Cover image for It's a free country : personal freedom in America after September 11
It's a free country : personal freedom in America after September 11
Goldberg, Danny.
Publication Information:
New York : RDV Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
362 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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JC599.U5 I82 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A groundbreaking collection of new pieces examining the effects of President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft's legislative assault on civil liberties following the terrorist bombing of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, with a foreword by Cornel West, author of Race Matters, and original pieces by Michael Moore, Matt Groening, Howard Zinn, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Steve Earle, Tom Hayden, Congressman Jerrold Nadler and many, many more, plus firsthand stories from Middle Eastern and American victims of civil-liberty infringement.

Author Notes

Danny Goldberg is a longtime music executive and political activist. He coproduced and codirected the rock documentary No Nukes and has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, AlterNet, and others. He lives in New York City and is an ACLU officer and board member. This is his first book. ROBERT GREENWALD has produced and/or directed more than forty-five television, cable, and theatrical films, including the award-winning NBC-TV movie The Burning Bed, and the recent theatrical film, Steal This Movie, about Abbie Hoffman. Through his newly formed "Public Interest Productions," Greenwald is executive producing Unprecedented--a documentary about the 2000 election. Greenwald is on the Board of Directors of "A Place Called Home," a gang-prevention program in South Central Los Angeles, and of the Venice Community Housing Corporation, which provides low income housing in Los Angeles.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The dozens of contributors to this volume range from journalists and writers (Michael Moore, Michael Isikoff) to members of Congress (Maxine Waters, Jerrold Nadler) to current and former ACLU leaders (Nadine Strossen, Ira Glasser) to cartoonists Matt Groening and David Rees. But perhaps most original here are the personal testimonies of civil rights violations, such as the tale of the Mustafas, a Palestinian-American father and son, both American citizens, detained (the son for 67 days) on the baseless suspicion of having "altered" their passports. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

9/11 The attacks of September 11 precipitated a range of governmental actions in the name of national security that, while supported by most Americans, alarmed a significant vocal minority: those people who worry about civil liberties. These dissenting voices are collected in their many and varied forms in this book edited by three publishers at RDV Books who have connections to the ACLU. It should not be surprising that many of the articles are by past and present leaders of or lawyers for the ACLU. But this eclectic mix of rather short (mostly two- to three-page) pieces essays, interviews, cartoons, a poem, congressional testimony, monologs, and personal accounts from historians, lawyers, representatives, a movie director, a singer-songwriter, and others demonstrate the complexity and fragility of civil liberties in a crisis environment. While the quality of the pieces is uneven, the book's greatest weakness is that, with the exception of an entry by Rep. Bob Barr, all the writing comes from thinkers on the Left. There should have been greater attention paid to balancing the opinions. Despite this shortcoming, this lively book should be added to the collections of larger public libraries. With a foreword by Cornell West. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Cornel WestDanny GoldbergIra GlasserHoward ZinnPaul StarrPaul SimonTom HaydenNadine StrossenRalph TempleChris MooneyAni DiFrancoCongressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA)Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)Anthony RomeroNorman SiegelRamona RipstonDonna LiebermanMichael IsikoffMichael TomaskyDanny SchechterEve PellJeremy VoasRobert GreenwaldMichael MooreJanna Malamud SmithMartin SherwinSteve EarleMichael RatnerKenneth RothKit GageArthur N. EisenbergJudith ButlerDavid ColeAnne-Marie SlaughterThe San Francisco Human Rights CommissionDan GersonAndrew KirklandMichel ShehadehDr. Sami Al-ArianHelen ZiaMohammed SohailMervat HatemJohn TateishiHodan HassanAsma Gull HasanLillian Nakano
Foreword: Life Every Voicep. 1
Introductionp. 3
Part 1 The Crisis in Civil Liberties, Past and Present
More Safe, Less Free: A Short History of Wartime Civil Libertiesp. 11
A Primer: Wartime Erosion of Civil Libertiesp. 25
American Presidents and Civil Libertiesp. 28
We Can Learn From Historyp. 31
Expert Perspective on Civil Liberties Curtailment: An Interview with Nat Hentoffp. 33
It's Empire Versus Democracyp. 42
Conservatives and Liberals Unite to Conserve Liberty and Securityp. 52
The Sorrow and the Pity of Racial Profilingp. 69
The Chilling of Dissent Post--9/11p. 76
Poem: Self-Evidentp. 79
Part 2 Congressional Commentaries
Selections from House Floor Statementsp. 89
Freedom Versus Security Issuesp. 94
Common Sense, Security, and Freedom: An Interview with Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)p. 97
Our Loss of Civil Liberties in a Post--September 11 Worldp. 105
A Prayer for Americap. 110
Part 3 Aclu Voices
The "Secret" War Against Civil Libertiesp. 119
America: "Land of the Free"?p. 127
Casualties of War: Anti-Terror Hysteriap. 133
The Danger of Remaining Silentp. 143
Matt Groening Cartoonp. 150
Part 4 The Investigators
The Misuse of "Intelligence" in the Name of Securityp. 153
"Patriochialism": September 11 and the Death of Debatep. 164
How the Media Threatens Civil Libertiesp. 171
The Knock at the Doorp. 179
Against a Twenty-First Century Star Chamberp. 183
David Rees Cartoonp. 186
Part 5 Look at It This Way ...
What the Hell Do I Know?p. 191
All I Am Saying is Give War a Chance: The Private Correspondence Between Michael Moore and George W. Bushp. 193
Civil Liberties and Bare Breasts: Me and My John Post-September 11p. 199
An Open Letter to Senator Joseph Lieberman and Lynne Cheneyp. 204
The Politics of Retributionp. 207
Part 6 Detentions and Rights
Is This a Dark Age for Fundamental Legal Protection?p. 215
Human Rights and the Campaign Against Terrorismp. 237
Legalized Cointelprop. 248
Military Tribunalsp. 255
Dehumanization via Indefinite Detentionp. 265
The Ashcroft Raidsp. 280
National and International Court Systems to Fight Terrorp. 286
Human Rights Violations and Discrimination in San Francisco in the Wake of September 11p. 295
Part 7 Personal Testimony
Tale of the Mustafasp. 303
The Weight of a Nationp. 307
Horror at Home: An Innocent's Victim's Storyp. 311
Academic Freedom and Free Speech in the Wake of September 11p. 315
The Return of Xenophobia--An Asian-American Commentaryp. 321
How Muslims Have Been Hurt by Governmental Action Since 9/11p. 331
Racial Profiling in the Pursuit of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S.p. 339
Psychological Loss of Freedom Since the Attacksp. 346
Braving the Storm: American Muslims and 9/11p. 349
A Fear of Flyingp. 352
The Japanese Internment Experiencep. 359