Welcome to the new total security state
Welcome to the new total security state
WASHINGTON — Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation’s homeland security chief said Friday.
As terrorists increasingly recruit U.S. citizens, the government needs to constantly balance Americans’ civil rights and privacy with the need to keep people safe, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
But finding that balance has become more complex as homegrown terrorists have used the Internet to reach out to extremists abroad for inspiration and training. Those contacts have spurred a recent rash of U.S.-based terror plots and incidents.
By Anthony Gregory
hat tip: Campaign for Liberty
The following is based on a talk delivered at the Free State Project’s Liberty Forum in Nashua, New Hampshire, Saturday, March 20, 2010.
In the United States, civil liberties are seen as the province of the left. The ACLU, the Bar Association, the Democratic Party, people who err in favor of procedural protections for criminals and even terrorists — this is what tends to come to mind to conservatives who condemn civil liberties as a leftist interest, and to liberals who celebrate it as a great anchor of their political philosophy.
But what happens when the left-liberals are in charge of the executive branch, its police, its justice department, prosecutors and military courts? Predictably, conservatives fear the government will be soft on foreign and domestic villains. Liberals hold out hope that due process will be restored.
Libertarians, too, will often adopt this general lens through which to see political reality. Just as many progressive writers discussed the coming of Obama as a new dawn for the Bill of Rights — or, at least, the amendments they openly favor — many libertarians hoped that the Bush era of warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, torture and police statism would recede with the electoral victory of the Democrats.
But here we see the problem. For if the left are the most institutionally important guardians of civil liberties, then the ascent to power of one of their own will often mean a quieting of dissent. Left-liberals become caught up with economic policy, become corrupted, or simply tire of finding more reasons for their own partisan figurehead to be criticized, and look the other way. Just as Republican administrations can often implement domestic interventions with a freer hand — look at Bush’s effortless Medicare expansion compared to how long it has taken for Obama to move on health care — Democrats can expect a less hostile climate in which to build up executive power to the detriment of civil liberty. And indeed, even if they have good intentions, they run against political pressure from the opposition accusing them of being soft with the police power. A left-liberal in office is the perfect storm for the destruction of our privacy and the rule of law. Just remember what Clinton did at Waco, or the erosion of liberty after the Oklahoma City Bombing, and the truth of this was confirmed long before January of last year when Obama took the throne.
by Sibel Edmonds
hat tip: Boiling Frogs Post
Monday, 23. November 2009
It’s Time to Get the Facts Straight
I want to revisit a topic which happens to be extremely important to me, both personally and politically, and even more important to our civil liberties.
Some of you have already read my brief piece on Richard Horn & the CIA dishing out $3 million to buy silence in this narco scandal. Those of you who have not read it click here and read it – because this story also goes to the heart of a very significant and ongoing issue: The State Secrets Privilege.
My recent heads-up piece on Horn focused mainly on the CIA’s attempt to hush another narco scandal where the agency was directly and actively involved. Although I introduced Horn as ‘another recipient of the government’s State Secrets Privilege invocation’, I didn’t delve into the significance of this case on this repeatedly used and abused draconian privilege. This was partly due to wrongly assuming that the media, at least the alternative media, would have gotten all over it since lately the SSP has been a quite fashionable and talked about topic among the wanna-be progressive community. Well, I was wrong. Despite the scandalous nature of the case, and despite the massive implications to SSP, those who’ve been publicizing themselves and cashing in using SSP did not touch or mention the case.
The last time I wrote about the State Secrets Privilege and how it was being misrepresented and twisted by puppets in the media my blood was very close to reaching the boiling point. This time, with this recent Horn case and its direct SSP implications, my blood actually did reach the boiling point. In fact it is boiling now!
Here are a few excerpts from my previous piece on the State Secrets Privilege, starting with the intro:
During the past few months I have been actively following the latest activity on the state secrets privilege (SSP). First, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this issue of extreme importance to our civil liberties and constitutional rights was finally getting long-over-due and deserved attention from the media. After all, the memories of fighting SSP in the federal courts all the way up to the Supreme Court, holding press conferences together with the ACLU to bring needed media attention to this draconian abuse, making the rounds in Congress to have them address this ‘privilege’ through legislation to restrict its misuse and abuse, are still fresh and vivid for me.
Then I started detecting some troubling common trends showing up in media reports and subsequently in discussions and statements within Congress.
By Paul Craig Roberts
According to US government propaganda, terrorist cells are spread throughout America, making it necessary for the government to spy on all Americans and violate most other constitutional protections. Among President Bush’s last words as he left office was the warning that America would soon be struck again by Muslim terrorists.
If America were infected with terrorists, we would not need the government to tell us. We would know it from events. As there are no events, the US government substitutes warnings in order to keep alive the fear that causes the public to accept pointless wars, the infringement of civil liberty, national ID cards, and inconveniences and harassments when they fly.
The most obvious indication that there are no terrorist cells is that not a single neocon has been assassinated.