Sage, Ink: After the Attacks

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.


This cartoon originally appeared as “Bitter Pill” the week after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Now, following the attacks of last week, France, too, must wrestle with these issues, as the United States—now facing newly issued threats, the growing challenges of encrypted communications, and the resettlement of a wave of Syrian refugees—also continues to do.

For another take from the Atlantic archives on the balancing of security and freedom, see “Just Asking,” David Foster Wallace’s thought experiment in the magazine’s 150th anniversary issue:

What if we chose to accept the fact that every few years, despite all reasonable precautions, some hundreds or thousands of us may die in the sort of ghastly terrorist attack that a democratic republic cannot 100-percent protect itself from without subverting the very principles that make it worth protecting?…