Why the terrorists are winning

The goal of terrorists is not to kill people. Their goal is to terrorize people and killing people is just one means to that end. If they can terrorize without even killing, so much the better. And here they seem to have succeeded. By deploying incompetent people to attempt half-baked plans to blow up planes (the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, etc.), they have managed to get this country to spend vast amounts of money to harass perfectly ordinary law-abiding people.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg thinks that all these harassing security precautions are pure theater to give the public an impression that the government is doing something and being careful when the methods are totally ineffective. He gives a shocking account of all the deliberately suspicious acts he has committed and all the forbidden things he has managed to get through airport security (many of which were deliberately chosen to arouse suspicion) without setting off alarm bells. He quotes security analyst Bruce Schneier as saying that any half-way intelligent terrorist plot can foil these security devices. “The whole system is designed to catch stupid terrorists…. Counterterrorism in the airport is a show designed to make people feel better. Only two things have made flying safer: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.”

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