No wonder AG Holder caved in to pressure and moved the KSM trial. Here are the security measures that New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had announced for the trial, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars:
inner and outer perimeters, unannounced vehicle checkpoints, countersniper teams on rooftops, and hazardous-materials and bomb squad personnel ready to respond.
Is there any chance that this is overkill? If Islamic terrorists are already here and capable of pulling off such mayhem so as to require that degree of precaution, wouldn’t we have seen at least a few such attacks over the last ten years? Or is the thought that the terrorists would suddenly sneak into the country as the trial approached? But if they can get into the country so easily, why wouldn’t they have done so up to now? And why haven’t other terrorist trials elicited like attacks? I understand that this trial is a much bigger deal, but still, I would have thought that if the capacity requiring WMD squads and countersnipers really was there, it would have been used in some fashion or another before now. Do we ever get to ratchet down our assessment of risk?
Commissioner Kelly every day sends out hundreds of police officers in a convoy through the streets of New York in a show of force against “the terrorists.” These are cops that arguably could be better put to use patrolling in high crime areas, especially in light of departmental budget cuts. Commissioner Kelly, in other words, is not one to underplay the terrorist threat, understandably loathe as he is to have an attack happen on his watch. But with all due respect, it just may be that he—and he has plenty of like-minded allies in this disposition–is overplaying the threat as well.