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Why One Congresswoman Wore Tennis Shoes on Jan. 6

Things That Go Boom talks ending endless wars and domestic terrorism with Rep. Barbara Lee.

Words: Laicie Heeley
Pictures: Marc Johns / Cast from Clay

When a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the legislature on Jan. 6, it caught the Capitol Police completely off-guard. But there was one woman in the House Chamber who was not surprised. In fact, she wore tennis shoes that day — Rep. Barbara Lee.

We speak with Lee about the greatest terror threat inside the United States today, white nationalism, as well as a more general trend toward political radicalization. We also revisit her lonely vote in the wake of 9/11, when Lee was the only lawmaker in both chambers to take a stand against granting broad war powers to the president in response to the attack.

Twenty years later, those powers have been stretched to cover drone strikes and military interventions across the globe. But with President Joe Biden in the White House, Lee seems closer than ever to getting that authorization repealed.

Listen and subscribe now on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyPocket Casts, or wherever you get your podcasts to receive a new episode every two weeks.

GUEST: Rep. Barbara Lee, of California’s 13th congressional district, is a member of the Democratic Party. Besides her efforts to reign in presidential war powers, she’s advocated to end poverty and fight HIV.


60 Words And A War Without End, BuzzFeed

White Supremacist Domestic Terror Threat Looms Large In US, The Guardian

Lone Wolves Connected Online: A History Of Modern White Supremacy, NYT

Laicie Heeley

Editor in Chief

Laicie Heeley is the founding CEO of Inkstick Media, where she serves as Editor in Chief of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick and Executive Producer and Host of the PRX- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom. Heeley’s reporting has appeared on public radio stations across America and the BBC, where she’s explored global security issues including domestic terrorism, disinformation, nuclear weapons, and climate change. Prior to launching Inkstick, Heeley was a Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program and Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Her publications include work on sanctions, diplomacy, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, along with the first full accounting of US counterterrorism spending after 9/11.


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