Civil Liberties & Privacy

No One Is Safe under the Espionage Act of 1917

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According do a Wall Street Journal editorial (December 7, 2010), “Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein called for the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange because he ‘continues to violate ... the Espionage Act of 1917.’” Assange’s sin? He leaked thousands of diplomatic cables that embarrassed the American government, especially in the realm of foreign policy. Many ... [click for more]

Government Spies on Americans

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Most Americans seem detached from the U.S. governments military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere. U.S. forces not only engage in wanton killing and harsh treatment of prisoners, but also surveillance and other intelligence activities that might appall the American people if they were used at home. Well, guess what: Technologies and techniques honed for use on ... [click for more]

Noah’s Ark and the Sanctity of Private Property

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The subject of a proposed religious theme park in Kentucky brings up an issue near and dear to the heart of libertarians: the sanctity of private property. There is some controversy over the proposed construction of a $150 million Noah’s Ark theme park on 800 acres near Interstate 75 in Kentucky. The theme park — to be called [click for more]

TSA Intrusion Is One Price of Empire

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How gratifying to see Americans increasingly angry at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for using offensive full-body scans and frisks in its latest production of what security expert Bruce Schneier calls “security theater.” The government would have us believe these measures are safe and effective, but its record for veracity is, to put it mildly, disgraceful. Meanwhile Schneier, an independent ... [click for more]

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]
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