John Dickerson

John Dickerson is a CBS senior national correspondent and Chief Political Analyst. He is also a Contributing Writer to The Atlantic and is co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

How life changed after 9/11 for those who protect us

There are so many ways in which life after 9/11 has changed. Here’s one that struck me from Andrew McCabe’s book:

“When I moved over to counter-terrorism, it marked a permanent change in how I lived my life. Working in counter-terrorism means approaching every holiday with an overwhelming sense of dread. Christmas is the Christmas Threat. New Year’s Eve is Times Square. There is not a single joyous holiday occasion that doesn’t have an undercurrent of Are we positioned correctly?”

This kind of disruption is what the terrorists want, of course, but that’s not my point. Think about this change in worldview across all the law enforcement people. Life turns inside out. What other people look forward to is for you a stressful event. It’s just one of the many sacrifices people who protect us have to make.

I think this is one of the many reasons people in the FBI and other counter-terrorism organizations bristle at the president’s broad criticisms of the institutions.


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