As news of the Trump administration’s executive order imposing the temporary travel ban on refugees from countries that have sent no terrorists to destroy us, Glenn Greenwald was on Twitter doing his favorite thing: playing I Told You So, this time with context.
In The Intercept, Greenwald publishes a longer piece explaining how Trump is the culmination of sixteen years of war:
There are factions on both the center-left and right that are primarily devoted to demonizing Muslims and Islam. A government can get away with bombing, invading, and droning the same group of people for more than 15 years only by constantly demonizing and dehumanizing that group and maintaining high fear levels, which is exactly what the U.S. has done under two successive administrations. Both the Bush and Obama administrations ushered in all-new and quite extreme civil liberties erosions aimed primarily if not exclusively at Muslims.
Trump did not appear out of nowhere. He is the logical and most grotesque expression of a variety of trends we have allowed to fester: endless war, a virtually omnipotent presidency, unlimited war powers from spying to due process-free imprisonment to torture to assassinations, repeated civil liberties erosions in the name of illusory guarantees of security, and the sustained demonization of Muslims as scary, primitive, uniquely violent Others.
Longtime readers of HTV know to what degree Greenwald helped me understand the expansion of executive authority in foreign affairs during the Bush era and the degree to which the former president was bequeathing successors with powers beyond what the Framers envisaged; indeed, I withheld my vote for Barack Obama in 2008 because I objected to his support for what the Bush White House treated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court (I voted for him in 2012).
And here we are.