One Nation Under Siege
Congress, Terrorism, and the Fate of American Democracy
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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Figures and Tables
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I cannot believe this journey has come to an end. Every moment I spent working on this project was captivating and enlightening. I am so blessed to study something I enjoy and to write on subjects that continue to excite my intellectual curiosity. My life has been so full, and I owe so many...
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In the fall of 2001, two devastating but separate terrorist attacks threatened the U.S. Capitol. The first threat occurred on September 11, 2001, when a coordinated terrorist plot included a hijacked plane possibly directed at the Capitol Building. Fortunately for the institution, the passengers of Flight 93 thwarted the attack and diverted the plane from D.C. airspace. Nevertheless, this massive scheme caught the Capitol Police sorely unprepared to handle a security threat...
1: Reconciling Security and Liberty
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While the terrorist attacks of 2001 alerted Americans to the vulnerability of our economic, political, and military institutions, these events are only the most recent in a long history of attacks on our nation’s symbols of freedom. The Capitol Building, perhaps the most recognizable symbol of modern democratic government in the world, has been the target of several of these attacks. As the above...
2: Enunciators and BlackBerrys
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On September 11, 2001, a massive coordinated terrorist attack on the United States threatened the Capitol Complex. All federal office buildings in Washington, D.C., were evacuated; Reagan International Airport was shut down; the Pentagon was ablaze; all monuments were barricaded; and rumors of bombs at the State Department, the White House, and the Capitol proliferated. As one...
3: Is Writing a Letter to Your Member of Congress a Thing of the Past?
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In response to the events of 2001, the Capitol Police introduced several new operational norms on the Hill. Some of the most significant changes involved congressional office communications and accessibility to constituents. For example, mail is now sent to a processing facility where it is “cleaned” or irradiated to decontaminate it. The process delays the mail, and often the chemical...
4: Terror Wars and Turf Wars
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In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 2001, the executive and legislative branches took several drastic steps to alter the structure of the federal government to provide improved administration and oversight of homeland security. In the executive branch, these steps included the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, adding a fifteenth department to the federal bureaucracy of President George W. Bush’s administration. The creation of this department led to significant...
5: Gateway to American History or Fort Capitol?
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Donald Ritchie, associate historian of the Senate, reflected, “The Capitol was begun in 1793, when George Washington was president and laid the cornerstone, and it has never been finished.”1 While the Capitol has changed a great deal over the course of its two-hundred-year history, the greatest expansion in the history of the complex is the Capitol Visitor Center—a new subterranean facility...
6: The Social Meaning of Congressional Change
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This book explores the impact of terror on Capitol Hill. During the fall of 2001, two separate events combined to raise awareness among decision makers concerning the need for threat assessment, heightened security, and emergency preparedness. The Capitol and its inhabitants became a target for those who would do harm to our nation. The tentacles of change introduced in the aftermath of this period reached every office, every meeting room, every corridor...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2010