Think of it this way - the group that originally identified itself as being individualistic, hardworking, etc has ceased to be those traits... but the group hasn't given up the label. Therefore the label continues to describe the new group... and as such, the meaning hasn't just drifted but completely been replaced.
Every person in the group has rationalized the change, fixating on certain traits, transferring concepts to maintain the lable... In the US, it can be "We are free because it is a democracy" or "We are free because we can own guns". It can be "Free because he have lower taxes" or "Free because we have freedom of religion". The label must stick, no matter what the situation changes. Concepts like "We are free because we have guns" overrides concepts like "We are not free because we arrest and jail incredible amounts of people on minor charges" or "We are not free because the law is no longer blind". Those concepts of freedom, stuff like habeas corpus, a concept pre Magna Carta, no longer exist as a group identity - slowly transforming the concepts to something else.
And yes, if it moves far enough, it can be used to justify war, terror and pretty much anything else. Such is the power of identity, groupthink and such.
When you step back... yes, it seems ridiculous. It's just an offshoot of "Peace is War" doublethink/speak. Freedom is security. Freedom is owning lots of clothes. Freedom is taking whatever we want to ensure our standard of living.
When push comes to shove Freedom is whatever we do, and freedom is good. Just look at the definition!