Nearly 12 years after the 9/11 attack, virtually every single element of national security policy – from the occupation of Afghanistan, to the drone war, to a massive NSA surveillance apparatus, to a defense budget that outpaces the rest of the world combined – is justified by citing terrorism as a threat. Together these policies amount to trillions of dollars, the decay of the rule of law, rampant government criminality, and the evisceration of the the constitutional rights of millions of Americans.
What does this terrorist threat really amount to though?
According to the State Department a mere 10 Americans were killed by terrorism in 2012. None of them in the U.S.
U.S. citizens worldwide killed as a result of incidents of terrorism: 10
U.S. citizens worldwide injured as a result of incidents of terrorism: 2
U.S. citizens worldwide kidnapped as a result of incidents of terrorism: 3
Nine out of 10 of those killed were in Afghanistan, the remaining one in Iraq. One of the injured was in Afghanistan, the other in Iraq. The three instances of a single person being kidnapped occurred in Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen.
Instead of tormenting Afghans in a military occupation that costs more than $120 billion per year; instead of empowering the NSA to snuff out the Fourth Amendment and collect and store the communications of all Americans; instead of wasting almost $1 trillion annually on defense spending mostly as a wealth transfer to rent-seeking corporations; instead of granting the president the kingly power to assassinate anyone, anywhere, at any time – maybe we just shouldn’t go to the above-mentioned countries. Then our terrorism casualty rate will be zero.