Benjamin Franklin and the War on Terrorism

I’ve been reading Walter Isaacson’s excellent biography of Benjamin Franklin lately and just came across a letter Franklin wrote to his English friend Joseph Priestly in late 1775:

Britain, at the expense of three millions, has killed 150 Yankees this campaign, which is 20,000 pounds a head… During the same time, 60,000 children have been born in America. From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and expense necessary to kill us all.


Now consider that that the TSA has a yearly budget of $7 billion ($8.2B by 2011) and didn’t stop Richard Reed, aka “The Shoe Bomber” or Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka “The Underwear Bomber” or any terrorist that we know of. The entire DSA will have a budget of $43.6B next year and the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is $1.1 trillion and growing even though you’re far more likely to die from cancer, a car accident, hot weather, railway accident, choking on your own vomit, electrocution, heart attack, drowning or even a police officer then a terrorist attack.

Hard to imagine this working out any better for us then it did the English.

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