We have learned from history that governments which do not deserve public support will often stay in power by playing on the public's fears. National unity is maintained through frightening the public by inventing threats where none exist or inflating actual threats to demonic bogeymen. As such fear-mongering can drive a society to discard rationality and dismantle its own law and order, a good rule is to be more afraid of the leaders that use such tactics than of their enemies.
The latest trend in the United States is now the expectation, the insistence that the government must scare us in this way or it is failing to do its job. This idea is being pushed by a Republican Party that thinks it found a way to charge President Obama with weakness on security and by a mainstream media that is eager to give credence to the Republican Party line. The Republicans say that it is suspicious, if not treasonous, for Obama not to have given a significant public address after the recent failure by al-Qaeda to bomb an airplane. All that the event truly required from the President was perhaps a half hour of his attention for a few agency staffers to explain to him what they are already doing in response to the situation. For political reasons only Obama has been pressured into giving such an address, the language of which can now be picked apart for further attacks on him.