Author Gore Vidal To Examine the Terrorism War at Independent Institute Event Moderated by Harper's Magazine Editor Lewis Lapham: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
March 25, 2002

Author Gore Vidal To Examine the Terrorism War at Independent Institute Event Moderated by Harper's Magazine Editor Lewis Lapham
Event to probe why America faces a terrorist crisis and what should be done, features panel of distinguished scholars

OAKLAND, Calif.—Despite efforts by Attorney General Ashcroft and others to stifle debate and ignore critical questions over the serious issues pertaining to terrorism, the Independent Institute, a public policy research and educational organization, will host a special event with world-renowned author Gore Vidal to address the terrorist war based on his new book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated, on April 18.

Co-sponsored by Harper’s Magazine and moderated by its editor, Lewis Lapham, this Independent Institute program will also feature a response panel of distinguished scholars: Barton J. Bernstein (Professor of History, Stanford University), Robert Higgs (Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute), and Thomas Gale Moore (Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution).

The program will question the comforting yet largely unexamined consensus that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are incidents unconnected to long-standing U.S. policies that may well be courting a truly catastrophic sequel to the events of Sept. 11.

The participants will further explore other critical questions given short shrift, such as why—after retaliating against the
Al Qaeda terrorist network and its Taliban enablers—the Bush Administration now speaks of “bringing justice” to an “axis of evil” countries not involved in the 9/11 attacks—while Osama bin Laden and most of the major terrorist leaders remain at large.

The program will also discuss:

  • Why, despite spending $1.5 trillion over the past five years, constituting 36 percent of global military spending in 1999, and exceeding the combined military budgets of the ten nations that rank immediately behind it, the U.S. failed to protect Americans and the Pentagon on 9/11.
  • Why, in the wake of Sept. 11, politicians have awarded billions in corporate welfare to the airline, agriculture, steel, insurance, and other industries; and White House tom-toms call for record increases in military spending.
  • Why federal agencies have acquired broad, new police powers to systematically spy on and detain both Americans and foreign nationals without due process.
  • Whether the “War on Terror” will ultimately stop terrorism or further facilitate a pork-feeding frenzy by special interests to the detriment of the public and the Bill of Rights.
  • Could U.S. policies be both provoking the hatred behind the murderous 9/11 attacks and increasing the prospects for more ominous threats to the safety of Americans and people around the globe? If so, how can we produce a safer world?

Born at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, and raised in the Washington D.C. home of his grandfather, Oklahoma Senator Thomas Gore, Gore Vidal is a cousin of Al Gore and was brother-in-law to John F. Kennedy. The recipient of the National Book Award, Mr. Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels, numerous plays, television scripts and screenplays, and eight non-fiction books.

The non-profit, non-partisan Independent Institute regularly sponsors in-depth studies of major social and economic issues, the results of which are published as books and studies, and form the basis for its numerous conferences and media programs.

WHAT: The Independent Institute presents:
“Understanding America’s Terrorist Crisis: What Should Be Done?”
Co-sponsored by Harper’s Magazine

WHO: GORE VIDAL, Author of the new book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated

Moderated by LEWIS H. LAPHAM, Editor, Harper’s Magazine

BARTON J. BERNSTEIN, Professor of History, Stanford University

ROBERT HIGGS, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute; Editor, The Independent Review; Author, Crisis and Leviathan

THOMAS GALE MOORE, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Thursday, April 18, 2002, 8:00 p.m.
Theatre doors and bookstore open at 7:00 p.m.
Program begins at 8:00 p.m.
Author book signing after program

WHERE: The Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA

COST: $22/person ($18/person, Independent Institute Members)

TICKETS: City Box Office, 415.392.4400 or

To request a complimentary media admission (limited availability) or arrange an interview with one of the panelists, please contact Rob Latham of the Independent Institute at 510-632.1366 x11

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