• This is a partial transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," September 9, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

    PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Monday marks five years since the most devastating terrorist attack on the American homeland. This week, President Bush presented a progress report on the steps taken since 9/11 to make the country safer.


    GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We learned the lessons of September 11. We're changing how people can work together. We're modernizing the system. We're working to connect the dots to stop the terrorists from hurting America again.



    GIGOT: So what are the lessons learned from September 11? And where do we stand in the war on terror?

    Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan Henninger, as well as Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Members Dorothy Rabinowitz and Rob Pollock, and opinionjournal.com columnist John Fund.

    Dan, looking across the last five years, what are the successes? What have we, as a nation, done right?

    DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & WSJ DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, I'd say the answer to that is pretty simple. Virtually, all of the anti-terror programs exposed on the front pages as an attack on our civil liberties have, in fact, been successful assaults on the terrorists' attempt to destroy civilization.

    Let's go down the list, one, electronic surveillance, the warrantless wiretaps; two, the SWIFT program to monitor financial transactions; and three, interring these homicidal people in Guantanamo.

    What all of that reflected, it seems to me, was Bush's success at getting the national security bureaucracies actively engaged in fighting terrorism rather than what we had before 9/11, which was a kind of passiveness to their strategies.

    GIGOT: And that represents a conceptual change in how we fight this war, from the law enforcement mentality, which we used to treat it, where we took — remember after the first World Trade Center bombing, we didn't even bother to interrogate Ramsey Yousef, one of the plotters, very much.

    So it's a conceptual change too, Rob.

    ROB POLLOCK, WSJ EDITORIAL BOARD MEMER: Yes, it's a big conceptual change. You know, it's not just these policies of interrogation and so forth that have been used against Al Qaeda. But of course President Bush has taken a longer-term view as well.

    But we need to dry up these swamps where Islamic radicalism grows, which, for course, has brought us into Iraq and into Afghanistan. And that's the other big conceptual change.

    GIGOT: The idea of going after state sponsors of terror, which we never did before.

    POLLOCK: Right.

    GIGOT: But we talked a little bit about it. We talked a good game against Iran and so on. But this time, actually, we've gone in and said, look, you will not have these refuges.

    JOHN FUND, COLUMNIST, OPINIONJOURNAL.COM: It's easy to focus on the bad news of this fifth-year anniversary. But I think we also have to focus on what has worked.