Garrett M. Graff Profile picture
Journalist. Director, @aspencyber. Contributor, @WIRED, @CNN, @Longreads. Fmr ed, @PoliticoMag & @washingtonian. garrett.graff AT https://t.co/N8GNSmiLuw OR https://t.co/MvjLegq98s.
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12 Sep
9/12 THREAD: For the past few days, I've been sharing quotes, stories, and memories about the 9/11 attacks—in real time—all pulled from my book THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY: An Oral History of 9/11, following Americans as they experience that time.... amazon.com/Only-Plane-Sky…
As September 12th began, the nation tried to make sense of the attacks and the tragic losses. At the Pentagon, the fires were burning stronger than before. All told, thousands of workers had been displaced and more than two million square feet of office space damaged....
Lt. Col. Ted Anderson, U.S. Army: "I slept for a couple of hours, woke up, and thought it was all a bad dream.... I decided to get up and go to work.... Ten thousand people showed up to work at the Pentagon that morning. It made me extremely proud."
Read 13 tweets
11 Sep
THREAD: Today marks the 19th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Throughout the day, I’ll be chronologically tweeting quotes from my book THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY: An Oral History of 9/11, following Americans as they experience that day.... garrettgraff.com/books/the-only…
We’re also collecting stories from the #my911story hashtag, as people share their own experiences of that day. I’ll be sharing selected tweets and others’ stories throughout the day.
(If you don’t want to see these quotes all day, just mute this thread.)
Read 95 tweets
10 Sep
THREAD: Over today, tomorrow, & Saturday, I'm tracing how the September 11th attacks unfolded 19 years ago Friday—stories I captured in my book THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY: AN ORAL HISTORY OF 9/11, with the voices of 480 Americans who lived that tragic day. bookshop.org/books/the-only…
Monday, September 10th, 2001, began in New York with the rededication of a Bronx firehouse, home to Engine 73 and Ladder 42. Mayor Giuliani, Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, and Chief of the Department Pete Ganci listened as FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge offered a homily.
Mychal Judge's prayer that morning remains one of the most moving passages I've ever read, all the more so because he had less than 24 hours to live. The next morning, he would be the only priest to walk into the burning Twin Towers.
Read 21 tweets
8 Sep
SHORT MONDAY THREAD: Tomorrow, the paperback of my 9/11 oral history, THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY, publishes! The reaction so far has been stunning and humbling, so as a thank you, I'm offering inscribed bookplates to anyone who pre-purchases the paperback. Here's how it works:
Email/forward your purchase receipt from
@Bookshop_Org
and mailing address to paperback@garrettgraff.com, and I'll sign, inscribe, and mail a bookplate for you. (Plus, you'll also help the US Post Office when it needs stamped mail the most!) bookshop.org/books/the-only…
Email your purchase receipt from Amazon and mailing address to paperback@garrettgraff.com, and I'll sign, inscribe, and mail a bookplate for you. (This also has the benefit of helping the US Post Office when it needs stamped mail the most!) amazon.com/Only-Plane-Sky…
Read 5 tweets
5 Sep
SHORT BOOK THREAD: On Tuesday, the paperback of my 9/11 oral history, THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY, publishes! The reaction so far has been stunning and humbling, so as a thank you, I'm offering inscribed bookplates to anyone who pre-purchases the paperback. Here's how it works:
Email/forward your purchase receipt from @Bookshop_Org and mailing address to paperback@garrettgraff.com, and I'll sign, inscribe, and mail a bookplate for you. (Plus, you'll also help the US Post Office when it needs stamped mail the most!) bookshop.org/books/the-only…
Email your purchase receipt from Amazon and mailing address to paperback@garrettgraff.com, and I'll sign, inscribe, and mail a bookplate for you. (This also has the benefit of helping the US Post Office when it needs stamped mail the most!) amazon.com/Only-Plane-Sky…
Read 5 tweets
26 Aug
I'm disgusted at how news coverage today is soft-pedaling @SecPompeo's RNC speech as "breaking a norm." It was, according to Pompeo's own State Department, *illegal*. It shouldn't just be an aside in the coverage roundups; Trump is weaponizing the US government for his campaign.
@SecPompeo The core of Trump's reelection—from the Ukraine phone call to pardoning someone in the Rose Garden yesterday as part of the Republican convention—has been predicated on misusing the immense power of his office for political gain. That's not another "norm" that's been violated.
If Biden wins, the most important message for his administration to send will be that breaking laws has consequences. Trump’s given us four years of “the laws are pesky nuisances to be ignored.” A country can’t sustain that.
Read 4 tweets
25 Aug
THREAD: So let's consider how laughable the idea of Chad Wolf, aka @DHS_Wolf, as a Senate-confirmed DHS secretary should be—compared to the resumes and experience of his predecessors:
1) Inaugural DHS secretary was Tom Ridge: Vietnam vet, 12-year veteran of the US House, six-year governor of Pennsylvania (nation's 5th largest state), two-year stint heading the White House Office of Homeland Security after 9/11 before DHS's creation.
2) Next up was Michael Chertoff, a Justice Department legend—famed career Mafia prosecutor, US attorney, federal judge, and one-time assistant attorney general of DOJ's criminal division (before the creation of the National Security Division, so Crim oversaw terror cases too.)
Read 11 tweets
14 Aug
THREAD: Now that the GAO has made clear that @DHS_Wolf and @HomelandKen are serving illegally atop DHS (and @HomelandKen continues to even use the wrong title on his Twitter account), let's take a look at how hollowed out DHS truly is these days:
1) Beyond an illegal Acting Sec and #2, there's no chief of staff and the acting general counsel, Chad Mizelle, is just a few years out of law school (his equally young wife is now the youngest Trump judicial nominee yet, but that's another problem). 
2) There are vacancies, effectively, in all four of the next most-senior DHS positions: There's no Senate-confirmed Under Sec of Sci & Tech nor an Under Sec for Intel & Analysis, because he was fired this month after OI&A compiled dossiers on reporters. cnn.com/2020/08/01/pol…
Read 10 tweets
5 Aug
Watch this video and think how *boring* this man would be as president! We could go entire HOURS without thinking of him, without worrying what he was saying, without fearing what he was watching on cable news....
So boring, you could spend an entire weekend not once thinking of the President, relax an entire Friday night not puzzling over what constitutional outrage will occur at 10 pm as you’re trying to head to bed, and never once wake up with dread because he tweeted before 7 am....
You’d be sitting around, realizing it’d been days since you heard about what the President was doing—he’d just filled the govt with competant people and left you alone—and you’d check in and, surprise!, he’s just still posting videos about his shades and his ‘Vette.
Read 6 tweets
23 Jul
THREAD: A short thread for nerds on federal nomenclature, with all the headlines about officers and agents send to Portland. DHS is actually sending both! And they mean slightly different things in different agencies. Follow along to sound like you know what you're talking about:
1) The FBI, for example, has "agents"—who are actually technically "special agents," a federal term of art that means they have an "1811" designation authority-wise and are allowed to make arrests and conduct investigations. They're allowed, basically, to be detectives.
2) CBP has both "officers" (its Office of Field Operations, the blue uniforms at airports/borders) and "agents" (the Border Patrol), but its agents aren't "special," they're just agents—known as "1801s" in federal parlance, allowed to befederal street cops, not investigators.
Read 5 tweets
7 Jul
POP-UP READING THREAD: When I stopped nightly #GMGReads last month, I said I'd continue from time-to-time, so here's Edition #102! Through this weird time, I've been tweeting my five favorite books on a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them.…
Today, July 7th, is the pub date I'm most excited for this summer, not least because it's pub day for @TanaWojczuk's LADY ROMEO, the incredible story from @AvidReaderPress of 19th Century queer actress Catherine Cushman, America's first celebrity: bookshop.org/books/lady-rom…
Here are the five other books publishing today I'm excited to read. Remember, if you were hot to trot to buy anti-racist books a couple weeks ago, you can support Black bookstores by ordering other books too! Pick up the following from @SemicolonChi here: semicolonchi.com/shop
Read 11 tweets
25 Jun
FINAL NIGHTLY READING THREAD: And so we come to the end. Edition #101 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online.
Tonight we wrap it up (for now). I want to thank everyone who has helped make this project fun; I never expected to write some 20,000 words of book recommendations when this started, stretching across more than 600 books....
But beyond sharing what I've already read, it's opened my eyes to just how much *more* there is to read in the world, both authors and topics! Knowledge is that rare quest where the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don't know....
Read 19 tweets
24 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: And so we come to Edition #100 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
Well, we've done it. We're 100 days into this weird, strange, sad spring—or, as of Saturday, actually summer. I had no idea this list would go this long and, appearances to the contrary, don't have an endless supply of book recommendations, so tonight's the penultimate #GMGReads.
It's Tuesday, the day I've been traditionally featuring new books, and today especially is exciting for me as the US pub date for Catherine Belton's (@CatherineBelton) PUTIN'S PEOPLE about how Putin and the KGB recaptured Russia: bookshop.org/books/putin-s-…
Read 19 tweets
23 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: And so we come to Edition #99 of #GMGReads—the 15th week begins! Every night through this weird time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
Tonight, I want to feature histories about leadership and how the toughest decisions in geopolitics get made—why they go well and why they go poorly:
1) Barbara Tuchman's study of the geopolitical inertia that led Europe to stumble into World War I, GUNS OF AUGUST, is surely one of the most majestic (and cautionary) books on leadership ever written: bookshop.org/books/the-guns…
Read 11 tweets
21 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: Welcome to Edition #98 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird (and sad) time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
I've done a whole bunch of lists touching on various aspects of Russian and Soviet history, fiction, and so forth, but tonight wanted to mention some favorites about understanding modern Russia and Vladimir Putin, all available tonight from @PoliticsProse:
(Note: It's worth noting how dangerous writing about modern Russia can be, which is why we should honor those who do it so well. Two of these authors, Anna Politkovskaya and Paul Klebnikov, were murdered for their reporting.)
Read 11 tweets
21 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: Welcome to Edition #97 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird (and sad) time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
Tonight, wrapping up a week of Cold War-themed titles, books about every stage of the Cold War, from start to finish, with "Armageddon" in their title:
1) Max Hastings's ARMAGEDDON tells the story of the fall of the Third Reich: strandbooks.com/product/978037…
Read 5 tweets
19 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: Welcome to Edition #96 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird (and sad) time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
Tonight, continuing my series of books on the Cold War and the atomic age, here are some favorite books on pivotal figures of the nuclear age:
1) David McCullough's TRUMAN is a delight of a book, the first biography to argue the fundamental greatness of America's accidental post-war president: strandbooks.com/product/978067…
Read 9 tweets
18 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: Welcome to Edition #95 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird (and sad) time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
Continuing on with the Cold War theme for this week, I want to feature today my favorite books to understand nuclear history and nuclear weapons:
Before the official list, a quick plug for my publisher @AvidReaderPress's new book, by Chris Wallace, COUNTDOWN 1945, which I'm excited to read and examines the first days of the atomic bomb: bookshop.org/books/countdow…
Read 10 tweets
18 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: Welcome to Edition #94 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird (and sad) time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
I'm going to spend the rest of this week on recommendations around the Cold War and the nuclear age, where for obvious reasons, I have a lot of thoughts. First up, tonight, first-hand portraits and windows into the peak of American power:
1) David Lilienthal was the first head of the Atomic Energy Commission and the second volume of his journals, THE ATOMIC ENERGY YEARS, is a surprising delight, a window in the earliest post-war years and the conundrums of the nuclear age: betterworldbooks.com/product/detail…
Read 8 tweets
17 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: Welcome to Edition #93 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird (and sad) time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
Tonight, I want to feature good books on the modern geopolitics of the Middle East, all available through DC's unparalleled @PoliticsProse:
1) The NYT's Beirut bureau chief Ben Hubbard (@NYTBen) has a terrifying and illuminating biography out, "MBS," about Saudi Arabia's new leader and his hunger for unchecked power: politics-prose.com/book/978198482…
Read 11 tweets
16 Jun
NIGHTLY READING THREAD: Welcome to Edition #92 and week #14 of #GMGReads! Every night through this weird (and sad) time, I've been tweeting out a list of my five favorite books around a general theme—and a link to an indie bookstore where you can order them online....
I mentioned last week that I'm going to be stopping #GMGReads at #101, which means we're down to the final ten, and so I'm going to end up hopping around a bit over the next few days. Tonight: Favorite science and nature books.
1) Sam Kean's (@sam_kean) VIOLINIST'S THUMB is a fascinating exploration of genetics: bookshop.org/books/the-viol…
Read 8 tweets