Politics

September 24, 2001

Law and Order
12:00 AM

Hours after the catastrophe, we were told that America would never be the same. Freedom had allowed terrorists to commit the unthinkable, and therefore freedom would have to be curtailed.

TRB From Washington: Sidelines
12:00 AM

"World trade Centre ... anti capitalism ... anti globalisation ... was it one of us?" So read a Tuesday posting on , a site popular with anti-globalization activists from around the world. And it suggests one small lesson we can draw from the cataclysm of September 11: The massive anti-IMF and World Bank protests scheduled for later this month in Washington must not take place. They must be canceled not because the writer of those words is correct; he or she almost certainly is not. But because it is even possible to ask the question.

Manhattan Dispatch: Scrapped
12:00 AM

By the time I reached the roof of my apartment building on 21st Street, one of the towers was already gone. All you could see was a plume of smoke. An elderly tenant, who lives in the penthouse, was leaning over her railing, blinking at it. "Some fool flew right into it," she said. The doorman, Miguel, pulled out a Polaroid camera and took a snapshot. "I saw the plane come right in and hit it," he told me. "It was too low." We stood there for a while not sure what to do. More and more people came up.

The Day Before

Credit administration officials with this: They took to the airwaves in record time to calm the American public. Only the administration officials weren't from the Bush administration. Sandy Berger, William Cohen, Richard Holbrooke, Bill Richardson--the networks paraded the entire Clinton national security team in front of the cameras for wisdom on America's day of grief. And, if the Bush team has any sense, it will do exactly the reverse of what they recommend. That's because the Clinton administration offers a template precisely for how not to respond to terror.

Smoke Signals
12:00 AM

Hiding out somewhere in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden must be a happy man. U.S. officials have identified him as the principal suspect in the disasters visited upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And there are several reasons why. First, the operation required recruits sufficiently well-motivated that they were prepared to commit suicide. Bin Laden's group, Al Qaeda ("the base"), employed suicide bombers in the 1998 attacks against two U.S. embassies in Africa and in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen eleven months ago.

It Happened Here
12:00 AM

"Senseless," "unimaginable," "crazy," "unfathomable": as the World Trade Center fell and the Pentagon burned, those were the words that came to the lips of many Americans, on camera and off camera. We must beware those words. They have a way of carrying the war against us away from us, of fortifying our incredulity against the evidence of our eyes, of shutting down thought when thought is required, of lifting the obscenity that was visited upon America back out of the realm of possibility. But the legacy of September 11, 2001, must be nothing less than a new sense of what is possible.

September 10, 2001

Chamber Music
12:00 AM

Federal judges are about to make a crucial decision on workplace privacy, but you won't read about it in a court opinion. On September 11, the Judicial Conference of the United States, the organization with ultimate authority over the internal operation of the federal courts, will decide whether to approve or dismantle a computer program that monitors judges and their staff members when they use the Internet on the job.

September 03, 2001

Paint It Black
12:00 AM

Robert L. Johnson came to the Bush administration's attention when it needed him most. The cause of the White House's duress was an annoyingly munificent collection of millionaires, headed by Bill Gates Sr., who had banded together to oppose President Bush's plan to abolish the estate tax. In newspaper ads and press conferences, they held forth on the obligation of the wealthy to give back to society. So effectively did they seize the moral high ground that even the most fervent opponents of the estate tax resigned themselves to it.

August 20, 2001

The Juror
12:00 AM

Most people hate receiving a jury summons. I certainly do. But I have one consolation: I'll never be a juror. I teach law at the University of Chicago, and lawyers never choose law professors to sit on juries. Especially not law professors who have written about jury behavior (in my case, arguing that jurors tend to swing rapidly toward the already dominant opinion).That, at least, is what i thought before I reported to a Cook County judge on June 14.

August 13, 2001

To Die For
12:00 AM

Celebrity, spectacle and violence in the Hollywood drama of Robert Blake and Bonny Lee Bakley.

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