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Wake up America! Preventing failure in post 9/11 foreign policy

Senator Russ Feingold
October 05, 2012

More than 10 years after what’s been called the greatest “wake-up call” in American history, former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold comes to Arizona State University to ask: “Are we focused on solving the international problems that threaten America?”

Feingold, who represented Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate for 18 years, argues that there have been institutional failures, both domestic and abroad in the decade since 9/11, which must be addressed. Most notably, he points to the oversimplification of the complex issues, U.S. policy, disinformation about Islam, and our lag to adapt. However, complacency is also one of the biggest hurdles toward taking steps to change such shortcomings.

Feingold discusses these topics and more in his Jonathon and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture, to take place at 7 p.m., Oct. 17, in ASU’s Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Senator Feingold served on the Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Budget, and Intelligence Committees in the U.S. Senate between 1993 and 2011. A recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, he co-sponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act), a major piece of campaign finance reform legislation. He was the only senator to vote against the initial enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act during the first vote on the legislation. He also voted against the war in Iraq and was the first to call for the United States to withdraw.

In 2011, Feingold formed Progressives United, a movement intended, among other things, to fight the controversial United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC. Feingold is an honors law graduate of both Harvard Law School and Oxford University. He earned his bachelor of arts with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a former Rhodes Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

This year, Feingold authored “While America Sleeps,” which examines the past decade, what America has done wrong domestically and abroad since the terrorist attacks. He discusses what steps must be taken – by the government and by individuals – to ensure that the next 10 years are focused on the international problems that threaten America and its citizens.

Will we be caught sleeping again? If Feingold has his way, voters and presidential candidates alike will put unity and international problems first, so that the answer will be irrevocably, “No.”

Hosted by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series brings nationally known scholars concerned with promoting culture through the humanities and a better understanding of the problems of democracy. This annual free public lecture is funded with grants from Jonathan and Maxine Marshall and the Marshall Fund of Arizona. A book signing will follow the talk.

For more information, call 480-965-6397 or visit