A writer at the Washington Post took a snippet out of a speech by President Obama's Defense Department general counsel and concluded that he saw an end to the War on Terror. He was wrong.
Washington Post writer Fareed Zakaria characterized the speech by Jeh Johnson (shown on the left in photo) as “thoughtful,” and Zakaria was inordinately hopeful that it signaled the beginning of the end of Washington’s 12-year-old War on Terror. He wrote:
For the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, an administration official has sketched a possible endpoint….
Phasing out or modifying these emergency powers [given to the president by Congress to prosecute the war against al-Qaeda] should be something that would appeal to both left and right.
Zakaria agreed with ending the war — to a point — and he invoked the warning James Madison gave about the dangers of unending eternal warfare:
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes….
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
Zakaria reviewed some of the impact that the war has had on America: bloated military budgets, new unconstitutional agencies (especially the Department of Homeland Security, which now employs a quarter of a million people), the building of 33 new intelligence facilities in the Washington, D.C. area alone (equivalent to three Pentagons), an Afghan war that has cost trillions of dollars, and nearly 60,000 American casualties.
Zakaria was hopeful that Johnson’s speech was a turning point, signaling the end of the War on Terror, and that life in the United States can soon return to normal:
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Photo by AP Images