Monday, July 11, 2011

The Fear Within - Scott Martelle

Excellent study of a complicated period of American life. After World War II the fear of Soviet style communism caused our citizens to urge measures of extraordinary security to protect our nation. In doing so our Constitution's First Amendment was trampled by American politicians and court systems.

President Truman and his feud with J.Edgar Hoover contributed to the increasing concern. The Chief Justice, Fred Vinson, led the Supreme Court to erroneously override the First Amendment by reducing the freedom of individuals and increasing the power of government.

Sen. Joe McCarthy raised the level of discontent and increased public fear that communists had already invaded American businesses, universities, and union organizations. He claimed, without adequate substantiation, that they were aggressively working to overthrow the American government.

Eisenhower took over from Truman, Fred Vinson died, and Earl Warren became Chief Justice. Warren saw the danger of the assault on the First Amendment and led the Supreme Court in an effort to reverse the damage.

The author of this book, Scott Martelle, calls attention to the similarities between the post war legislation against the First Amendment and the more recent Patriot Act. They both reduced citizen freedoms and increase governments ability to fight the aggressive attacks on America by fanatic Muslim terrorists.

The author is clearly not a fan of the Patriot Act.

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