Book Review: The Global War on Morris by Steve Israel

Morris Feldstein just wants to watch the Mets. Or maybe Turner Classic Movies. He doesn’t care about the threat level, the Global War on Terror, or Dick Cheney. Unfortunately, he has become a primary focus of the NSA’s newest security program. In The Global War on Morris, Mr. Feldstein is targeted by the government for various infractions that suggest he is a terrorist. At the same time, a sleeper cell in Miami goes completely unnoticed.

The author, Congressman Steve Israel of New York, does a fantastic job mocking the government and all bureaucracy. Acronyms such as ITACCC (Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Conference Call) and federal agencies (DHS, FBI, CIA, NSA, ATF, CPS, JTTF, OIA and OIC) abound, duplicating work and trying to claim credit. I laugh and then think about crying, wondering if such offices actually exist. The “Department of Commerce/Office of the Undersecretary for Waterways Management/Bureau of Clean Drinking Water/Division of Sewage Infrastructure…”?! The wide cast of characters are also highly entertaining. Cheney wants Homeland Security to increase the number of personnel monitoring a group of protesting Quakers. An FDA supervisor trades employees and equipment all around the government like he is playing fantasy football, just to get closer to apprehending Morris. One of the terrorists thinks he has a hernia (self-diagnosed by WebMD), but doesn’t have permission to see a doctor because he’s just going to blow himself up, so why bother?

This is a funny, easy read about one normal guy who mistakenly ends up under the umbrella of government surveillance. It’s always, “This government does not spy on the American people”, but as we all know…they are watching.