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Host Ira Glass talks to someone who escaped from the twin towers with a minute to spare and someone who lost her husband on 9/11. Both say they try to avoid 9/11 commemorations.

Act 6: Clutter

On 9/11, Lynn Simpson escaped from the 89th floor of the World Trade Center. Ira talks with her about what's changed since she first appeared on the show, just a week after the attacks in 2001.

Act 1: Kabul Kabul Kabul Kabul Chameleon

Hyder Akbar was a teenager living with his family in the Bay Area when president Hamid Karzai asked Hyder's dad to return to Afghanistan and become an official in the new government. Hyder recorded audio diaries that became two episodes of our show, in 2002 and 2003, both produced by Susan Burton.

Act 2: In the Garden of the Unknown Unknowns

Marian Fontana, whose husband was a firefighter who died on 9/11, originally appeared on our show in 2005. Ira talks with Marian today, about what has changed for her over the last 10 years.

Act 3: Put on a Happy Face

In 2008, reporter Chris Neary told the story of John, a soldier who returned from tours of Iraq and Afghanistan with severe PTSD, and ended up attacking his fiancee and her mother. Chris finds out how John is coping today.

Act 5: Bad Teacher

Alix Spiegel revisits a story she reported in 2006 - which caused more listeners to email us than any other story we've broadcast. It was about a Muslim American girl named "Chloe," who was tormented at school after the students had a lesson on 9/11.


Ira tells what happened this week to Dan Curry in Odessa Texas on Wednesday, to eight-year-old Ruby Melman on Sunday in New Jersey, to Beau O'Reilly at a bike store in Chicago on Saturday, to Theodosha Alexander at the World Trade Center site on Thursday, to Dr. Wade Gordon in Afghanistan on Thursday, to a high school class at the Grand Canyon on Wednesday, and at a bar in New York City on Saturday.


The government had an almost impossible task after the September 11th attacks: They had to try to stop terrorists before they did anything — in some cases, before they even committed a crime. Dr.

Act 1: Part One

Hyder notices changes in Kabul in the year since he visited Afghanistan. Then he heads to Kunar, near the Pakistan border, one of the remote regions where Al Qaeda, the Taliban and local warlords are still fighting the new Afghan government and the U.S. military.

Act 2: Part Two

Hyder's story continues. He and his convoy of American soldiers run into trouble on their way back home.


In January 2002-- not long after the Taliban were driven from power in Afghanistan-- he came to the United States, partly to be on hand for the State of the Union address last year. And while he was here, he spoke with an audience that was mostly Afghan-Americans at Georgetown University.

Act 1: Teenage Embed, Part One

It's possible that the very first teenager to heed his invitation was Hyder Akbar, 17, from Concord, California. In the summer of 2002, he travelled with his father to live in their home country.

Act 3: Secret Wiretaps From A Secret Court

For over two decades, there's been a secret court in the United States called the FISA court (short for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). Its job is to authorize wiretaps on possible foreign spies and foreign agents.


Host Ira Glass tells the story of a report by the U.S. intelligence community back in October 2002 that declared that the likelihood of Saddam Hussein using weapons of massive destruction was very low for the "foreseeable future"...unless the U.S. were to launch a military attack on Iraq. In other words, the war to stop him from using weapons of mass destruction would probably cause the thing it was designed to prevent.

Act 1: Senator's Proxy

Ira speaks with Gordon Jondroe of the newly-created Department of Homeland Security, trying to get answers to Senator Graham's questions. It doesn't go so well.

Act 3: Realism 101

It's possible that the most compelling arguments against the war with Iraq, and the most compelling arguments for the war with Iraq, are arguments you've never heard. Ira talks with journalist Nicholas Lemann from The New Yorker magazine about two ways of seeing the war: The so-called Hawks' view, and the so-called Realists' view.

Act 4: Who Cares?

While we all may have nagging fears about the war against terror or the war against Iraq, we all have a lot of other things on our minds. We hear 19 eighth-graders' letters to the President, as collected by their teacher, Britt Honeycutt, in rural North Carolina.

Act 2: Stuck Inside Of Memphis

Sal Princiatta is a New York fireman whose unit lost a lot of men on September 11th. Beth Landau was a friend of Sal's, and a couple months ago, she orchestrated a trip to Memphis for Sal and the other guys at the firehouse.

Act 1: How Britain Nearly Saved America

Reporter Jon Ronson tells the story of how, in the immediate wake of September 11, he became convinced that a man he'd done a story on was responsible for the Anthrax attacks in America. So he did something he'd never done before, he ratted out his source to the FBI.