This is a sobering message to all of us. And it should remind us that the federal officials who continue to insist that New York City is the best place to try KSM and other 9/11 terrorists are, frankly, out of their minds. Attorney General Eric Holder remains delusional on this front, as he has continued to say that a civilian trial in New York remains on the table, despite the uniform protest of all major New York public officials from the mayor to the police chief to the governor.Never mind the breathtaking gaps in the logic of their post ("No one yet knows for sure who is responsible...Whoever did this, we can be sure, is in league with the underwear bomber, Major Hasan, and other terrorist..."). Or their assumption that the world is divided between absolute friends and absolute enemies of the United States, so there is no such thing as potential friends that could be influenced by American behavior. Or the basic idea that if only trials are restricted to Guantanamo, The Scary Terrorists will be totally flummoxed and will just sit around all day unable to think of a target for retaliation (that's my favorite one -- the image that Al Qaeda is right now all ready to activate a devastating attack as soon as they learn the location of the KSM trial, and that they'll be totally stymied and disband the strike force on news that it'll be a military commission at Gitmo).
New York is the world’s number-one terrorist target, and has been since at least he first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Those who claim, in spite of all logic and experience, that New York could be secured if KSM were brought there for trial are either being misleading or are plain old crazy. The only way to do this effectively would be to shut down the city, which would paralyze New York and cause terrible damage to its efforts to recover from the recession.
(Yeah, I should probably include a disclaimer here somewhere that it's obviously true that Al Qaeda is a beyond nasty organization dedicated to among other things killing lots of Americans, and that preventing such attacks should, in fact, remain a priority).
No, as a sincere Friend of New York, what I want to know from Burck and Perino (but I'll accept suggestions in comments) is: which other American values and practices should be abandoned to keep New York safely out of the sights of the terrorists?
(UPDATE: The best thing I've seen written about the Times Square attack is, no surprise, by James Fallows).