November 10, 2006 11:14AM

Don’t Panic

John Mueller’s new book is out; it’s called Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them. In it he expands on the argument he outlined in Cato’s Regulation Magazine two years ago [.pdf], namely that that, while the terrorist threat is real, “it has been systematically and very substantially exaggerated.” (For more, see the recent Mueller‐​led debate in Cato Unbound.)

This could be a very important book, with important implications for the way we discuss the terrorist threat and the right policies to respond to it. For one thing, if Mueller is right, and I think he is, it’s well past time to repudiate the idea that respecting constitutional limits is going to get us all killed (for example, the hoary soundbite “the Constitution is not a suicide pact”).

Yet, strangely, not everyone appreciates Mueller’s good news. The first Amazon reader review of the book begins, “The problem with this book is its over‐​reliance on logic.…”