One of the many troubling aspects of the hijackings is the brutal demonstration that we, as a people, have received very little of the security we were promised in return for the many violations of personal freedom and civil liberties that have been enacted over the past decade. We would go so far as to raise the question if this had not been a fool’s bargain, wherein we have given up something of precious value in return for … arguably, nothing. It is bad enough that we allow the FBI to filter our e-mails and record our keystrokes, that we permit the National Security Agency to intercept every electronic communication floating through the aether, but it is even worse that we have done so without realizing that which we hoped to gain.

Just as the drug war has not reduced the amount of illegal drugs used in this country, the sacrifice of our civil liberties on the altar of national security has not brought us security. Keep this in mind, as the inevitable drumbeat begins for more sacrifices, as the calls begin for Americans to give up even more of their hard-won freedoms. National security cannot seriously be cited any longer in the attempts to ban personal encryption technology, not when, as WorldNetDaily reported yesterday, far better forms of communications encryption have already been delivered to terrorist-sponsoring states like Syria with the full approval of the previous administration.

It is said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, but that vigilance must be applied within as well as without. A thousand suicide bombers could not destroy America, but America is quite capable of destroying itself in the pursuit of any number of false idols, among them wrongheaded and illusory notions of security at any price. Individual privacy, like private property, is one of the foundations of our freedom, and it must not be thrown away out of fear. Anonymous cell phones or encrypted e-mail missives could be used by a terrorist, true, but the same is also true of a razor blade or a flight simulator. …

Some have protested that America must not strike back, that doing so will only perpetuate the “cycle of violence,” that others will only rise up to replace those we strike down. But this is demonstrably untrue, as no German ever rose up to replace Hitler, nor does a Japanese war party trouble us today. It is appropriate for a nation to fight a war in its own defense, especially when war has been openly declared upon it. But in doing so, we must resolutely resist the call to sacrifice that which makes the United States of America a country worth defending – our inalienable rights and our individual freedom.

– “Yield no more freedom,” Vox Day, Sept. 14, 2001

Almost exactly 10 years ago today, I wrote my first opinion piece for WorldNetDaily. Since that time, many things have changed, but one thing remains the same. The liberties of the American people are under ever-increasing assault by their government and their political elite.

Thanks to 9/11, we have wasted trillions on the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq while simultaneously permitting an additional 18 million immigrants, legal and illegal, to cross U.S. borders, many from the very countries the American military was invading. Thanks to 9/11, Americans are getting gate-raped every time they fly and forced to provide biometric information in their travel papers. Thanks to 9/11, the Patriot Act has been utilized 1,618 times in the obtaining of unconstitutional delayed notice search warrants in drug-related cases.

All this while the Obama administration was providing $70,000 to felons to permit them to purchase guns for the Mexican drug cartels as part of its “gunwalker” program designed to provide a justification for more federal gun control laws.

The lesson of 9/11 is not that America must live in terror or go to war with it. It is that no violent event, however horrific, should ever be accepted as justification for the further erosion of American freedom or further expansion of American empire. The decade since 9/11 has amply illustrated the fact that those who trade liberty for security will end up with neither. Amidst the pomp and emotional porn of the 9/11 tributes, Americans would do well to keep in mind how the bloodshed of that day has been cynically exploited by their government in the 10 years since.

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