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The Bush administration did not launch an investigation into the failure of U.S. intelligence after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. It did, however, rush the Patriot Act through Congress, expanding government surveillance and investigative powers.
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According to Oliver Stone, co-author with Peter Kuznick of “The Untold History of the United States” and director of the 10-part Showtime TV series, the government began sending out constant security alerts to keep fearful Americans from protesting their eroding civil liberties.
Points of U.S. vulnerability were identified, beginning with 160 potential terrorist targets. The number jumped to 1,849 in 2003, a year later reaching more than 28,000.
By 2007, 300,000 locations were on the list, with Indiana in the lead: It had 8,591, three times as many as California. The national targets included petting zoos, doughnut shops and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tennessee.
I spoke with Stone on the following topics:
5. Why Vietnam?
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(Lewis Lapham is the founder of Lapham’s Quarterly and the former editor of Harper’s magazine. He hosts “The World in Time” interview series for Bloomberg News.)
Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater and Greg Evans on film.
To contact the writer on the story: Lewis Lapham in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at email@example.com.