Today we witness part of the legacy of September 11th. No, I don't refer to another terrorist strike downing another civilian airliner. We don't even know for sure that this had anything to do with the terrorists, my recent node for the Stinger missile notwithstanding; it could simply be poor plane maintenance again. Even the most high profile planes have these problems; look at what happened to the Concorde last year.

No, the legacy to which I refer is our new tendancy to jump to a specific conclusion almost immediately--if a plane goes down, it's probably a terrorist action. That's what we think, or at least what we feel, when that cold, visceral hand squeezes our hearts when first we hear the news. Despite the fact that, prior to 9/11/01, terrorist activity on planes within the contentinal USA was all but unheard of.

This is the terrorists' legacy of fear--and this specific fear is one we're probably going to have to deal with for at least several years.