President Bush had his national and homeland security teams at his side today to deliver a sobering assessment of how safe he believes America is five years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
"America is safer than it has been. But it's not yet safe," Bush said. "The enemy has got an advantage when it comes to attacking our homeland. They got to be right one time, and we got to be right 100 percent of the time to protect the American people."
His statement came during a day of high-profile briefings at the National Counterterrorism Center, located at an undisclosed site in Northern Virginia known as Liberty Crossing.
Bush had been briefed on the efforts to stop the financing of terrorist activities, the latest in airport security and other security initiatives.
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow acknowledged not all of the programs are working but noted that successes in the war on terror cannot always be revealed publicly.
"A lot of the things that were discussed today are not done out in public and perhaps if they were, the president's ratings would be a lot higher," Snow said. "Unfortunately, at the expense of those approval ratings will be our national security."
Today's meetings also focused on London's recent foiled terror plot, in which terrorists planned to use explosive gels to damage planes headed to the United States. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has ordered a complete review of the case.
"Every time there is a plot that is disrupted or a plot that's successful we learn what our enemy is doing," Gonzales said.
The White House also insisted that the war in Iraq, which has already cost $250 billion, is not taking resources away from the war on terror.