Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

In a floor speech honoring the nation's federal employees, Sen. Kaufman applauds Jeffrey Knox for his work as an assistant U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of New York's Violent Crimes and Terrorism Division

July 16, 2009

Mr. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, last week, I spoke about the founding generation of Americans and the legacy they passed down to us of sacrifice and service above self. These are the values that constitute the foundation of our civil service, and it is these values that motivate our Federal employees. It is what drives each of them, each day, to perform the small miracles that make the American Government work. Without their dedicated efforts and important contributions, we could not have a government that is responsive and representative. That is the birthright the Founders left for us--that the people should be represented not only by officials they have elected but by civil servants entrusted to carry out the people's business.

In thinking about these ideas and about the Founders, I cannot help but think of those who risk their safety working as Federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors. One such Federal prosecutor is Jeffrey Knox. As an assistant U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of New York's Violent Crimes and Terrorism Division, Jeffrey is on the front line in both the war on crime and the war on terror.

At age 36, Jeffrey has already achieved distinction for prosecuting a number of important cases. He has become one of the Nation's preeminent prosecutors trying suspects in terrorism cases. In his role as head of the Violent Crimes and Terrorism Division, Jeffrey has been a leader in investigations of terror groups such as al-Qaida, Hamas, and LTTE. His colleagues have praised him for his roll-up-your- sleeves, get-your-hands-dirty philosophy, and he has traveled to dangerous hot spots in pursuit of evidence.

One of Jeffrey's landmark cases was the successful investigation, arrest, and indictment of four suspects who were charged with plotting to attack the fuel tanks at JFK Airport. The attack they had planned was intended to be as devastating as September 11. Jeffrey worked closely with the military, the intelligence community, foreign governments, and local law enforcement agencies in an 18-month-long investigation.

In another high-profile case, he successfully obtained the convictions of a group of conspirators who were attempting to deliver missiles and other weapons to the LTTE in Sri Lanka. He also worked to put behind bars an Iraqi translator who stole classified defense information and passed it to insurgents targeting our troops. Jeffrey has prosecuted violent street gangs in New York City as well.

What inspires me most about Jeffrey is that he did not start as a criminal prosecutor. Before September 11, he was a corporate lawyer on Wall Street. After that terrible day, Jeffrey was motivated to leave Wall Street and work in the Federal Government as an assistant U.S. attorney. When asked why he gave up such a lucrative position on Wall Street for a tough job prosecuting terrorists and gang members, Jeffrey said:

If you can put a dangerous individual behind bars so that individual will never have the ability to jeopardize another person's life again, then it's all worth it.

Jeffrey Knox is just one of many Federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials who risk their lives every day to keep Americans safe. The sacrifices they make all too often go unrecognized. I urge my colleagues to join me in honoring their service and sacrifices, and I join all Americans in thanking them for the important contribution they make to our Nation.

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