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Abuse of Power: How Cold War Surveillance and Secrecy Policy Shaped the Response to 9/11
by Athan Theoharis
Temple University Press, 2011
eISBN: 978-1-4399-0666-8 | Cloth: 978-1-4399-0664-4 | Paper: 978-1-4399-0665-1
Library of Congress Classification TK7882.E2T47 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 363.32516

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Athan Theoharis, long a respected authority on surveillance and secrecy, established his reputation for meticulous scholarship with his work on the loyalty security program developed under Truman and McCarthy. In Abuse of Power, Theoharis continues his investigation of U.S. government surveillance and historicizes the 9/11 response.

Criticizing the U.S. government's secret activities and policies during periods of "unprecedented crisis," he recounts how presidents and FBI officials exploited concerns about foreign-based internal security threats.

Drawing on information sequestered until recently in FBI records, Theoharis shows how these secret activities in the World War II and Cold War eras expanded FBI surveillance powers and, in the process, eroded civil liberties without substantially advancing legitimate security interests.

Passionately argued, this timely book speaks to the costs and consequences of still-secret post-9/11 surveillance programs and counterintelligence failures. Ultimately, Abuse of Power makes the case that the abusive surveillance policies of the Cold War years were repeated in the government's responses to the September 11 attacks.

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