Patriots Act: Voices of Dissent and the Risk of Speaking Outby Bill Katovsky, Timothy Carlson
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What is the relationship between patriotism and dissent? Why is political protest often maligned as disloyal and un-American? And what are the risks for speaking out and taking a principled stand? These questions form the backbone of PATRIOTS ACT: VOICES OF DISSENT AND THE RISK OF SPEAKING OUT. Here are interviews with federal whistle-blowers, peace activists, military veterans, members of the media, practioners of nonviolent civil disobedience, and former high-ranking government officials. They represent the many types of protest found in this country. These individuals have exercised their rights, resisting censorship and the restriction of free expression-often with surprising results. Some were publicly vilified as a result of their defiance and outspokenness. Others jeopardized their careers. Several went to jail. They have diverse backgrounds and political views-liberal and conservative, young and old, secular and religious-but they all share a common commitment to speaking the truth, regardless of the Among the voices heard in PATRIOTS ACT. Each interview in PATRIOTS ACT traces its own narrative arc. The cumulative effect of these oral histories embodies what is best about our national character. It also shows why it's important to stand vigilant against those who wrap themselves so tightly in our nation's flag that they can neither see nor hear what others are actually saying. Dissent is our birthright. It should not be silenced.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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- 6.26(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.24(d)
Read an Excerpt
A Soldier Speaks Out
California Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Lorenzo Dominguez
I decided to speak out because it's the difference between life or death. I'm very in touch with my mortality nowaday. It's the difference of being prepared and not being prepared. At forty-five, I don't feel like bullets can bounce off my chest anymore like I did when I was eighteen, nineteen. I think that's why the military really loves the teenagers, because, well they think that nothing bad can happen to them, but as you get older, you start realizing that bad things can happen and do happen to us all the time. And the quality of the training here is so poor and so pathetic. Everybody complains, but nobody can or does anything. I mean, they complain to the chain of command, but the chain of command really doesn't care; they're here to make their rank or to get the next star. And I just realized how cruel it really is when you just become another body to be thrown into the grinder. But I'm responsible for nine men in my squad as their squad leader. I made commitments to them and to most of their mothers and fathers that I would bring them back home from Iraq in one piece.
The base's upper command accused me of endangering the military and possibly aiding the enemy. I was told by the Public Affairs Officer that the L. A. Times article would probably be grabbed on my Al Qaeda and Al-Jazeera, and that we would be shown that we don't want to fight. And that just cannot be farther from the truth. My men are motivated; my men believe, like I do, that this is a just war. We just need the proper equipment. We cannot be part of this great country - you cannot be sending me to war if you're not going to give me the best of the best to fight it with. Don't send me there with one arm tied behind my back.
What People are Saying About This
When I write a column that really bothers people, even something about Bush's personal character or, oddly, something that says that the economy isn't doing too great, I can get up to 1,500 hostile e-mails.
Nonviolent civil disobedience has really been maligned. Oftentimes the violence done to people of nonviolent means is then turned around and projected back onto them, so it looks like they deserve what they got. Then it's easier for protests to be dismissed or marginalized by the media.
I have known both military and political battles. I have been traumatically wounded by both. Winston Churchill said that politics is a lot like war, except in war, you get killed once. In politics you get killed many times.
We have a White House now that is extremely dangerous. They don't believe in democracy. Now is the time for people to show courage. I would like to see a lot more whistle-blowing.
Large numbers of the crowd began chanting against us. 'America the Beautiful' was playing on the loudspeakers while we were being walked out in handcuffs by the cops.
The Republicans will take someone and tear them to shreds. They will question their patriotism. They call me Osama bin Randi. Randi Hussein. Tokyo Rhodes.
Meet the Author
The author, Bill Katovsky, is the co-author of Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq, which won Harvard University's Goldsmith Book Prize.
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