The Case for Specially Compensating the Victims of Terrorist Acts: An Assessment

It is a bleak fact of life that the overriding political focal point of this still-young century has been terrorist activity. For the United States, of course, the defining moment was 9/11. In many parts of the third world, terrorist mayhem has become the salient feature of everyday life. The specter of it haunts this country, as well: How long will the current reprieve on the home front last? If terrorism on our soil is to recur, will it be a series of smaller acts or another catastrophic event? What additional measures should be taken to try to assure a quiescent domestic life, let alone turn the tide elsewhere? These questions raise profound issues of constraints on civil liberties, deployment of the armed forces, and diplomatic initiatives that are a staple of current political commentary.

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