Sometimes I speak too soon, and last week was a good example.

I said that this country might need a British-style MI-5 — domestic military intelligence — to search out terrorists among us and put the arm on them.

I said that because there is some considerable fear in official Washington and elsewhere that the FBI — a law enforcement agency which must obey the law — would not be able to cope with terror types who slide around the edges of the law, not always actually breaking the law until they commit their terror... when it's already too late.

The special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has now ruled that the Department of Justice may use special surveillance, wiretaps and the like the chase down terrorists who actually get into this country. If using such techniques, the Feds were to find evidence of crimes in the process, they could use that information to arrest and prosecute the suspects.

Believe it or not, that was not the case before this ruling.

Consequently, the FBI should now be completely outfitted as an anti-terror organization, and should be able to take the steps necessary to catch the evildoers before they commit terror.

Is this enough to combat terror? We don't know yet. But it is a good start, and the FBI and CIA should now be able to operate overseas and in this country.

The constitutionalists might very well scream, but the FISA court did the country a service. The Constitution is not a document designed to protect terrorists while they plot and scheme. And one of the most important courts in the country has now said so.

That's My Word .

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