The CIA Spying on Congress is Big News, Right?

On Tuesday, Sen. Feinstein accused the CIA of spying on Congress and of interfering with a congressional investigation. The details would make for a taut political thriller. But that’s not the news, not really. The news is that Congress has lost the ability to oversee this country’s clandestine operations. Continue reading

The Deep State What the President Doesn’t Know

In the world of politics, many of us are used to thinking about governing as the sort of thing that is done by elected officials; in reality, much of public policy is crafted by non-partisan career bureaucrats like the good folks who staff most of the State Department or, for that matter, the FBI or the EPA. If you’re conspiracy-minded, you don’t have a difficult time imagining secret cabals plotting against your interests. How should Americans assess the dangers? Continue reading

Sen. Chambliss on Meet the Press Don’t Worry, Stay Quiet.

I really don’t mean to pick on Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). The last time I took his comments on Meet the Press as a point of departure for a post, I was bewildered at his seeming lack of historical memory. … Continue reading

The Right to Privacy In the Constitution The Forgotten Ninth Amendment

In theory, the Constitution is valid from beginning to end. But in reality, we all know some parts of it are, to borrow Orwell’s famous phrase, more equal than others. Sometimes this is because certain provisions are so intricately tied … Continue reading

Holding Back the State At the Intersection of National Security and the Leviathan

Last Friday’s unscheduled post touched on some of the issues brought up by the recent revelations about the government’s enhanced surveillance programs. The news that the government has, for years, been collecting information on all of our email, phone calls, … Continue reading

QUICK RESPONSE: PRISM, Verizon, and other Expanded Surveillance This Isn’t a Scandal, It’s a Test

The facts are still slowly trickling out on a couple of government surveillance programs. On Wednesday, news broke that the US government had secretly collected information on every phone call made on Verizon’s phone network from April 25 to July … Continue reading