Ok, I get that, and I also get that none of this is about security, but merely about control and power. What I don't get is why the security theater / homeland security smoke screen is so effective, but that's probably just me and owed to the fact that I've been taught history. History tells us where all of this will lead. As we now by now: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
As for why the "security theater / homeland security smoke screen is so effective"? Stop and think and honestly try and take stock of how many people you currently know personally who could be objectively called independent thinkers who are not afraid to live what they proclaim they believe. I am in my 40's and I can say this is not the America I grew up in. Very few people have the courage to live by the set of principles which made America a great Country to begin with.