Tied up with fair-and-balanced newspaper reportage (no surprise there), so I'm going to have to fall back on that old standby: What Digby said:
To any sentient being, a motley group of terrorists with box cutters was never an existential threat to the United States of America. It just wasn't. It was a problem, maybe even a big one, and there was certainly the possibility that the US would be more like Europe and the rest of the world going forward and would have to deal with this particular form of violence from time to time. But existential threat? Ridiculous on its face.
And yet many of the right's political and intellectual leadership(and yes, much of the left's as well) basically threw up their arms and started running in circles, screaming and rending their garments, demanding that we start indiscriminately shooting at someone in order that they feel protected from the boogeyman who was coming to kill us all in our beds. Iraq was the result.
But on the other hand...we got the bastard!