The book starts strong and finishes strong. The use of statistics and various studies is common throughout the book to make the authors’ points more clear The book cites that as of Feb 2005, the FBI has yet to identify a single al-Qaeda sleeper cell; they cite 400 terror cases, most of which are credit fraud, immigration fraud, or lying to an FBI agent. P 10
It is all the more critical that we develop close positive ties with Arab and Muslim communities here and abroad. We need their eyes and ears if we are going to find the small number of persons actually planning to use violence against us. P 14
Out of the 90,000 Muslims and Arab nationals asked to register with the special registration program, not a single person has been tried for terrorist activates. 160 people were rendered p 25 various story, Arar and khaled el-masri
P 35 the loophole, the bush administration used is that by ratifying CAT, they will not torture in the United States, or they will not torture American citizens, but they free to torture other non-Americans or torture outside the States. That was AG view on the matter, senator McCain and others worked to close the gap in denying foreign nationals the prevention from “cruel, inhumane, and degrading Treatment.” Since in these admin interpretations, the US constitution does not extend to foreign nationals.
The book also exposes the how the US President should not be above the law even during war time. The book cites a number of examples where presidents have abused their power. Nixon, and wire taps, President Truman’s seizure of a steel mill during the Korean War. However, the only president that approaches the authority President Bush has is Nixon, quoted saying “When the President does it, it is not illegal” However, President Bush made one modification, “when the Commander in Chief does it, it’s not illegal” p.63
The book exposes how the Bush preemptive strike is only used against the weakest of target. However, such principle cane lead to dangerous outcomes, what if other nations such as India and Pakistan used it, Iran and Israeli, Taiwan and China, all in their own minds justified to use this principle. The book authors call on the United States to maintain a relation of trust with the Arab and Muslims communities in the states instead of targeting an entire community, a policy that will only alienate Arabs and Muslims in America and make them not come forward with and information that might be useful. This administration’s zero-tolerance approach is making the US less free and less safe.
The book also cites two separate studies, an Israeli study found out that most of the foreign fighters in Iraq are new jihadist and not veteran of terrorism which goes to prove that the Bush argument that “we fight them there, so we do not have to fight them here” false. Another Saudi study, profiled foreign fighters in Iraq, only to find out that these fighters have been radicalized as a result of the Iraq war.
However, the book cites on page 199-200, Israel Supreme Court ruling on torture to be more morale type of torture and coercive action, which in away contradicts Israel’s declared policies on torture and their refusal to sign on anti torture conventions. If Israel a moral authority in coercive force, then the US must be in deep trouble
The book proposed a four part “alternative preventative strategy”
1. Erect safeguards that reduce the likelihood of future harm without controversial policies.
2. Reshape the US foreign policy to address the root causes rather than the symptoms
3. US should eschew unilateral assertions of power formulate alternative strategies.
4. When coercive force is necessary, US should treat the rule of law as an asset and not as an obstacle.
I found the book to be informative and detailed in its account of events and policies shaped as a result of 9/11. Written by two of the US most decorated constitutional scholars conclude great irony in the obvious compromise of civil liberties that are making the US less free and the failed policies of this administration in the war on terror that is making the US less safe and vulnerable to more attacks and bad PR around the world.