"...the fact that when the United States forgets that people around the world look to us for leadership and ignore morality and the rule of law, we free others to do the same. Since most countries lack the checks, balances, and freedoms we have, the consequences are far more devastating to human life and freedom elsewhere than they are at home."
As an American, I believe that many of us take our freedoms for granted and actually do trust our government. However, KAFKA COMES TO AMERICA is written by a lawyer involved with mainly two cases that were real and should concern every American.
The first case was for an attorney who happened to have an Egyptian wife and became a Muslim. Imagine his shock when the FBI discovered that his fingerprint matched one retrieved from the bombing of a train station in Madrid,Spain. He was held for nineteen days and fortunately was able to clear his name with the assistance of the author. What I also found amazing with his case was that his fingerprints that were taken when he was part of the military did not match, but the ones from when he was a juvenile did! Why wouldn't the government check both?
Also disturbing in his case was that the government is entitled to a "peek-and-seek" on every one of us who live here. That means that the FBI has the right to search your house, talk to your neighbors, etc... without your knowledge and without a judges warrant thanks to the changes in our laws since 9/11.
The other case involved a Sudanese charity worker who was being held at Guantanamo indefinitely. Why he was arrested was a mystery to his family, friends, his government, and anyone who had any knowledge of him. He had been imprisoned by our government for over five years. No reason was given to his attorney and no evidence ever of his wrongdoing had ever been seen by his attorney. He was just "detained" and tortured for what could have been an indefinite time.
What is most disturbing in KAFKA COMES TO AMERICA is that the incidents that happened, could also happen to each one of us! Our civil liberties have been compromised since 9/11 by what the government can do to us, without a reason.
The inspiring part of KAFKA COMES TO AMERICA is knowing that there are people in the government and lawyers who really defend our freedoms and rights for us. There also are judges who do believe in the Constitution and do understand what is involved when our country is threatened and where the line is crossed when it comes to our rights.
This is not a quick read, but is important to every citizen of this country to know what has actually happened. Yes, we support our country, right or wrong. However, sometimes we are wrong, and we need to be responsible for doing the right thing. Yes, that includes even our leaders in the government, the investigators, and the lawyers.
Yes, the people responsible for 9/11 should be punished. However, where is the line of arresting and detaining for any possible lead and just using common sense? Our rights as Americans and how we are viewed as Americans is important internationally as well as here.
I just wish that if ever I need an attorney, the Steven Wax will be my lawyer. Besides just the humiliation of being incarcerated, his perseverance for justice always came through with each page. Our country needs more people like this.
REVIEWED BY TERI DAVIS
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