s explanation of the Center Wing Tank explosion was not credible. With the help of these other concerned aviation professionals, CDR. Donaldson produced an extensive report on the cause of the crash. The initial Interim Report was delivered to the House Aviation Subcommittee on July 16th, 1998. Since that time a great deal of new information has surfaced.

    That information supports the theory that a missile was used.

    The FBI conducted a covert dredging operation for stinger missile parts between November 1996 and April 1997. CDR. Donaldson brought this new evidence to the House Aviation Subcommittee in testimony on May 6, 1999. Unfortunately, the major media and the Congress are content to swallow the official line without question.

    Those efforts to find a missile or evidence of one is the part of the investigation still not released.

    July 17th is the 14-year anniversary of the tragic crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island, New York, which caused the deaths of 230 men, women and children. This essay is a cautionary tale– a story of a brief period in American history when America was, as now, beset by a host of enemies from the Islamic world. In 1996 America was led by an Administration committed to not stirring the pot, apologizing to our enemies and sweeping foreign problems under the rug in the name of domestic politics. In 1996, as now, the Administration was committed to a law enforcement approach, as opposed to a military emphasis, to the reduction of our jihadist enemies.

    The Clinton Administration ignored many terrorist incidents, including the Khobar Towers bombing the same year as TWA 800.

    On July 12, 1996, five days before the destruction of TWA Flight 800, an event was described by an FBI 302 memo (later released only after a ferocious court battle over the Freedom of Information Act request by concerned citizen Raymond Lahr). This memo reported that a certain man and his friend on Long Island were attempting to videotape the pretty sunrise, and wasn’t it funny? They saw and recorded “a grey trail of smoke ascending from the horizon at an angle of approximately 75 [degrees].”

    So clear was the sight in the videotape that the man made a comment to his friend, heard on the tape, “They must be testing a rocket.” This amateur videographer calculated that object was heading towards the Atlantic Ocean.

    There was more.

    About the time Saddam was delivering his hate-speech on the evil USA over all the television stations of the Republic of Fear, someone in the Middle East was sending a fax to an Arabic language newspaper in Beruit. The fax said “tomorrow morning we shall strike the Americans in a way they do not expect and it will be very surprising to them,” according to one CIA official, who noted that it was sent at 11 a.m. New York time Wednesday, more than nine hours before the downing of TWA Flight 800.

    Not only was this ignored but the investigation was compromised by political pressure as Clinton was running for reelection.

    But is it so very large a leap to surmise that there was election year pressure, from this most political of Administrations, to make a literal Act of War disappear? And that this politicization caused the government to ultimately declare that the jetliner’s Center Wing Tank just ignited by itself at 13,000 feet and killed everyone?

    While the bodies and wreckage were enflamed in the cold waters, James Kallstrom’s pager went off. He called Louis Freeh and his own deputy agent, Thomas Pickard. Pickard called Neal Herman, head of the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force. Herman immediately said: “I’m thinking Yousef.” Pickard then called the legendary tough-guy agent John O’Neill in Washington, who himself called Clinton terror czar Richard Clarke. Clarke convened a secure meeting of the principals in the White House at ten o’clock that night. Everyone present automatically assumed the flight was destroyed by a terrorist act. Jetliners don’t simply blow themselves up in mid-air. This had never happened before. You could drop a match into “Jet-A” kerosene fuel and the match would extinguish itself, not ignite the fuel. A sparking electrical wire would have the same non-effect.

    The forensic evidence of the crash site was ignored.

    a. Explosive residue of PETN found on the plane’s seat cushions and fuselage (a component of bombs and MANPADS shoulder-fired missiles.)

    b. Explosive residue of RDX on a curtain in the aft cargo hold.

    c. A debris field map showing the first pieces of the 747 blown out the
    right side of the aircraft’s trajectory—and then a much larger debris field, many miles further.

    d. Radar hits showing an object merging with the airliner.

    e. Parts of the left fuselage metal bent inward, not outward, towards
    the interior of the cabin, as if hit by a giant bullet. (When a piece of this “smoking gun” evidence was taken from the hanger by a journalist, James Sanders, and his TWA-employee wife, the Administration prosecuted them for “stealing” a souvenir, ruining their lives.)

    f. A radar-sighted “30-knot track,” obviously a boat, racing away from the scene. The boat was never identified and its crew never came forward to be identified.

    g. The multitude of eyewitnesses describing a missile downing the jet.

    These items are all dismissed by the media as “conspiracy theories.” Does this pound like the present administration and its reaction to the Paris attack ? Bush is widely (on the left) criticized for “overreaction’ To 9/11. Nobody will criticize Obama for this, especially as he empties Guantanamo. The next attack will be “unexpected.”

     

    23 Responses to “The threat of radical Islam.”

    1. TMLutas Says:

      There is an attack cycle. The first step is that a muslim court issues a judicial decision, a fatwa, that allows violence. The second step is that an individual muslim or a group of them decide to enforce the decision, acting as agents of the court. There is planning, preparation, and then finally execution of the plan, which is when the general public finds out about it all, too late to do anything at that point.

      The earliest, and easiest, step to intervene at is at the court stage. How many muslim courts are there that issue such violent decisions? Our intelligence agencies should know. Our media should report that fact, the courts’ decisions should be monitored. These people are not fire breathing radicals barely growing their first beards. These are generally graybeards, well established in their communities and, like all such, not very mobile. This is a pressure point that has not been publicly challenged, that has not had significant pressure applied to it.

      If someone were to poll the question “is it permissible for a religious court to authorize violent punishments” I suspect that you would find broad bipartisan agreement that such punishments should remain illegal with an even broader range of support if the court is foreign as many of these violent fatwa issuing courts are. I would suspect that even among american muslims there is scant taste for such court decisions though here I would expect the consensus to erode a bit as there’s a fairly large, recent immigrant population that hails from lands where such things are considered normal.

      The biggest problem here is that there is no leadership of consequence raising this and so even though there’s a good foundation for a consensus approach to the problem of islamic violence that would actually work, we do not pursue that approach. That’s incredible to me. I do not understand why people ignore this. Can anyone explain it?

    2. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>I do not understand why people ignore this. Can anyone explain it?

      The majority of media, and of course this administration and the left in general, want muslims as allies. it’s covered pretty well in this first image, but the short versions is they are both tyrannical communitarian groups who brook no dissent from their ideology and see western civilization as the enemy. Muslims also are likely to vote for and depend on Big Government, so the Democrats see them as a natural constituency. The real enemy of both these groups are libertarian and freedom promoting groups like the Tea Party, and to a lesser extent the GOP.

      Take a look at the first image:
      http://www.bookwormroom.com/2015/01/11/the-bookworm-beat-11114-the-illustrated-edition-and-open-thread-2/

      So the Media, the left and this administration have no interest in battling islam. It’s people like you and me they hate and fear.

    3. Will Says:

      Something is blocking us. I can’t explain it, that’s for sure. The first WTC bombing surely registered with me, as did all the previous “events”. But I think it was the TWA 800 attack that made me realize that their was something very wrong domestically. If you’ve ever seen a missile launched, (and there are tons of videos available) nearly anyone can differentiate this with a flare, fireworks or other pyrotechnic. The eyewitnesses along the south shore of Long Island, all with similar accounts and a number who were veterans, who upon seeing it knew immediately what it was, all discounted for the fuel tank explosion. It was as though everyone knew it was a lie, but had to keep repeating it until every dissenting voice wore out, or shut up. “if you like your eyewitness account you can keep that account”.

    4. Mike K Says:

      The TWA 800 incident is the hardest to explain. Nelson DeMille used the story is the basis for a novel, Nightfall. He had no doubt that it was a missile and that seems to have been a consensus except for the government of Bill Clinton.

      “Of course we took terrorism seriously.We had meetings about it every week.” Madeline Albright.

    5. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      It’s certainly possible the entire incident was hushed up. It may have caused a war and would certainly have caused a panic in the airline industry. People might have simply stopped flying.

    6. Mike K Says:

      ” It may have caused a war”

      Clinton was running for reelection. It was his Benghazi.

    7. Jonathan Says:

      From what I’ve read the missile theory was effectively debunked and the fuel-explosion theory more plausibly explains the crash.

      There was also the Airbus crash shortly after 9/11. At the time there was much speculation about sabotage but it turned out to have been an accident.

      The Egyptair crash appears to have been deliberate, but it was the Egyptian govt rather than our own that attempted a cover-up.

      There have been many indisputable Islamist terror attacks without considering the disputed ones.

    8. Mike K Says:

      ” the fuel-explosion theory more plausibly explains the crash.”

      I’d be interested in the discussion since the links on the TWA 800 crash were to airline pilot sites. Has there ever been a similar incident ? It seems to be unique from what I have read.

    9. Mike K Says:

      This seems to be the best piece supporting the fuel tank theory although the comments are also interesting.

      Here is the Ray Lahr web site.

      As compelling as the documentary is, it would have been even more so had it recounted the outcome of the only judicial review of the matter. Only one court so far has analyzed much of the evidence showcased in the documentary. On the issue of government impropriety, a relevant inquiry under the Freedom of Information Act, Captain Ray Lahr submitted the affidavits and testimony of 27 fact and expert witnesses — physicists, system engineers, aerodynamicists, six air crash investigators (three of whom were parties to the TWA Flight 800 probe), a retired Admiral (whose opinion is in part based on the opinions of a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), a former NTSB Board member, seven eyewitnesses (four from the air, two CIA-animation featured), and a victim’s family member.

    10. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Megyn Kelly: Mark Steyn Blasts NYT For Not Showing Muhammad Cartoon
      http://youtu.be/WklsCGIfLdQ

    11. Andrew X Says:

      I chalk up, and talk up, TWA Flight 800 in my repetoire of being a rabid, psycho, foam-at-the-mouth ANTI-conspiricist.

      Look, the fact is that conspiracies of this magnitude are VERY hard to keep under wraps for long. (Here’s a rap I love to put out: “Do you think a US President could order an act like this, or a cover-up, and get away with it? I’m not asking if one DID, I’m asking if he could.” Usual answer: “Well, of course he could if he wanted, mumble mumble mumble….” “OK, do you think he could get a BJ under his desk without the entire world finding out about it? Because the latter answer is ‘APPARENTLY NOT!’ “. And how many people knew about that BJ, other than the CinC? That would be ONE person…. ONE. Who told ONE other person.ONE. and Boom. Front page, New York Times. Jus sayin’.)

      I also take note of two of the greatest breaches of Federal secrets ever – Snowden, and that weaselly little army it, both of whom blew tons of secrets wide open. And you know what we found out, that for some odd reason few care to note? That there was not one single syllable, not one, about 9/11 conspiracies, Iraq War conspiracies, JFK, faux moon landings, CIA crack smuggling…. and God knows how many other endless and unceasing tales of sheer nonsense by the ‘Those Who Believe In Nothing Will Believe In Anything, And The Stupider the Idea, The Better’ brigades. Not one syllable.

      Conspiriators do what they do for very basic reasons: to espouse the conspiracy immediately places one above and apart from “the unwashed masses” who are too dumb to “know the truth”.

      I claim no specialized knowledge of TWA Flight 800 or aviation in general. I DO claim a keen sense of human nature (and American nature) enough to know that secrets that big simply do not last forever, or even for very long. Even many of our biggest Cold War secrets currently reside on bookshelves and within this Internet gizmo.

      Americans cannot shut the hell up. (Senator Feinstein’s office calling on line two…..) It is our nature, and that’s just they way it is.

    12. Mike K Says:

      Why do you think so many of the “conspiracy theorists” are airline pilots and air crash investigators.?

      Why do you think the TV series “The Path to 9/11” has never been shown again or put on DVD ?

      I agree that conspiracies are hard to maintain. There is a will to disbelieve among some people. It is puzzling.

      I watched an interesting show on Investigation Discovery last night. I call the program “The Murder Channel” and only watch it once in a while. The program was about a small town case in which a young woman was brutally murdered. The policeman who found her body in the trunk of her car and who was the chief investigator, turned out to be the murderer. It took 20 years to find out because he had set up a case against a boyfriend of hers who was acquitted by a jury. The policeman threw away all the forensic evidence from the case. It’s a bizarre story but true.

      I’m not much on conspiracy theories but once in a while they are true.

    13. TMLutas Says:

      Michael Hiteshaw – You’ve given a plausible explanation why the left does not go after violent Islam. But this says nothing about why the right does not do it. Sen. Rand Paul could burnish his foreign policy credentials advocating this as a common sense approach to the problem of Islamic violence and it would be consistent with his non-interventionist approach. Just about any other GOP faction would find nothing in this approach of going after the fatwa writers objectionable or wrong.

      Prosecutors can simply ask questions on the subject. Most true believers who are violent are more than happy to cite chapter and verse. As I understand it, this line of questioning is not popular. It’s as if prosecutors wouldn’t even ask a mob trigger man, who gave the orders. It’s that ridiculous.

    14. Will Says:

      I’ll readjust my tinfoil chapeau and move on to another seemingly, ahem, related topic. In 98-99 we lived in the Kensington neighborhood in Brooklyn. The place was a weird mix of hipster, Caribbean, Hasidim and muslim. I’m told it was an Italian neighborhood at one time, but there wasn’t much evidence of that left. The South Asian population was dominant, so much so that when a big shot imam would come to town they would shut down an entire block, covering it in plastic tarps for the faithful to kneel on. Dueling speakers from atop house-mosques would call them in daily. At the time I was still sleepwalking so it was a all cool to me, hey, I could still get my IPA at the bar so, uh, live and let live…

      Anyhow, on the next block, on opposite corners, were two halal butchers, one that served the Asian, (Pakistani, Bangladesh etc.) and the other served a population of Europeans. knowing little about islam , I was kind of fascinated by the whole thing. The street was always busy around these places, men unloading trucks full of dead goats and sheep (always a great sight with a vicious hangover) shrouded women and children, blue-haired, tattooed kids, Korean grocers, busy. On multiple occasions during that time, lines of men formed at the Euro shop and word was that they were signing up as the KLA to go and fight in the Balkans. A local author wrote a book about it and I swore I’d read it, but never got around to it. We moved the next year, to another neighborhood but I have always wondered about this and how or if it relates to the current state of affiars.

    15. Grurray Says:

      “Sen. Rand Paul could burnish his foreign policy credentials advocating this as a common sense approach to the problem of Islamic violence and it would be consistent with his non-interventionist approach.”

      He has done this by introducing a bill the past two years to defund aid to Palestinians:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.635818

      Rand is considered some kind of a flip flopper because the media doesn’t understand libertarianism. I think most of it can be explained as him scrambling around trying to seize control of the narrative from the simplistic news cycle. I have my doubts that he will be able to break through the binary thinking, but the voters sometimes figure things out faster than the political spin spins, 2008 notwithstanding.

    16. Jonathan Says:

      I’m not convinced that he doesn’t share his father’s dumb ideas on this topic. At least he’s trying to convince voters otherwise. Maybe he’s for real. In any case he would be a better presidential candidate than would most other Republicans.

    17. Mike K Says:

      Rand lost me when he attacked Cheney using words that the DNC has used. I had my doubts about Bush but I never doubted that Cheney was a cold eyed patriot.

    18. Grurray Says:

      I like Rand Paul, but I agree any potential presidential campaign would be hamstrung by his goofy dad. When he ran, he came across as an angry crank representing the lunatic fringe.

      It is interesting, though, how that the same logic that led Ron Paul to reduce his views to nutty conspiracy theories can also lead Rand Paul to reconcile his non-intervention with fighting terrorism.

    19. renminbi Says:

      Should the term “Radical Islam” be used? What seems radical is, after all, easily justified by what is in the Koran and the Hadith. Seems to me, this is the essence of Islam ,except that most Moslems are not willing to be as vicious as Islam permits,nay,encourages. Note how Moslems are silent silent when their fellows commit atrocities.

    20. Mike K Says:

      “Note how Moslems are silent silent when their fellows commit atrocities.”

      Not all are silent.

      Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Moroccan-born Muslim, spoke after Paris attack
      The mayor said Dutch Muslims who ‘don’t like freedom’ can f*** off
      He added: ‘Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here’
      Aboutaleb became the first immigrant mayor in the Netherlands in 2008

      As usual, we need British newspapers to tell us this. This is not his first example of speaking out.

      Mayor Aboutaleb, who represents the Dutch Labour Party, de Partij van de Arbeid, has long had a no-nonsense approach to immigration and integration.
      Speaking to the Observer shortly after his appointment he said his message to immigrants is ‘stop seeing yourself as victims, and if you don’t want to integrate, leave’.
      This week, London Mayor Boris Johnson hailed Mayor Aboutaleb as his ‘hero’ and ‘straight to the point’.
      ‘That is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire,’ Mr Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
      ‘If we are going to win the struggle for the minds of these young people, then that is the kind of voice we need to hear – and it needs above all to be a Muslim voice.’

      Unfortunately, his example os rare.

    21. TMLutas Says:

      Grurray – We’re not on the same wavelength. Sen. Paul needs a moment where non-interventionist foreign policy provides superior insight, an aha moment where he raises a security question that others have missed and that self evidently makes us safer while providing superior target discrimination so that reasonable muslims can see how the new measure will improve their lives as well.

    22. Grurray Says:

      Our government can’t keep us safe anymore, and even if it could, its policies and priorities aren’t designed to protect us but dole out money to a privileged contractor caste.

      We don’t understand our enemy, and we’re unable to fight them effectively. The bureaucracy that controls our organizations and operations is obsolete. Most people would agree with this. Absent a coherent strategy of securing America and Americans, most of what we attempt to do causes more harm. Continually fighting wars without winning drives this painful point home.

      Private contractors already provide much of our security needs because small, autonomous groups operating in a competitive market always innovate and adapt better than the bloated government institutions. This is a concept most Americans inherently understand. They’re far better suited to address the kind of security challenges we’re facing throughout the world.

      This isn’t a new insight – You can read all about it by following John Robb – but it is true.

      Therefore, scaling back the government will make us safer and insure more successful policies.

    23. TMLutas Says:

      Grurray – I have been following John Robb for years. Yet I still am advocating what I am.

      Consider the Peace of Westphalia and the Westphalian order that is named after that famous treaty. Under a proper westphalian response, we would monitor each fatwa, notify the local government that they are harboring a dangerous lunatic who has claimed judicial jurisdiction over the USA and they can either do what we do and toss the fellow in jail or we will do it for them and they can decide whether they want to be at war with the premier military force on the planet. No nation building, no lengthy stays, just a simple punitive raid that eliminates the threat.

      This arrangement is the reason why we kept on arresting anti-communist cubans training for the counter-revolution. We should either keep both sides of the westphalian bargain or neither side of the bargain.

      By proposing that we restore the Westphalian status quo ante, Paul would be setting a trap. Agree with him and cede foreign policy leadership. Disagree with him and the follow on proposal is to liberate Western PMCs to operate out of America and take these people out under private auspices. Disagree with that and you have painted yourself in an untenable position where you have made explicit the rotten position too much of the DC consensus holds, that we shall enforce our westphalian obligations on ourselves but not hold anybody else to the bargain.

      The voters would be out with tar and feathers were this situation made clear to them. It’s not only profoundly anti-american security policy but it’s also bigoted as all get out. Sen. Paul could boil the frog and take leadership over the next year or so and enter 2016 with a much improved foreign policy hand. Unlike most Senators, he would enter the presidential field with a credible claim to have done something palpable to improve the safety of the american people.