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Torin Monahan

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Securing the Homeland: Torture, Preparedness, and the Right to Let Die

Despite efforts by the U.S. to achieve national security, and perhaps because of these efforts, conditions of vast human insecurity persist. The discursive terrain of security is marked by extreme actions, such as torture, and absolute threats, such as avian flu pandemics. Rationalizations for torture signal an effort to ameliorate concerns about and cultivate support for the “war on terror.” Similarly, disaster preparedness plans construct an ideal type of citizen-soldier in the ongoing battle of securing the homeland. These discourses usher in a mode of governance predicated upon militarized states, individual responsibility, and the right to let others die.

homeland security, preparedness, neoliberalism, inequality, torture, avian flu, Hurricane Katrina, war on terror

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 95-105