ATF needs a little love in Times Square
Poor ATF: It don’t get no respect.
NYPD's Ray Kelly, Attorney General Holder and DHS honcho Janet Napolitano all heaped praise on themselves and each other for their fabulous work in the Times Square bomb case.
But the ATF? Nada. Out of sight, out of mind, evidently, overlooked like the acned geek at the high school prom.
This, even though ATF agents contributed some very nice work in helping to apprehend the accused would-be truck-bomber, Faisal Shahzad, particularly with their quick trace of a gun found in the suspect’s car. The ATF also had agents working with the NYPD’s bomb unit and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
“We didn’t want to push the issue,” Joseph Green, New York spokesman for the ATF, told SpyTalk Friday night.
Okay, I will.
To be sure, James Cavanaugh, who recently retired after 33 years with the ATF, was all over quotedom yakking about the bomb. But that’s all the reflected glory the bureau got.
Kelly got the logs rolling by thanking “the NYPD and the FBI as well as the fire department and the Office of Emergency Management for their work tonight. But most of all the alert vendor and Officer Ratigin of the Mounted Unit.”
Napolitano singled out the “men and women from the FBI, the Department of National Security division and U.S. attorneys offices [that] worked with NYPD, DHS, and state and local partners.” Customs and Border Patrol eventually got a shout-out from their boss as well.
DoJ, in turn, in a joint statement with the FBI and NYPD, praised “the collective work of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force and the prosecutors and investigators in the Southern District of New York … the Customs and Border Protection agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.”
Of course, President Obama had some praising to do, too.
“I want to commend the work of the NYPD, the New York Fire Department and the FBI which responded swiftly and aggressively to a dangerous situation," he said from Louisiana, where he was commanding the oil-slicked tide go out.
Not forgetting the little people, the president added, "And I also want to commend the vigilant citizens who noticed the suspicious activity and reported it to the authorities."
Did they get everybody? Nope, not ATF.
The ugly stepchild of U.S. law enforcement seems destined to get only bad notices, such as in the 1993 Branch Dividian inferno.
It ain’t fair. Then again, of course, neither is life.
| May 7, 2010; 9:37 PM ET
Categories: Intelligence, Justice/FBI
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