David Kirkpatrick

February 6, 2008

New surveillance powers and FISA

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:39 pm

Over at Reason Jacob Sullum has a good article outlining the ongoing debate about new surveillance powers, the Protect America Act and FISA.

From the conclusion:

The administration has contradicted itself even on the question of how urgently needed the FISA changes are. Last summer they were so crucial to national security that McConnell claimed pausing to debate the issue meant “some Americans are going to die.” More recently, Bush has threatened to let these absolutely essential powers lapse by vetoing extension bills that do not meet his specifications.

An administration that cannot tell a consistent story in public about why it needs new extrajudicial surveillance powers cannot be trusted to exercise those powers in secret.

January 24, 2008

Afghani justice

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:18 pm

Here’s a post from Jacob Sullum over at Reason mag’s Hit and Run on a blasphemy case in Afghanistan. In no way can this action from Afghan officials be considered part of the enlightened, modern world.

From the article:

An Afghan court has sentenced Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh, a 23-year-old journalism student, to death for downloading and distributing an article critical of Muhammad’s views on women’s rights. Disturbing as that news is for anyone who thought the U.S. had freed Afghanistan from the oppressive rule of brutal theocrats, the reaction of Kambakhsh’s defenders is in some ways even more troubling ( )

January 10, 2008

Ron Paul’s newsletter scandal

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:37 pm

I’m not a huge backer of Ron Paul, although as something of a libertarian I do like some of the ideas he’s bringing to the GOP table.

In light of the fact I posted a primer on Paul …

And the ongoing scandal of newsletters published in his name containing bigoted commentary brought to mainstream attention by a New Republic story …

Here’s a link with subsequent links to good information and commentary from Reason readers, a group fairly invested in the Paul movement and how it’s drawing new libertarians to the fold.

(edit: Here’s my second post on this issue with more information on the newsletters’ background. You can find my third, and presumably final, post here.)