Life Inside the Giant Porno-Scanner

By David Swanson

John Whitehead’s “The Freedom Wars: What You Can Do to Preserve Your Rights” came out earlier this year, before airport patdowns alerted so many Americans to the possibility that our government’s post-911 in-security theater might have some flaws in it. This little handbook covers all the concerns that the TSA-as-sexy-news-topic has raised, but in a much broader context. It turns out we’re being stripped in more ways than we can count.

The book is a handy guide to the ways in which we’re moving toward total surveillance, and it does a great job of explaining why that’s a problem — unlike so many arguments that rely on our sentiments about “privacy” to do the thinking for us. The book is also a call to action and a pep-talk for potential activists.

Whitehead celebrates the civil rights movement. His book might not appeal to hardcore racists. But it is a book written for people on the right that will strike some odd notes to leftists. Of course, leftists — just like Presidents — prefer to play on the right’s field, so — in that sense — this is the ideal book for everybody.

While we in the United States have a small government compared to other countries, even when you include our military, Whitehead believes that it is the largeness of our government that threatens our liberties. International government is even more greatly to be feared, including mythical efforts to unite Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

But if you can skip past these few scattered references, you find a great understanding, passionately articulated, and appealing to most Americans of all backgrounds — an understanding of how liberties are threatened and how they can be defended.

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