Reporter Snipes at "General Paranoia" of White House over Terror Threats

Eric Lichtblau talks about his book on the far-left public radio network Pacifica.

Reporter Eric Lichtblau's new book "Bush's Law - The Remaking of American Justice," accuses the Bush administration of lying about its anti-terrorist surveillance programs - programs Lichtblau declares are illegal. Lichtblau, along with Times colleague James Risen, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for theirreporting revealing (despite White House protests)the details of a classified terrorist surveillance program run by the National Security Agency.

Just who is the target audience for Lichtblau's book? Well, his first national interview was April 1 on the far-left Pacifica radio network, on theDemocracy Now!show, hosted by Amy Goodman.

Here he is explaining why he thinks Bush used the war on terror to, in Goodman's summary, "mask the most radical remaking of American justice in generations."

Lichtblau: "Now, what was lacking in that pursuit was really the checks and balances that we've taken for granted in terms of constitutional principles, and that's the story that I try and lay out in the book."


Host Amy Goodman: "In the stories, you expose the spying on, well, groups like the Quakers and the Truth Project, dealing with issues like taking on military recruiters in schools."

Lichtblau: "Right, right. Yeah, it's part of what I describe in that chapter of the book as a - as really just sort of a general paranoia, I think, of anyone who could be considered a threat. And this had really bled down from the highest ranks of the government, that whether it was the person - whether it's the person getting on the plane, whether it's the protester at the corner, whether it's the person at the college campus, if there's any sign that someone could be considered a threat, they have to be treated as a threat - the One Percent Doctrine, Ron Suskind called it, in attributing it to Dick Cheney."

Thursday's Times ran a review of "Bush's Law" by New Republic contributor Jeffrey Rosen, who found it almost perfect, claiming the author "provides an inspiring example of reporters doing what they do best: checking claims of unlimited governmental power and protecting the public's right to know."