- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"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." —Reason
"The prosecutions on the basis of 'contribution of expertise' should be of particular professional interest to sociologists." —Contemporary Sociology
A focused, thorough account of the federal government's panicked response to 9/11 and the consequent rollback of our civil liberties.
President of the American Civil Liberties Union since 2008, Brooklyn Law School professor Herman (Terrorism, Government, and Law, 2008, etc.) provides a well-organized look at government incursions on Americans' constitutional rights in the decade following 9/11. Divided into three major sections—"Dragnets and Watchlists," "Surveillance and Secrecy" and "American Democracy"—the book 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. Herman's restrained approach to her numerous outrageous examples of governmental intrusiveness serves her well; her prose style is persuasively fair and reasonable. Despite her role as president of one of the country's best-known liberal-leaning advocacy groups, the author is no rigid ideologue. Even after documenting their routine disregard for our civil liberties, she remains eager to credit governmental agencies like the FBI and leaders like President Obama with the best of motives. In Herman's view, the rapid erosion of our most basic rights has less to do with federal agents' hubris and lust for power than it does with their righteous yet misguided desire to keep America safe. Rather than dismissing it as irrelevant, she carefully examines the question of whether any of these problematic measures are actually making us safer (it seems the answer is no).
A valuable contribution to the growing body of literature regarding the War on Terror's impact on our constitutional rights.
PART I: DRAGNETS AND WATCHLISTS
Chapter 1 The Webmaster and the Football Player
The Material Support Dragnet
The Football Player
The Material Support and Material Witness Dragnets
Chapter 2 "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" Humanitarians,
and the First Amendment
The Iranian Democrat
Peacemakers and Humanitarians
Chapter 3 Charity at Home
The Campaign against Charities
Collateral Damage to Freedom of Religion and Association
Chapter 4 Traveling with Terror
Watching the Watchlists
The Rights of Others
Chapter 5 Banks and Databanks
Financial Institutions as TIPSters
Watchlists and the Private Sector
Does It Work?
Collecting the Dots
Why Should I Care? - Privacy and Democracy
PART II - SURVEILLANCE AND SECRECY
Chapter 6 Gutting the Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment and Terrorism
"Foreign" Intelligence Surveillance, Americans, and the Patriot Act
Mayfield v. United States Part II
The Secret Court and the One-Sided Litigation
A Job for Congress and the Courts
Chapter 7 The Patriot Act and Library/Business Records
Third Party Records and the Fourth Amendment
Reconsidering the "Library Provision"
Chapter 8 Gagging the Librarians
The Library Connection
Other Librarian Tales
Chapter 9 John Doe and the National Security Letter
Why National Security Letters?
John Doe and Victor Marrero
Loosening the Gag
Fourth Amendment Rights for NSL Recipients
First Amendment Rights for Internet Users
The Inspector General Exposés 2007-2010
National Security Letters, the Fourth Amendment, and Congress
Chapter 10 The President's Surveillance Program
In the Halls of the Department of Justice
The Rubber Stamp Congress
Closing the Courthouse Doors
The Secret Court Strikes Again
"What Else Is It That We Don't Know?"
PART III: RESTORING CHECKS AND BALANCES
Chapter 11 American Democracy - The President, the Congress, and the Courts
The View from the Oval Office - From Bush to Obama and Beyond
The Sleeping Watchdog
Secrecy and the Courts
The Eclipse of the Courts
Posted December 4, 2014
This is an excellent writing by Susan N. Herman on The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy.
Susan lays out all the ground work in this book. She has done a good job of talking about the War and the U.S.
I recommend this book to everyone to read. This is a great peace.
William B. Turner