John Ashcroft's term as attorney general under George W. Bush was redefined by Sept. 11.
And he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that the techniques endorsed by his Justice Department were necessary, from warrantless wiretaps to so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques."
Defending The Patriot Act
One of Ashcroft's most controversial legacies is the Patriot Act, a piece of legislation that dramatically expanded the surveillance capabilities of law enforcement for monitoring terrorism suspects.
NPR's Joel Rose was in New Jersey today, where he stumbled upon another Sept. 11 tribute:
A different breed of heroes from September 11th gathered across the Hudson River from Ground Zero. Dozens of service and therapy dogs from around the country gathered with their handlers at Liberty State Park. The event, billed as "Finding One Another," was intended to celebrate the contributions of search and rescue dogs on 9/11 and since.
Though it is widely recognized as "one of the finest pieces of American presidential prose," as The Associated Press wrote in 2008, the "Bixby Letter" that President George W. Bush read this morning during the Sept. 11 memorial service in New York City has been the subject of several questions over the years.
Today was a day of mourning for the country. The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 was marked by prayers, solemn ceremonies, vows to remember the victims and pledges to never let terrorists fundamentally change the American way of life.
A truck bombing at an American base in eastern Afghanistan late Saturday killed two Afghan civilians — one of them a 3-year-old girl — and wounded nearly 80 U.S. military personnel, The Associated Press reports.
Although thousands of miles from ground zero, the Muslim community in San Diego, Calif., drew attention after Sept. 11, 2001. Two of the hijackers lived there. They also prayed at a local mosque, where noted radical Imam Anwar al-Awlaki preached. Recently, several men from the Somali Muslim community were arrested. They've been charged with aiding a Somali terrorist group.
A local imam has been working to open dialogue between Muslims and the larger community in San Diego in part to combat the suspicion that arose after the local ties came to light.
The Department of Homeland Security and state governments spend billions of dollars every year on domestic security, helping cities and counties buy up-to-date equipment and strategies for defeating terrorists.
Established in November 2002, the new department absorbed 22 different federal agencies, with the idea of unifying homeland security efforts. But after all this time, have those efforts made us safer?
At least 77 American soldiers are wounded after a truck bomb targeted a base west of Kabul. Two separate roadside bombs have killed 10 Afghan civilians.
At an American military base in Wardak Province, a truck full of firewood rammed into the main gate before exploding in flames and shrapnel. Military officials said a blast wall absorbed most of the impact, but nearly 100 Afghan and American personnel suffered injuries. Wardak borders the Afghan capital, Kabul, but the province is considered to be partially under Taliban control.
No company suffered on Sept. 11 as much as the bond broker Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658 people. One of the few employees to survive that day was Lauren Manning, who was in the lobby of the World Trade Center's North Tower when the first plane hit.
Manning had been rushing to an elevator and was instantly engulfed in flames that came into the lobby, leaving her with burns on more than 80 percent of her body.
The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have been pegged as the moment that changed everything for Americans. Nothing was supposed to be the same after the attacks, and it was expected to usher in a new era for America.
Writer George Packer remembers having a moment of optimism.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, reshaped the U.S. foreign policy agenda, says Doug Feith, who was undersecretary of defense for policy in the Bush administration.
He sees the top two goals of that new agenda as achieved: preventing future attacks and disrupting terror networks. But he says the U.S. failed on the other goal: countering ideological support for terrorism.
In Murfreesboro, Tenn., more than 5,000 people are expected Sunday for the annual Sept. 11 memorial. What started as a small flag ceremony at the Rutherford County's Sheriff's Department 10 years ago is now a major community event. Murfreesboro has been dealing with another legacy of the attacks, which is playing out in a controversy over a mosque.
At the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, a small temporary exhibit marks Sept. 11, 2001. Along with artifacts found in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — like a smashed firetruck door and twisted bits of fuselage — is a bin filled with every imaginable object people have tried to carry on airplanes.
Migratory songbirds like Swainson's thrushes spend their winters in South and Central America. But as spring approaches, they fly thousands of miles north to Canada.
Along the way, these little birds show endurance that would shame even the toughest athletes. They can fly for up to eight hours straight without stopping for food or water.
Scientists know how birds cope without food during the flights: They burn fat. But until now, they haven't figured out the water question. How do migrating birds avoid dehydration after all that flying?
President Obama is selling his jobs plan as a much-needed shot in the arm for a still struggling economy. It includes new public works projects, help for local school districts, training opportunities for those who have been out of work a long time, and more than $200 billion in tax cuts for workers and the companies that hire them.
New York City was on high alert this week, even before Thursday night's announcement that there was a "credible but unconfirmed" terrorist threat to New York and Washington, D.C. Newspaper headlines screamed about a city on lockdown.
Over the course of seven years, 160,000 immigrants have been deported without ever facing a judge, a new report reveals. Issued by the National Immigration Law Center, the report charges that the U.S. has used something called "stipulated removal" to strong arm immigrants into signing away their due process.
President Obama called on legislators on Thursday to pass his American Jobs Act, which proposes billions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure.
"Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower," Obama told a joint session of Congress.
It's difficult to say exactly how much additional infrastructure spending would take place if the president's plan is approved by Congress. But experts say examining how — and if — previous stimulus projects created jobs can help maximize results for this round.
The lasting legacies of Sept. 11 are numerous — sometimes elusive. There's the altered New York City skyline and the ongoing war. There also are wounded soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan each year to face a new battle: Fitting back into civilian life.
Rehabilitation programs exist for those returning with physical wound, but little support exists for those with invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder.