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