T.J. Rodgers, founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, has penned an op-ed that frames the War on Terror and its impact on civil liberties correctly. Namely, that there are worse things in the world than another 9/11, a 24/7 police state for one:
What's the worst thing that Al-Qaida can do to America? We have probably already seen it. Of course, the government can talk about bigger things, like the use of weapons of mass destruction, to justify its use of totalitarian tactics.
I would much rather live as a free man under the highly improbable threat of another significant Al-Qaida attack than I would as a serf, spied on by an oppressive government that can jail me secretly, without charges. If the Patriot Act defines the term "patriot," then I am certainly not one.
By far, our own government is a bigger threat to our freedom than any possible menace posed by Al-Qaida.
The architects of the maximum security state do not think this way. In fact, they probably do not understand Rodgers' argument in the slightest and assume he is making some sort of moral equivalence claim about the American government and al Qaida. Or perhaps that Rodgers would not say such things if he understood the wholesome motives behind the security measures he fears.
But Rodgers gets it. We get it. A lot of us get it. More people need to start saying it out loud, though.
There are worse things than another 9/11.