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11 - Follow the Leader

Major Changes to Homeland Security and Terrorism Policy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2014

Jennifer L. Merolla
Claremont Graduate University
Paul Pulido
Claremont Graduate University
Jeffery A. Jenkins
University of Virginia
Sidney M. Milkis
University of Virginia
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Taking off our shoes at airports, walking through body scanners, packing liquids less than 3 ounces in a Ziploc bag – these are all things that have become “the new normal,” to quote Dick Cheney, in a post-9/11 world. Many of these policy changes occurred without much fanfare among the American public, who prioritized security after hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Although there was more controversy surrounding the introduction of body scanners, the public has now accepted this new norm, even over a decade out from 9/11, when there have not been other attacks on U. S. soil.

Although many Americans were willing to cede some intrusions on privacy and inconvenience with the new Transportation Security Administration regime, other policy changes enacted in response to 9/11 were far more extensive with respect to government administration, government surveillance of terrorist suspects, and how the government handles alleged terrorists in custody. Shortly after the events of 9/11, Congress approved a new department of homeland security whose first secretary was Tom Ridge. The government relaxed requirements for wiretapping suspected terrorists (even U. S. citizens) on U. S. soil by reducing judicial barriers on the scope and specificity requirements of warrants. Racial profiling of Arab and Muslim individuals increased post-9/11. These are but a handful of the major shifts in homeland security and terrorism policy in a post-9/11 world.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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