The Passion To Be Reckoned On Is Fear

Heather Mac Donald rightly bemoans our preoccupation with foreign terror:

A Congressional hearing last week on terror threats facing the U.S. was covered by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, both of which told the identical story:  the U.S. is at serious danger from domestic, homegrown terrorists.  Left out of the coverage entirely was the more newsworthy statement during the hearing by the director of the National Counterterrorism Center that Al Qaeda is no longer capable of carrying out a 9/11-style attack on U.S. soil. ...

Though thousands more Americans are killed and injured each year through garden-variety criminal violence than Islamic terrorism on American soil,  we now have an entire bloated federal agency dedicated to combating the alleged terrorist threat, pushing reams of paper by the hour in the effort to look crucial.  To date, no major federal agency has ever been dismantled, so there is no reason to think that the Department of Homeland Security will be, either.  But we still need to continue verbally justifying its existence.  Thus the whack-a-mole nature of the terror threat and the always scary rhetoric around it.