EP 502 The Response to 9-11 Takes on a Permanent, Subtle Tone Throughout Government

While we all can recall the fierce response America had to the horrific events of 9-11, 2001 in prosecuting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the passage of the Patriot Act, the development of the Homeland Security Department and the use of torture and black sites against those who came to be called enemy combatants.  And while many of those measures have raised justifiable concerns as to their appropriateness, even more concerning is the less obvious legacy of that era: degradation of language which gave the government free reign to do just about anything it wanted, bureaucratic porousness, secrecy and withholding of facts and an abandonment of legal and procedural norms.  As an example, the authorization for use of military force gives the growing ‘imperial presidency’ carte blanche to find ‘terrorists’ wherever they are.  And Congress, over twenty years later, has not found time to re-assert its central role in the war declaration process. Karen Greenberg is the first scholar I’ve come across to really excavate these ‘Subtle Tools’ in her new book of the same name.  This will be an eye opening podcast for you and remind you that our democracy is slipping away in more ways than the ones that are so obvious, like the big election lie and the January 6 insurrection.