Glenn Greenwald was not a political man. Not liberal, not
conservative. Politicians were all the same and it didnt matter
which party was in power. Extremists on both ends canceled each
other out, and the United States would essentially remain
forever centrist. Or so he thought.
Then came September 11, 2001. Greenwalds disinterest in politics was replaced by patriotism, and he supported the war in Afghanistan. He also gave President Bush the benefit of the doubt over his decision to invade Iraq. But, as he saw Americans and others being disappeared, jailed and tortured, without charges or legal representation, he began to worry. And when he learned his president had seized the power to spy on American citizens on American soil, without the oversight required by law, he could stand no more. At the heart of these actions, Greenwald saw unprecedented and extremist theories of presidential power, theories that flout the Constitution and make President Bush accountable to no one, and no law.
How Would a Patriot Act? is one mans story of being galvanized into action to defend Americas founding principles, and a reasoned argument for what must be done. Greenwalds penetrating words should inspire a nation to defend the Constitution from a president who secretly bestowed upon himself the powers of a monarch. If we are to remain a constitutional republic, Greenwald writes, we cannot abide radical theories of executive power, which are transforming the very core of our national character, and moving us from democracy toward despotism. This is not hyperbole. This is the crisis all Americansliberals and conservatives--now face.
In the spirit of the colonists who once mustered the strength to denounce a king, Greenwald invites us to consider: How would a patriot act today?
Chapter 1: American Devolution: 9
One Nation, IndivisibleListening InReining in the PresidentsPattern of DeceitUnilateral Actions
Chapter 2: The Power of One: 38
The King and YooMatter of DecreeThe Case of the "Dirty Bomber"Confessions by WaterboardingTortured Legislation
Chapter 3: "What Can't He Do?": 61
The Weight of the LawIn Defense of the President"A Strong, Robust Executive Authority"
Chapter 4: Patriotism Beyond Politics: 72
The Right HooksAll-American BlogosphereRevolutionary WisdomThe Youngstown Decision"Oppressive and Lawless"
Chapter 5: Fear as a Weapon: 93
Be Very AfraidFreedom FightersLife During WartimeMore Safe, Less Free
Chapter 6: Fate of the Union: 107
The Watergate LessonNothing to Hide?Muzzling the MediaAmerica's Choice
Left wing groups are embracing Greenwald as their own and right wing groups accuse him of selling out. However, it really does seem that Greenwald is genuinely non-partisan - he does not criticize Republicans nor, for that matter, praise the Democrats. His focus is simply on an administration that he sees as operating in clear contradiction of, not only America's laws, but also the core values that define America. Whatever your political persuasion, this book is worth a second glance
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (682 words).
Greenwald is a Constitutional
law attorney, and author of the
political blog, "Unclaimed
Territory." He has written for
American Conservative magazine
and appeared on a variety of
television and radio programs,
including C-Span's "Washington
Journal," Air America's
"Majority Report" and Public
Radio International's "To the
Point." His reporting and
analysis have been credited in
The Los Angeles Times, The
Washington Post, Salon, Slate
and a variety of other print and
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