Those AWOL Libertarians

by on March 8, 2008 · 4 comments

Via Julian, diarist at Daily Kos has repeated the complaint that libertarians have been AWOL on FISA. This is beyond silly. Let me offer a quick timeline:

  • Feb 1: Cato’s daily podcast features me discussing the FISA debate. And on Cato’s blog, I debunk the idea that telecom immunity is about trial lawyers.
  • Feb 3: Reason‘s Julian Sanchez pens a piece for the popular tech news site Ars Technica titled “Unchecked surveillance threatens security as well as privacy.”
  • Feb 4: Julian criticizes the White House for letting the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board sit empty.
  • Feb 6: Reason’s Jacob Sullum pens a piece for Reason attacking the Bush administration’s position on FISA.
  • Feb 7: I have a piece in Reason called “The Surveillance Scam” urging Democrats not to capitulate.
  • Feb 11: On Cato’s blog I critique a Wall Street Journal editorial on FISA.
  • Feb 12: Julian attacks the Senate’s bad FISA bill.
  • Feb 13: Cato president Ed Crane pens a piece titled “No, a President Can’t Do as He Pleases.” The same day, I have a piece in Slate wondering why conservatives are so opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants, but are gung-ho for telecom immunity. And Jacob Sullum asks some pointed questions about the Senate bill.
  • Feb 14: In a post for Techdirt, Julian praises House Democrats for standing up to Republican fearmongering and letting the Protect America Act expire. The Wall Street Journal‘s Dan Slater quotes my Slate piece.
  • Feb 15: Liberal blogger Matt Yglesias cites my Slate article.
  • Feb 16: The Protect American Act expires. The Washington Times runs a story that quotes me saying that the PAA expiration won’t endanger Americans’ safety.
  • Feb 17: The liberal blog Crooks and Liars cites me saying that the PAA expiration is no big deal. So does The Carpetbagger Report. And Matt Yglesias.
  • Feb 18: Keith Olberman quotes me on national television saying that the PAA’s expiration is no big deal. Cato’s Daily podcast features me explaining that the expiration of the PAA hasn’t caused the sky to fall. I also discuss FISA with Cato’s WIll Wilkinson on
  • Feb 19: Speaker Pelosi quotes my Slate piece on her blog. Gene Healy and I have a piece in the Orange County Register describing the history of abuses that led to FISA’s original passage.
  • Feb 20: At Cato’s blog, I criticize a post at NRO defending the White House on FISA.
  • Feb 21: Julian covers the Republicans’ discharge efforts at Techdirt.
  • Feb 23: The ACLU cites Cato in a press release related to FISA.
  • Feb 28: Cato releases a statement by me disagreeing with the president’s statement on FISA.

    That’s nowhere close to an exhaustive list, and that was all in February. I’ve been writing about this subject since 2006, and so has Julian. Maybe our friends at Daily Kos could do a little bit of research before making sweeping statements about what libertarians have or haven’t been doing?

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