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How Would a Patriot Act?by Glenn Greenwald
Synopses & Reviews
Glenn Greenwald was not a political man. Not liberal, not conservative. Politicians were all the same and it didn't 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. Greenwald's 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 man's story of being galvanized into action to defend America's founding principles, and a reasoned argument for what must be done. Greenwald's 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 Americans — liberals 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?
"Glenn Greenwald has assembled a devastating bill of particulars against the Bush and Cheney administration's insistence on operating outside the rule of law. Greenwald has gathered solid information and marshaled a litany of abuses of power that make Richard Nixon's imperial presidency look timid. All thinking Americans must answer How Would A Patriot Act?> this coming election, and those who ignore what Greenwald has to say act at our collective peril." John W. Dean, former Nixon White House counsel and author of Conservatives Without Conscience
"All citizens, regardless of political party, should be concerned by the issues he raises. Well worth the time to read." Joseph Wilson, Former U.S. ambassador author of The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity
"Often reducing complex legal issues into language anyone can understand, Glenn shows why he's one of the smartest and most important new voices to emerge in politics in years." Markos Moulitsas, Founder of Daily Kos and co-author of Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots and the Rise of People-Powered Politics
"No matter your political persuasion, this book is a must-read for all Americans who believe the Constitution must remain the law of this land — and a refreshing reminder that there is more than one way to be an American patriot." Arianna Huffington, Editor, Huffington Post
Glenn Greenwald was not a political man — neither liberal nor conservative. To him, the U.S. was generally on track and would remain forever centrist. But all that has changed.
Over the past five years, a creeping extremism has taken hold of our federal government, which threatens to alter our system of governing ourselves and our national character. This extremism is neither liberal nor conservative, but is driven by the Bush administration's radical theories of executive power. Greenwald writes that we cannot abide these unlimited and unchecked presidential powers if we are to remain a constitutional republic. Because when you answer to no one, you're not a president — you're a despot.
This is one man's story of being galvanized into action to defend his country, and his concise and penetrating analysis of what is at stake for America when its president has secretly bestowed upon himself the powers of a king.
From 9/11 to the question of nuclear war in Iran, Greenwald shows how Bush's claims of unlimited power play out. In the spirit of the colonists who once mustered the strength to denounce a king, Greenwald asks: how would a patriot act today?
About the Author
Glenn Greenwald is a Constitutional law attorney, and author of the political blog, "Unclaimed Territory." Greenwald 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 online publications.
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