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Not Cynical, Actually; A Realist

Posted By Don Boudreaux On May 13, 2011 @ 9:58 am In War | Comments Disabled

Politico reported yesterday [1] that GOP leaders argue that extending the PATRIOT Act is especially important because the killing of Osama bin Laden might inspire retaliatory terrorist attacks against Americans.

Call me cynical, but had Bin Laden not yet been killed or captured, I’m sure that these same GOP leaders would argue that extending the PATRIOT Act is especially important because Osama bin Laden remains on the loose.

Thus the unique danger of declaring war on “terror”: the enemy – being a method rather than an identifiable group of people – is impossible to eradicate completely.  And so the power-hungry in coalition with the paranoid have available an inexhaustible supply of superficially plausible excuses for keeping citizens in a perpetual state of fear, war, surveillance, and suppression.

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