In Hell No, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the country’s leading public interest law organization, offers a timely report on government attacks on dissent and protest in the United States, along with a readable and essential guide for activists, teachers, grandmothers, and anyone else who wants to oppose government policies and actions. Hell No explores the current situation of attacks upon and criminalization of dissent and protest, from the surveillance of activists to the disruption of demonstrations, from the labeling of protestors as “terrorists,” to the jailing of those the government claims are giving “material support” to its perceived enemies. Offering detailed, hands-on advice on everything from “Sneak and Peak” searches to “Can the Government Monitor My Text Messages?” and what to do “If an Agent Knocks,” Hell No lays out several key responses that every person should know in order to protect themselves from government surveillance and interference with their rights.
Beginning with a preface by Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a frequent legal commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, Hell No also includes an introduction on the state of dissent today by CCR board chair Michael Ratner and Margaret Ratner Kunstler. Concluding with the controversial 2008 Mukasey FBI Guidelines, which currently regulate the government’s domestic response to dissent, Hell No is an indispensable tool in the effort to give free speech and protest meaning in a post–9/11 world.
Richard E. Morgan emphasizes the importance of guarding against an overreaction to the disclosures of the mid-1970s. While acknowledging the need for many of the recent reforms that seek to establish accountability, guarantee privacy, and protect dissent, he cautions against limitations on domestic intelligence gathering that could seriously hamper government's ability to prevent crime, particularly terrorism.
Domestic Intelligence has several major objectives: to trace the way in which government agencies became involved with domestic intelligence gathering; to review the controversies and abuses associated with these agencies, especially the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA; to discuss the constitutionality of domestic intelligence collection; to review intelligence reforms adopted; and to suggest additional reforms.
This volume is concerned with the tension between the need to protect privacy and political dissent and the need for the government to protect the community. Morgan concludes that intelligence operations aimed at anticipating criminal activity are necessary in a complex, highly vulnerable society, and that these operations can be conducted responsibly with proper guidelines and oversight mechanisms.