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Martin Garbus
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Entries by Martin Garbus

The Military Industrial Complex: We Know It Just Didn't Stick -- It Was Our Fault

(99) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 3:04 PM

The NSA website today and for the past many months states that it has the capacity, and is looking into, intercepting all domestic communications as well all foreign and military communications. In Oak Bluff, Utah, the new NSA site, two million square feet, the largest spy plant in the world,...

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Five Judges in Black Who Think White

(167) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 1:27 PM

In August 1968, three years after the Voting Rights Act was passed, Henrietta Wright began her testimony on August 10th in the first voting rights damage suit in a Federal United States District Court in a Mississippi courtroom. She was suing Sheriff John Wages, the Sheriff who brutally beat her,...

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Dangerous, Not Foolish: The Citizens United Case

(458) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 6:22 PM

On Monday the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Citizens United Case. When I look at the Supreme Court's words and thoughts in the Citizens United Case, I think of other statements from the past, made by prominent figures, regarding controversial issues.

  • "Everything that can be invented has been...

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Breaking the 'Golden Shield'

(2) Comments | Posted July 20, 2009 | 10:25 AM

The torture started with Bush, Cheney and their lawyers. The prosecutions must start with the lawyers who gave the legal cover, the "Golden Shield," to both the Bush officials and the line of command that led to those who performed the horrendous act on the ground. At the present time,...

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Murder Threats and the First Amendment

(136) Comments | Posted July 7, 2009 | 11:16 AM

A very important First Amendment case, one that may soon reach the Supreme Court, is beginning its legal path.

Here's how it started. On June 2, 2009, Hal Turner, a radio talk show host considered by civil rights organizations to be a white supremacist, wrote on his blog that three...

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Obama Falsely Shouts Fire

(104) Comments | Posted June 29, 2009 | 12:18 PM

It is more than coincidence that an HBO film on free speech, Shouting Fire, dealing with the Bush attempt to stop free speech is on tonight.

Obama's campaign promise was for a transparent government, yet this past Friday, after 3pm, hoping to avoid the weekend news cycle, his administration...

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The Lesson of Sonia Sotomayor for Barack Obama

(5) Comments | Posted June 1, 2009 | 11:07 AM

It took Nixon to go to China. If any Democratic president prior to Nixon had tried that, he would have been vilified. Obama has just made a wonderful Supreme Court nomination.

Obama varies between being a pragmatist and a man of principle. Sonia Sotomayor is a slam dunk. He...

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Releasing All the Torture Photos Immediately Will Probably Save American Lives

(183) Comments | Posted May 28, 2009 | 12:02 PM

Major General Taguba, who retired in January 2007 who supports the President's decision not to release the photographs, today said, "These pictures show torture, rape and every indecency."

He described the pictures more specifically. Journalists who saw the classified photographs are also starting to tell us more.

Obama should...

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Warren, Black, Marshall, Douglas -- Obama Got It Right. Hooray.

(19) Comments | Posted May 26, 2009 | 4:35 PM

Some of the criticism being leveled against Sonia Sotomayor is that her opinions aren't intellectual enough, that she is not intellectual enough in her legal approaches, that she's written no legal decisions that will live forever, and that her scholarship, writing and books are second-rate.

The law, notwithstanding what academics...

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Obama is Right Not to Trust Us: All the Torture Photos Should Be Immediately Released

(10) Comments | Posted May 21, 2009 | 3:39 PM

Obama is wrong again to change track on the torture photos.

First of all, they are going to come out anyway, one way or another. We know that. Material like this that is suppressed will come out. It may take weeks or months, but it always gets out. There are...

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There is No Need for Wretched Un-American Military Commissions

(7) Comments | Posted May 19, 2009 | 2:47 PM

The changes that Obama is suggesting are little more than giving the defendants an aspirin.
The main reason urged for the continuance of the military courts is that they will permit hearsay testimony that a federal court will not, and that they will be more sensitive to classified information....

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Obama's Next Appointee -- Part II

(3) Comments | Posted May 18, 2009 | 10:37 AM

Many facts are overlooked in the Supreme Court nominating process. There are always some unexpected divisions on the Court. For example, in the free speech area, Justice Scalia's positions are often more protective of First Amendment values than Democratic moderates. For example, in last week's Supreme Court FCC case involving...

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How Can You Not Have Bush, Cheney and Gonzales Prosecuted?

(96) Comments | Posted May 13, 2009 | 1:09 PM

The roles of Bush, Cheney and Gonzales in the torture process was always less clear than the roles of the lawyers who justified it -- Jay Bybee, John Yoo and David Addington. No longer.

The question is no longer, should you, or can you, prosecute Bush, Cheney and Gonzales for...

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Obama's Next Appointee

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2009 | 11:31 AM

Part I
President Barack Obama, because of Justice Souter's anticipated resignation, has a wonderful chance to begin to shape the next few decades in this country. It would be a tragic mistake for him to raise the illusion of bipartisanship as an excuse not to fight for the best...

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Obama's Greatest Mistake

(35) Comments | Posted May 4, 2009 | 11:06 AM

President Barack Obama has a wonderful chance to begin to shape the next few decades in this country.

As Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush before him, he has an opportunity to shape the Supreme Court in a new, dramatic way. He may have as many as three appointments this...

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The Times May Be Changing

(29) Comments | Posted April 3, 2009 | 3:13 PM


Now six years after Iraq started, nearly one hundred days into the new presidency, more and more information is coming out about the involvement of the Bush people in Iraq-related criminal acts. The legal memos and the statements of tortured detainees are only the beginning of what will...

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Newt Gingrich Got It Right: The Battle Over the Courts

(13) Comments | Posted March 18, 2009 | 3:58 PM

President Barack Obama's team is continuing the mistakes of prior domestic presidents in his federal judicial selections. He is seeking, as President Clinton did, in the name (and the illusion) of bipartisanship, to nominate experienced moderate judges.

This is a disaster. The Republicans know better and have known better for...

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The Bush Lawbreakers Should be Criminally Prosecuted -- Commissions Don't Do It

(30) Comments | Posted March 9, 2009 | 3:33 PM

It's really quite simple. Truth and Reconciliation commissions, Congressional committees and blue ribbon commissions like the 9/11 Commission, are not deterrents to torture, illegal surveillance or lawyers on the Justice Department who attempted to justify the torture. They have a very limited function.

But they don't punish anyone; don't...

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Twice Wrong on Obama

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2008 | 7:41 PM

Earlier, I wrote in these pages that Obama's election along with a solid Democratic majority in the Senate could lead to a dramatic change in the Supreme Court. I envisioned him appointing men and women whose political and legal views would echo those of former Chief Justice Earl Warren's, a...

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Death in the Afternoon

(2) Comments | Posted June 30, 2008 | 4:28 PM

Charles Black linking future terrorist attacks to McCain's chances of winning, like Hillary, who spoke of Robert Kennedy's assassination in the context of this election were both speaking self-serving truths.

While we can condemn their words, we should not think that those words give assassins or terrorists ideas that...

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