Leading Congressmen Get It Wrong Again

by Philip Giraldi
December 12, 2013

Terrorism has become as all-American as apple pie. It is ingrained in our civic DNA, it fills our newspapers and is the backstory for every foreign policy discussion on talk radio and television. One might reasonably expect that American mothers might now cajole their children into turning out the light and going to sleep not because the bogeyman would otherwise be coming but rather because al-Qaeda might be lurking somewhere up the street.

Warning one’s children about bin Laden would be an astonishing consequence of national paranoia but for the fact that American mothers do no such thing. For something of a national obsession, Americans largely deal with the terrorism problem in an absent minded fashion by allowing the Federal government to help itself to their tax money to make the terrorists go away. Hardly anyone actually knows a victim of terrorism and I have yet to meet anyone who spends his life in fear of a terrorist attack. The disparity between an imagined threat and the actual public response would tend to indicate that the terrorist menace is phony, meant to produce a certain mind set that feeds willingness to fund big government which is promoting itself as essential to protect the country. The reality of American life post 9/11 suggests that fear of terrorism is in reality a largely contrived inside the Beltway phenomenon.

Follow the money and follow the numbers. In 2012 no Americans were killed in terrorist attacks inside the United States. So far in 2013, three people have died in the Boston Marathon bombings. Those deaths were undoubtedly a tragedy, possibly even avoidable, but it would be possible to identify many similar unnecessary tragedies in towns and cities in the United States on any given weekend in deaths by accident and through criminal behavior. In 2012, 34,080 Americans died in traffic accidents and in 2010 12,996 were killed in homicides. So one has to ask why the federal, state and local governments are willing to spend something like $1 trillion annually to counter 1½ terrorism related deaths per annum on average over the past two years.

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