Huffpost Politics

Former Guantanamo Bay Prosecutor: For Americans, Fear Is 'The New Normal'

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The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been raging on for more than 12 years, but the Obama Administration hasn't yet figured out how to close Guantanamo Bay, and the "War on Terror" continues to inundate political rhetoric.

Have these perpetual wars made fear an inherent part of the American psyche? Tara Maller, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that despite being a nation at war, she thinks Americans have become complacent. She said the public may be "hesitant to intervene because they don't actually feel the sacrifice or cost of the wars we've engaged in."

"I actually think most Americans don’t know people who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan," Maller said. "They’re not touched on a personal level. It's unfortunate, but [a very small] percentage of the American public [has] actually felt the hardships of the conflicts themselves and actually might feel that sense of urgency."

Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, agreed but had more to say about what exactly the majority of Americans are now tolerating: torture, keeping Guantanamo open and indefinite detention. He said this "decade of fear has become the new normal."

"We have the equivalent of a 9/11 every month through gun violence. and we’re doing absolutely nothing about that," Davis said. "Yet we will give up our civil liberties and spend trillions of dollars to confront a threat that is legitimate but certainly being exploited for profit and power by a lot of people who have gotten enriched off the fear that has followed 9/11."

Watch the full conversation about the US psyche about perpetual war here.

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