Sunday, February 10, 2008

Life and Liberty

A while back I heard an interview with Andrew Napolitano, a judicial analyst with Fox News. His most recent book, A Nation of Sheep, discusses government excesses in a post-911 world. I poked around the library, but was unable to find that book. I wound up reading Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws, his earlier book.

Napolitano's basic argument is that the US government willingly and happily breaks laws every day in order to enforce them. The book is full of examples ranging from simple criminal cases to post-911 abuses, including the questionable incarcerations of Jose Padilla and Yasir Hamdi. Napolitano's basic theme is that government is not your friend.

This book is an eye-opener, and it's disturbing to see just how bad thing could be even before September 11. Unfortunately, it seemed like Napolitano went out of his way to personally bash Bill Clinton and Janet Reno several times; no surprise given his background and current affiliations.

Still, partisan sniping aside, this is a worthwhile book to read, if for no other reason to see that our government, like any other man-made institution, is just as fallible as any other, and requires supervision and vigilance lest it run amok.

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