Hayduke Lives!

It is difficult sometimes to remember the days before September 11, 2001, when George W. Bush was a decidedly ordinary President whose anemic victory the previous fall had required a month’s worth of recounts and court decisions to confirm.  After the terrorist attacks, President Bush’s approval rating soared, and his administration sought and received vast new powers with which to confront the terrorist threat.  While September 11 was portrayed as the start of a new era, it was, in fact, only the latest episode in the United States’ entanglement with the Islamic world, going back at least to the Iranian hostage crisis during the Carter administration.  James Bovard, a libertarian journalist, has now weighed in on President Bush’s response to the attacks with Terrorism & Tyranny.  Bovard is independent of the dominant teams in American politics.  His last book, Feeling Your Pain, was as critical of Bill Clinton as his current one is of George W. Bush.  The value of the new book lies in Bovard’s attention to detail.  Each chapter is devoted to a particular topic, and Bovard piles example upon example upon example, until he drives his point home.

While most of Terrorism & Tyranny deals with the Bush administration, it looks back briefly to the American response to terror starting in the early 1980’s.  One...

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