Rogue Justice: The Making Of The Security State, by Karen J. Greenburg
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books/Broadway Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
What you get out of this book depends a great deal on your perspective going into it. My own thoughts about this book were less than kind–it is useless as history, but an effective demonstration of the propaganda of the radical left. If you live in a world where Obama is far too conservative, where one finds a greater deal of humanity in traitors and Islamist terrorists than in fairly ordinary neo-Conservative politicians, and where the ACLU is almost the only force for the good aside from liberal judges that exist in our political system, this is your kind of book. As I do not share the leftist fantasy world of the author, I was left with the feeling that the author was essentially unreliable in everything she was saying. She was trying to pass off her own conspiratorial views as being historical truth, and one wondered if she was self-deceived or merely trying to deceive others. I say this as well, it should be noted, as someone who takes a dim view of the surveillance of civilians that is discussed here . The biggest changed of the laws I thought worthwhile after reading this book is a tightening of libel laws, because if the US had the same libel laws as the UK, this author would be paying former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales  a lot of money, and the world would be a more just place if that was the case.
In terms of its contents and structure, this book has between 250 and 300 pages of main text that roughly covers in chronological fashion the period between 2000 and 2016. Despite the apocalyptic tone of much of the author’s discussion of freedom and the rule of law where terrorism is concerned, the author seems to take a decided glee in the way that government efforts at promoting security and defending government agents from prosecution were hampered by an ineffective legal system. She seems to find it somehow unreasonable that people should see the triumph of bureaucratic legalism as a bad thing, and seems to view only radical left-wing political activists as believing in true freedom, which seems baffling. The author, moreover, consistently misapplies labels like conservative to neo-conservatives, and only slightly mentions the more libertarian wing of Republicans and seems not to recognize old fashioned paleo-conservatives at all. The author’s political bias seeps through on nearly every page, and that means that the author’s comments and claims to write about history simply lack any kind of credibility.
In looking at this book, one has to wonder what the point of it was. What led the author to write a book that combines libelous disregard for Republicans, heavy criticism of far too leftist “mainstream” Democrats, and praise only for loony left-wing activists and terrorists, and release it at this point? I will offer my two cents worth here. The author’s praise of terrorists and reliance on the left-wing activism of a good deal of the judicial branch suggests that the author fears that she and others of her ilk will be treated like terrorists in the Trump presidency. These fears appear to be overblown, as the author thinks that a Republican or even fairly “mainstream” or “moderate” Democrat is the prelude to a fascist state. Her desires for people not to live in fear about terrorism are contradicted by her own living in fear about Republicans. Any author who thinks that moderate conservatives are more to fear than Islamist terrorists should seriously reconsider a career as a writer who claims to write nonfiction, as the only nonfiction this book shows is an account of the shadows and delusions of her own head.
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