On this tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, here are a few epigrams plucked from my Terrorism & Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil (Palgrave, 2003):
Nothing happened on 9/11 that made the federal government more trustworthy.
The Patriot Act treats every citizen like a suspected terrorist and every federal agent like a proven angel.
The worse government fails, the less privacy citizens supposedly deserve.
There is no technological magic bullet that will make the government as smart as it is powerful.
The U.S. government is far more efficient at making enemies than at defending Americans.
Killing foreigners is no substitute for protecting Americans.
Perpetual war inevitably begets perpetual repression. It is impossible to destroy all alleged enemies of freedom everywhere without also destroying freedom in the United States.
A lie that is accepted by a sufficient number of ignorant voters becomes a political truth.
Citizens should distrust politicians who distrust freedom.
In the long run, people have more to fear from governments than from terrorists. Terrorists come and go, but power-hungry politicians will always be with us.
Habeas corpus is an insurance policy to prevent governments from going berserk.