Spencer Ackerman had just graduated from Rutgers University, when the attacks on 9/11 occurred. He began his journalism career, focused on national security, with the New Republic in 2002, and then went on to write for Wired, The Guardian and The Daily Beast.
He won a 2012 National Magazine Award for his reporting on biased FBI training, and a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service (with Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras, and others at the Guardian) for reporting on revelations of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency based on the Edward Snowden revelations.
His recent book, REIGN OF TERROR: HOW THE 9/11 ERA DESTABILIZED AMERICA AND PRODUCED TRUMP, was published by Viking in August, 2021. We spoke with him on December 3, 2021.
Articles referenced or pertinent to this interview:
House Responds To GOP’s Lauren Boebert With Islamophobia Bill Sponsored By Ilhan Omar https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bc-us-congress-boebert-omar_n_61b9c78ae4b0317f6dcec77a
US rejects calls for regulating or banning ‘killer robots’ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/02/us-rejects-calls-regulating-banning-killer-robots
The rise of the killer robots – and the two women fighting back https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/08/the-rise-of-the-killer-robots-jody-williams-mary-warehan-artificial-intelligence-autonomous-weapons
How Sept. 11Gave Us Jan. 6 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/opinion/how-sept-11-gave-us-jan-6.html?searchResultPosition=4
McChrystal: ‘Impossible to Argue’ War on Terror Was Worth It https://www.thedailybeast.com/mcchrystal-impossible-to-argue-war-on-terror-was-worth-it?ref=author
Donald Rumsfeld, Killer of 400,000 People, Dies Peacefully https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-rumsfeld-killer-of-400000-people-dies-peacefully?ref=author
Secret Court Reveals: FBI Hunted for Domestic Terrorists Without a Warrant https://www.thedailybeast.com/secret-court-reveals-fbi-hunted-for-domestic-terrorists-without-a-warrant?ref=author
The Insurrection Isn’t Over https://www.huffpost.com/entry/insurrection-republican-party-trump_n_60b1217ae4b04ddf13edbe9d
Maj. Ian Fishback, Who Exposed Abuse of Detainees, Dies at 42 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/us/ian-fishback-dead.html?surface=most-popular&fellback=false&req_id=485534344&algo=bandit-all-surfaces&variant=0_bandit-all-surfaces&pool=pool/91fcf81c-4fb0-49ff-bd57-a24647c85ea1&imp_id=505104580&action=click&module=Popular%20in%20The%20Times&pgtype=Homepage
Pentagon Chief Orders New Inquiry Into U.S. Airstrike That Killed Dozens in Syria https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/us/politics/pentagon-airstrike-syria.html
‘The goal was to silence people’: historian Joanne Freeman on congressional violence https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/28/historian-joanne-freeman-congressional-violence-paul-gosar
US added to list of ‘backsliding’ democracies for first time https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/22/us-list-backsliding-democracies-civil-liberties-international
Can American democracy escape the doom loop? So far, the signs are not promising https://www.salon.com/2021/12/10/democracy-doom-loop/