Flipping on Assange

342px-Julian_Assange_August_2014Not long ago, conservatives condemned Wikileaks leaker Julian Assange.  After all, Assange exposed U.S. intelligence operations, possibly endangering the lives of CIA agents.  Donald Trump even said he deserved the death penalty.  But now, after Assange released e-mails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton in support of Trump, some of those same conservatives are all for him.  In fact, they believe him over the CIA!

Conversely, liberals used to praise Assange for revealing the sinister secrets of the militaristic, imperialistic CIA.  Today, now that Assange is supporting Trump and the CIA is saying the Russians were responsible for the e-mail hacks (something Assange denies), the left is vilifying Assange and praising the CIA!

Do you see some inconsistency here?  Michael Gerson does.  After the jump, read his accusations of unprincipled tribalism.  On the other hand, there are civil libertarians on both the right and the left that can make a case for Assange and his exposure of government secrets.

What do you think of Assange now? [Read more…]

A civil libertarian analyzes the election

Thanks to long-time reader Todd for linking me to the “Best article I’ve read on the election so far.”  It’s indeed an outstanding analysis, connecting the Trump election to England’s Brexit vote as a long-overdue reaction of ordinary people to the clueless, corrupt, and condescending rule of a political elite, as embodied in Hillary Clinton.

The article, excerpted and linked after the jump, is worth reading in its entirety just for that analysis.  But what further interests me is that it is written by independent journalist and civil libertarian Glenn Greenwald.  He is a conduit for Julius Assange and Wikileaks, which proved so damaging to the Clinton campaign.

What is the connection, do you think, between the Wikileaks ideology of undermining the establishment by exposing its secrets and that of Donald Trump?  Wikileaks publishes hacked documents in the name of civil liberty.  Is the Trump movement an expression of civil liberties? [Read more…]

Celebrating our liberties, including those at risk

On this Independence Day, we celebrate our freedoms as Americans. It’s a good exercise to read The Declaration of Independence, and it’s also a good exercise to read the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution, spelling out what those freedoms are.

Read the list of our civil liberties after the jump.  As you do, consider which of these are currently under attack–by our own government, by government-connected organizations such as public universities, and by other entities. [Read more…]

Court says 2nd Amendment gives no right to “concealed carry”

A federal appeals court ruled that the 2nd Amendment does not give people the right to carry concealed firearms.
The Constitution clearly affirms the right to “keep” (possess) and “bear” (carry) arms.  Does the court think it’s only constitutional to carry weapons openly, on gun belts?  Or would it allow that to be restricted also?  How does it expect people to bear the arms the constitution entitles them to?
At any rate, look for many states, cities, and the federal government to rescind concealed carry laws and to put further restrictions on the 2nd Amendment.

[Read more…]

Now that we are so connected, government surveillance is easy

Whether you think whistleblower Edward Snowden is a traitor or a hero, he makes some good points about just how EASY government surveillance is now in the age of the smartphone. [Read more…]

Government to Apple: Never mind

The federal government dropped its lawsuit to force Apple to break into its iPhone security system, so as to investigate the San Bernadino terrorists.  The FBI was able to hack into the phone without Apple’s help.  Which was arguably the way it should be! [Read more…]