“The American people were demanding that the government do anything necessary to keep the country safe.” …. not in my name!!
The American people didn’t demand that we torture detainees and embark on permanent war after 9/11. Our politicians and pundits did.
“The American people were demanding that the government do anything necessary to keep the country safe.” That has become a talking point exonerating American torture after 9/11, which a Congressional investigation has recently recently detailed. It is a convenient story: the government was faithfully obeying the people, and the people were shocked by events, freshly aware that the world is a dangerous place. Understandably, mistakes were made.
This story is almost criminally wrong. The 9/11 attacks were shocking and frightening, of course. They did just what terrorism aims to do: shattered the unthinking, complacent security of a peaceful country, and revealed the fragility of things.
It was also a hugely open, uncertain moment. People were scared but, just as much, confused. We…
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