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No one needs science fiction to convey the acute reality of John Poindexter’s starring role as Big Brother in the Defense Department’s “Total Information Awareness” project. Of late, even spoof headlines such as “Bill of Rights Pared Down to a Manageable Six” in a recent issue of The Onion have begun to seem plausible. (And with Poindexter hunting terrorists, it shouldn’t take The Onion to tell you that the wascally Fourth Amendment will be among the first to go.) Modern Orwellian nightmares aplenty can be found in the nonfiction pages of It’s a Free Country: Personal Freedom in America After September 11, edited by Danny Goldberg, Victor Goldberg, and Robert Greenwald. Danny Goldberg, Hodan Hassan of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff hold forth on the topic of national security vs. individual freedom in a panel discussion tonight at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Colin Bane)