Corbyn and Kelly: Two Very Different Responses to Terrorism, by Lucy Steigerwald

DHS chief John Kelly engages in some execrable fear mongering, and the UK’s Jeremy Corbyn steps out on a limb and links terrorism on British soil to British foreign policy. That won’t win him any friends, but the truth seldom wins friends for those who speak it. From Lucy Steigerwald at

While he was a guest on Fox News’ Fox and Friends, Department of Homeland Security Chief John Kelly described the current safety of US citizens: “if [you] knew what I knew about terrorism, [you’d] never leave the house in the morning.” Anywhere, any time, a terrorist attack can happen, according to Kelly.

His very job exists because of the September 11 attacks. The DHS is a bizarre umbrella of federal law enforcement which is there to protect Americans from immigrants, copyright violations, and cyber attacks, and very occasionally terrorists.

It’s probably correct that Kelly knows a great deal more about reported threats and potential terrorists attacks than you or I. His concern may be sincere. Being bombarded with whispered terrorist plans all day probably makes you particularly pessimistic about their likelihood of success. On the other hand, it’s difficult not to see his comments in the most cynical light possible, even if he isn’t laughing into his sleeve as he says them. Kelly continued, noting that terrorism is “everywhere. It’s constant. It’s nonstop. The good news for us in America is we have amazing people protecting us every day. But it can happen here almost anytime.”

He’s correct that there are more decentralized strikes, making violence feel more possible in places outside of world centers such as New York City. In the years after September 11, savvy commenters argued that those attacks were a fluke. The subsequent successes in London and Madrid killed a few hundred people, and were also surprises. Mostly, the pre-ISIS days after 9/11 were chock full of terrorist attack failures via the shoe bomber or the Time Square bomber. Seemingly, the FBI was reduced to creating plots in order to stop them.

To continue reading: Corbyn and Kelly: Two Very Different Responses to Terrorism



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