Does Snowden Know Why the NSA Doesn’t Need Warrants? He Might.

By: Tuesday June 24, 2014 7:49 am

Based on the NSA training he was given, Snowden was questioning which carries more weight within the NSA– an actual law passed by Congress, or an order from the president (an E.O., Executive Order.) The answer was a bit curvy, saying that absent a specific law to the contrary, an order from the president has the force of a law.

 

Police Militarization: Fish Rot from the Head

By: Monday June 9, 2014 8:53 am

In an era where Big Government acts in open contempt of the rule of law, killing its own citizens without due process, torturing its people, recklessly spying on them and taking away their right to free speech, it is little surprise that Small Government seeks to do the same. Petty is what petty does. Much of this all manifests itself in the militarization of our police coupled with their criminalization of everything.

Thank goodness we’re on top of this!

By: Friday November 15, 2013 1:30 am

Well, this is the opposite of comforting.

Late Night: Rose Mary and Time

By: Thursday June 20, 2013 8:00 pm

This was a big week for Watergate geeks like myself; with anniversaries falling like rain, from the initial break-in and arrests on Monday to today, for which we remember the notorious White House tape so damning that 18 1/2 minutes of it came up conveniently missing. Now, considering what was on the rest of the tapes, that little “stretch” of magnetic gossamer must have been quite something.

Late Night: The Brotherhood of the Burning Pants

By: Thursday June 13, 2013 8:00 pm

Lying has certainly come a long way in the new century. Those of us us born in the 1900′s can still remember a time when being caught publicly lying could bring down a President (Nixon), or at the very least, get one impeached (Clinton). In those sepia-toned days, lying was a content-neutral affront; Barry Goldwater was just as justifiably incensed at being lied to by Nixon as Al Gore was at being lied to by Clinton, despite the rather gigantic difference between the significance of their respective lies.

But something odd happened when George W. Bush entered office.

Will Obama’s Second Term Finally Fulfill His 2008 Promises? (Part I)

By: Saturday November 10, 2012 6:00 pm

President Obama’s reelection has sparked an onslaught of analysis attempting to define the agenda for his second term. Will it reflect the vision of restoring liberty and security on which the president ran in 2008, or the disappointing passivity towards the national security state that characterized his first term?

More to the point, will President Obama’s legacy include emerging American authoritarianism, or instead the recovery of constitutional freedoms lost over the past decade?

In Praise of the Universal Surveillance State. No Shame in Our Game.

By: Saturday March 31, 2012 6:40 pm

The left has fought tooth and nail as the proliferation of surveillance devices, both privately and publicly installed, continues apace.

I believe that this is an error.

Firedoglake Book Salon Welcomes Glenn Greenwald, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful

By: Saturday October 29, 2011 1:59 pm

The United States was founded on the principle that no individual is above the law. We are, as John Adams said, “a nation of laws, not men.” But that principle is under assault, as Glenn Greenwald explains in his powerful new book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.

Continued Existence Of Military Proves America Is Still Awesome

By: Tuesday May 3, 2011 6:01 pm

This CNN column by Bob Greene is so blithely, obliviously ridiculous that I am almost speechless. He latches onto one phrase from a posthumous Korean War Medal of Honor citation, “utterly disregarding his own safety,” and repeats it over and over again like some kind of magical talisman as he uses our troops to “prove” that 9/11 did not change our national character.

The Ghosts of SCOTUS Justices Past Continue to Haunt Holder

By: Saturday November 13, 2010 9:00 am

Today is the 154th birthday of SCOTUS Justice Louis Brandeis, one of the Court’s most forceful voices for freedom of speech and the right to privacy. Today, as AG Eric Holder deals with cases involving torture, wiretapping, state secrets, GQ paints a picture of an AG filled with angst, as Marcy Wheeler summed it up yesterday. But maybe it’s not angst, but that Holder is being haunted by SCOTUS Justices past, like Brandeis, Holmes, Robert Jackson, and Potter Stewart.

Happy birthday, Justice Brandeis, and keep up the good work.

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