Related to the last post, consider this construction from the Weekly Standard, dismissing the capture of Faisal Shahzad:

But success in the war on terror is not apprehending terrorists after their attacks fail. Success is preventing them from attempting the attack in the first place.

This is lazy and deceptive thinking. By that standard, the only way to be successful in combating terrorism is for terrorism to never occur. That’s not wisdom. You want wisdom?

“People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”

How could our government possibly prevent someone from ever putting some gasoline, fireworks, and propane tanks in their car and driving it into a crowded place? I’ve had all three of those things in my car at some point in the last nine months.

It’s important to do everything we can to prevent people from carrying out mass casualty attacks, but we can’t call it a failure when some idiot gets depressed about his mortgage and career and decides to kill somebody. We did an excellent job apprehending this fool and now we will put him in jail for a very long time. But the reason we shouldn’t make a big deal about it is because that is giving terrorists a success even when they fail.

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