Search the Site

Terrorism, Part III

One final thought (for now) on terrorism:

The people who should most despise my blog posts on terrorist attacks (found here and here) are the government officials charged with fighting terrorism. Why? Imagine that one of the scenarios mentioned in the posts or the accompanying comments ever did come to pass. No doubt someone would write a headline saying something like, “Did the Freakonomics Blog Give Ideas to Terrorists?” But I suspect there would be far more headlines like this: “Government Officials Failed to Prepare Against Terror Attack Predicted Years Ago by Freakonomics Blog.”

Running the Department of Homeland Security is about the toughest job around. Those folks have my sympathy. The number of ways we can be attacked is virtually infinite. If anything bad happens, security officials are squarely to blame. If nothing happens, hardly anyone even knows that these people are the ones in charge. I would bet fewer than 20% of Americans could name the current Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. (If you need some help, the answer is here.)