Civil Liberties & Privacy

Protecting Our Way of Life?

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Even when responding to a monstrous and unjustifiable provocation such as September 11, the U.S. government threatens our liberty. We have much to fear from the power in Washington. At least Osama bin Laden never says he has our interests at heart. We can't be lulled into trusting him. Not so with the U.S. government. It ... [click for more]

Does Endorsement of Military Tribunals Insult Bush?

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As FFF friends and supporters know, we have taken a firm stand against President Bush's military tribunals. See, for example, "Military Tribunals: Another Step Away from Our Principles" by Jacob G. Hornberger and "Emergencies, Military Tribunals, and the Constitution" by Jacob G. Hornberger. In a recent conversation I had with Sheldon Richman, he ... [click for more]

Military Tribunals: Another Step Away from Our Principles

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President Bush's plan to form military tribunals to punish suspected terrorists is one more step away from the civilized principles of constitutional government and the rule of law that have long distinguished the United States from other nations in history. The president's tribunals would apply to two classes of accused terrorists: those captured as part of ... [click for more]

A Victory for Freedom

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Kudos to President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft for ultimately deciding to comply with the Constitution in the U.S. government's prosecution of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who is accused of having participated in the September 11 attacks. Bush and Ashcroft had threatened to try Moussaoui before a secret military tribunal whose Star Chamber and ... [click for more]

The Implications of Forfeiting Our Freedoms Today

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We are witnessing in America today the consequences from a weakened appreciation of the purposes and importance of this constitutional order under the emotional shock of a terrible and evil act on September 11, 2001. Our fear and anger is clouding our reason, a reason that should guide us to first think whether the individual ... [click for more]

If Only Freedom Had a Price

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IF ONLY FREEDOM HAD A PRICE, we would know what each individual thought it was worth. Each individual could express his own valuation and judgment of what he would pay to maintain or increase his freedom and what he would have to receive in exchange to give up some or all ... [click for more]

Self-Inflicted Violence

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IN OUR RUSH justice for the perpetrators of the horrors of September 11, we seem to have forgotten another kind of violence that is ready to befall America: the self-inflicted violence of an open-ended, comprehensive, and essentially secret global war conducted by the U.S. government against an enemy so amorphous it apparently cannot be ... [click for more]

The Wolf, the Coyote, and the Sheep

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Americans who are rushing to embrace the federal government's efforts to protect them from terrorists might want to keep in mind the story of the wolf, the coyote, and the sheep. One day the wolf and the coyote got into a battle with each other. In the midst of the fight, the coyote attacked the ... [click for more]

Emergencies, Military Tribunals, and the Constitution

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President Bush has ordered that people he suspects of being "terrorists" will be tried before military tribunals rather than indicted and prosecuted in the customary judicial manner. Judges and juries (which will consist of the same people) will be appointed by the secretary of defense, trials will be held in secret, and convictions will ... [click for more]

The War on Drugs and Police Funding

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The following was published as a Capsule Commentary in the November 7, 2001 edition of the FFF Email Update. The October 14 issue of the Washington Post reported that Washington area police and sheriffs' departments garnered a bonanza of nearly $2.2 million last year from the war on drug's asset-forfeiture ... [click for more]

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

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AT THE CLOSE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Regardless of one’s judgment concerning the type of government that the Constitution brought into existence in 1787, no one can deny that it was truly the most unusual and ... [click for more]
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