Radiolab: 60 Words

I like listening to RadioLab, it’s always interesting.  However, with this episode they really nailed it.  This is some of the best journalism I’ve heard (seen / read etc).

How they describe it:

This hour we pull apart one sentence, written in the hours after September 11th, 2001, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace.

In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law – called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) –  has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the “war on terror.”

The whole episode is worth listening to but the highlight for me is the story of the Congresswoman who voted against the original bill. Absolutely fascinating.

• Radiolab: 60 Words

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