In writing Rogue Justice, The Making of the Security State, author Karen J. Greenberg has created an insightful, and telling account of how dangerously close America came to losing many of the freedoms afforded to us in the Bill of Rights following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is certainly accurate about Rouge Justice when he explained that the book is “a must read for anyone who cares about the constitution”.
Rogue Justice is an amazing tale of the legal workings that took place following the aftermath of 9/11 and how attorneys from both sides of the fight of security versus constitutional rights engaged the US court system, often outside public limelight and in secret, to pursue their side’s cause. Rogue Justice puts the conflict between national security and civil liberties in a post 9/11 world front and center, and gives a devastating account of the Bush Administration’s dilution of citizen’s rights and liberties in favor of national security, all the while strengthening the office of the president to usurp the constitution in order to detain U.S. Citizens indefinitely, torture people in the name of national security, and conduct wholesale, dragnet surveillance on citizens of the United States.
Greenburg is the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law, and she has written an extremely well researched book comprised of hundreds of interviews, hearing, trials, and input from many lawyers, experts, and journalists.
It’s quite likely, when reading Rogue Justice, that you will find yourself asking: How can the government expect to fight terrorism by conforming to the thought process that extraditions, torture, indefinite detention, elimination of wiretapping warrants, and even targeting killings will not exacerbate the problem? There are many in the US that believe that in order to secure the nation, we must put aside certain rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution in order to battle terrorism, but this seems like a backward logic. When we engage terrorism in its many forms, are we not fighting to protect these exact principals of freedom that protect us from these violations? The words of the great American Benjamin Franklin come to mind, who said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”
It’s interesting to think about the implications of Rogue Justice being published in 2012 versus 2016, and we’re left to imagine the potential outrage of the public in general had they known the secret maneuvering of the FBI, CIA, the Attorney General, the NSA, and countless lawyers in the Department of Justice. While you must read Rogue Justice to get the full effect, it is our prediction that you walk away from the book more leery of government activity, more grateful of your civil liberties, and hopefully appreciative of all the lawyers and activities, defense attorneys, and even Edward Snowden for acting in a way that sought to protect your rights from a government that would dilute them in order to pursue its agenda against terrorists.