I thought we Americans would eventually get over the nasty sucker punch we took on September 11th, 2001. Instead we've made 9/11 a national holiday and ground zero into a police state theme park.
This week, on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of Osama bin Laden's terror attacks, Slate has an excellent essay online this week. Written by a very talented Mark Vanhoenacker and titled Do You Have a Photo ID, Young Man?, it questions the excessive security in place at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (& Gift Shop). Bruce Schneier was interviewed for this edgy piece and he does not fail to deliver.
Schneier responded to a description of the memorial’s visible security with a pointed question: Is the memorial to the victims—or to our collective stupidity? The tactics, Schneier said, “assume we can guess the plot. But as long as the terrorists can avoid them by making a minor change in their tactics or target, they're wastes of money.”
In terms of balancing America’s most cherished values, no other American memorial marking a terrorist act has struck anything like the “balance” New York has. The Oklahoma City memorial, the Flight 93 memorial, even the Sept.11 memorial at the Pentagon: None require advance names, photo ID, or airport-style security, let alone all three ... Abroad, access to highly urban memorials in freedom-loving countries better acquainted with terrorism - Spain, the United Kingdom - is unfettered. Neither the memorial to the London July 7, 2005, attacks nor the Madrid station bombing memorial require preregistration, ID, or security checks.