Constitution

Surveillance State Takes Offense

President Obama proclaims his love of “transparency” but has an odd idea what the word means. He generally defines it as sharing some information with Congress and the Courts but keeping the public in the dark and punishing those who ask too many questions, as William Blum explains.

Feinstein’s Phony Excuse for NSA Spying

After 9/11, the excuse for missing clues was too much data – trying to sip from a fire hose – but with the priority now excusing NSA spying, the metaphor is for more data – you can’t find a needle in a haystack without a haystack – a shift ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley dissects.

How Shutdown Hurts National Security

The Republican-induced shutdown of the federal government underscores the Right’s populist contempt for the nation’s democratic institutions. But the fiasco also has undercut America’s standing in the world and thus undermines U.S. security and global leadership, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Playing Chicken with Food Safety

The U.S. Constitution empowers the federal government to “provide for the … general Welfare,” but free-market ideologues have distorted the Founding document’s plain language to fit their desires, including their new demands that food-safety rules be gutted, as Michael Winship explains.

The White Man’s Last Tantrum?

Exclusive: With the U.S. government shutdown and a threatened credit default, Tea Party Republicans are testing out a new system of national governance in which they get their way – or else. But is this the beginning of a new Jim Crow era of imposed white supremacy or just the white man’s last tantrum, asks Robert Parry.

‘Gun Rights’ of Domestic Abusers

The right-wing-controlled U.S. Supreme Court has put the supposed right of Americans to carry their firearms of choice over the safety of individuals who are potential victims of gun violence. That pattern may be tested again in a case to let some domestic violence offenders keep their guns, as Laura Finley explains.

America’s Government by Extortion

Exclusive: By forcing a U.S. government shutdown – and threatening a first-ever credit default – Tea Party Republicans are creating a new constitutional system which lets a determined white minority impose its will on the diverse American majority by inflicting so much pain that the extortionists prevail, writes Robert Parry.

Why Right’s Lemmings Don Suicide Vest

Exclusive: The government-sabotaging fervor of the Republican Right – likened by one GOP congressman to “lemmings with suicide vests” – can only be understood from inside the right-wing bubble where a distorted view of the Constitution prevails and actual democracy is disdained, writes Robert Parry.

The Right’s Made-Up ‘Constitution’

From the Archive: Behind the U.S. government shutdown is the Right’s erroneous belief that the U.S. Constitution tightly limits the federal government and carves out broad powers for the states, a bogus history that suggests the Tea Partiers don’t understand the Founding document, as historian Jada Thacker wrote in July.

The Founders’ ‘Musket Mandate’

From the Archive: At the center of the Republican shutdown of the U.S. government is the claim that a “mandate” requiring Americans to get health insurance violates Founding principles, but the Framers of the Constitution were comfortable with a similar mandate for an armed militia, as Robert Parry noted in 2012.