CASUALTY OF WAR: The Bush Administration's Assault on a Free Press

David Dadge, Author . Prometheus $26 (349p) ISBN 978-1-59102-147-6

Not all of the post-9/11 threats to American democracy come from terrorism, argues International Press Institute editor Dadge, and some of the more profound dangers stem from what he says is the government's tendency to place security concerns before guarantees of liberty. Particularly, Dadge is concerned about the Bush administration's attempts to stifle press freedoms at home and abroad. In this well-documented accounting of what Dadge sees as the White House's knee-jerk response to a free and sometimes critical press, he weaves together some of the disparate statements and actions of the administration into an almost prosecutorial litany of the ways in which both the American and foreign press are less free as a result of what he contends are attempts by the White House to spin, control and influence the flow of information. With analyses of the State Department's strong-arming of the Voice of America after it aired an interview with former Taliban leader Mullah Omar, descriptions of U.S. efforts to tone down Qatar-based news broadcast station Al-Jazeera and looks at more domestic (and successful) efforts to weaken the Freedom of Information Act, the book makes a strong case that the Bush administration has displayed a notable lack of respect for a free press. While at times light on specifics and frustrating in its omission of some highly publicized Bush administration attacks on the press, the book provides a good starting point for a much-needed discussion. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/22/2003
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 350 pages - 978-1-61592-842-2
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