Before 9/11/2001 the vast majority of Americans had never been exposed to any type of terrorism and the concept was vague and not too terribly threatening to most people. Most believed it was something that happened in distant lands with a lot of sand in them.
Then 9/11 happened and 3,000 Americans died as a direct result. Suddenly terrorism was real and it was at our back door. Naturally our fearless government rushed in to provide a solution to the panicked stricken people.
The next question of course is the cure worse than the disease? In other words are the solutions we put in place worse than the threat of actual terrorist striking the U.S. again?
I argue, yes, they are. George W. Bush put in the (un)Patroit Act and set up the Department of Homeland Security. Fast forward 12 years later and we live in a desert when it comes to personal privacy. Our email, Internet activity, phone calls, mail and a whole host of other avenues are constantly spied upon by the NSA, DEA, IRS, and several other alphabet soup agencies.
We have increasingly more militarized police forces and drones that spy on us from the skies. The government can come in and spy on your library books you checked out for goodness sakes. We now have cameras all over cities and on every highway to spy on us walking or driving anywhere. Have you ever asked where all the data of that video goes or where it is stored or for how long?
Our 4th Amendment has been shredded; police rarely need to even bother getting a warrant any longer. They just say the magic word “terrorism” and warrants are handed out like candy on Halloween. The various levels of government can listen in using your own cell phone as a “bug” if they want. They can use the same phone to track all of your travel, where you have been and who you have met with.
Our Habeaus Corpus has been suspended and Americans can now be locked up without access to a lawyer, courts, evidence, or anything resembling justice. Many people already know all these things, but how many have considered them in light of the alternative?
We should feel Safe with a capital “S” with all of these “anti-terrorist” measures in place, but yet, we still almost had an explosion in Times Square a few years ago, that only due to a malfunction of the bomb did it not actually go off. The Boston bombers were able to pull off a terror attack as well.
The bottom line is we are NOT safer today than we were 12 years ago, but we have given up a TON of freedom and we will never get that back. So ask yourself again, what is worse the threat of terrorism, which is still a clear and present danger or the war on terrorism?