Adam Serwer puts it in perspective:

The last president of the United States brags openly about ordering people to be tortured, and the current one asserts the authority to kill American citizens he believes to be terrorists overseas.

But most of these measures are either invisible enough to put out of mind or occur outside of what most Americans can imagine happening to them. As long as it's just Muslims being tortured and foreigners being detained indefinitely, the price we pay to feel secure seems all too abstract. The TSA's new passenger-screening measures just happen to fall on the political and economic elites who can make their complaints heard. It's not happening to those scary Arabs anymore. It's happening to "us." 

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