“Everyday American images of the war on terror—the legacy of 9/11: Government buildings surrounded by ugly concrete blocks. Pennsylvania Avenue, the street that the White House—once known as the “people’s house”—faces, no longer open to traffic. ID cards required everywhere. Airline passengers waiting patiently in line to take off their shoes, belts, jewelry—and to have their bags searched and perhaps their bodies as well. Fans searched as they enter football stadiums. People on the watch for suspicious characters—including those who might take photos of bridges and tunnels. People fearing to retrieve lost bags in case they are booby trapped. Increased government surveillance of individual Americans, including their telephone calls overseas.
Americans have become so inured to those inconveniences that they take them in stride. Economically, however, this impact has exceeded a trillion dollars if the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is added to that of domestic security measures and the primary, secondary, and tertiary effects of the losses incurred on 9/11 itself…”