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Prologue

We hear a brief clip of host Ira Glass talking to John Podesta, who as chief of staff under President Clinton helped institute that administration's policy of declassifying as many documents possible. The Bush administration's philosophy is very different.

Act One: Until The End Of The War

There are at least two American citizens being held without charges, unable to see lawyers, in military jails in the U.S. There may be more.

Act Three: Secret Wiretaps From A Secret Court

For over two decades, there's been a secret court in the United States called the FISA court (short for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). Its job is to authorize wiretaps on possible foreign spies and foreign agents.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass tells the story of a report by the U.S. intelligence community back in October 2002 that declared that the likelihood of Saddam Hussein using weapons of massive destruction was very low for the "foreseeable future"...unless the U.S. were to launch a military attack on Iraq. In other words, the war to stop him from using weapons of mass destruction would probably cause the thing it was designed to prevent.

Act One: Senator's Proxy

Ira speaks with Gordon Jondroe of the newly-created Department of Homeland Security, trying to get answers to Senator Graham's questions. It doesn't go so well.

Act Four: Who Cares?

While we all may have nagging fears about the war against terror or the war against Iraq, we all have a lot of other things on our minds. We hear 19 eighth-graders' letters to the President, as collected by their teacher, Britt Honeycutt, in rural North Carolina.

Act Two: One Crucible Leads To Another

We hear excerpts from two autobiographies which each describe the same moment, but in very different ways. Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller agree that they met with each other in 1952, around the time Kazan named the names of his old friends to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Prologue

We hear clips from the recent press conference with Charlotte Beers, recently appointed Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy. Part of her job is, in her words, to sell the "brand America" abroad.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass explains that if we're going to war—as the President keeps promising—it's hard to understand what's in store for us. Today's show is an attempt to figure that out.

Act One: The Situation In The Field

For a few days after the attacks on September 11th, it seemed like we were just on the verge of bombing and retaliation. But two weeks went by, and no military action had begun.

Act Five: U.s.a., Me-s.a.

Ira talks with Chicago Public Radio reporter Shirley Jahad about white Chicagoans and Arab-American Chicagoans facing off, each side waving American flags and shouting "U.S.A."...and how each means very different things when they do it.

Prologue

We hear from Father Jim Kastigar, who got on the wrong side of Town Hall and suffered the kinds of consequences people in Cicero suffer. His parish was denied a permit to hold an outdoor religious ceremony they'd held peacefully for seven years, the youth group's tamale fundraiser was shut down by city inspectors and the parking lot near the church was deemed unfit for Sunday parking.

Act One: Untouchables

To understand how Cicero reacted when Hispanics started flooding into town, you have to understand how it dealt with conflict in the past. For a period the town was run by Al Capone, and the mob was connected to Town Hall for most of the twentieth century.

Act Two: The Inevitable

In the 1970s and 1980s, a wave of non-white migration into Cicero begins, this one primarily Mexican-American. The head of the political machine is named Betty Loren-Maltese, whose husband, now deceased, was convicted for mob-related activity.

Act Three: War By Other Means

Despite the town's resistance, Hispanics now make up three quarters of the population. And yet the incumbent Town President, Betty Loren-Maltese, seems likely to win the next election.

Act Two: Wonder Woman

Kelly McEvers with the story of Zora, a self-made superhero. From the time she was five, Zora had recurring dreams in which she was a 6'5" warrior queen who could fly and shoot lightning from her hands.

Prologue

We got a new President, but after the recount mess in Florida in the fall of 2001 and the Supreme Court decision that ended the election, some people were having a hard time moving on. Why? Why couldn't they just let it go? Host Ira Glass talks with people at the inauguration.