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Sen. John McCain has repeatedly characterized the threat of "radical Islamic extremism" as "the absolute gravest threat . . . that we're in against." Before we simply accept this, we need to examine the nature of the terrorist threat facing our country. If we do so, we will see how we have allowed the specter of that threat to distort our lives and take our treasure.
The "Global War on Terror" has conjured the image of terrorists behind every bush, the bushes themselves burning and an angry god inciting its faithful to religious war. We have been called to arms, built fences, and compromised our laws and the practices that define us as a nation. The administration has focused on pursuing terrorists and countering an imminent and terrifying threat. Thousands of Americans have died as a result, as have tens of thousands of foreigners.