A decade after the attacks, our national security regime continues to grow ever more punitive and secretive
Salon.com, 19 March 2012
By now, you’d think we’d be entering the end of the 9/11 era. One war over in the Greater Middle East, another hurtling disastrously to its end, and the threat of al-Qaida so diminished that it should hardly move the needle on the national worry meter. You might think, in fact, that the moment had arrived to turn the American gaze back to first principles: the Constitution and its protections of rights and liberties.
Yet warning signs abound that 2012 will be another year in which, in the name of national security, those rights and liberties are only further Guantanamo-ized and abridged. Most notably, for example, despite the fact that genuinely dangerous enemies continue to exist abroad, there is now a new enemy in our sights: namely, American oppositional types and whistleblowers who are charged as little short of traitors for revealing the workings of our government to journalists and others.
Here and elsewhere, it looks like we can expect the Obama administration to continue to barrel down the path that has already taken us far from the country we used to be. And by next year, if a different president is in the Oval Office, expect him to lead us even further astray. With that in mind, here are five categories in the sphere of national security where 2012 is likely to prove even grimmer than 2011.
1. Ever More Punitive (Ever Less Fair-minded).
2. Ever More Legal Limbo (Ever Less Confidence in the Constitution).
3. Ever More Secrecy (Ever Less Transparency)
4. Ever More Distrust (Ever Less Privacy)
5. Ever More Killing (Ever Less Peace)
Karen J. Greenberg is the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University Law School and author of “The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days.”More Karen Greenberg
Phi Beta Iota: An intelligent article replete with integrity.