9781565848009 / 1565848004

Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism


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Publisher:The New Press, 2003



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About the book:

As part of the war on terrorism, the federal government has detained over 5,000 foreign nationals, engaged in guilt by association and ethnic profiling, and conducted secret searches and wiretaps without probable cause of criminality.

These measures have been sold to the American public on the grounds that they affect only foreign nationals. In Enemy Aliens, award-winning author and civil liberties lawyer David Cole argues that in balancing liberty and security we have consistently relied on a double standard, imposing measures on foreigners that we would not tolerate if applied more broadly to us all. Cole warns that while such a double standard is politically easy (the 20 million non-citizens living in the US can't vote), it is constitutionally suspect, counterproductive as a security measure, and ultimately illusory, because history shows that acceptance of such treatment for outsiders paves the way for similar measures against American citizens.

Coming on the heels of his multi-award winning No Equal Justice, which exposed race- and class-based double standards in the criminal justice system, Enemy Aliens brings Cole's keen intelligence, constitutional acumen, and personal litigation experience to bear on the character of constitutional freedoms in the war of terrorism.

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