Interesting summation of the many presentations at the Future of Freedom Foundation's early June three-day conference on foreign policy and civil liberties. Speakers included James Bovard, libertarian historian Ralph Raico, Freeman editor Sheldon Richman, former Pentagon staffer Karen Kwiatkowski, Robert Higgs, Robert Scheer, Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, and Rep. Ron Paul, among others. Also Judge Andrew Napolitano, who
spoke about the curtailment of civil liberties that typically accompanies war, giving numerous examples from US history. He called the Patriot Act "the most abominable, unconstitutional, hateful from the point of view of freedom legislation since the Alien and Sedition Act" from the Presidency of John Adams. Most members of Congress never even read, much less debated, the Patriot Act. The Fourth Amendment and the right to privacy have been completely eliminated by the Patriot Act and the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2004. Federal bail requirements have become so stringent that the burden of proof is now on the defendant to demonstrate the lack of flight risk. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 allows for the continued incarceration of persons even after acquittal. Judge Napolitano noted that while the Supreme Court has overturned some of the most egregious abuses of civil liberties since 9-11, this may well change with the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor and the appointment of pro-Bush administration jurists to the Court.
Napolitano was interviewed in reason's March 2005 issue.