Displaying a remarkable faith in the power of violence, many media pundits blamed the destruction of the World Trade Center on the failure of the US government to behave aggressively enough after previous acts of terrorism. “We have been merciful in the past with the terrorist thugs who have attacked this country,” the Philadelphia Daily News editorialized (9/12/01). “We have condemned them and imposed economic sanctions, but we have not hunted them down with murder in our eyes.”
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post, 9/12/01) wrote:
One of the reasons there are enough terrorists out there capable and deadly enough to carry out the deadliest attack on the United States in its history is that, while they have declared war on us, we have in the past responded (with the exception of a few useless cruise missile attacks on empty tents in the desert) by issuing subpoenas.
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