9781565849396 / 1565849396

Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties In The Name Of National Security


Publisher:New Press, The



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About the book:

A chilling analysis of the constitutional costs of the new war on terrorism, from two leading experts.

Tracing the history of government intrusions on Constitutional rights in response to threats from abroad, Cole and Dempsey warn that a society in which civil liberties are sacrificed in the name of national security is in fact less secure than one in which they are upheld.

In a vivid and important critique of our government's response to threats real and perceived from communists in the 1950s, Central American activists in the 1980s, Palestinians in the 1990s, and now Islamic terrorists in the twenty-first century, two leading constitutional scholars warn that many of our government's anti-terrorism efforts sacrifice civil liberties without effectively protecting national security.

James X. Dempsey, former assistant counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, and David Cole, a law professor and leading civil liberties lawyer, contend that in its response to the attacks of September 11, the Bush administration has already repeated many of the worst mistakes of the past, and is unlikely to make Americans more secure. By comparing recent anti-terrorism measures to law enforcement abuses of the past, the authors make a compelling case against the 1996 and 2001 Anti-Terrorism Acts, both of which offer the FBI far more latitude than is necessary or desirable in a free society.

A new chapter includes a discussion of domestic spying, preventive detention, the many court challenges to post-9/11 abuses, implementation of the PATRIOT ACT, and efforts to reestablish the checks and balances left behind in the rush to strengthen governmental powers.

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