Civil Liberties & Privacy

Habeas Corpus: The Lynchpin of Freedom

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In the recently enacted Military Commissions Act, Congress acceded to President Bush’s request to remove the power of federal courts to consider petitions for writ of habeas by foreign citizens held by U.S. officials on suspicion of having committed acts of terrorism. While it might be tempting to conclude that ... [click for more]

The Perils of Emergency Power

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The New York Times reported on June 23 that President Bush invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to justify warrantless searches of Americans and other peoples financial data. According to Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey, the U.S. government may have conducted hundreds of thousands of warrantless searches of Americans and others personal financial data. The Bush administration used broad ... [click for more]

Lies and Leviathan

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Big government requires big lies and not just on wars but across the board. The more powerful government becomes, the more abuses it commits and the more lies it must tell. Interventions beget debacles that require cover-ups and denials. The more the government screws up, the more evidence the government is obliged to bury or deny. The government becomes ... [click for more]

Better Surfing Comes with Property Rights

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Property rights have long been recognized as a cornerstone of individual liberty and economic prosperity. As long as people are secure in their right to use, alter, and trade their belongings as they see fit, freedom and an ever-increasing standard of living are the result. However, not all rights to property are clearly defined. When property rights are unclear ... [click for more]

A Man’s Home Is His Castle

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The Castle is a tacky tract house in Melbourne, Australia, where the quirky Kerrigans live in the firm belief that they are the luckiest family in the world. Their house is so close to the airport that planes almost scrape their roof. But instead of complaining, patriarch Darryl feels lucky to have such an up-close view of man’s conquest ... [click for more]

Fear Is the Coin of the Realm

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Uh, oh! A new study reveals that “fears that the deadly strain of bird flu would move through Africa and Europe in flocks of wild birds have so far proven unfounded....” That means one less fear that the feds can use to frighten grown-up American men and women as an excuse ... [click for more]

Bush’s Bogus Theory of Absolute Power

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The Bush administration has a theory to explain why the Founding Fathers secretly intended for the president to have boundless power. Even though the new unitary executive theory is nowhere in the Constitution, White House officials continually invoke it to justify scorning federal law. The fact that the administration is getting away with this charade symbolizes how docile much ... [click for more]

Bush’s Wiretap Crimes and the FISA Farce

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President Bush proudly announced last December that he is violating federal law. He declared that in 2002 he had ordered the National Security Agency to begin conducting warrantless wiretaps and email intercepts on Americans. He asserted that the wiretaps would continue, regardless of the law. Bush claims that he must ignore ... [click for more]

Illegal Surveillance: A Real Security Threat

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Americans seem to have forgotten why the Founding Fathers prohibited government from spying on them. Public opinion polls show that a rising percentage of Americans approve of the warrantless National Security Agency wiretaps of Americans that Bush ordered. But such blind faith in government simply ignores the lessons of U.S. history. When the feds have ... [click for more]

The FISA Farce

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President Bush proudly announced last month that he is violating federal law. He declared that in 2002 he ordered the National Security Agency to begin conducting warrantless wiretaps and email intercepts on Americans. He asserted that the wiretaps would continue, regardless of the law. Bush claims that he must ignore the law because the secret federal court created to authorize ... [click for more]

Free Speech on the Ropes

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The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.” The Founding Fathers could have done nothing to make it clearer that the government has no right to gag the American people. However, in recent years, the Constitution is proving little or no barrier ... [click for more]

Democracy versus Freedom

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Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and conflict; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. James Madison, fourth president of the United States and primary Framer of the U.S. Constitution Politicians and ... [click for more]
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