My Beautiful Wickedness

Book Recommendation
August 24, 2007, 8:43 pm
Filed under: citizenship

It’s been a long time since I’ve been so jazzed about a non-fiction political wonk book. Go out and pick up a copy of David Cole and Jules Lobel’s Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (New Press, 2007). Cole and Lobel argue — in a tautly written, direct style — that the focus on prevention (exceptionally intrusive surveillance, preemptive and extra-legal executive action with no legislative or judicial oversight, renditioning and indefinitely incarcerating people deemed state enemies without benefit of trials or hearings, sponsoring torture, and otherwise suspending key aspects of the Constitution and rule of law) is not working, will not work, is isolating the US, and is doing a hell of a lot of harm to our society while contributing to the likelihood of expanded terrorist networks. Unlike many wild-eyed lefties, Cole and Lobel offer a compelling and clear brief for a viable counterterrorism alternative — based on embracing human rights and the rule of law rather than rejecting them as obstacles to success — and offer some practical (even, dare I say, really sensible) proposals. After a day of listening to the talk-radio buzzsaws, this goes down like a cold glass of water on a hot day.

Really. Honest. It’s good. Buy it and when you’re done, give it to your library.


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