ix, 276 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
"Since 9/11, the U.S. government has acted in a variety of ways--some obvious, some nearly invisible--to increase its surveillance and detention power over American citizens and residents. While most of us have made our peace with the various new restrictions on our civil liberties after 9/11, we have done it without really understanding what those restrictions are or the extent of their reach. Moreover, we tend to think that if the national security state overreaches, we shouldn't worry--the courts will come to the rescue and rein it in. In Taking Liberties, Susan Herman explains how this came to be. Beginning in late 2001, the Bush Administration undertook a series of measures, some of which were understandable and valid given the context, to expand federal surveillance authority. Yet as she shows through a series of gripping episodes involving ordinary Americans, they overreached to the point eroding basic constitutional liberties. Herman spells out in vivid detail why all Americans should be worried about the governmental dragnet that has slowly and at times imperceptibly expanded its coverage over the American public. The erosion of civil liberties doesn't just impact immigrants, Americans of Middle Eastern descent, or Guantanamo detainees, but any American who appears to be engaging in provocative political activity. Taking Liberties is a wake-up call for all Americans, who remain largely unaware of the post-9/11 surveillance regime's insidious and continuing growth"-- Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references (pages -262) and index.
Introduction -- Dragnets and watchlists. The webmaster and the football player -- Material support of terrorism -- The football player -- The material support and material witness dragnets -- "Foreign terrorist organizations," humanitarians, and the First Amendment -- The Iranian democrat -- Peacemakers and humanitarians -- Charity at Home -- The campaign against charities -- Collateral damage to freedom of religion and association -- Traveling with terror -- Watching the watchlists -- Security theater? -- The rights of others -- 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 -- Surveillance and secrecy. 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 -- The Patriot Act and library/business records -- American librarians -- Judicial fumbling -- Third party records and the Fourth Amendment -- Reconsidering the "library provision" -- Gagging the librarians -- The Library Connection -- Other librarian tales -- 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 exposes 2007-2010 -- 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?" -- American democracy. Losing our checks and balances : 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 -- Conclusion -- Ordinary Americans -- Restoring balance.