Home > Resources > U.S. Government > Attack on Civil Liberties

Attack on Civil Liberties

(see also Homeland Security, FBI , McCarthyism, Internet Activism & Defending Civil Liberties)

On the Web  •  In the Library  •  CD & Audio  •  Film & Video Search


On the Web: Articles

A Chill Wind is Blowing in this Nation. Tim Robbins, speech to National Press Club (4/15/03).

Patriot II: The Sequel. Why It's Even Scarier than the First Patriot Act. Anita Ramasastry, FindLaw's Writ (2/17/03).

A Year of Loss: Reexamining Civil Liberties since September 11, 2001. Lawyers' Committee on Human Rights (9/5/02).

Talkin' About the F-Word (Redux), Bernard Weiner, Counterpunch (6/25/02). Author revisits his 12/01 predictions regarding Bush/Ashcroft assault on civil liberties.

Will the War on Terrorism Follow the Path of the Cold War?, Jo Freeman,Counterpunch (6/24/02). As in Cold War, war on terror used to justify erosion of civil liberties.

IG Classifies Reports: Security Concerns Force House to Limit Access to Documents, Lauren W. Whittington, Roll Call (3/25/02). People more willing to go along with secrecy, & reluctant to take on security officials.

Four months later, no regrets for writing against U.S. policy, Robert Jensen, Houston Chronicle (3/7/02). Why aren't professors more willing to debate issues raised by 9/11 attacks?

Mike's Message: Farenheit 911. Michael Moore, (2/5/02)
On how his best-selling Stupid White Men almost didn't get published.

Tattletales for an Open Society, Martin J. Sherwin, Nation (1/21/02). Response to ACTA’s attack on academic freedom.

The Silence on Terrorism, Michelle Chihara, Alternet (12/26/01). In times of crisis, free speech given only lip service & dissenters silenced.

The End of the Enlightenment, George Monbiot, Guardian (12/18/01). 'Full spectrum dominance' moves into civil realm.

Who Opposes the War, Carl G. Estabrook, Counterpunch (12/17/01). Critics of war not proven wrong by apparent success in Afghanistan, & won't go away.

Police Are Split on Questioning of Mideast Men, Fox Butterfield, NY Times (11/22/01). Some police see racial profiling in Ashcroft plan to interview Middle Eastern residents; others see no problem.

Assault on Liberty, Alan M. Dershowitz, Village Voice (11/21/01). Criticism of Bush plan for military tribunals.

Waking Up in Another Country, Not Our Own, Paul Coggins, (11/21/01). Denounces unlimited detention of foreigners: too easy to deny rights of non-citizens.

FBI Pushes Telcos to Ease Monitoring, Jess Bravin and Dennis Berman,Wall Street Journal (11/21/01). Industry suspects FBI wants 'Carnivore'-like access to voice communications, costing over $1 billion & years to implement.

In War It's Power to the President, Dana Milbank, Washington Post (11/20/01). Bush consolidates authority in executive branch to degree unseen since Nixon, avoids Congressional oversight; but Americans don't seem alarmed.

Dispensing with Justice: Rigged Trials No Way to Deal with Suspected Terrorists, Jacob Sullum, (11/20/01). Analyzes reasons for and objections to military tribunals.

Just Kidding? Hoaxers who use false threats of anthrax attacks to spread panic and fear should be treated like the terrorists they are, Jonathan Turley, (11/19/01). Examples of anthrax hoaxes, call for "model" legislation to standardize punishments.

Case Closed, John Gerstein, (11/19/01). Within days of 9/11, US chief immigration judge restricted information regarding cases government says "might" be related to terrorism. This handicaps both defendants & attorneys.

Lynne Cheney's Campus Crusade: Second Lady's ACTA launches campaign against 'Blame America First' academics, Bill Berkowitz, (11/19/01). ACTA report & new (conservative) Florida model for higher education.

Terrorism and Freedom: Alarm bells should be ringing at the recent actions of the British and American governments
, Economist (11/15/01). 'Anti-terrorism' measures unnecessary to track terrorists & threaten civil liberties

US More Tightlipped Since September 11th, Deb Reichman, (11/15/01). Tightening of gov't secrecy, evident already before 9/11, jeopardizes civil liberties & public's right to know.

USA Patriot Act Could Cause Big Problems for Nonprofits. OMB Watch (11/14/01).

Pentagon Fires on Critical Scientist, Brandan Koerner, Village Voice, (11/14/01). MIT prof Theodore Postol debunks weapons systems; government seeks to silence him & MIT president's support is weak.

Conservatives Denounce Dissent, Patrick Healy, (11/13/01)
Responses to "Defending Civilization" report from some academics named in it.

Why should we care, it's only the Constitution: Terrorizing the Bill of Rights, Nat Hentoff (11/9/01). Critical view of process by which so-called anti-terrorism bill was passed.

Letter to John Ashcroft about civil liberties after the Anti-Terrorism Act, Sen. Patrick Leahy (11/9/01). Objects to use of "USA-PATRIOT" bill to monitor attorney-client communications.

Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done about It, Jerry Martin & Anne D. Neal (11/01). A new McCarthyism? Report cites teach-in statements by professors critical of government's plans for war on terrorism, charging sedition.

The Long War: Bush's Crusade Has No End in Sight, Doug Ireland, In These Times (10/29/01). Eliminating terrorism a law & order issue, not a military one; cites dangers in Bush war plan & its effects on US.

College faculty, staff find chilling new climate for free speech on campus, Arlene Levinson, SF Gate (10/12/01). Specific examples of actions taken against individuals for expressing political opinions.

Fear Must Not Trump Wisdom in the New Cold War
, Paul McGeough, Sydney Morning Herald (10/11/01). Useful lessons from Cold War to apply to war against terrorism

Databases and Security vs. Privacy, Heather Green, Business Week (10/8/01). Argument over national ID cards a red herring; government can compile info from existing databases.

US Ties Hijackers' Money to Al Qaeda, Dan Eggen & Kathleen Day, Wash Post (10/7/01). Proposed anti-civil liberties bill(s) will increase info available to government agencies, won't improve analysis. Agencies overwhelmed already, & ignore much critical info.

Bush Wants to Use Terrorism Panel in Criminal Probes, William Carlsen, San Francisco Chronicle, (10/6/01). Expansion of FISA court under proposed laws; concerns about how it would work.

War Against an Undefined Term: What is a Terrorist Anyway?, Michael Kinsley, (10/5/01). Difficulty in defining this term in a way that protects civil liberties & prevents creation of police state. Definition in current bill too broad.

You're in the Hole: A Crackdown on Dissident Prisoners, Anne-Marie Cusac, Progressive (10/01). Treatment of political prisoners in aftermath of September 11, 2001.

Danger in the New Solemnity, Mark Crispin Miller, Chronicle of Higher Education (9/28/01). Different ways debate on US policies can be shut down.

Balancing Rights and Public Safety, Amitai Etzioni, Chronicle of Higher Education (9/28/01). Calls for carefully crafted balance between rights and public safety.

When the Ayes Have It, Is There Room for Naysayers? Tim Rutten & Lynn Smith, LA Times (9/18/01). Commentators discuss climate for dissent in post-9/11 America.

A Time for Peace, Not Retaliation, Elijah Wald, TomPaine (9/11/01). Tougher security measures won't prevent future terrorist acts; only peaceful policies will.

Legal Controversy and the FBI's 'Carnivore' Program, Margaret Smith Kubiszyn (12/00). Describes 'Carnivore' and details objections to it.

President Wants Senate to Hurry With New Anti-Terrorism Laws, n.a. (7/30/96). When civil liberties are at stake, there's never time to discuss them.

On the Web: Specialized Sites

American Civil Liberties Union.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

Campus Watch.

Center for Constitutional Rights.

Freedom Forum

FOI Advocate (National Freedom of Information Coalition newsletter).

USA Patriot Act (full text).

In the Library: Articles

Anon. "Domestic violence," Nation (12/3/01). Brief summary of post-9/11 curtailments.

Anon. "Speech & power. Is First Amendment absolutism obsolete?" Nation (7/21/97):11-19. Forum.

Bader, Eleanor J. "Thought police: big brother may be watching what you read," In These Times (11/25/02):3.

Baker, Kevin. "We're in the army now," Harper's (10/03):35-46. GOP's plan to spread military culture.

Cole, David. "Blind sweeps return," Nation (1/13/03):5.

Cole, David. "Lawyers keep out," Nation (4/21/03):4-5. On coercive interrogation (torture?) & the denial of access to counsel.

Corn, David. "The fundamental John Ashcroft," Mother Jones (3-4/02):39-43, 88.

Cusac, Anne-Marie. "No lawyers beyond this point: immigration authorities bar the door," Progressive (5/03):29-31.

__________. “Ill-treatment on our shores,” Progressive (3/24/02):24-28.

De Grazia, Edward. "Judicial restraint [rev. of Rabban, Free Speech]," Nation (7/9/98).

Dörmann, Knut. "The legal situation of unawful/unprivileged combatants," International Review of the Red Cross 84, 849 (3/03).

Dreyfuss, Robert. "The watchful & the wary," Mother Jones (7-8/03):57-61.

Dworkin, Ronald. "Terror & the attack on civil liberties," NY Review (11/6/03).

Foner, Eric. "American freedom in a global age," Amer Historical Review 106,1 (feb 2001):1-16.

Gilbert, Ronnie. "The FBI knocks again," Progressive (11/01):39-40.

Glenn, David. "The war on campus. Will academic freedom survive?" Nation (12/3/01):11-14.

Harvey, Miles. “The bad guy,” Mother Jones (3-4/03):32-35.

Hentoff, Nat. "Why should we care? It’s only the Constitution," Progressive (12/01):24-7.

__________. "Say hello to the eye that never sleeps," Santa Cruz Sentinel (12/5/02). Data base on citizens being created at Defense Department's Information Awareness Office under convicted perjurer John Poindexter, may be "most sweeping threat to civil liberties since the Japanese-American internment."

__________. "Can Bush be trusted with the Constitution?" Santa Cruz Sentinel (8/13/03): A9.

__________. “The imperial attorney general,”Progressive (5/03):18

__________. "Will Hatch hold back the sunset?," Progressive (6/03):18.

__________. "War on the Bill of Rights," In These Times (9/29/03):23-25.

__________. "Do-It-yourself-subpoenas," Progressive (11/03):11-12.

Hunter, Jane. "Critics call Clinton's ban on funding to Middle East groups biased, illegal," (2/10/95):7-8. National Catholic Reporter (2/10/95):7-8.

__________. "Critics say house bill will gut 4th amendment," Nation (3/10/95).

__________. "Anti-terrorism order worries Muslims," Nation (3/31/95).

Lapham, Lewis. "Regime change," Harper's (2/03):7-9.

Lelyveld, Joseph. "In Guantánamo," NY Review of Books (11/7/02).

Lichtblau, Eric. "Patriot Act used broadly, US says," San Jose Mercury News (9/28/03):10A.

Linderoff, Dave. "The no-fly list," In These Times (9/23/02):11-13. Federal agency may harass travelers for their political beliefs.

Lovato, Roberto. "Big liberty is watching," In These Times (6/21/03):20-22. A century after Orwell's birth, reality overtakes his classic.

Mayer, Jane. “Lost in the jihad,” New Yorker (3/10/03):50-59.

McCaffrey, Shannon. "Gore blasts Patriot Act," San Jose Mercury (11/10/03):3A.

Jones, David. "What's your 'Risk Score'?" In These Times (6/23/03): 17-19. A profiling system for air travelers is just around the corner.

Olson, Matt. "Guilt by association," In These Times (7/7/03):20-22.

Raven, Francis & Carolyn Kousky. "Name Game: defense department renames Total Information Awareness, does little else," In These Times (7/7/03). Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) the brainchild of John Poindexter, seeks to 'mine' vast amounts of data on U.S. citizens.

Richey, Warren & Linda Feldmann. “Has post-9/11 dragnet gone too far?,” Christian Science Monitor (9/12/03):12-13.

Ross, John. "A Mexican data grab," Progressive (10/03):30-31. US information giant Choice-Point acquires data on millions of Latin Americans.

Rothschild, Matthew. "The no fly list," Progressive (6/02):20-22. On arbitrary detentions of peace activists at airports.

__________. "Enforced conformity," Progressive (7/03):19-23. War vs. free speech.

Rutten, Tim & Lynn Smith. "The U.S. climate is chilly these days for those who practice political dissent," LA Times (9/18/01).

Scher, Abby. "Lockdown: Amnesty International targets INS for treatment of 9/11 detainees," In These Times (4/29/02):3

Schmidt, Richard B. "Former justice officals question anti-terror law," San Jose Mercury (11/30/03).

Singel, Ryan. "Candid Camera: smile, the cops are watching," In These Times (4/14/03):3-4.

Solomon, Alisa. "The big chill," Nation (6/2/03):17-22. "Arrest for AntiBush protesters...Is this the new McCarthyism?"

Vidal, Gore. "Shredding the Bill of Rights," Vanity Fair (11/98).

Williams, Patricia J. “Loose lips and other slips,” Nation (3/17/03):10.

Wolin, Sheldon. "Inverted totalitarianism," Nation (5/19/03):13-15. How Bush regime is affecting transformation towards quasi-fascism.

In the Library: Non-Fiction Books

Belfrage, Cedric. American Inquisition, 1945-1960 (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973).

Belfrage, Sally. Un-American Activities: A Memoir of the Fifties (NY: Harper Collins, 1994).

Bovard, James. Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (NY: St. Martin's, 1994).

__________. Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State & the Demise of the Citizen (NY: St. Martin's, 1999).

Brasch, Walter. America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional & Civil Rights (NY: Peter Lang, 2005).

Brown, Cynthia. Lost Liberties: Ashcroft & the Assault on Personal Freedom (NY: New Press, 2003)

Chang, Nancy. Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties (NY: Seven Stories, 2002).

Cole, David & James X. Dempsey. Terrorism & the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security (NY: New Press, 2003).

Cowan, Paul; Nick Eagleson & Nat Hentoff. State Secrets: Police Surveillance in America (NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1974).

Curry, Richard Orr. An Uncertain Future: Thought Control & Repression during the Reagan-Bush Era (Los Angeles: First Amendment Foundation, 1992).

Delgado, Richard & Jean Stefancic. Must We Defend Nazis? Hate Speech, Pornography, & the New First Amendment (NY: NYU, 1997).

Dempsey, James X. & David Cole. Terrorism & the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security (Los Angeles: First Amendment Foundation, 1999).

Denvir, John. Democracy’s Constitution: Claiming the Privileges of American Citizenship (Champaign/Urbana: U. of Illinois, 2001).

Grant, Robert. American Ethics & the Virtuous Citizen (Washington: Humanist Press, 1999).

Giroux, Henry A. Public Spaces, Private Lives: Democracy Beyond 9/11 (NY: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).

Greenberg, Karen J. (ed.) The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (NY: Cambridge, 2005). Documents conscious post-9/11 abandonment by US government officials of international human rights standards regarding torture.

Hentoff, Nat. Living the Bill of Rights. How to Be an Authentic American (NY: Harper Collins, 1998).

Heymann, Philip B. Terrorism, Freedom & Security: Winning Without War (Cambridge MA: MIT, 2003).

Hoyt, Edwin P. The Palmer Raids, 1919-1920: An Attempt to Suppress Dissent (NY: Seabury, 1969).

Irons, Peter (ed.) May It Please the Court: The First Amendment. Transcripts of the Oral Arguments Made Before the Supreme Court in Sixteen First Amendment Cases (NY: New Press, 1997).

James, Joy (ed.) Imprisoned Intellectuals: America’s Political Prisoners Write on Life,
Liberation & Rebellion
(NY: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).

Jensen, Joan. Army Surveillance in America, 1775-1980 (New Haven: Yale, 1991).

Kolbert, Kathryn with Zak Mettger. Justice Talking: Censoring the Web (NY: New Press, 2001).

Kopel, David B. & Paul H. Blackman. No More Wacos: What's Wrong with Federal Law Enforcement & How to Fix It (Amherst NY: Prometheus, 1997).

Leone, Richard C. & Greg Anrig J (eds.) The War on Our Freedoms: Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism (NY: PublicAffairs, 2003).

O’Neil, Robert M. The First Amendment & Civil Liability (Bloomington: Indiana U., 2001).

Parenti, Christian. The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America, from Slave Passes to the War on Terror (NY: Basic Books, 2003).

Pitt, William Rivers. The Greatest Sedition is Silence: Four Years in America (Sterling VA: Pluto, 2003).

Rabban, David M. Free Speech in its Forgotten Years (NY: Cambridge, 1997). Political & judicial struggles to define & implement the right of free expression in the early 20th c. US.

Schulhofer, Stephen J. The Enemy Within: Intelligence Gathering, Law Enforcement, & Civil Liberties in the Wake of September 11 (NY: Century Foundation, 2003).

Schulz, William. Tainted Legacy: 9/11 & the Ruins of Human Rights (NY: Thunder's Mouth, 2003).

Schultz, Bud & Ruth Schultz. It did Happen Here: Recollections of Political Repression in America (Berkeley: U. California, 1989).

__________. The Price of Dissent. Testimonies to Political Repression in America (Berkeley: U. California, 2001).

Sidel, Mark. More Secure, Less Free? Antiterrorism Policy & Civil Liberties after September 11 (Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan, 2004).

Stone, Geoffrey. Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (NY: Norton, 2004).

Vidal, Gore. Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace (NY: Thunder's Mouth, 2002).

In the Library: Fiction

In the Library: For Young Readers

In the Library: Poetry

In the Library: Drama

In the Library: Photography

CD & Audio

Film & Video

"Other American Voices" [2002], dir. Corinna Belz & Neil Hollander, 52m. From First Run/Icarus. Noam Chomsky, Richard Deats, Katrina van den Heuvel, Amy Goodman, Asif Ulla & others on US & civil liberties since 9/11.

"Strip Search" [2004], dir. Sidney Lumet, 120m.

Monterey Bay Educators Against War
Last modified May 28, 2009 editor@mbeaw.org Help build this page
Home | Resources | Suggested Actions | Members' Writings | About MBEAW | Search