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Ten years ago today was a day that anyone old enough to remember will certainly never forget. According to Wikipedia, almost 3,000 people died that day, not including the unborn, in the worst, or at least the highest-profile, terrorist attack this country has ever seen.

But while I certainly don’t want to trivialize the horrible loss of life that occurred that day, I am going to suggest that the real tragedy was something else. I am going to suggest that the real tragedy was not one inflicted on this country from the outside, by Saudi terrorists, but from the inside, by its own government.

In the past ten years, the tragic events of September 11, 2001 have been used by our government to justify wars on countries that did not attack us; wars that have killed thousands of American men and women and countless natives with no end in sight, and have cost our country trillions of dollars in a time when we don’t exactly have money to burn.

They have also been used to justify increased government intrusion, surveillance, and totalitarianism on a scale that makes the world of George Orwell’s 1984 seem like a not unrealistic prediction for our own lifetimes; indeed, in some ways, what we see will be worse than what Orwell could have imagined.

And that’s the real tragedy of 9/11. So far, beyond the immediate loss of life, the main effect of these events has been the erosion of American freedom and the expansion of America’s unsustainable policy of global policing. And that’s something for my readers to reflect on today.

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