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Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties First Edition Edition

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1583224946
ISBN-10: 1583224947
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

NANCY CHANG is the Senior Litigation Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. Nancy’s work at CCR has focused on protecting the First Amendment rights of political activists against government efforts to silence dissent, safeguarding civil liberties against measures taken in the name of national security, protecting the constitutional rights of immigrants, and combating racial profiling.

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Product Details

  • Series: Open Media Series
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; First Edition edition (July 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583224947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583224946
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Maginot on October 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
In this brief and lucid book, Nancy Chang exposes how the USA Patriot Act and other post September 11th responses by the Bush regime constitute a flagrant assault on American civil liberties and constitutional rights. Chang places her findings in a sharp historical context by providing a brief survey of similar events in American history, including the jailing and detention of innocent people as far back as the immediate aftermath of the Revolutionary War. Chang concludes that while the Bush regime's purported anti-terrorist measures definitely provide it with a variety of legal pretexts to persecute American citizens and non-citizens at will, (for example, the authoring of this review could constitute a threat to public safety under several of the USA Patriot Act's broad definitions of "domestic terrorism") it does little or nothing to actually protect people living in the United States from terrorist attacks.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of Chang's study is its revelation that America's theocratic Attorney General, John Ashcroft has detained hundreds of Arabs and South Asians living in America for minor immigration violations. These individuals have frequently been incarcerated under highly abusive conditions and some have died in custody. Ashcroft's goal, according to Chang, is to use immigration violations as a sweeping drag net for capturing any foreign terrorists who, like many of the September 11th suicide bombers, may have violated their visa requirements. Even if one is willing to turn a blind eye to the fate of the hundreds of innocent immigrants who have already suffered under this policy, one cannot ignore its broader consequences for the American people.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Ellis on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Nancy Chang's concise summary of post 9/11 developments is an excellent primer on how dissent has been repressed and silenced in the name of anti-terrorism and how "patriotism" has been twisted into something resembling a Mccarthyite witch-hunt. She focuses on the USA PATRIOT Act, and her legal analysis of the profound unconstitutionality of some of its provisions is chilling. Her legal analysis is acute and accurate (she is the senior litigation lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights in NYC). Among other things, attorney-client communications are now being monitored if the client is suspected or accused of "terrorist" activities. The term "terrorism" has been so expanded and amplified by this Act as to make it applicable to many activities not normally considered to be within its ambit, as Ms. Chang details. This is a timely, up-to-the-minute introduction, and urgent reading for everyone concerned with the assault on civil rights now taking place in the guise of fighting "terrorism."
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Algernon D'Ammassa on September 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Nancy Chang of the Center For Constitutional Rights has prepared a concise summary and analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act and other initiatives that follow the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. This is crucial background material for any debate on the measures taken by the Bush Administration in response to terror.
In addition, Chang has placed the USA PATRIOT Act in a historical context, reminding of us other cases in which our Republic has suspended common sense along with our democratic principles as a response to fear. It is important to understand that Attorney General John Ashcroft did not invent preventive detention, and that George W. Bush is not the first president to resent elements of the Constitution he is charged to defend.
Dispassionately and tersely, Chang exposes the articles of the USA PATRIOT Act, the number of detainees and the treatment of non-citizens, the quest for authority to snoop on innocents and gather information on law-abiding citizens, the monitoring of conversations between client and attorney, the use of patriotism to demonize dissidents, and the unquestionable grab for power by the executive branch. The book is high on information, including good documentary footnotes and solid research; and low on rhetoric. This enhances its credibility and its strength in a time of confusion.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joanneva12a on September 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
The author approaches her subject in somewhat technical legal terms, but it is straightforward enough that anyone can understand the implications as Nancy Chang offers clear insight into the dismantling of our Constitutional Rights.
With the author's keen perception and understanding, she is able to take you through the most controversial changes in the new post 9-11 legislation, and allow you to see how easily the Patriot Act *could be abused* to turn rightful protest to fit the crime of 'terrorism'.
The book investigates how these new laws give our new 'militarized' government unprecedented new powers NEVER INTENDED by our founding fathers, and how the current Bush/Ashcroft administration is bunkering itself behind a cloak of secrecy in which information is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to obtain by the public, and even by Congress itself.
The idea that the government can simply put a certain 'label' on a person, thereby circumventing the normal due process of law should be revolting to all, not to mention that it's un-American and defies the protection guaranteed in the Bill of Rights for ALL, regardless of race, religion or ethic background.
It is likely that many of you believe these changes don't affect you as individuals. Don't kid yourself partner. You ARE already affected and it is clear that America itself, and the founding principles upon which it supposedly stands for, are the real losers in all of this.
Since trying to read the Patriot Act itself would be an excercise in futility. I suggest you pick up this very useful book.
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