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Subtle Tools

The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump

Karen J. Greenberg

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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Politikwissenschaft


How policies forged after September 11 were weaponized under Trump and turned on American democracy itself

In the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, the American government implemented a wave of overt policies to fight the nation’s enemies. Unseen and undetected by the public, however, another set of tools were brought to bear on the domestic front. In this riveting book, one of today’s leading experts on the US security state shows how these “subtle tools” imperiled the very foundations of democracy, from the separation of powers and transparency in government to adherence to the Constitution.

Taking readers from Ground Zero to the Capitol insurrection, Karen Greenberg describes the subtle tools that were forged under George W. Bush in the name of security: imprecise language, bureaucratic confusion, secrecy, and the bypassing of procedural and legal norms. While the power and legacy of these tools lasted into the Obama years, reliance on them increased exponentially in the Trump era, both in the fight against terrorism abroad and in battles closer to home. Greenberg discusses how the Trump administration weaponized these tools to separate families at the border, suppress Black Lives Matter protests, and attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Revealing the deeper consequences of the war on terror, Subtle Tools paints a troubling portrait of an increasingly undemocratic America where disinformation, xenophobia, and disdain for the law became the new norm, and where the subtle tools of national security threatened democracy itself.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor
Karen J. Greenberg



Islamic terrorism, Fraud, Enemy combatant, Legislator, Warfare, Nomination, Robert F. Kennedy, Director of National Intelligence, Detainer, Reince Priebus, Activism, Terrorism, Law enforcement, Secrecy, Hillary Clinton, Michael Chertoff, Vetting, Aircraft, Taliban, Prisoner of war, Abuse of power, At Best, Protest, Donald Trump, Ballot, Mission creep, Waiver, Counter-terrorism, Illegal immigration, Accountability, Immigration, Injunction, Civil service, Qasem Soleimani, Credential, Torture, Joint session, James Comey, Federal government of the United States, Gennifer Flowers, George W. Bush, Muslims (nationality), Watergate scandal, Tear gas, United States Department of State, Directive (European Union), Louis Freeh, Unrest, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Homeland Security Act, Recommendation (European Union), National security, United States Department of Homeland Security, Declaration of war, Refugee, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Targeted killing, Patriot Act, Politics and the English Language, Proclamation, National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, Statute, Aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Complaint, Al-Qaeda, Assassination, Attempt, Inspector general, War Powers Resolution, Posse Comitatus Act, Cold War (1985–91), Deference, John Ashcroft, Military deployment, Voting, Immigration policy, White supremacy, Ryan Crocker, Enhanced interrogation techniques, Lawsuit, Inauguration, Un-American, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Solicitor General, Deportation, Establishment Clause, Electoral fraud, Executive order, War, Economy of Iran, Plaintiff, By-law, Rubber bullet, Crime, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Prosecutor, Governor of Oregon, Homeland security, Robert Bork