Gov. Deval Patrick has appointed Juliette Kayyem as the state’s homeland security adviser. Here’s a short profile I wrote about Kayyem for a “Local Heroes” roundup that appeared in the Boston Phoenix on Nov. 21, 2001.
How smart is Kayyem? Check out this excerpt from the Phoenix profile:
If Kayyem could give the administration one piece of advice, it would be to drop the “war” metaphor. With September 11 behind us, the pursuit of Al Qaeda well under way, and the anthrax attacks now believed to be the work of a domestic Unabomber type, the worst of it may already be over — yet the use of the word “war” justifies anti-liberty policies that serve no purpose in rooting out terrorism.
“It skews the debate too far to the right in a way that I think will have very bad long-term consequences for America,” she says. “We’ve put this entire structure in place for a war that is essentially over. A lot of what [then-attorney general John] Ashcroft has gotten through is stuff they’ve been trying to get through for a long time. Fifty or 100 years from now, what’s been done during the past two months may still be around.”
Too bad she’s not President Bush’s homeland security adviser instead of Patrick’s.