• At first it was hailed as a victory for civil liberties. But last week's announcement that warrantless domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency has come to an end means less than it first appears.

    January 22, 2007
  • As Cenk Uygur has explained, Virgil Goode's slur is a naked attempt to link terrorism, immigration, and Islam in a way that panders to the ugliest kind of nativism.

    December 22, 2006
  • Last week, a district judge in Washington dismissed the case of Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Hamdan. In June, Hamdan won a landmark Supreme Court decision striking...

    December 19, 2006
  • In the run-up to last month's Dutch election, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, known locally as "Iron Rita," declared her intention to pass a ban on religious garments that cover all of a woman's face. According to one Dutch parliamentarian, full face covering is so rare that the ban would apply to less than one hundred of the Netherlands' one million Muslims. Verdonk nevertheless insisted the ban was a needed from a "security standpoint." Picking up on recent comments by British parliamentarian Jack Straw, Verdonk elaborated that "people should be able to communicate with one another." Apparently, communication is impossible with a veiled woman.

    December 12, 2006
  • Oversight is the rallying cry of the new Democrat Class of '06. But there's a danger that the policy area most obviously in need of real accountability- our domestic national security agenda - will get short shrift in the rush to address the Iraq debacle.

    November 14, 2006
  • The United States has two main resources to combat terrorism: The hard power of military might, and the soft power of diplomacy that comes from convincingly claiming the moral high ground. Five years after the 9/11 attacks, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Bush Administration has gutted both.

    October 4, 2006
  • Within hours of her decision to hold the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program unconstitutional, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor was subjected to relentless personal criticism. Even in the mainstream press, she has been accused of "pos[ing] for the cameras" (the Wall Street Journal), charged with "blithely ignoring [her] own obligations" (The New York Times) and dismissed as having produced merely unscholarly "angry rhetoric" (The Washington Post). Such deeply personal invective directed at Judge Taylor drowned out commentary either applauding or disputing the merits of the decision.

    August 30, 2006
  • Terrorism penetrates the psyche by being unpredictable. Terrorists rely not only on the element of surprise but also on a second-level uncertainty to strike so deep: The difficulty of knowing exactly who the terrorist might be. Background is no guide. Many of the 9-11 plotters had tertiary educations. Others, like the self-starting (and foiled) millennium bomber and former petty thief Ahmed Ressam, came from the social margins. Ethnic profiling, proposed again recently by New York Representative Peter King, hardly works. The July 2005 London attackers and the recent High Wycombe arrestees both defied racial stereotypes. Any halfway calculating terrorist group, moreover, will simply work around ethnic profiling.

    August 28, 2006
  • The partisan posturing began within hours of reports the British had arrested 20-odd suspects in connection with an alleged terrorist conspiracy to blow up passenger airplanes. Arrests were made in the U.K, not the U.S. The plot was hatched in the U.K. and Pakistan.

    August 17, 2006
  • Eighteen years ago , Justice Antonin Scalia assumed the prophet's cloak and forecast threats to the Constitution's core balance of powers. A threat, Justice Scalia explained, sometimes comes "in sheep's clothing: the potential of the asserted principle to effect important change in the equilibrium of power is not immediately evident, and must be discerned by a careful and perceptive analysis. But this wolf comes as a wolf." Today, another wolf scratches at the door: And it is a beast that has already inflicted heavy damage on the Constitution.

    July 24, 2006