Category: Constitution

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When the CIA’s Empire Struck Back

Exclusive: In the mid-1970s, Rep. Otis Pike led a brave inquiry to rein in the excesses of the national security state. But the CIA and its defenders accused Pike of recklessness and vowed retaliation, assigning him to a political obscurity that…

Fear Itself: Democrats Duck FDR’s Lessons

The lessons of Franklin Roosevelt are relevant today, especially the need for an activist government to “promote the general Welfare” by investing in infrastructure and combating the power of “organized money.” But many Democrats shy away from the debate, says Beverly…

Worse Than Orwell

President Obama has promised reform of the NSA’s mass collection of data on virtually all Americans and much of the world. But his proposals are limited and his speech failed to offer clemency to Edward Snowden who made the public…

FDR’s Legacy of Can-Do Government

Born to a well-to-do family 132 years ago, Franklin Roosevelt would earn the hatred of America’s plutocrats when as President he deployed the federal government to battle the Great Depression, an animosity toward FDR that the modern Right continues to this…

Red-State Blues: Trouble in Oklahoma

Exclusive: The Right has locked down political control of a number of states like Oklahoma, making them laboratories for far-right legislation. But some legal experiments are so extreme that they are causing unintended reactions that may hurt the Right’s cause,…

MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail to focus national attention on the injustice of segregation, he was stung by criticism from Christian clergy who feared upsetting the status quo and urged “moderation,” prompting his historic rejoinder from the Birmingham…

The Lost Legacy of Otis Pike

Former Rep. Otis Pike died Monday at the age of 92, stirring recollections of his courageous efforts in the 1970s to expose abuses committed by the CIA, a struggle that ultimately bogged down as defenders of state secrecy proved too…

How NSA Invites Totalitarianism

President Obama has unveiled some modest “reforms” of U.S. intelligence gathering, noting that just because NSA can vacuum up nearly all electronic data doesn’t mean it should. But the bigger issue is the future and how these powers may be unleashed, says Dutch…

When Protesting Bush’s Wars Was a Crime

In 2004, at the height or depths of George W. Bush’s presidency, the very idea of protesting his “war on terror” or invasion of Iraq was deemed worthy of repressing, the backdrop for mass arrests outside the Republican National Convention…

US Judges Square Off over NSA Spying

President Obama is expected to impose new but fairly modest constraints on the NSA’s vast surveillance program, leaving open the legal issue, moving through the federal courts, whether the metadata collection violates the Fourth Amendment, writes Marjorie Cohn.