In 2003, when PublicAffairs and The Century Foundation published an essay collection called The War on Our Freedoms, there was the possibility and the hope that the risks to our liberties would be temporary—a brief era of reaction to already terrible events arising in the wake of 9/11. Today, we understand that the changes set in motion five years ago have broadened as the struggle against terrorism continues.
In this sequel, experts and activists including Alan Brinkley and Joseph Lelyveld, legal scholars Kathleen Sullivan and Stephen Schulhofer, and former government officials John Podesta and Bill Bradley report on the diverse actions, taken in the name of security, that will serve to undermine American liberties, and explain why the consequences of these actions are ultimately counterproductive in preventing future terrorism.
Today, we clearly see a disturbing pattern of undermining the judiciary, intimidating the press, and invading personal privacy. At the same time, government actions have fueled hostility to America in the world at large and in Islamic communities in particular. The terrorists threaten our liberty, but they are not the only ones.