Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’ by Ron Paul

President Trump does a flip-flop 180 degrees the wrong direction. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

“I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.

Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.

Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.

It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as “fake news,” as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, “OK with me.”

Trump’s condemnation of Wikileaks came just a day after his CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, attacked Wikileaks as a “hostile intelligence service.” Pompeo accused Assange of being “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.”

Pompeo’s word choice was no accident. By accusing Wikileaks of being a “hostile intelligence service” rather than a publisher of information on illegal and abusive government practices leaked by whistleblowers, he signaled that the organization has no First Amendment rights. Like many in Washington, he does not understand that the First Amendment is a limitation on government rather than a granting of rights to citizens. Pompeo was declaring war on Wikileaks.

To continue reading: Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’ 

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Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back, by Kurt Schlichter

Those who would use violence and force to stifle others’ freedom of speech and the press  (including governments) had better except the same from their putative victims. From Kurt Schlichter on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Guest Post by Kurt Schlichter

Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back

Understand that if America is stupid enough to let liberals take power again, they will persecute and prosecute normal Americans like us who dare to dissent. That’s not a guess or a prediction – that’s a commitment they have made to their fascist followers. They’ve seen what the truth can do to their schemes. After 2016, there’s no way they are going to take a chance on another electoral rejection by us normals, so they don’t even pretend to support free speech anymore. It will be one gender neutral being-one vote, one more time, and then never again.

Hold on. That’s clearly nuts, right? This is obviously crazy talk that’s talking crazy, isn’t it? Don’t liberals love free speech?

No.

We know they don’t love free speech because they tell us they don’t, in both words and deeds. The whole free speech thing lost a lot of its luster for the libs when people like us decided to try it out. The liberals didn’t count on that – free speech was supposed to be their jam, a way to offend, annoy, and outrage us squares, to blow our bourgeois minds with their transgressive, no-holds-barred free thoughtery and critical thinkery. But they never intended for it to allow those banjo-strumming rubes living between I-5 and I-95 to express wrong thoughts and thereby win elections.

So now the progressives are trying to do something about it. Recently, every single Democrat voted to effectively repeal the First Amendment. You see, the words “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” were too expansive for liberals’ tastes because they prevented Congress from making laws abridging the freedom of speech.

This creepy idiocy was in response to Citizens United, a Supreme Court case that, to people who actually believe in free speech and not liberal fascism, conforms to the First Amendment by telling the federal government that no, you can’t put people in jail for making a movie critical of Hillary Clinton.

To continue reading: Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back

The Spy State Unleashed, by Justin Raimondo

The US police state is up and running. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

And you’re next

After hearing about an alleged Russian plot to throw the election to Donald Trump for eight months, amid leaks by “former government and intelligence officials,” this media narrative being pushed relentlessly by Rachel Maddow and the fake journalists over at CNN has come to naught. I’ve pinned a tweet to the top of my Twitter profile that’s my answer to this sort of nonsense:

None of the official reports issued by our intelligence agencies and made public contains a lick of real evidence that the Kremlin guided and encouraged Trump’s rise to power: they consist of simple assertions, and exclamations of “high confidence,” without giving anyone a reason to feel the least amount of confidence in their conclusions. They hide behind the old “sources and methods” excuse in their failure to provide what could even loosely be defined as proof of their allegations. Yet some of these “sources and methods” have come to light anyway, as the leakers desperately try to salvage their failing narrative.

The latest focus of the conspiracy theorists is that Carter Page, an economic consultant specializing in Russian energy resources, who served as an unpaid and informal advisor to the Trump campaign, is the key link between the Russians and the Trump campaign. A report in the Washington Post alleges that the FBI obtained an order from the FISA court allowing it to spy on Page, and CNN followed up with a story telling us that the factual basis of the surveillance request was the infamous “dirty dossier” compiled by “ex”-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, which contains sensationalistic allegations about Trump’s sexual activities while in Russia. The dossier also alleges that Carter was bribed with offers of a deal with the Russian energy company Rosneft in exchange for somehow effecting a 180-degree turnabout in US policy in Ukraine.

To continue reading: The Spy State Unleashed

What if We Don’t Really Govern Ourselves? by Andrew P. Napolitano

Never underestimate the power of a whole slew of good questions. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

What if our belief in self-government is a belief in a myth? What if the election of one political party over the other to control Congress changes only appearances? What if taxes stay high and regulations stay pervasive and the government stays oppressive and presidents fight wars no matter what the politicians promise and no matter who wins elections? What if the true goal of those whom we elect to Congress is not to be our agents of self-government or even to preserve our personal liberties but to remain in power by getting re-elected?

What if they use government to aid their own re-elections by bribing us with our own money — the rich with bailouts, the middle class with tax breaks and the poor with transfer payments?

What if Congress has written laws that are too complex for its own members to read and understand? What if the language of most federal laws is intentionally arcane so that ordinary voters cannot understand it? What if that language is actually written by faceless bureaucrats and not by accountable members of Congress? What if members of Congress in fact rarely read any legislation before voting on it? What if some legislation refers to secrets and secret procedures that only a few members of Congress are permitted to see and utilize?

What if when the select few members of Congress who are permitted to see those secrets do see them, those members are themselves sworn to secrecy? What if that means that our elected representatives — our supposed agents of self-government in the government — do not fully know what the government is doing and that even if they do, they can’t legally tell us?

To continue reading: What if We Don’t Really Govern Ourselves?

Run for Your Life: The American Police State Is Coming to Get You, by John W. Whitehead

Many people do not understand the legal doctrine of precedent, which means roughly that legal actions and rulings that have been accepted in the past will be presumptively valid in the future. This is why there are no such thing as “isolated” abridgments of Constitutional right. If a government can get away with something with one individual in one jurisdiction, it sets a precedent and it increases the odds it or other governments in our federal system will get away with it elsewhere, especially when the abridgment has been blessed by a court. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“We’ve reached the point where state actors can penetrate rectums and vaginas, where judges can order forced catheterizations, and where police and medical personnel can perform scans, enemas and colonoscopies without the suspect’s consent…. These tactics are … about degrading and humiliating a class of people that politicians and law enforcement have deemed the enemy.”—Radley Balko, The Washington Post

Daily, all across America, individuals who dare to resist—or even question—a police order are being subjected to all sorts of government-sanctioned abuse ranging from forced catheterization, forced blood draws, roadside strip searches and cavity searches, and other foul and debasing acts that degrade their bodily integrity and leave them bloodied and bruised.

Americans as young as 4 years old are being leg shackled, handcuffed, tasered and held at gun point for not being quiet, not being orderly and just being childlike—i.e., not being compliant enough.

Government social workers actually subjected a 3-year-old boy to a forced catheterization after he was unable to provide them with a urine sample on demand (the boy still wasn’t potty trained). The boy was held down, screaming in pain, while nurses forcibly inserted a tube into his penis to drain his bladder—all of this done because the boy’s mother’s boyfriend had failed a urine analysis for drugs.

Americans as old as 95 are being beaten, shot and killed for questioning an order, hesitating in the face of a directive, and mistaking a policeman crashing through their door for a criminal breaking into their home—i.e., not being submissive enough.

Consider what happened to David Dao, the United Airlines passenger who was accosted by three police, forcibly wrenched from his seat across the armrest, bloodying his face in the process, and dragged down the aisle by the arms merely for refusing to relinquish his paid seat after the airline chose him randomly to be bumped from the flight—after being checked in and allowed to board—so that airline workers could make a connecting flight.

Those with ADHD, autism, hearing impairments, dementia or some other disability that can hinder communication in the slightest way are in even greater danger of having their actions misconstrued by police. Police shot a 73-year-old-man with dementia seven times after he allegedly failed to respond to orders to stop approaching and remove his hands from his jacket. The man was unarmed and had been holding a crucifix.

Clearly, it no longer matters where you live.

To continue reading: Run for Your Life: The American Police State Is Coming to Get You

WikiLeaks Issues Response To CIA Director Mike Pompeo, by Tyler Durden

It was quite a stretch for CIA Director Mike Pompeo to call WikiLeaks a “hostile non-state intelligence service.” WikiLeaks responds From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The feud between Julian Assange and the CIA is growing.

After being blasted by new CIA Director Mike Pompeo yesterday as a “hostile non-state intelligence service,” late on Thursday Julian Assange responded on Twitter by trolling the CIA, the “state non-intelligence agency,” over its own roles in producing “al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran and Pinochet.”

So, one day later, having let tempers cool, Julian Assange – who one month ago released the contents of its “Vault7” exposing the CIA’s hacking exploits around the world in the “largest ever publication of confidential CIA documents” – issued moments ago the following statement via the Wikileaks twitter account responding to Mike Pompeo (highlights ours).

In his first speech in office, CIA Director Mike Pompeo rather than focusing on China, North Korea, or the rise of extremism, chose to announce an offensive against WikiLeaks and other publishers. In doing so Director Pompeo characterized WikiLeaks as a “non-state intelligence service”. This absurd definition would have all serious media organizations (with the exception of state owned media) transformed into ‘non-state intelligence services’- with the explicitly stated goal of stripping constitutional protections for publishers.

History shows the danger of allowing the CIA or any intelligence agency, whose very modus operandi includes misdirection and lying, to be the sole arbiter of what is true or what is prudent. Otherwise every day might see a repeat of the many foolish CIA actions which have led to death, displacement, dictatorship and terrorism.

All serious media organizations are in the business of obtaining information by encouraging sources to step forward. The key difference between media and intelligence is that the media is in the business of publishing what it discovers to a wide audience. WikiLeaks is an award winning media organization that is well known for the accuracy and volume of its publications and its millions of readers.

Unsurprisingly it is the strength of WikiLeaks’ publications relating to the CIA’s illegal activities, including its attacks on France’s presidential candidates and political parties and its attempts to infect its allies and consumer products with viruses that has led to Director Pompeo’s claims that its editor Julian Assange “has no First Amendment protections”. These claims are dangerous and should be critically examined.

To continue reading: WikiLeaks Issues Response To CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Why Is the State in Our Bedrooms and Living Rooms as Well as Our Bank Accounts? by Charles Hugh Smith

Okay, that’s enough about the Syrian bombing for one day. SLL will toss a hypothesis or two into the ring in the next day or two. Let’s move on to totalitarianism, from Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

There’s a word to describe a state with unlimited power over the private lives, spaces, choices, behaviors, communications and accounts of its citizens: totalitarian.

A limited government is concerned with proscribing the exploitation of citizens by elites and criminals. A Totalitarian State seeks control of everything–including what goes on in the bedrooms, living rooms and minds of its citizens.

A recent conversation with my longtime friend G.F.B. clarified a key distinction between the public and private spheres.

G.F.B.’s example of the state exerting control over its citizens’ private choices and behaviors in their own homes was the Prohibition of alcohol which was the federal law of the land in the U.S. from 1920 to 1933.

Though alcohol consumption in the home was not banned outright at the federal level, the net result of banning the manufacture and distribution of alcohol was the criminalization of everyday citizens’ attempts to purchase alcohol for their home consumption.

A limited government’s purview is actions taken in public that could harm other citizens. Drunken drivers, for example, end up killing innocent citizens. Limiting the “freedom” to drive drunk is a state action that is limited to the public sphere: if a citizen chooses to get drunk in the privacy of his own home, that’s different from driving on public streets while drunk.

In the good old days of the early Republic, the government was focused on matters of sovereignty and defense, not what citizens were doing in their own homes or communicating in private letters. Enforcement of federal laws was largely limited to collecting tariffs and other revenues and adjudicating property disputes.

Central states have long had an interest in control and adjudicating property disputes.ling every aspect of their citizens’ private lives, beliefs and choices.What separated these total-control autocracies and totalitarian states from governments “of the people, by the people, for the people” was the sacrosanct civil liberties that protected the privacy and private choices of the citizens from state control.

To continue reading: Why Is the State in Our Bedrooms and Living Rooms as Well as Our Bank Accounts?