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How Real is the Threat of Terrorism?

September 29th, 2009

According to the DHS, the threat level is “High” or “Orange”.  In dozens of domestic and international flights since, I have never seen a security level of “Yellow”.  “Orange” is the new “Normal”.  It has been this way, occasionally higher, for more than eight years.

How real is this threat?

Some people cling to the notion that liberty must be sacrificed to obtain security. They claim, for example, that the government must be doing an awesome job protecting us, because there have been no domestic terror attacks since September 11, 2001. But we have no idea really how many plans they’ve successfully thwarted, so we have no frame of reference by which to calculate the government’s success rate.

If the government was constantly thwarting plans to terrorize the country, we’d know by their constant and shameless self-promotion. So I surmise that, except for a small number of higher-profile cases, this front has been relatively quiet.

If the domestic terror threat were real, there would be death and destruction to prove it. There are literally thousands of extremely soft (extremely vulnerable) targets like movie theaters, shopping malls, etc. There is practically nothing that can be done to secure most of these “soft” targets, and yet there have been no attacks whatsoever! Consider: at any of these targets, an attack need not be coordinated, or even very-well planned in advance, and it would be very easy to cause a tremendous amount of death and destruction, at negligible expense and with negligible training, so long as the perpetrators were prepared to martyr themselves.

The threat is not real.

I have no way of really proving this other than inference, but based on the observation that there have been exactly zero successful domestic terror attacks in the last eight years, I submit that there simply aren’t that many radical terrorists, and that the threat is mere propaganda used to instill a sense of fear and obedience into the general public.

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no third solution

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