Know Your Enemy: Twenty Years of Terror, with Spencer Ackerman

Know Your Enemy: Twenty Years of Terror, with Spencer Ackerman

National security reporter Spencer Ackerman explains how the War on Terror laid the groundwork for Trump.

Guantanamo Bay, 2013 (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe to, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.

The story we’ve been telling about American conservatism is incomplete without a deep dive on the so-called Global War on Terror. Luckily, Spencer Ackerman has written the perfect book to occasion such a dialogue. In Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump, Ackerman provides a richly detailed (and acutely frustrating) account of the perversions of justice, liberalism, humanity, and the constitution wrought by the forever wars. The discussion goes from the Oklahoma City bombing to the cancellation of Susan Sontag to the battles among neocons and paleocons to define the post-9/11 era. We also touch on the CIA’s torture program, nation-building in Afghanistan, and the hypocrisies of the Trump-era Resistance.


Sources and further reading:

Susan Sontag et al., Tuesday, and After: New Yorker writers respond to 9/11, The New Yorker (2001)

Bernard Lewis, The Revolt of Islam, The New Yorker (2001)

Jake Tapper, Pat Buchanan: America First, Salon (2001)

Spencer Ackerman, The CIA’s Outsourced Torture Is Lost To History, Forever Wars

Sam Adler-Bell, How the War on Terror Fuels Trump, Jacobin (2016)


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