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Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism Paperback – March 14, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Ackerman advocates a temporary state of emergency which the president may declare of his own authority. The declaration would have a built-in sunset provision, with only congress capable of reauthorizing. Reauthorization would require an escalating supermajority; the longer the emergency persisted the smaller a minority of legislators needed to end it. The declaration would permit broad powers of arrest and detention after an attack. Such measures would presumably mitigate the risk of further attacks, as well as re-establish national sovereignty.
The book is thought provoking and worth reading, but there are problems with Ackerman's ideas. He assumes that the most pressing need in the immediate aftermath of an attack will be to reassure the public that measures are being taken to prevent further attacks. Reassuring the public is a concern, but I think it overextends a factor unique to 9/11. The actual attacks on 9/11 and the time needed to restore order was short. Aside from those stuck because of the airspace shutdown, most people were back to normal within a few days. The system disruptions were minimal.
Such a short event period is unlikely in future large scale terrorist attacks.Read more ›