CUNY Author’s Profile Subject Rips FBI Surveillance Practices in Latest Column

Celebrated writer Nate Hentoff calls out the FBI in his latest column for the conservative web site World Net Daily.

The staunch Libertarian and subject of CUNY author David L. Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Nat Hentoff’s Life in Journalism, Jazz and the First Amendment,” accuses the FBI of increasingly trampling on citizens’ rights under Presidents Bush and Obama.

“If James Madison and Thomas Jefferson could see this shredding of the Bill of Rights, they might be leading another American Revolution,” he writes.

Hentoff focused his criticism on the law enforcement agency’s expanded the attorney general guidelines for domestic operations, which were first implemented under President Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey, but remained under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

He likened the policy’s phone surveillance and record retention practices to the methods implemented by FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover during the Red Scare of the 1950s and ‘60s.

“The FBI is ‘authorized and encouraged’ to identify and recruit informants, even if the activities to be investigated are totally lawful,” Hentoff writes, citing a quote from Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Michael Ratner, co-authors of “Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in 21st-Century America.”

“[The FBI’s] Mukasey guidelines dispense with the Privacy Act restrictions on keeping records about United States citizens and permanent residents, flatly stating that all activities authorized by the guidelines are exempt from the Privacy Act.”

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Hentoff has never held back in his defense of his Libertarian ideals and what he perceives as the federal government’s unending assault on the Bill of Rights.

David Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step,” profiles the former Village Voice reporter like never before with extensive interviews with Hentoff himself, his allies and rivals, and his unique career in American journalism and activism.

For more on the book, click here.