Constitution Week: Lecturer says freedom in the U.S. at great risk

Tyler Prochazka

In celebration of Constitution Week, WKU has arranged a series lectures about the founding document of the United States with connections being drawn to the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorism attacks.

David Henderson, a research fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, presented his case that the attacks on 9/11 were motivated not by “our freedoms,” but rather a long-standing policy of intervention in the Middle East.

Henderson began the lecture with a warning: freedom in the United States is at great risk. Not from terrorists in far off lands, Henderson said, but rather the reaction of the government that leads to the curtailing of civil liberties.

“There’s a tradition of freedom in America — and we’re losing it,” he said.

Henderson argued that the “groping” of passengers boarding a flight, including children, was both unconstitutional and an overreaction. Statistics say it is 80 times more dangerous to drive rather than fly, he said.

“If even 10 percent of short distance drivers drive instead (because of the TSA), we get more deaths,” Henderson said.

Then he went on to explain how “actions have unintended consequences,” in economic terms. When applied to foreign affairs, Henderson argued that the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East is what led to 9/11. Support for Israel, a, American base in Saudi Arabia and Iraqi sanctions were among the late Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s grievances toward the United States, not any cultural difference, Henderson said.

“I say they don’t really hate us. They hate our government,” Henderson said.

After the presentation, audience questions ranged from Chinese terrorists to United States power projection. One student, who identified himself as a veteran, said he agreed with Henderson and asked if he supported Republican candidate for president, Ron Paul, father of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

“Yes, very much so,” Henderson said.

Constitution Week continues with a showing of “Abraham’s Children,” a film about Muslim youth dealing with prejudice and diversity following 9/11. It will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility in Garrett Conference Center.