Cover image for Homeland security versus constitutional rights
Homeland security versus constitutional rights
Gottfried, Ted.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Twenty-First Century Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Examines both sides of the question: Are we defending our nation against terrorism at the expense of the rights of the individual citizen?
Response to terrorism -- Dealing with terrorism -- The detainees -- Presidential power and the Constitution -- Keeping the vigil -- The POW controversy -- Patriotic critics.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 10.7 5.0 104420.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6432 .G67 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the government has taken extraordinary measures to protect our nation. The USA PATRIOT ACT became law, and President Bush issued an executive order authorizing the use of military tribunals in place of civilian courts to try suspected terrorists. While U.S. citizens all agree that new methods are necessary to protect the general population from terrorist acts, there is growing concern over their constitutionality. Their chief defender, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says "Foreign terrorists who commit war crimes against the U.S...are not entitled to and do not deserve the protections of the American Constitution." But there is strong argument against today's antiterrorist measures from both the left and the right. The New York Times chastised Ashcroft, pointing out that "it is vital that the United States be seen as acting in accord with human rights principles." Ordinary citizens are split between feeling that the rights of citizens do not extend to everyone who happens to enter our country, and a fear that we are in the process of undermining the very values and principles on which our nation was established. In this carefully researched text, author Gottfried offers young adults access to both sides of the debate. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Ted Gottfried is the author of more than fifty books, both fiction and nonfiction. A founding member of the National Writers Union, Mr. Gottfried has taught writing at New York University, Baruch College, and other institutions. He is married and lives in New York City

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 8-12. In this time of increased terrorism, how can we balance civil liberties with the risk to American lives and property? Is criticism of the president unpatriotic? Can torture ever be morally justified? Beginning with a detailed account of the 9/11 attack and its aftermath, Gottfried addresses these questions as he discusses the recent history of American war and defense, including the controversial Patriot Act. One chapter looks at presidential power and the Constitution through history, including Roosevelt's internment of theapanese. Other chapters discuss the treatment of detainees and immigrants now. Government views on safety versus. legalisms get a lot of space, as does criticism of the ACLU and others. Gottfried's style is sometimes turgid, and, of course, any book on homeland security is already partly out of date. But this is still a worthwhile overview that can serve as a starting place for discussion on the Constitution, especially when used in conjunction with Russell Freedman's stellar In Defense of Liberty BKL Oct 15 03. Chapter notes, a glossary, and a bibliography are appended. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2003 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Gottfried deals with the potentially explosive topic of Constitutional rights and whether or not they are violated by the added security measures deemed necessary by our government to prevent further terrorist attacks. The author references news stories heard throughout the conflict with Afghanistan and the war with Iraq, such as the treatment of POWs at Guantanamo Bay, the USA PATRIOT Act, as well as the sometimes frustrating terror code warnings issued by the government that affect the way Americans travel and live. Gottfried covers all sides of each issue, providing facts that allow readers to draw their own conclusions. Human-interest stories are included, describing the unjustified arrest of many young men of Arab descent following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Direct quotes and black-and-white photos add an additional element of human interest. The final chapter explores the idea of criticizing the government and the president as being unpatriotic as well as the conflict in Congress over President Bush's decision to go to war. The book offers more in-depth information than most students receive from newspapers or television, giving opposing viewpoints in a logical, nonthreatening manner.-Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Response to Terrorismp. 9
Chapter 2 Dealing With Terrorismp. 22
Chapter 3 The Detaineesp. 37
Chapter 4 Presidential Power and the Constitutionp. 55
Chapter 5 Keeping the Vigilp. 66
Chapter 6 The POW Controversyp. 78
Chapter 7 Patriotic Criticsp. 91
Chronologyp. 105
Glossaryp. 108
For More Informationp. 113
Source Notesp. 115
Indexp. 124