Osama bin Laden cost us billions if not trillions. One estimate reveals the cost of Osama bin Laden’s efforts may have cost us anywhere from $250 billion to as high as 3 trillion dollars, in 2 wars, homeland security, and overall efforts to combat terrorism and protect us. But, more than economic costs, Osama bin Laden cost us our loss of innocence. Few people expect America to ever go back to pre- bin Laden days or pre 9-11. Our innocence is gone and not likely coming back. We brought justice to Osama but we will never bring justice back and get our life in America back to the way we were.
And sadly, those who were born after September 11, 2001 will never know what life was like before heightened security, airport screenings, attack on our soil and fear of future incidents. When I think of what post 9-11 means, I recall seeing armed police on the Washington, DC metro system; long airport security lines; needing 3 ounce bottles to carry liquids on planes; needing birth certificates or passport to get a driver’s license; color coded terror alarm systems; and the word “terror” becoming a common word in our vocabulary.
Even if we end the war in Afghanistan tomorrow, we will not return to our pre 9-11 innocence. No, Osama bin Laden won that one. The words “terror” and hightened alarm are here to stay.
Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer and legal and political commentator. She also contributes to the Huffington Post. She addresses issues on race and women. She holds a juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.