J.D. Tuccille on World War I's Legacy of Abusive Government Power

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Eugene Debs
Public Domain

Earlier this year, CNN's Jake Tapper pointed out that the Obama administration, after bringing charges against Edward Snowden, "has used the Espionage Act more to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists not just than any previous administration, but then more than all previous administrations combined." The claim was subsequently endorsed by PolitiFact as "true." That's a shocking use of government power to punish those who would call government officials out for their misbehavior, but hardly an unaccustomed role for for a law passed during World War I and quickly used to muzzle critics of official policy.

In fact, notes J.D. Tuccille, the "war to end all wars" left a legacy of government dominance and intrusive power in its wake that officials still exploit, and from which the country continues to suffer.

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