With the partisan furor over the National Security Agency dominating headlines, the debate over renewal of the Patriot Act has been pushed off the front pages. In this morning’s New York Post, New York Congressman Vito Fossella offers a good summary of why extension of the act is so important. Among other things, he identifies two terrorist plots that have been uncovered using the act’s tools:
Bin Laden’s impotence is due not to a lack of trying, but rather to new and enhanced U.S. security measures. Since 9/11, U.S. officials and forces have disrupted 150 terrorist threats and cells, incapacitated 3,000 operatives worldwide and captured or killed nearly two-thirds of al Qaeda’s senior leaders.
One key element has been the Patriot Act, which finally armed law enforcement and the intelligence community with the legal means to detect, disrupt and stop terrorists before they could strike.
The Patriot Act took laws already approved by the courts to fight organized crime and drug trafficking