Throwing the Book at Gelernter
Re "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover, but We May Find a Terrorist by What He Reads," Commentary, June 24: Citizens can't participate in government without educating themselves on "sensitive" subjects. To know whether the government's course in the war on terrorism is sane, we must understand the roots of terrorism.
That requires reading up on subjects such as jihad. But if buying a book on jihad can mean a visit from the newly powerful FBI, many won't dare. If you're branded a terrorist and sent to Guantanamo, what recourse would you have these days?
Thus, letting the FBI snoop on what people read will keep citizens from demanding needed changes to the government's course. That will materially hurt the war on terrorism.