Some people think the reason there have been no successful terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11 is because the threat from Islamofascists and others wishing us ill has been overblown. Actually, our enemies have never stopped trying to inflict additional death and destruction here. In fact, there have been some 300 mostly successful prosecutions of terror-plotters in America in recent years. It would be the height of folly to believe that those who wish us harm will not continue to try to inflict it.
Others, with greater reason, attribute the absence to date of new attacks here to the offensive strategy the Bush Administration adopted in September 2001. It is aimed at disrupting our enemies' operations by attacking their bases of support and safe-havens overseas. There is no question that fighting terrorists abroad has helped make more manageable the task of having to counter them here at home.
Still, in no small measure, the miraculous feat of five-plus years without a large-scale, lethal terrorist incident in America is a credit to those who on the frontlines of the home front in this War for the Free World. And there are, arguably, no finer examples of such heroes than the members of the New York Police Department (universally known by its acronym, NYPD).
Unfortunately, the NYPD is under assault at the moment by civil liberties agitators, a phalanx of lawyers and their allies at the New York Times. Last Sunday, the Times breathlessly reported on its front page that lawsuits against New York’s Finest have produced evidence the Police Department went to extraordinary lengths to prevent attacks on the 2004 Republican National Convention. That event was rightly seen as offering terrorists a possibly irresistible two-fer: a chance simultaneously to do further damage to the Nation’s financial capital and to disrupt American democracy, in the process perhaps killing many of its leaders as they convened in that city.
Specifically, the New York police, under their outstanding Commissioner, Ray Kelly, created an "RNC Intelligence Squad" after New York was selected to host the Republicans' quadrennial gathering. The Squad was charged with assessing the intentions of individuals and groups who exhibited an interest in: violently or otherwise disrupting the Convention; interfering with or damaging the infrastructure, facilities and businesses servicing it; or otherwise impinging upon its delegates' exercise of their freedoms of assembly and speech.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Frank Gaffney's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.