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Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy Hardcover

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Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy + Terror in Our Time + Inside Terrorism
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (October 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199782547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199782543
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Taking Liberties offers a compelling case that the basic constitutional protections most Americans take for granted, including the rights to free speech, a fair trial and due process, as well as freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, were seriously compromised after 9/11 as a result of the government's well-meaning but ill-conceived efforts to safeguard the country against another attack. . . [P]ersuasively fair and reasonable . . . A valuable contribution to the growing body of literature regarding the War on Terror's impact on our constitutional rights." --Kirkus Reviews

"This smart and passionate book shows how we as Americans - and not our faceless enemies - have the most to lose from the erosion of our civil liberties since 9/11. By showing what has happened to real people, Susan Herman offers the wake-up call we need to regain our perspective and reclaim our values." - Linda Greenhouse

"Taking Liberties is an engrossing read full of heartbreaking stories about how the War on Terror more than made up in zeal what it utterly lacked in logic. In the immediate aftermath, the errors documented here were understandable; ten years out, they are unforgivable. Anyone who cares about civil liberties, believes the War on Terror is making us safer, or even believes the War on Terror is about the War on Terror should read this book." -Barry Friedman, author of The Will of the People

"'If you don't do anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about.' This phrase is destined to be with us for all time, kept alive by the same people who cheerfully volunteer that they are willing to trade some 'liberty for security.' Susan N. Herman's new book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of Democracy, provides a sharp rebuttal to this compliant mind-set that gave the government more power over the rest of us . . . [A] great catalog of personal injustice anecdotes, with story after story of people who don't do anything wrong yet have plenty to worry about-they get deported, imprisoned without charge, tortured . . . In addition to compiling all these outrages in one handy place, Taking Liberties does quite a good job of detailing the mechanics of the laws, policies, and procedures that created this havoc and in most cases made legal redress unattainable."

"The prosecutions on the basis of 'contribution of expertise' should be of particular professional interest to sociologists." --ontemporary Sociology

About the Author

Susan N. Herman became president of the American Civil Liberties Union in 2008 after serving on its national board for twenty years. A constitutional scholar and chaired professor at Brooklyn Law School, she is the co-editor (with Paul Finkelman) of Terrorism, Government, and Law and the author of The Right to a Speedy and Public Trial.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Simone Signoret on June 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A necessary and apt analysis of the Patriot Act and attendant gross abuses of governmental powers. Fails to analyze though the actions, one by one, that led to the 9/11/01 disaster in terms that would have shown that each and every necessary step in the commission of this horrendous crime would not have been possible had the laws and ordinances then on the books been enforced. NO ADDITIONAL LEGISLATION was NEEDED, IF EXISTING LAWS HAD BEEN ENFORCED. e.g. fourteen of the nineteen terrorists involved had overstayed the terms of their "visitors' visas."
It is the job of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to follow up on visitors and make sure that they leave when their visas expire. Had security measures been enforced at Logan Airport, the box cutters the terrorists used would not have gotten onto the plane, etc.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A Miller on November 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
While Susan Herman was being interviewed by Peter Slen of C-span Book TV a person called who mentioned Susan Lindauer. Peter Slen cut this critical caller off because Susan Lindauer was a CIA asset who was locked up for no charge under the Patriot Act. C-span has an official policy to keep any legitimate analyst who tries to expose the George Bush 9-11 conspiracy off the air. Not one media company ever reported the collapse of Building 7, after 9-11. Is that a spectacular coincidence that each independent media company failed to report the 47 story building nothing hit. The few small fires in the building had to be set by arsonists because nothing happened to create any fire in Building 7.

A small number of people began learning about the building 7 collapse. Of course explosives had been rigged prior to 9-11 to create the controlled demolition mentioned by Dan Rather who failed to ever mention the Building 7 collapse which took 6.5 seconds (free fall speed). Free fall speed can only occur if the beams at the bottom are cut off simultaneously. If the explosions at the bottom aren't precise the building will topple.

Susan Herman didn't know about the Susan Lindauer case.
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