Civil Liberties & Privacy

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]

Bush’s Secret Surveillance State

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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place ... [click for more]

Wartime Attacks on Civil Liberties

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Perilous Times — Free Speech in Wartime by Geoffrey R. Stone (Norton, 2004); 730 pages; $35. If it is true to say, as Randolph Bourne did, that war is the health of the state, it is equally true to say that war is the ... [click for more]

Southwest Airlines Did Not Censor

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A recent decision by Southwest Airlines to throw two passengers, a husband and wife, off a flight holds a valuable lesson about private-property rights, censorship, and the Bill of Rights. The reason the couple was grounded was that one of them wore a t-shirt containing a photo of President Bush, ... [click for more]

Book Review: Reclaiming the American Revolution

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Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy by William J. Watkins Jr. (Independent Institute, 2004); 236 pages; $39.95. How do you devise a system of limited government that actually works? It is easy enough to put words ... [click for more]

The NRA Gets It Wrong

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The concept of individual rights really isn’t complicated, but even some of its defenders get it wrong. Take, for example, the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA, of course, concentrates exclusively on the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, but that is no excuse for failing to ... [click for more]

A Conflict of Paradigms

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Understanding the true nature of a free society entails asking ourselves two basic questions: What does it actually mean to be free, and what is the legitimate role of government in a free society? Reflecting on those two fundamental questions might provide the way out of the ... [click for more]

A New Federal War on Dissent?

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On October 15, 2003, the FBI sent Intelligence Bulletin #89 to 17,000 local and state law-enforcement agencies around the country. The bulletin warned of pending marches in Washington and San Francisco against Bush’s Iraq policy and stated, While the FBI possesses no information indicating that violent or terrorist activities are ... [click for more]
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