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Liberty Under Attack: Reclaiming Our Freedoms in an Age of Terror Paperback – Bargain Price, April 10, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"an enlightening collection of essays [that] celebrates those values as it explores their erosion under the Bush administration." -- Chicago Free Press, April 11, 2007

About the Author

Richard C. Leone is president of The Century Foundation and has served as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, president of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and a faculty member at Princeton University. Greg Anrig, Jr. is vice president of programs at The Century Foundation and the former Washington bureau chief of Money magazine.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586484788
  • ASIN: B00127UHYO
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,708,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Thomas W. Sulcer on December 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Liberty Under Attack is a helpful collection of essays for citizens but it fails to see the bigger problem. The authors identify threats to liberty and make valid criticisms which merit our attention, although at the time of my writing (March 2010) and after a change of administration, and without having had any major terrorism attacks, the atmosphere is much calmer, and it SEEMS like we needn't concern ourselves with such issues. It seems this way, but the problems linger and fester like a painless infection.

Clearly the 9/11 attack overwhelmed the Bush administration, and in response to a problem which it didn't fully understand -- terrorism -- government enacted measures which violated the rights of citizens. Generally the public goes along with these violations which seemed necessary for public safety. For example, people put up with being frisked at airports; in my view, this is a case of the violation of the idea of "innocent until presumed guilty" in the sense that airport security treats ALL persons AS IF they're potential bombers or hijackers, despite any specific evidence for doing so. Still, I think the public thinks there's "no better solution" (I disagree here -- see my book below) and puts up with the frisking.

The authors collectively chronicle numerous intrusions by government, including secret wiretapping on unsuspecting citizens. The deviously named "Patriot Act" gave broad snooping power to unaccountable government officials. By writing a national security letter, officials can force third parties to reveal sensitive personal information. The FBI can query banks, real estate firms, libraries, hospitals, and keep their prying hidden from us by issuing a gag order preventing third parties from revealing the espionage. Government can read our e-mail.
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Format: Paperback
"Liberty Under Attack" is a versatile book utilizing a host of contributors like Gary Hart and Ann Beeson.
This book addresses the assault on individual liberties from wide ranging aspects like American history to actual participation in court cases.

John Yoo's advocating a "unitarian executive" theme is closely examined from a critical standpoint.

Alan Brinkley detailed some of the embarassing activities in our American past. Two examples are the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. These laws promoted the erosion of individual rights for immigrants and hyphenated American citizens.

The history and beginning of the organization we now know as the A.C.L.U. is detailed.

Gary Hart contributed a chapter that assessed Congressional failure in their Constitutionally mandated duty for oversight of the current regime.
He rightly asserts that this failure has opened the door for wholsale abuse by the executive branch. There is no accountability!

John Podesta discusses the Bush penchant for secrecy. He offers sensible solutions for that problem.

Peter Osnos detailed the history of various administrations and their often adversarial relationship with the media.

Stephen J. Schulhofer had this assessment of the PATRIOT ACT. "As enacted on October 26, 2001, the original USA Patriot Act represented for many Americans the epitome of mindless overeaction, a tragically misguided grant of law enforcement power that will end by destroying our liberies in order to save them." page 124.
Mr. Schulhofer offered a very balanced look at the Act exposing both positive and negative aspects of it.

The chapter titled "The Espionage Industial Complex" was thought-provoking.
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