All posts tagged: longest time

Saint Dismas

Saint Dismas

Illustrations by Michelle Garcia Carlito held one end of the rope, Omar the other. The three of us wore orange vests to seem official. Sebastián, our lookout, hid behind some bushes. “¡Here comes one!” I picked up my shovel and dug out some of the dirt we’d dumped in one of the potholes covering the road. Omar held up a gloved hand, signaling for the car to slow down and stop. Things had gotten more difficult for us recently, with the news warning of false checkpoints, where men dressed in military or police uniforms stopped vehicles under the pretense of government-sanctioned searches, forced all the passengers out of the car, and then drove off to have the car scrapped or sold. There was talk of rapes and beatings when the passengers failed to comply, and sometimes those things did happen. But we weren’t like that—we wouldn’t have known what to do with a car if we had managed to steal one. We wanted drivers who were willing to spend money to get dirt off their …

The Supreme Court Shouldn’t Punt on This One

The Supreme Court Shouldn’t Punt on This One

The Court needs to give the country a clear, final answer on Donald Trump’s eligibility for office. Illustration by The Atlantic. Source: Getty. January 28, 2024, 6:30 AM ET For the most part, America’s governing institutions have thus far responded to the problem of Donald Trump’s authoritarian aspirations by punting—passing the ball to some other actor in our political system. The criminal prosecutor Robert Mueller decided that Congress, not the Department of Justice, where he was special counsel, should assess whether Trump had committed any crimes in the 2016 election. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly blamed Trump for January 6 but voted to acquit him in his Senate impeachment trial anyway, on the grounds that holding Trump accountable for his actions was the responsibility of the courts. Similarly, the overwhelming majority of state election officials who have considered whether Trump should be deemed ineligible to appear on ballots have concluded that such decisions are really best left “up to the courts.” If anything is clear from the voluminous briefs filed recently with the Supreme …

America’s Long Campaign to Erase Gay People Is Itself Being Forgotten

America’s Long Campaign to Erase Gay People Is Itself Being Forgotten

In the summer of 1984, after he finished his first U.S. Foreign Service assignment, in Yugoslavia, Jan Krc flew to Washington, D.C., for what he thought would be a couple of weeks’ training en route to his next post, in South Africa. He thought nothing of it when he was called in for a security debriefing early one morning at the U.S. Information Agency headquarters. There, in a nondescript conference room, he was met by two middle-aged men in suits. The session began with half an hour of preliminaries, but then swerved sharply. Have you engaged in homosexual relations since age 18? Oh, shit, he thought. Krc, who was 27, hesitated. He said he should get a lawyer. The questioners told him representation wasn’t needed; if he answered truthfully, he would soon be on his way to Cape Town. Believing them, he disclosed having had flings with two foreign nationals (not a violation of fraternization rules, as neither was from a hostile country). The interrogators drilled for details. They wanted the names of other Americans …