Civil Liberties & Privacy

Rights Belong to Individuals

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If you want insight into the mentality of the intellectual elite, observe the hysterical reaction to the Bush administration’s declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is — horror! — an individual right. In two U.S. Supreme Court briefs filed by the Justice Department on May 6, Solicitor General ... [click for more]

Liberty, Property, and Automobiles

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The Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, Va., recently passed a measure that limits the portion of a home’s front yard that can be paved for a driveway to 25 percent (30 percent for very small lots) and also prohibits parking on the homeowner’s grass. Why are too many ... [click for more]

The Other Terrorism Problem

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A JUSTICE DEPARTMENT report observed, “The feature distinguishing police from all other groups in society is their authority to apply coercive force.” Americans are taught to view police as trustworthy symbols of authority. Programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) put “Officer Friendly” in classrooms in order to endear law enforcement to children at an early age. The ... [click for more]

Bush’s Reluctant Embrace of Civil Liberties

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Bowing to public pressure, the Bush administration has agreed to modify its rules for its military trials of accused terrorists captured abroad. Included among the new rules are: (1) the accused will be presumed innocent rather than guilty; (2) the accused will have the right to have an attorney represent him; (3) the government will ... [click for more]

U.S. Justice in the War on Terrorism

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Suspected pipe-bomb terrorist Luke J. Helder should be counting his lucky stars that he was captured by the American police before the U.S. military could intervene. Just ask Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was recently the target of a missile fired by CIA forces in Afghanistan. Even though Hekmatyar was not part of the Taliban or al-Qaeda, he has nevertheless ... [click for more]

World War I and the Suppression of Dissent, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 IN THE SUMMER OF 1905, labor radicals assembled in Chicago to found a new group the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). It operated in competition with the more conservative American Federation of Labor (AFL), then the most powerful labor group in the United States. As well as embodying socialism, the IWW embraced less-restrictive ... [click for more]

Jimmy Carter’s Freedom

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Jimmy Carter’s remarks during his recent trip to Cuba are a perfect reflection of the muddled mindset that characterizes both Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the subject of freedom. Carter raised the importance of four aspects of liberty during his trip—political liberty, civil liberty, economic, and educational ... [click for more]

A Devotion to Democracy?

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What’s with the love fest between U.S. officials and army generals? We have, of course, (retired) Army General Colin Powell serving as U.S. secretary of state. And we have (or will have) military tribunals manned by army officials, rather than jury trials by civilians, for foreigners accused of terrorism. There is Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani army ... [click for more]

Military Tribunal Rules Violate the Rule of Law

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The government giveth and the government taketh away. Sometimes it does so simultaneously. When the Bush administration announced it would hold military tribunals for captured Taliban and al-Qaeda members, concern about the un-America nature of the proceedings were so loud the Pentagon was forced to go back to the drawing board to fine-tune the plan. When ... [click for more]

Freedom and Campaign-Finance Reform

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Amidst not very much fanfare, President Bush has signed the new campaign-finance reform bill into law. This one closes the so-called soft-money loophole that permits large donations to be injected into federal campaigns through contributions to political parties. There are two big problems, however, with this most recent attempt to end corruption in the political process: First, it won’t work ... [click for more]

Bush’s Contempt for Trial by Jury

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BOWING TO PUBLIC PRESSURE, the Bush administration has modified its rules for the trials of suspected terrorists captured abroad. Included among the new rules are: (1) the accused will be presumed innocent rather than guilty; (2) the government will be required to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) the defendant will have the right to have an attorney ... [click for more]
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