After September 11: Our State of Exception
"For the overwhelming majority of Americans the changes have come to seem subtle, certainly when set beside how daily life was altered during World War II or World War I, not to mention during the Civil War. Officially sanctioned torture, or enhanced interrogation, however dramatic a departure it may be from our history, happens not to Americans but to others, as do extraordinary rendition and indefinite detention; the particular burdens of our exception seem mostly to be borne by someone else—by someone other. It is possible for most to live their lives without taking note of these practices at all except as phrases in the news—until, every once in a while, like a blind man who lives, all unknowingly, in a very large cage, one or another of us stumbles into the bars.
"Whoever takes the time to peer closely at the space enclosed within those bars can see that our country has been altered in fundamental ways."