How would it respond to this weekend's Times Square bomb threat? Well, by extrapolation from its response to the 9/11 attacks and subsequent threats, the policy would be:
From the National Security Network "Taking on Terror" essay:
This is at least the tenth such plot on New York foiled since 9/11/2001, and the city continues to thrive. Just hours after the failed attack was discovered and the vehicle removed, Times Square was once again packed and back to business. The vendor who alerted police was among the first back at work, "out here showing my colors" at 8:30 Sunday morning.Such resiliency has "historically been one of the United States' great national strengths," says terrorism expert and President of the Center for National Policy Stephen Flynn. While resilience foils terrorists' intentions, the overreaction and fear-mongering advocated by some conservatives creates a siege mentality that works against America's interests and strengths. Today we can be proud of our police and our fellow-citizens - and we should all take a lesson from New York.
New Yorkers demonstrate resilience, refuse to give in to fear. During and after the bomb scare this weekend, New York City residents showed why awareness and resolve are the best means for defusing terrorist threats... Following the scare, New York City officials were keen not to raise fears unnecessarily by indulging in speculation about the thwarted attack.
The next morning, it was clear that New Yorkers and visitors alike would not be intimidated by the evening's drama. The Washington Post reported: "...it was a testament to the national resilience that Times Square was packed again Sunday morning, just a few hours after the vehicle was disarmed and removed. The only visible signs of the close call the night before were the scores of police officers on the scene, including the white Technical Assistance Response Unit vans surveying the hours of video surveillance recordings from the cameras that are a ubiquitous staple of New York's post-Sept. 11 life." ...
In a piece for Foreign Affairs in 2008, Steve Flynn, now President of the Center for National Policy, noted: "...A climate of fear and a sense of powerlessness caused by the threats of terrorism and natural disasters are undermining American ideals and fueling political demagoguery. Rebuilding the resilience of American society is the way to reverse this and respond to today's challenges."
Editor of Newsweek International and Washington Post Columnist Fareed Zakaria writes that "The purpose of terrorism is to provoke an overreaction. Its real aim is not to kill the hundreds of people directly targeted but to sow fear in the rest of the population. Terrorism is an unusual military tactic in that it depends on the response of the onlookers. If we are not terrorized, then the attack didn't work." Similarly, Marc Lynch, senior fellow at CNAS and professor at George Washington University, explains that an "overreaction" to terrorism attempts plays "right into the hands of a terrorist group."
Next step in the thought experiment: after wondering what NY would look like this weekend if run by the TSA, imagining what the TSA might be like if run in the spirit of this weekend's NY.
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