Tony sums it up thusly, in Seven Years Later:
What irks me about today is that we’ve had a clear failing in leadership. It would be easy to pick on the president or some other member of the administration or in the Congress. No, that’s the wrong answer. We’ve had a failure in leadership among every politician who has used that day to sell us fear rather than answers. We’ve had a failure in leadership by every government official charged with keeping us safe who has acquiesced to believing that the ongoing threat is so existential that the ends justify any and all means.
I couldn’t have said it better, myself. This morning on the drive in to the office, I heard all the radio jockeys talking about 9/11/2001. All the callers reliving that visceral moment. Look: we were all fucking there, OK. And it was awful. I get it. But let’s stop using it as an excuse. As a rationalization, as a justification for the fact that terrorists won. You, I, We. We’re all less safe, and demonstrably so, because your government (I don’t vote) is bent on exporting its democracy, its inflation, its violence.
Some people try to rationalize it. They’re all, “Well, there haven’t been any attacks on U.S. soil in the last seven years, so it’s worth the price.”
There have been plenty of attacks, and there are plenty of victims. Any law which usurps your right to interact peacefully and voluntarily with like-minded others, is an affront to liberty and an insult to your existence. Sure, it might not have been the kiffayeh-wearing, jihad-waging, brown-skinned terrorists, but that doesn’t change the fact pattern: every single one of us, who is now less free, is collateral damage to the American government’s neo-imperialism.