Unlike the covert electronic infringements by the NSA, some other infringements are open and obvious—for example, security check-points at airports and government buildings, or surveillance cameras covering public spaces. These are examples of what I term “reverse transparency.” Traditionally, transparency has been a standard applied to organizations, such as corporations or governments, by which we require that their decisions be clear and open in order to permit accountability. Increasingly, however, under the pressure of homeland security concerns, this traditional conception has been, as it were, stood on its head. Continue Reading Michael Barkun: Reverse Transparency in Post-9/11 America
Author Michael Barkun looks at the US response to the September 11 terrorist attacks 10 years later and considers how security & counterterrorism have changed. Continue Reading Michael Barkun: September 11th after Ten Years
It’s been a while since we’ve put any of our books to the Page 99 Test. Let’s make up for lost time, shall we? Just as a refresher, the Page 99 Test follows Ford Madox Ford’s suggestion to “open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed… Continue Reading It’s time for our Spring ’11 titles to take the Page 99 Test–I hope they studied.
Michael Barkun discusses the gap between real and perceived terror threats and the nonrational decision making that has shaped U.S. homeland security policy. Continue Reading Interview: Michael Barkun on the Gap between Real and Perceived Terror Threats
We present commentary today from Michael Barkun, author of the forthcoming Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11 (April 2011). In the book, Barkun demonstrates that U.S. homeland security policy reflects significant nonrational thinking, and he offers new recommendations for effective–and rational–policymaking. In this post, he addresses changes at the Department of Homeland… Continue Reading Michael Barkun: A New Era of Rational Thinking at DHS?