Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Hitler’s Tribunals

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After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government came up with the idea of instituting military tribunals for trying suspected terrorists as a possible alternative to prosecuting them under the U.S. Code in regular federal courts. Since then, some terrorist suspects have been accorded the federal court route, others have been accorded the tribunal route, and at least one ...

Totalitarian Show Trials

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If there is anything good about the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, it is that the American people will get to see how trials are conducted in totalitarian countries. One thing is for sure: The procedural protections found in the Bill of Rights that are employed in our federal court system here at home are nowhere to be found ...

It’s Again Time to Dismantle the Cold War Military Machine

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In 1989, when the Soviet Union dismantled, the American people had a grand opportunity, one in which they could have dismantled the massive national-security state apparatus that had come into existence at the end of World War II for the purpose of confronting America’s wartime ally and partner, the Soviet Union. Instead, the U.S. national-security state sought out ways ...

Resembling the Pinochet Regime

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Let’s assume that an American critic of U.S. foreign policy goes abroad and travels around the Middle East delivering a series of lectures, speeches, and articles attacking the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. He refuses to support the troops, saying that when people are engaged in wrongdoing, regardless of their particular occupation, they should not be ...

The Military’s Exalted Position in American Life

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The Ninth Circuit’s decision holding John Yoo immune from liability in Jose Padilla’s lawsuit against him pretty much confirms what I recently wrote about the exalted position that the U.S. military and the CIA hold in American society. See here and here. The Court confirmed that when the cops are dealing with a criminal defendant, they are prohibited ...

Conservatives Are Socialists Too

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Conservatives are having a heyday calling President Obama a socialist. What they block out of their minds is that by their own measure, they are socialists too. In its purest sense, socialism refers to a situation in which the state owns all the means of production. Obviously, Obama doesn’t favor doing that. Thus, when conservatives call him a socialist, they ...

Obama Is Right — It’s Time for Reflection

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President Obama says that the one-year anniversary of the U.S. military’s killing of Osama bin Laden should be a time of reflection rather than a time of celebration. Indeed. Let’s do some reflecting. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. officials claimed that the attackers had been motivated by hatred for America’s “freedom and values.” That was a crock, as I pointed ...

Joy Gordon’s Lecture at George Washington University

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Last Thursday I attended a great lecture by Joy Gordon, professor of philosophy at Fairfield University in Connecticut. The talk was based on her book Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions. It was sponsored by The Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Gordon described the horrifying sanctions ...

The Military Exception to the Bill of Rights

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Consider the following hypothetical. DEA agents in Columbus, Georgia, suspect that Joe Blow is selling cocaine and heroin to city youths. They’re sure he’s guilty but have been unable to come up with any evidence of his guilt. Under a formal policy established by the DEA, they take Joe into custody without a warrant, take him to a secret ...

Good for the ACLU and Jose Padilla!

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Good for the ACLU! It is taking Jose Padilla’s civil suit to the U.S. Supreme Court for what will hopefully be an adjudication by the highest court in the land as to the power of the U.S. military and the CIA in modern-day American life. Of course, the chances that Padilla will prevail are extremely slim, but it is great ...

Loving Sweatshops

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“I love sweatshops.” That was how economics professor Benjamin Powell, our Economic Liberty Lecture Series speaker last night, wrapped up his excellent talk on the benefits of sweatshops. An overflow crowd, mostly composed of George Mason University students, was treated to an eloquent exposition of why and how sweatshops help the poor. This is one of the things that liberals, who ...

Americans Should Watch Egypt

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Egypt is developing into a fascinating situation, one that involves the United States. It’s worth paying attention to in the coming months. Egypt has been ruled by a brutal military dictatorship for the past 30 years. The regime has been operating under a “state of emergency” during that entire time, one that has enabled the regime to wield and exercise ...
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