Caricature of a terrorist bogeyman holding tablet saying, "Surrender Liberty For Safety"
Here is a supposition to consider regarding the U.S. We need "enemies".
The "we" is not the people; it's the government. And it's not as outlandish as it appears.
Consider; without "enemies" the U.S. could not justify its bloated defense expenditures, the deployment of over a thousand military bases worldwide, its outsized naval presence all over the world, its surveillance practices targeting everyone in that world, its hegemony and disregard for other countries sovereignty ALL presented as in defense of this country.
And it makes no difference whether the "enemy" poses a real existential threat as did the Soviet Union during the cold war or now the fabricated threat of terrorists and terrorism that replaced Soviet Communism after 9/11. Though the USSR ceased to exist in 1991, the time between its demise and 9/11 can best be described as a lull, an interim period where the next "enemy" had yet to be invented.
But invented it was with Bush announcing his global war on terror; a never ending "enemy" and with it never ending war.
And with 9/11 firmly in the public's mindset fear of that "enemy" became a constant propaganda tool of the government to beat the terrorism drum to justify its endless pursuit of terrorists. Then fabricate Iraq and Saddam Hussein having nuclear weapons and connected with Osama bin Laden and 9/11 and voila the preemptive invasion of that country 2 years later.
So today what does it matter if our drone attacks and missile strikes and JSOC raids kill innocents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia? The resulting blowback creates new insurgents and new adversaries vowing revenge against us. They provide the added fodder we need to pursue, justify and continue our never ending global war on terror.
Incredibly, it's not meant to end and provide ultimate victory as in traditional wars. No, the terrorists provide the perfect foil for unending war to justify our defense expenditures.
That the terrorists have no army, navy or air force or pose any threat imminent or otherwise is immaterial. They are the "enemy" and we must exercise and mobilize all our means to defend against them.
As for those operating within the defense, intelligence and surveillance communities who truly believe we're under mortal threat by terrorists, who apparently accept the killing of innocents (collateral damage) as an inevitable part of our war, who consider Edward Snowden a traitor, needs to be assassinated for exposing the NSA's intercepting all electronic communications of everyone in the world, as someone aiding and abetting the "enemy" instead of someone wanting to inform the public of the NSA's intercepts targeting everyone in America and the world even when there was no suspicion of any wrongdoing, that these operatives believe their intentions are honorable even if what they're doing is illegal and un-Constitutional; such people seem incapable of self reflection and empathy, i.e."I'm just doing my job" and seem so morally and ethically indifferent they've lost any sense of right and wrong.
They forget, this is supposed to be a Constitutional democracy which they took an oath to defend and protect, not some oath to defend and protect government authorized actions reminiscent of some Stasi type totalitarian police state.
Maybe that happens to such people when their country needs "enemies" and taking the fight against those "enemies" becomes who they are and what they do.