The Only Thing We Have To Fear Are Words Themselves

Ted Bromund /

In two months on the job, Janet Napolitano, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, has won the war on terror. How? By defining it away. In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, she refers to her remarks at her own confirmation hearings in January:

In my speech, although I did not use the word “terrorism,” I referred to “man-caused” disasters.

No one paid much attention to this at the time, but she meant something by it. As she told her German audience, it is “only a nuance,” but it is a “move away from the politics of fear.”

It’s also a move into the realm where words, not actions, matter. Disasters happen. Terrorism has political motives. It is not a disaster: it is an attack. (more…)