Here’s another set of updates on stories previously covered under Homeland Stupidity. Not only stupid, we’ve got shocking surveillance, political posturing, and some really bad advice.
- It turns out that Richard Clarke, counterterrorism adviser to two former presidents, “advised New York City to perform those pointless subway searches,” said Bruce Schneier. The searches have been challenged in court as unconstitutional and doing nothing to prevent terrorism.
- Democrats are urging President Bush to swear not to pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby or any other administration official convicted of a crime in the ongoing CIA leak case. “Swift public action on your part will make clear that you take seriously perjury and obstruction of justice at the highest levels of our government,” said a letter signed by several top Senate Democrats. Bush has not responded.
- The Department of Justice is 0 for 3 in court in its bid to track people’s location in real time using their cell phones without probable cause. A third federal judge, this time in the Southern District of New York, ruled against the government. Again, the DOJ is not appealing, so that it can continue to abuse this power in other districts.
- Reason magazine has posted an excellent article on why opposing the Unpatriotic Act may well be a good political move. “Contrary to our history, our Constitution, and cherished legal principles, this bill gives the government vague sweeping powers, instead of specific limitations. It does not contain effective checks and balances on these powers. None of these extraordinary expansions of power for the government should be made permanent,” said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) yesterday as a conference committee considered the reauthorization of several Unpatriotic Act provisions.