Civil Liberties & Privacy

Property Rights and the Ground Zero Mosque Debate

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Amidst all the controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque,” the most neglected issue is the key question of property rights. The proprietors of the land where the Islamic cultural center is to be built are its rightful owners. In a free society, in a capitalistic country, people are allowed to do with their property as they see fit. When ... [click for more]

A Libertarian Perspective on Airline Security

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Could TSA-style irradiating porno scanners, digital strip searches, near-naked photos, genital gropes, breast feel-ups, and invasive pat-downs be found in airports in a libertarian — that is, a free — society as a condition of getting on a flight? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. And so could body cavity searches and enhanced pat-down procedures that would make sexual assault a ... [click for more]

Two Freed Prisoners in Germany

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On Thursday, two Guantánamo prisoners were released, to start new lives in Germany, bringing the prison’s population to 174. Announcing their arrival, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière stated that, by taking them in, Germany had “made its humanitarian contribution to closing the detention center.” He also noted that the two men had asked for their identities to be withheld ... [click for more]

Obama’s Hollow Guantánamo Apology

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On Friday, in his first press conference since May, President Obama was concerned primarily with the economy, but also found time to answer a couple of questions about Guantánamo that were put to him by Ann Compton of ABC News Radio. For the most part, the media overlooked this section of the press conference, focusing only on ... [click for more]

Restricting Presidential Wartime Powers

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Under President George W. Bush, a small group of advisors tied closely to Vice President Dick Cheney argued that neither Congress nor the judiciary should attempt to prevent the president from doing whatever he felt was appropriate as the commander-in-chief of a “war on terror” that was declared after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As Sidney Blumenthal ... [click for more]

No Surprise at Obama’s Guantánamo Trial Chaos

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Surprise is the last thing that anyone ought to feel on hearing the news that the Obama administration “has shelved the planned prosecution,” in a trial by military commission, “of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged coordinator of the October 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen,” as the Washington Post reported on Thursday, ... [click for more]

The Great Repeal Bill

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Legal and political trends in the United Kingdom often parallel or precede ones within the United States. For example, the politically correct crusades against smoking and child obesity raged in Britain prior to jumping the Atlantic. A particularly interesting trend is currently unfolding in the UK and, for once, its spread might bring welcomed change. The new coalition government is ... [click for more]

Guantánamo: A Mentally Ill Yemeni and a Minor Taliban Recruit

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As of today, the results of the Guantánamo prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions stand at 38 victories for the prisoners against 15 victories for the government, after two recent rulings. On July 21, Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. granted the habeas petition of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a 34-year old Yemeni, while, in another courtroom, Judge Reggie Walton ... [click for more]

Guantánamo and Habeas Corpus: Wins and Losses, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 For the last two years, the prisoners held in the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have been challenging the basis of their detention through habeas corpus petitions filed with the District Court in Washington, D.C., where they have met with a notable degree of success. Of the 51 cases decided, [click for more]

Freeing the Innocent from Guantánamo

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On Thursday, in the District Court in Washington, D.C., Judge Paul Friedman took the tally of victories by the Guantánamo prisoners to 37, out of 51 cases decided, when he granted the habeas corpus petition of Hussein Almerfedi, a 33-year old Yemeni, and instructed the Obama administration to “take all necessary and appropriate steps to facilitate the release of ... [click for more]
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