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 by the public, however, another set of tools were brought to bear on the domestic front. In her new book, Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Trump, Karen J. Greenberg examines how this set of “subtle tools” imperiled the very foundations of democracy. The book traces the use and threat of imprecise language, bureaucratic confusion, secrecy, and the bypassing of procedural and legal norms from Ground Zero to the events of January 6th 2021 and 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.
To discuss this topic, New America welcomes Karen J. Greenberg. Greenberg is the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law and a fellow with New America’s International Security program. In addition to being the author of Subtle Tools, she is also the author of Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State and The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days.
Karen Greenberg, @KarenGreenberg3
Author, Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Trump
Director, Center on National Security at Fordham Law
Fellow, New America International Security Program
Peter Bergen, @peterbergencnn
Vice President, Global Studies & Fellows at New America
Author, The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden
Professor of Practice, Arizona State University
Copies of Subtle Tools are available for purchase here through our bookselling partner Solid State Books.