Intelligence officials may very well know what's best for the American people, but government agents -- regardless of whether they work at the CIA or the USDA -- don't have the right to govern without the consent of the governed.
Do we allow the government liberal powers to control and spy on all electronic communications flowing through the United States? Can we trust the government not to abuse its privileges and respect our privacy rights?
How many Obama supporters in 2008 would have believed he'd expand drone strikes and military tribunals for terrorist suspects, or continue warrantless wiretapping? People will use every inch of leeway if the law provides it.
With all due warnings about nostalgia about a golden age of American democracy that never existed, here are four especially disturbing and depressing signs that our political institutions are doing a worse and worse job of reflecting meaningful the interests of "We, The People."
The flare-up over "kill lists," cyber war and the manipulation of information by our leaders has revealed deep seated flaws in our political culture and the mentality of our political class that are toxic to a healthy democracy.
The courts have a role to play in ensuring that government surveillance complies with the Constitution. We'll find out on Tuesday whether the Obama administration is finally willing to let the courts play that role.
Ron Paul's progressive supporters might not grasp that Paul's libertarianism, while informing some of his seemingly progressive views on foreign policy and the like, carries with it a significant load of horrendous and unacceptable baggage.
Providing data in the Wiretap Report is not simply compliance with 40-year-old legislation. That information is what allows us to understand what's true about this highly intrusive and secretive investigative technique and what's not.
In an apparent application of PATRIOT Act principles, the FBI is seeking the unimpeded right to request Internet records without public notice of any type, and ironically, without it being required to keep a record of the FBI's request.