I'd rather have government than media determine who should leak
On Saturday, thousands gathered in front of the Capitol Building for the celebrity-endorsed Stop Watching Us rally.
Two leading human rights NGOs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, released separate reports on U.S. drone warfare this week. They were focused on different places geographically—Amnesty’s report, “Will I be next? U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan,” focuses on Waziristan and the tribal regions of Pakistan that border Afghanistan, while Human Rights Watch’s offering, “Between a Drone and Al Qaeda: The Civilian Cost of U.S.
If a body other than the Congress of the United States were actively contemplating a step that would, by the accounts of virtually all economists, tank the U.S. economy, cause interest rates to shoot up, and trigger a financial crisis, we would talk about that body as a threat to national security. At a minimum, we would talk about the step it is contemplating in national security terms. A government shutdown, after all, can invite a national security event, but by itself it isn’t one. It’s a game of Russian Roulette.
It’s the best way to stave off the oncoming onslaught of cyber-attacks.
Al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas Al-Liby's coming prosecution may be difficult to challenge legally, despite his military detention and interrogation aboard a U.S. naval vessel.
Imagine if the Democrats in 2007, having just regained control of the Congress, had decided to go to the mat against the Bush tax cuts. Imagine that they voted repeatedly to repeal them. They tried to delay implementation. They linked repeal to debt ceiling legislation. And while most of them knew better than to shut down the government over marginal tax rates, for a group critical to Nancy Pelosi’s majority, repeal had become a matter of religion.
With all the attention these days on NSA activities, it’s easy to forget that much surveillance in the United States takes place at the state and local level, and it is also regulated by state and local law. Much of the really high tech stuff is centralized in the federal government’s hands, but debate about at least one new technology—facial recognition—is going on in some places at the state level, and that’s a good thing.
Intelligence has thwarted plots to attack us and saved countless innocent lives. But that shouldn’t blind us to the need for debate and possible overhaul: not because of Edward Snowden, but because times have changed.
How to roll back the surveillance state.