No Greater Threat: America after September 11 and the Rise of a National Security State

No Greater Threat: America after September 11 and the Rise of a National Security State

No Greater Threat: America after September 11 and the Rise of a National Security State

No Greater Threat: America after September 11 and the Rise of a National Security State


Did America's proud history of civil liberties come tumbling down on September 11? In this searing analysis of the US Patriot Act the author seeks to start a different, parallel dialog about the "war on terrorism," to prevent it becoming a war on ourselves and a war on the Constitution. A wake-up call for Americans concerned with preserving our nation's values.


America may soon become a different nation. But this transformation would be no cause for celebra
tion. Returning to familiar and disturbing trends in its history, America already is obsessed with
threats, surveillance, and investigation. the end of this journey is not yet known. It is a journey
requiring increasing watchfulness

Imagine: Staggering from the choking, roiling smoke and ash rising from the unbelievable collapse of the two massive World Trade Center towers, a group of Americans emerge. They are shocked, dazed, stunned, shaken to have witnessed the unthinkable. They begin looking for some way home. They see a bus waiting on a street corner. It has been idling for some time. It seems old, but strangely, it has new tires, a new interior and is freshly painted in glowing red, white, and blue. There is writing on its sides — “United We Stand” on one, “God Bless the U.S.A.” on the other.

Desperate to escape the awful scene, and with nothing else around, the group has no choice but to board the bus. Some do so eagerly. Some are less certain. Suddenly, with a speed unexpected for its size, the bus hurtles through city streets and onto a highway. It is a road not known to them, but like the bus itself, the road is vaguely familiar. the passengers notice that both sides of the highway are posted with dozens of American flags. After a brief but rapid ride, the bus comes to a quick halt. the passengers notice a large blinking road sign in yellow caution letters: “Now Entering National Security State: No Return to Previous Route.” the bus sits. the driver revs the engine and looks back to the passengers, waiting for their signal to go ahead…

Although America and the rest of the world are well into 2002, the September 11 tragedies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. remain emblazoned in the national psyche as an indelible historical event. Proposals for new construction at Ground Zero are well under way, focusing on how to create an appropriate memorial to the thousands of innocent lives lost. But September 11 is not just a piece of history. Across the country Americans are watering their lawns, buying groceries, going to classes, getting to jobs, sitting in coffee shops, taking kids to activities. It may seem as if life is returning to normal. Beyond any doubt, that is not so. Beneath the appearances of the everyday world, as Americans sit in workday traffic, crowd the malls on weekends, and watch their televisions in evenings, a new reality is taking shape.

This transformation is both plain and subtle. Clues can be found daily in the news, but its impact has not yet been truly felt. Persistently, deliberately, sometimes . . .

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