1984: Civil Liberties and the National Security State: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, First and Second Sessions on 1984: Civil Liberties and the National Security State, November 2, 3, 1983 and January 24, April 5, and September 26, 1984 [open pdf - 47MB]
From the opening statement of Robert M. Kastenmeier: "Throughout our Nation's history there has been tension between the first amendment and other governmental interests. Resolution of these competing needs has been a difficult and often stormy process. Frequently, we think in terms of these many conflicts being resolved by the Federal courts. As vital as preservation of that forum is for all of us, the courts are not the only place for dealing with these issues. As Holmes said several decades ago, 'It must be remembered that legislatures are the ultimate guardians of the liberties and welfare of the people in quite the same degree as the courts.' [...] I recite this history to establish that these hearings are part of an historical continuum. The issues we will address today are not partisan in nature. They are part of a diligent oversight of the executive branch. We begin the first 2 days of the series of hearings on '1984: Civil Liberties and the National Security State.' Since George Orwell penned his famous novel of life under 'Big Brother,' the year 1984 has had an ominous sound, threatening to ring in an era in which civil liberties would be crushed under the heels of the State. The very fact that we hold these hearings today is solid evidence that such a world has not yet arrived. But Orwell's '1984' was not intended to be a promise or even a prediction. It was a warning. The coming of the year 1984 thus offers a unique opportunity to examine the state of our civil liberties as well as what the future may hold in the light of Orwell's fears and our own." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Robert M. Kastenmeier, Floyd Abrams, James Bamford, Sissela Bok, David Brinkley, James Carr, John Chancellor, George I. Davida, Michael Goldsmith, Alexander C. Hoffman, Edward Joyce, Kenneth C. Laudon, Mary C. Lawton, Peter C. Magrath, Ralph W. McGehee, Anthony G. Oettinger, Ronald L. Plesser, Frank Press, Herman Schwartz, John Shattuck, Robert E. Smith, George B. Trabow, Stephen H. Unger, Willis H. Ware, and Karl F. Willenbrock.
Serial No. 103
U.S. Dept. of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/