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How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok Paperback – May 15, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Glenn Greenwald is a Constitutional law attorney, and author of the political blog, "Unclaimed Territory." Greenwald has written for American Conservative magazine and appeared on a variety of television and radio programs, including C-Span's "Washington Journal," Air America's "Majority Report" and Public Radio International's "To the Point." His reporting and analysis have been credited in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Salon, Slate and a variety of other print and online publications.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Working Assets Publishing; English Language edition (May 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097794400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977944002
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
How Would A Patriot Act? is, primarily, about the radical claims of total presidential authority made by the Bush Administration's radical lawyers, with the ostensible aim of fighting terrorism and the effect of discarding the Constitution.

As Greenwald clearly sets out, America defeated the Communist threat from the Soviet Union without losing sight of the Constitution; fewer sacrifices will be necessary to defeat a few disorganized Islamists.

So why has Bush's Administration been allowed to get away with torturing prisoners to death, "disappearing" and detaining American citizens without trial, and Big Brother-like surveillance of telephone calls and internet traffic (in violation of countless laws and the 4th Amendment?) Why has the Republican controlled Congress failed to assert its powers of oversight?

At the core of these failures, Greenwald argues, is fear. While Franklin Roosevelt told us "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," Republican leaders have stoked our fear of another 9/11, in part out of cowardice, and in part for political expediency.

This book will fortify the spine of the American people, so that we can elect leaders who will emphatically restore Constitutional government, instead of the current batch of corrupt Republican cowards.

In sum, "How Would a Patriot Act?" is both timely and relevant, cutting through the noise of traditional media sources. (The latest NSA phone records scandal took place after the book was printed, but up-to-the-minute discussion can be found at Glenn's blog Unclaimed Territory.) It's squarely in the tradition of great pamphlets; buy it, read it and pass it along to your friends.
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Format: Paperback
Greenwald has written this scathing indictment of the un-American and Unconstitutional power grab of this administration which has claimed the power to:

Arrest U.S. Citizens on U.S. Soil, declare them "Enemy Combatants" and lock them up indefinitely without charge or access to council.

Violate Federal Law without Congressional or Judicial oversight.

Violate signed International treaties against torture or rendition.

Spy on American Citizens without Warrants in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Greenwald builds his case and cites sources from across the political spectrum including a blistering opinion from Justice Scalia that U.S. Citizens can not be declared "Enemy Combatants" because they should instead be charged with Treason and processed by the justice system.

"How Would a Patriot Act?" is a quick read (123 pages) and is an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to understand how our present Constitutional Crisis evoled and how it compares to previous episodes in our history (Alien and Sedition Act, The Civil War, McCarthyism, Watergate). Greenwald cites The U.S. Constitution, The Federalists Papers, Supreme Court Rulings, and Federal Law to explain and build his case against the Presidents actions.

After reading this book you will understand why the Presidents appologists have been reduced to defending the administration with the absurd notion that the President is above the law.

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Format: Paperback
I thought we decided not to have a king back in 1776. But no.

Glenn Greenwald demonstrates with precision how the current King, sorry, President has decided we don't really need a Constitution.

Article I? Obsolete. War powers were once under the control of Congress, but now the King can declare war on anybody (Iran??) without the consent of our elected representatives. The executive can bomb anyone anywhere, because He Knows Best in the everlasting War On Terror (trademark).

Fourth amendment? Unnecessary, we no longer need warrants to examine letters and personal effects. We need only trust Big Brother in the great War On Terror (trademark).

Congress can disband, because any legislation they pass can be overruled with a signing statement. The courts no longer provide any checks and balances, as the King can go forward with any executive action he wants. Why? The War On Terror (trademark).

This *egregious* usurpation of power by the executive branch is unprecedented in American history. The author urges citizens to take action before America is only history.

I strongly recommend that all patriotic citizens, from libertarian to progressive, read Greenwald for a devastating analysis of a nation on the edge. "A republic...if they can keep it."
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Glenn Greenwald has written a very fine, and very timely, book. How Would A Patriot Act admirably summarizes the offenses that the Bush Administration has committed, not just against American citizens, but against the Constitution itself.

I came of adult age during Watergate, and one of the major lessons from that terrible time, repeated from our founding times, was that no man is above the law. That is the basis for the very structure of our government, in reaction to the abuses of power by the British monarchy against the Colonialists. This is what Mr. Greenwald concisely explains; using many examples of the implementation of the "alien" theories of governance espoused by this Administration and its apologists.

The title is a double edged sword. It indicts George Bush by laying out particulars of his behaviors, which are not in keeping with patriotism, and instead show the amassing of regal power. The other edge is in how the book should cause a reader to reflect as to how he or she should act, as a patriot.

Fellow citizens, the time to act is now. Read the book, certainly, to be aware of what can be termed "high crimes and misdemeanors". Keep up with Mr. Greenwald's blog, Unclaimed Territory. Explore more into the subject (see, for instance, Elizabeth De La Vega's article for The Nation magazine, "The White House Criminal Conspiracy", available at The Nation's website). Write your Congress folk and urge them to fight against the usurpation of congressional and judicial powers by the Executive Branch. These are some of the ways that a patriot would act.

And, fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy few years.
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