“The lifetime chance of an American being killed by international terrorism is about one in 80,000–about the same chance of being killed by a comet or a meteor.”
But the 9/11 attacks have so shaken this country’s confidence that Americans now routinely overreact to the slightest perceived threat. It is something Osama bin Laden knew would happen and something the American right’s Noise Machine has used to jerk its listeners’ chains for years. Americans of a certain sort are easily spooked.