Taking Liberties
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Taking Liberties

The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy
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Susan N. Herman
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
2 - DRM Adobe


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
Security Theater?
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


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
American Librarians
Judicial Fumbling
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
Post-FAA Litigation
The Secret Court Strikes Again
"What Else Is It That We Don't Know?"


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

Ordinary Americans
Restoring Balance
In this eye-opening work, the president of the ACLU takes a hard look at the human and social costs of the War on Terror. Over a decade after 9/11, it is far from clear that the government's hastily adopted antiterrorist tactics--such as the Patriot Act--are keeping us safe, but it is increasingly clear that these emergency measures in fact have the potential to ravage our lives--and have already done just that to countless Americans.
From the Oregon lawyer falsely suspected of involvement with terrorism in Spain to the former University of Idaho football player arrested on the pretext that he was needed as a "material witness" (though he was never called to testify), this book is filled with unsettling stories of ordinary people caught in the government's dragnet. These are not just isolated mistakes in an otherwise sound program, but demonstrations of what can happen when our constitutional protections against government abuse are abandoned. Whether it's running a chat room, contributing to a charity, or even urging a terrorist group to forego its violent tactics, activities that should be protected by the First Amendment can now lead to prosecution. Blacklists and watchlists keep people grounded at airports and strand American citizens abroad, although these lists are rife with errors--errors that cannot be challenged. National Security Letters allow the FBI to demand records about innocent people from libraries, financial institutions, and internet service providers without ever going to court. Government databanks now brim with information about every aspect of our private lives, while efforts to mount legal challenges to these measures have been stymied.

Barack Obama, like George W. Bush, relies on secrecy and exaggerated claims of presidential prerogative to keep the courts and Congress from fully examining whether these laws and policies are constitutional, effective, or even counterproductive. Democracy itself is undermined. This book is a wake-up call for all Americans, who remain largely unaware of the post-9/11 surveillance regime's insidious and continuing growth.