Duct Tape Nation

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Duct tape nation. For the past ten days the country has been living under high alert. The risk of terrorist attacks is great, says the administration, and citizens should be prepared, be very prepared.

Official websites urge people to protect themselves by purchasing items like duct tape, plastic sheeting and bottled water. Hardware stores were picked clean. But yesterday, after imploring Americans not to seal their doors and windows, Secretary Ridge said the current code orange alert would be lowered soon.

This last announcement caught many off guard. Some say uncertainty and confusion are inevitable when dealing with terrorist threats. Others question the timing of the Administration’s alerts saying it’s all about sticking together a consensus for war. The threat, the rhetoric, and the politics of code orange.


Laura McEnaney, author of Civil Defense Begins at Home:
Militarization Meets Everyday Life in the Fifties;Eric Kupferberg, Lecturer on the History of Science at Harvard University.