I think Americans are still in the midst of a kind of national post-traumatic stress disorder over the 9/11 attacks, and we really still have yet to come to our senses. Why would young people be any different? Growing up in a world where one of the two major political parties has all but embraced torture as policy must make torture seem, well, normal. Treating it like a crime might have changed that, but no one in the U.S. government has any intention of doing so.
A reader is on the same page:
As a "kid" myself (well, college student), another factor to be considered is that for many of us 9/11 happened at a critical time during our childhood. Since middle school we have been bombarded with warnings that we are always at threat and it only is through extraordinary measures we can stay safe. This however comes from more than just the political parties. It comes from the media, parents, and experiences we faced. For most of us we cannot remember a time that terrorism was not seen (realistically or not) as a menace waiting to strike at our moment of weakness.