(NOTE: the “terrorists” won when the Patriot Act was signed!!!)
After the first two shots of the War on Terror on September 11, 2001, the first major battle of the war occurred, and was lost, on October 26, 2001. This was the day the PATRIOT Act was signed into law by President Bush. When your enemy doesn’t care what happens on the battlefield, the real fights happen in your deep underbelly, where you make your laws. In this case, the terrorists, by killing 3,000 people in a spectacular fashion, goaded the United States into compromising its values and betraying its citizens.
As a followup, the terrorists won another victory with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security on November 25, 2002. This department gives a much more menacing facade to the federal government and proved to be the moment when American citizens got the idea that they were viewed as the enemy by their own government. Thankfully, our nation’s soul was not entirely obliterated. We have also enjoyed victories in the War on Terror, such as the failing of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 (nicknamed the “PATRIOT II Act”).
Unfortunately, however, the defeats continued with the establishment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), representing an increase in funding for an already bloated (and misnamed) Department of Defense. By this point, the American idea was on life support with little hope of reversal. The final blow that rang the bell of defeat for our nation was PRISM. Although PRISM began in 2007, we have only recently learned of its existence thanks to Edward Snowden. To be fair, however, since the PATRIOT Act, we always knew that something like PRISM was possible and legal. But it was only when we learned that it actually did exist that we realized how much we’ve lost, as a country. PRISM is especially detrimental to our country because it’s been defended by William Hague as being of no concern to innocent Americans. This tipping of the scales against U.S. citizens and in favor if their government should be of concern to all.