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Free Minds & Free Markets

No, Trump Staffers Shouldn’t Be Subject to a Lie Detector Dragnet to Find the 'Resistance' Mole

Rand Paul betrays his civil libertarian principles when he calls for using junk science to ferret out disloyalty.

Joshua Roberts/REUTERS/NewscomJoshua Roberts/REUTERS/NewscomOf all the takes on Wednesday's anonymous missive from an alleged Resistance cell member inside the White House, it's hard to pick the most popcorn-worthy. Was the New York Times op-ed treason? A venture into "unprecedented territory?" Evidence of a "cowardly coup"? This is fun stuff if your main interest is (as it should be) in seeing the various factions of the political class devour one another.

Not so fun, though, is the suggestion that the president should ferret out the mole through the junk-sciency technique of mass lie detector tests.

"Sen. Rand Paul says Trump would be justified in using lie-detector tests to find author of anonymous critical New York Times op-ed," tweeted The Hill's Alex Bolton. Paul's office confirmed to me by email that the report was true.

Paul's proposed polygraph—the device usually referred to by the term "lie detector"—dragnet is more than a bit disappointing coming from one of the few elected officials in the U.S. federal government who can credibly claim to be a civil libertarian. He opposed Gina Haspel's nomination to head the CIA because of her complicity in torture. He led the charge against warrantless surveillance under both this administration and its predecessor. Yet when it comes to hooking government staffers up to wires and divining their loyalty to the administration, Paul suddenly thinks it's a swell idea.

"Our Founders gave us the Fourth Amendment to prevent a tyrannical government from invading our privacy, and we are fools to relinquish that hard-won right because of fear," Sen. Paul argued earlier this year in a piece published by Reason. "Some argue that 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,' but this is a slap in the face to our constitutional standard of 'innocent until proven guilty.'"

Great sentiments. Why abandon them now?

Penning smug op-eds does not amount to treason, which has a very specific definition. And, so far as I know, the administration has no specific suspects in mind.

But trawling through the administration, strapping then to chairs, hooking them to electrodes, and forcing the bunch to answer questions under duress is unlikely to reveal much of use. It might be good theater (though I doubt that even in this Reality TV-mad age we'd be allowed to observe), but there's little chance that the testing will result in much more than appointed public officials, guilty or innocent, marinating in puddles of their own sweat. That sounds like a hoot, but it's not productive.

"In a typical criminal investigation, the polygraph, if used at all, is used only after prior investigation has been completed," Congress's old Office of Technology Assessment reported back in 1983 after a comprehensive review of the available research. It continued:

For so-called 'dragnet' screening where a large number of people would be given polygraph tests in the investigation of unauthorized disclosures, relevant research evidence does not establish polygraph testing validity. There has been no direct scientific research on this application.

And a dragnet screening is exactly what Sen. Paul seems to have in mind when he suggests using lie detector tests to find the anonymous columnist in the Trump administration.

Of course, 1983 was an awful long time ago, back before people deliberately wore pajamas in public. It was even before Twitter. There's been a lot of research on lie detectors since then. But that research doesn't move the assumption of reliability in favor of polygraph testing.

"The federal government should not rely on polygraph examinations for screening prospective or current employees to identify spies or other national-security risks because the test results are too inaccurate when used this way," the National Academies of Science concluded in 2002.

"Most psychologists agree that there is little evidence that polygraph tests can accurately detect lies," the American Psychological Association (APA) currently insists. "There is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception. An honest person may be nervous when answering truthfully and a dishonest person may be non-anxious. Also, there are few good studies that validate the ability of polygraph procedures to detect deception."

The APA goes on to point out that "evidence indicates that strategies used to 'beat' polygraph examinations, so-called countermeasures, may be effective."

The federal government seems to agree that people can beat polygraph tests, since they keep prosecuting people for teaching others how to do it.

Which is to say that the lie detectors that Paul proposes using against White House staffers can be gamed by commonly known and taught techniques. And if lie detectors are of little use against dishonest people who don't get anxious when telling lies, of what use are they against the bits of organic matter that float to the top of the cesspool that is government?

Paul should drop the idea of strapping administration officials into chairs in an effort to determine their loyalty with a magic junk science box. He comes off a lot better when he sticks to his civil libertarianism and opposes precisely such intrusions.

Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Tom Bombadil||

    Any suggestion on how the asswipe should be identified and fired or is that precluded based on his civil liberties?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    1. You assume that there is an asswipe to find, rather then the whole thing being made up.

    2. If you really want to, give a bunch of different bits of misinformation to different small groups of staffers, and see which bits get leaked.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    1. I agree that this is more likely fiction written by a NYT hack, a la Christoper Steele inventing hooker pissers.

    2. This isn't a search for a chronic leaker. (Note: this use of "leaker" is not related to the above mentioned hooker pissers)

  • JesseAz||

    The editor of the NYT editorial page was caught lying previously as a reporter. He once described an intern as a senior administration official. Sadly he was promoted to editor shortly after the discovery.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Check out Tyrion Lannister over here.

  • Tony||

    He's right there in the senate. Hard to miss.

    Oh you mean the person trying to save the world from the deranged toddler with his finger on the nuclear button.

  • FlameCCT||

    Are you referring to your tovarisch Leaky Leahy by chance?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    He's referring to Spartacus.

  • JesseAz||

    Cmon Tony. Man up. Buy a rifle. Go full Oswald if you believe what you do. Or just admit you're an idiot. Either way.

  • Fancylad||

    I... AM.... SSSPAAAAAARTICUUUUSSSS!!!

    Or a wealthy, weaselly senator grandstanding purely for the publicity.

  • John Galt Jr||

    He's just earned a larger stage than you EVER will,, for your own grandstanding,
    As you drool in anonymity.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lie detectors DONT detect lies.

    Polygraphs detect breathing rates, pulse, BP, and skin conductivity.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They need to borrow the Lasso of Hestia.

  • Dan S.||

    Actually, the same man (William Moulton Marston) created both. (Well, the blood pressure part of the polygraph anyway, and Wonder Woman, lasso and all.)

  • Wise Old Fool||

    It's a way to make people nervous enough so that the prosecutors have some leverage to make them admit guilt. Never submit to a lie detector test. The results will either be ignored OR will be used against you. It's always a negative sum game for the person taking the test. Plus it is also junk science.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Sure, there are suggestions. And the suggestion from Rand Paul establishes that he is no libertarian. Instead, he is a crank, a malcontent, a misfit, a contrarian, and a jerk.

    It seems to be his inheritance.

  • David Nolan||

    Yep. Two spiritual founders of the alt-right,
    Defending the phony federalism known as States Rights, as created and promoted by the KKK and southern racists to defend Jim Crow, school segregation, and the entire fascist right.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    All right! You two fags found each other! Now you can go pound each other in the ass and leave us humans alone.

    Enjoy shitting in each other's diapers.

  • David Nolan||

    Cowardly diversion

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So it's cowardly when you two fags fuck each other in the ass? How so?

  • John Galt Jr||

    ANOTHER cowardly diversion from Nolan's point. By an illiterate and a liar, but PROUD to be a hate-spewing bigot. The only way for his tiny ego to feel manly,

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Ah gay shaming, how free minded of you.

  • Fancylad||

    Strange accusations coming from a DNC cultist.
    You've ghettoized Blacks, aborted their children and destroyed their families. You've elevated body dysmorphia and mental illness to a sacrament. You're deliberately trying to destroy the working class by importing pseudo-slave labour to be your nannies, work your fields and fill your factories on a massive scale through illegal immigration.
    And you've got the guts to call others fascist.

  • John Galt Jr||

    DNC cultist.

    Did you also stick your tongue out, sonny boy?

    Both tribes are fascist,
    What's that make you?
    Left - Right = Zero

  • Jay Dubya||

    The idea of a man without a tribe is inconceivable to the partisan, Galt.
    The partisan's beliefs are ever-shifting taboos handed down from the tribal elders. The partisan can believe x on Monday, not x on Tuesday, & both simultaneously on Wednesday as the need of the tribe requires.
    A person with principles based on introspection, reason, discourse & research is just too alien a concept for such a simple soul. No, these strange notions are simply the taboos of the Enemy Tribe; the independent man is simply a spy of the Enemy Tribe.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Wow. But Nolan libertarianism is a tribe too, just without the hatred. I was active in two state parties. Ohio's leans very right. Washington's leans very left (in Seattle Metro) That depends on whether one comes in from the right or left. After the first meeting in Seattle, I was keen to become a "balanced" libertarian, fiscal and social. That means opposing fiscal liberals and social conservatives, but without wanting to suppress either,

    You're right, It's not enough to oppose Obama or Trump, One must one or the other with all one's soul. It's the type of purity test America hasn't seen since McCarthyism, but this one infects elements of both right and left. It's because the non-haters have walked away, making the bad voices seem louder. The silent majority has no unifying voice or identity, Yet.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Civil liberties aren't at play here. This is an employee vs. an employer.

  • Jay Dubya||

    ... except the employer is the executive branch of the govt. There is quite a bit of murky law focusing on precisely this overlap, and it becomes more & more important as the state becomes the employer of a larger and larger share of the people.

  • John Galt Jr||

    And when push comes to shove, their only oath is to the Constitution. I've worked with dozens of family-business owners, Most are at one extreme or the other, a demanding authoritarian like Trump, who I can almost predict, or a team leader. Fathers are the same way. There may be no other option here,

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    They should just play musical chairs to find the mole. It would save a lot of time and money and would be just as effective. Plus think of the ratings they could get as high level cabinet members shove and elbow their competition to get the last remaining seat; that money could then go to paying down the debt.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The mole is clearly the staffer with the biggest mole on his face.

  • Idle Hands||

    So, we're going to attack Rand Paul(probably the best member of congress on the 4th) for supporting a hypothetical situation with no details/nuance/explanation given based on a tweet from a hill reporter? I'm sure this article will age well.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    So you're going to make pronouncements for everyone else ("we") on abandoning principles for principals?

  • Idle Hands||

    I don't see an abandonment of principles as this article lacks and kind of detail into what Pauls plan is or how it applies to the "mole hunt" beyond he would be for using lie detectors in some kind of fashion I'll wait for the details before I condemn. Basically my opinion is that this article is a hot take based on tweet from a second hand source and confirmed by Pauls camp with no other details. Paul's record on the 4th amendment stands for itself and I don't feel like an article castigating him for something he said to reporter with no context given is kind of grating. I am prepared to be wrong as well.

  • David Nolan||

    Any excuse for a fascism, in Trump's GOP.
    Paul's bullshit was seen my tens of millions of viewers, but you didn't see it, so it never happened.
    Are you knowledgeable in nuclear physics, or is that a fraud too?

    Rand babbled of polygraphs for CIA and FBI agents, on issues of national security -- which he then equated, literally, to "White House policy." -- which is about as totalitarian as possible. Ramd is also the only one saying Brennan should be tried for ... treason, no specifics, but sucking up to the alt-right base he shares with Trump.

  • commentguy||

    I think it speaks volumes that when asked for confirmation, Paul's staffers didn't provide any caveats or specifics. That would have been quite an important part of the process of confirmation (if any such nuance existed).

  • David Nolan||

    His exact interview was seen by tens of millions of Americans, and found easily with Google or Bing. He's always been what we now call the alt-right.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    You've always been what we call an idiot.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Where "we" = thugs and bullies who celebrate feeding people into wood chippers, who disagree.
    Even Berkeley liberals aren't that crazy.

  • commentguy||

    I think it speaks volumes that when asked for confirmation, Paul's staffers didn't provide any caveats or specifics. That would have been quite an important part of the process of confirmation (if any such nuance existed).

  • JFree||

    Rand Paul pretty obviously has a big disconnect between any general principles he has re the 4th and any awareness he has re science.

    I don't think it's fair to slam his civil libertarian cred based on his statement.

    I think it is completely fair to slam his knowledge of science based on it. Like most GOP, he sees a political advantage in appearing stupider re science than he probably is. And I wouldn't give him a very high threshhold re his actual knowledge either.

  • David Nolan||

    I don't think it's fair to slam his civil libertarian cred based on his statement.

    Which you obviously know nothing about.

    Like ... it ain't about science, it's the drool that was dripping down his chin while he hysteria-mongered about "national security." Pure police state.

    So much for your "commitment" to individual liberty, the Constitution and the Rule of Law,
    The Authoritarian Right in action.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Kill yourself.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    So much for your "commitment" to individual liberty, the Constitution and the Rule of Law,
    Kill yourself.
    The Authoritarian Right in action.

    Pathetic?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Seriously, just do it. In your case, just enter hospice. FFS, you can't even keep your goddamn sock puppets straight.

    Best thing for you really, your commentary is going nowhere.

  • John Galt Jr||

    The Authoritarian Right in action. (snort)

    Not a sock puppet, asshole. There are 5x times as many libertarians as your pathetic ass,

  • Wise Old Fool||

    You know you've lost the argument when all you have left to debate with is ad hominem attacks. Give it up Shitlords

  • Jay Dubya||

    I wish I could share your sentiment.

    140 characters isnt enough for rational debate. Its perfect for name calling vulgarity.

    The internet is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. Human beings create an instantaneous repository for all knowledge. It can be accessed from anywhere, tasked with expediting discoveries that would never been possible before.

    How is it overwhelmingly used? Sending pictures of dicks & cats. Propaganda. The creation of inane photojournals in which ppl trade their privacy in order to share the most pointless & trivial aspects of their life - ginned up for public consumption like a tabloid - so they can receive validation through a disembodied thumbs up sign. Its turned us into a race of cynical assholes who act like we know everything when in fact we know nothing about anything.

    The type of turds who elect a z list reality tv star with a degenerative brain disease to the presidency & can only manage half hearted ethnic slurs in reply to the accurate accusation of cretinism.

  • Horny Lizard||

    Waterboard them all since it's for national security.

  • perlchpr||

    I support a policy of vigorous and frequent waterboarding for all government employees.

  • ThomasD||

    It's for their own good really.

    Toughen them up a bit.

    Frankly, I can think of days back when I was working for the Feds that I'd rather have been waterboarded than do what I was actually doing. The mere thought that many of my co-'workers' were right there with me would have soothed any discomfort.

  • VOTE MILES||

    After all, it's not torture. It's merely enhanced interrogation.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    McCain turns in his grave to agree.

  • retiredfire||

    Anything that has him not RIP, is OK with me.

  • wreckinball||

    Sounds like they have a suspect or at least a short list. But the op-ed writer is not the lone concern. Supposedly there is a group of resistors sabotaging.

    Start with the short list but folks have to come clean and talk about what they know. If not be frank with them and say they have to go.

    You can't let this stuff go on and at least as far as being employed they don;t have o be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    There is no reason to believe there is a "group" of resisters. There isn't even a reason to believe there is a single resister. Just cuz the NYT printed it, doesn't make it true. This reeks of desperation.

  • Bill||

    I understood it more as a group of people trying
    to insert some common sense into the process.

    Of course, if it is Pence's group, they lack common
    sense in a number of areas but are still better than Trump.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    A group of people trying to insert some "Not what the people elected" into the process.

    Find 'em, and hang them from the nearest light post. Democracies can not tolerate this sort of thing and remain democracies.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Yeah! Freedom of speech is a dire threat to ... freedom?
    True liberty requires a police state,
    SIEG HEIL!

  • Fancylad||

    You can convince bien-pensant liberals of absolutely anything, as long as it's false. Gotta keep up with the Jim Joneses.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Q) Why does Fancylad say that freedom of speech is a threat to ... freedom?
    A) The Authoritarian Right.

    Can you HEAR him snarling?

  • epsilon given||

    It's not the publishing in the NYT that bothers people about this. It's the undermining of a duly elected President by bureaucrats that aren't accountable to the People that is the undermining of Democracy.

    Granted, we're a Republic, not a Democracy, but it's not at all clear that it's Constitutional to have unaccountable bureaucrats the way we currently have in our system of government.

  • damikesc||

    Sounds like they have a suspect or at least a short list. But the op-ed writer is not the lone concern. Supposedly there is a group of resistors sabotaging.

    It's the funny that the same people applauding this poo-pooed concerns about the Deep State ignoring the will of the governed and doing whatever they want...

  • John Galt Jr||

    One is crazy bullshit by authoritarians.
    The other is crazy bullhsit by authotitarians.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Rand Paul is invoking 'Aliens' "Nuke them all from space, it's the only way to be sure".

    Anybody here who badmouths Aliens needs to be banned.

  • John Galt Jr||

    But is tis worse than what Rand called the "severe national threat" of ... marriage equality?

  • Just Say'n||

    I don't get the argument here. If a private employer required someone to take a lie detector test in order to keep their job, would that be a problem too?

    Why should bureaucrats enjoy more protections than a private employer. This is a rare bad article by Tuccile

  • Just Say'n||

    It doesn't matter whether lie detectors are effective or not. This comes down to whether you believe bureaucrats should be viewed as "at will" employees or enjoy some bizarre constitutional protection in employment (which is the current opinion of courts)

    If you choose the latter than you really can't say that you support smaller government, because you clearly support an entrenched bureaucracy.

  • wreckinball||

    WH staffers are employed at will. The "for cause" only covers union employees. For example firing Comey. Legally he could have done it for any reason at all. Maybe he doesn't like people who are taller than him? Doesn't matter.

  • Just Say'n||

    Yes. But, we don't know if this was a WH staffer, I thought

  • Wise Old Fool||

    It matters because lie dectors have been shown to at best be slightly better than guessing at determining truth or lies. It's junk science and doesn't pass the "beyond a reasonable doubt" smell test. It's fucking dumping the witch into water to see if she floats or sinks.

  • John Galt Jr||

    How can one ever really know if the polygraph is accurate or not? Compared to ... what?

  • Restoras||

    I think it's just bad optics. It has a bit of authoritarian/totalitarian overtones, without the Gulag or a bullet in the back of the head. Trump should just randomly fire a half dozen of these people - he could draw names from a hat with everyone in attendance - they're useless anyway.

  • JesseAz||

    I don't get how this is bad optics. Barely anyone complained when Obama did it, per the NYT... And he didn't have people bragging about being subvertive.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Right-wing authoritarians see no problem. It's mostly the libertarians who object to Rand Paul's right-wing authoritarianism.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's too bad you don't understand what words mean.

  • David Nolan||

    Rand is on the right. + again proposes an authoritarian police state = right-wing authoritarian.

    And you, like him have no idea what liberty means. That's why you're a gutless cyber-bully, proud to be a Shitlord (bigot). If you ever have he guts to actually deal with an issue, you'd be crushed. So you bellow and bully, Like Rand and Ron.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Dullard, your hero had his staff take lie detector tests when he was in the White House.

  • Fancylad||

    Looks like Kirkland got himself a sockpuppet.

  • John Galt Jr||

    DESTROYED on what words mean ... so invents a diversion.

  • retiredfire||

    You know, Hihn?
    Trying to rename yourself John Galt Jr - how imaginative - doesn't fool anyone.
    Just go away!
    And take your sock puppets Nolan and Kirkland, with you.

  • wreckinball||

    I guess it could be a fabrication but the op-ed claims a little army of saboteurs are scheming in the WH. So gather evidence (where is Sessions?).

    Assume for now that you have a group of folks that are a problem. Narrow that list and then they have to start talking, maybe clear themselves with a lie detector test or whatever.

    But they are employed at will. If they are suspected of insubordination (i.e. not doing your job) then they better clear themselves or be gone.

    I think Trump should have been much more aggressive in cleaning house on day one.

  • Just Say'n||

    Sure. This is all on Trump, but Rand shouldn't be criticized for saying "fuck government workers, give them a polygraph test if you want"

  • wreckinball||

    I agree. I guess he could fire the whole WH but lets assume it can be narrowed to a fairly small group. Then just bring them in and ask them to come clean. If they don't you could use lie detectors or just fire the whole bunch.

    As I previously posted these folks do work "at will". You could fire them all tomorrow.

  • JesseAz||

    Senior official doesn't mean only political operatives. Civil service protections protect aot of these asshats.

  • commentguy||

    "clear themselves with a lie detector test"... you didn't understand the bit in the article where it explained how unreliable those tests are, did you?

  • David Nolan||

    How does that absolve Rand of being an authoritarian statist again?
    For his Paulista Cult of brainwashed puppets on the alt-right.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    How does that absolve Rand of being an authoritarian statist again?

    It never made him one in the first place.

  • John Galt Jr||

    You confused the lame excuse with the cause of his statism.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    If a private employer required their employees to wear brown uniforms with insignia and jackboots, they would be within their rights to do so. But it would still be a bad look for an administration.

  • Just Say'n||

    Sure it's a bad look, but it certainly doesn't violate this principle that is being used to show Rand's alleged hypocrisy in the article:

    "Our Founders gave us the Fourth Amendment to prevent a tyrannical government from invading our privacy, and we are fools to relinquish that hard-won right because of fear," Sen. Paul argued earlier this year in a piece published by Reason. "Some argue that 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,' but this is a slap in the face to our constitutional standard of 'innocent until proven guilty.'"

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Rand didn't have to speak up about this. It makes him look bad.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Looks good to me. He's cracking down on the swamp. Good for him. Millions of people elected the President. Some Swamp creature doesn't get to undo that just because FEELZ.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The bigots, the backward yahoos, the superstitious goobers, the right-wing authoritarians are sticking with Trump and applauding Rand Paul's call for lie detectors (preliminary to the torture sessions, perhaps).

    Carry on, clingers . . . while you can. Your betters will let you know when it is time for the remainder of your policy preferences to be quashed.

  • retiredfire||

    Problem is:
    Kirkland thinks the likes of Stalin, Hilter, Mao, Pol Pot are the "betters" while Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, etc. are the " backward yahoos, the superstitious goobers, the right-wing authoritarians".
    Wrong, again, and on so many levels.

  • BYODB||

    It might make Rand 'look bad' to some people, but here in reality it means that Trump will probably at least listen to Rand Paul's opinions. *shrug*

    And, notably, it 'looks bad' because there aren't any real details about the statement in this 'article'. 'What is Aleppo?' looked pretty bad too out of context.

    And, that said, it's a pretty big deal that someone inside the administration is stating that they're actively working against their employer, and publicly stating it via a major news outlet. I don't know if there's any real precedent for this, since normally people quit before going full retard.

  • David Nolan||

    It might make Rand 'look bad' to some people,

    We're called libertarians, which means committed to individual liberty.

    And, notably, it 'looks bad' because there aren't any real details about the statement in this 'article'.

    Ten of millions of Americans heard his interview, or googled it to judge for themselves (what adults do.) None of them are dumb enough to equate Rand's police state mentality with Aleppo. It's difficult to believe any politically engaged adult missed it. But Rand will give you a cookie, for your dutiful obedience.

    since normally people quit before going full retard.

    Like you did here?

  • Wizard4169||

    Not only would it be a problem, it would be a crime. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act is a federal law that forbids most private employers from requiring polygraph tests. (There are exceptions for certain businesses, including security and pharmaceutical companies.) The act does not apply to federal, state or local government employees, so you have it exactly backwards: employees of private companies have more protections than bureaucrats.

    I believe Tuccille's point is entirely correct: polygraphs are not accurate or reliable, so they're not a valid investigative tool. They're basically just a more modern version of trial by ordeal.

  • John Galt Jr||

    I don't get the argument here.

    That's why you're pssing and moaning that a government employee is honoring their oath to the Constitution,.Their higher loyalty is to your Fuhrer,

    And you swallowed the bat-shit crazy claims of Donald and Rand that the op-ed was a breach of national security.
    Typical Trumptard.

  • retiredfire||

    The only ones opposed to this are the ones who like the idea of an unelected asshole deciding he/she knows better than the people, who elected Trump. A president who has worn everything about his personality on his sleeve, because that's what the main complaint is about - how he has made the nation safer and more prosperous.
    You'll notice the parallels between these assholes and those who believe in jury nullification, where a single asshole decides that he/she knows better than the elected lawmakers, and refuses to convict, when the evidence is clear that the person has committed the crime.
    It's all about wanting what they want, without having to go through the tough work of having it done by the due process of getting like-minded assholes elected.
    If it's good enough for it to be done, routinely, on FBI and CIA, and other government agencies' personnel, then it's fine to do to any other member of the executive branch. Especially to ferret out a traitor.

  • Tony||

    Had fun watching Morning Joe mock Sen. Paul the Libertarian calling for strapping people down and interrogating them for the crime of exercising speech.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The crime of stealing government documents is exercising free speech?

  • wreckinball||

    Just to be clear you are arguing with Tony?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yes, to be clear, I am.

  • Calidissident||

    I think you're getting Woodward's book (which alleges that Cohn did that) mixed up with the op-ed.

  • itsjustbob||

    Woodward wrote the op-ed

  • Calidissident||

    Maybe we're all Woodward commenting under different aliases?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Woodward is the Matrix.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Tulpa is Woodward.

  • Tony||

    We're talking about stealing documents from a guy who... chews up and eats documents. And runs the free world.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Kim Jung Un?

    Communist Chairman Xi?

  • John Galt Jr||

    Diversion?
    Or stupid?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your sockpuppeting is both.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Trump is the one reported to have swallowed paper."

    Not Kim Jung Un

    Not Chairman Xi

    Which clearly proves both your stupidity and cowardly diversion.
    I post facts. You keep doing personal attacks, a typical Trumptard. (yawn)

  • retiredfire||

    Really, Hihn?
    You give the slightest credence to what Omarosa says?
    What a maroon!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes Tomy, your kind always have an excuse why the rules never apply to you. This is why we need to purge progressives from America. So as to be free from your lawless tyranny.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Trumpster defends his police state.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Every day that goes by without the government executing you for sedition is a monument to how America isn't a police state.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Typical Paulista Cult
    Feeds people into wood chippers.
    Proud to be an asshole.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Typical idiot.
    Unaware of the origin of the 'chipper' name meme.
    Proud to be an idiot.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Fuck off, slaver. it's flom the movie Fargo, to the general populace, where a person was fed into a woodchipper. Here ar Reason, it's literally about feeding humans into wood chippers.

    popehat.com

    DOJ is targeting Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery. Why is the government using its vast power to identify these obnoxious asshats,

    Several commenters on the post found the sentence unjust, and vented their feelings in a rough manner. The grand jury subpoena specifies their comments and demands that Reason.com produce any identifying information on them:

    Its judges like these that should be taken out back and shot.

    It's judges like these that will be taken out back and shot. FTFY.

    Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you feed them in feet first.

    Why do it out back? Shoot them out front, on the steps of the courthouse.

    Fuck that. I don't want to pay for that cunt's food, housing, and medical. Send her through the wood chipper
    .

    (sneer)

  • retiredfire||

    "blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery" and "obnoxious asshats".
    Seems as if the author of that piece is familiar with you, Michael.

  • damikesc||

    I was unaware that disrupting the function of government because one dislikes a policy is "speech". I thought it was sabotage.

  • John Galt Jr||

    "Thought" is not your thing, slaver.

  • damikesc||

    Oh, I'm sorry...I'm supposed to be concerned about your view of me?

    Please, son, don't flatter yourself.

  • John Galt Jr||

    I've already stated my total contempt for you.
    Hint: that means I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR VIEW... ON ANYTHING.
    So he PROVES me correct on his inability to think!
    Trumptards be so easy to ridicule. They even ridicule themselves!.

  • John Galt Jr||

    The crime of stealing government documents is exercising free speech?

    This is about an op-ed. You're a psycho. And Tony beat you yet again.

  • Just Say'n||

    You're praising Scarborough over Paul? You clearly have no discernible principles other than "I hate Trump and all Republicans"

  • Tony||

    Scarborough is the walking definition of insufferable. Paul is a sad Trump poodle who checks his principles at the door whenever he needs to appeal to the mouth breathers (meaning licking Trump nutsack as often as possible). Why can't I hate both?

  • Just Say'n||

    "Paul is a sad Trump poodle who checks his principles at the door whenever he needs to appeal to the mouth breathers"

    That is not at all what Paul has done at all during his administration. He has voted against Trump's nominees more than any other Republican.

    And Paul's attempt to smooth relations with Russia, while trying to isolate Bolton's hawkish Iranian instincts is called staying firm in principle. A lot of libertarians have checked their principles at the door during this administration, Paul is most certainly not one of them

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, instead, why can't you go drink Drano?

  • John Galt Jr||

    Typical Trumptard thugs.
    Defending a police state by their Cheetos God.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    If this were an actual police state, you'd have been gulag-ed months ago for daring to openly criticize Trump.

  • damikesc||

    That's the funny part. Watching the Left act "gallant" by criticizing Trump as if there was a danger of retribution is amusing. Just like watching Presidential candidate Booker show civil disobedience by making an ass of himself over already declassified documents that he had never actually read that said the exact opposite of what he claimed.

  • John Galt Jr||

    civil disobedience

    Damn niggers, (shudder)
    /sarc

    Dumbfuck BELEEBS only "the Left" thinks Trump is crazy.
    And that 60% of all voters are "the Left." This is why we call them Trumptards.

  • damikesc||

    Damn niggers, (shudder)
    /sarc

    Odd how casually progs drop "N" bombs, ain't it?

  • John Galt Jr||

    Trumptard humiliates himself a seventh time on this page alone!

    Ignorant of what "/sarc" means. (lol)

  • John Galt Jr||

    Typical Trumptard thugs.
    Defending a police state by their Cheetos God.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefty trolls at it again.

  • John Galt Jr||

    ANOTHER Trumptard BELEEBS only "lefty trolls" oppose Trump.
    And that 60% of all voters are "the Left." This is why we call them Trumptards.

    Libertarians are neither left nor right, for a half-century now.
    That means we oppose or support both sides, based on judgment of individuals, not tribal bigotry.
    This confuses the shrinking combination of left + right, for a half-century now..

    For any other confused righties, applying negative stereotypes to an entire group is bigotry, by definition. Another example of collectivism and judgmentalism, vs individualism..

    (Posted in defense of aggression)

  • retiredfire||

    So, you think "Morning Hoe" is in a position to mock someone for not being libertarian enough?
    Tony, you prove the adage that "you can't fix stupid" with each post.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I know lie detectors are not reliable, but on the other hand, nobody actually has a constitutional right to work in the White house, so I don't see any constitutional issue here.

    But, seriously, I don't actually see any constitutional obstacle to issuing a warrant demanding that the NYT identify the leaker. He's publicly confessed to a crime, they know who he is, and journalists don't actually have an constitutional rights anybody else doesn't have.

    And, it's not like the NYT could credibly threaten that their coverage of Trump would become more negative...

  • Calidissident||

    What crime was confessed?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Even without getting into esoteric charges, he confessed to being part of a conspiracy which, for instance, stole documents off Trump's desk.

  • FlyerJack||

    You're getting mixed-up. Go back and read the op-ed. There's nothing in the op-ed about stealing documents off a desk.

  • Toranth||

    At the 100% minimum, it's federal time card fraud - refusing to do your job but still charging the government for it is a crime. It may seem petty, but it is indisputable.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    I don't know if you purport to be a libertarian or not, but if you do, I'm not sure that "obey every whim of the president" counts as the job of every cabinet member, so failing to do so would also not count as "refusing to do your job."

  • k2000k||

    Don't pretend that these are guys simply refusing to carter to the presidents whims rather than actively resisting executing the policies they are being directed to execute. The ONLY reason they exist is to serve as a functional arm of the president, failure to do so is the very definition of "refusing to do your job".

    It's amazing to see others fail to see the ramifications when a member of the bureaucracy, or deep state, deciding to go "fuck it we aren't going to follow our presidents orders." How many cosmotarians would be apologists for the alleged resistance staffer if say, the president ordered that federal laws would not be enforced and they decide to ignore the order and continue with business as usual anyways?

  • damikesc||

    Why are Libertarians SUPPORTING the bureaucracy over the President? They have SOME say over who is President.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Why are Libertarians SUPPORTING the bureaucracy over the President?

    Libertarians support neither. And you're also a fucking liar on the issue here.
    The Cheeto President will give you a cookie.

  • damikesc||

    You're sitting there spanking your dick (with, admittedly, tweezers to get something of a grip) over this.

  • Toranth||

    Right. The "#Resistance" is refusing to go pick up a coffee from Starbucks. No, they're talking about disobeying their boss's policy directions. If the President's "whim" is a policy, then you're damned right the job of his employees - including the Cabinet members - is to obey (or quit).

    Unless you think this entire "We're saving the country through insubordination!" is about Big Mac runs...?

  • John Galt Jr||

    They took an oath to to the Constitution. Not to Trump, slavers.

  • wreckinball||

    And where is Sessions? Is stealing information off of the presidents desk a crime? Get on it.

    Jeff is completely worthless.

  • Horny Lizard||

    And the Dems took his Senate seat!!! It's so wonderful watching Republicans attacking Republicans.

  • wreckinball||

    Why are you here? This is a libertarian site. Go back to HuffPo if you rah rah Team Red

  • John Galt Jr||

    Is stealing information off of the presidents desk a crime

    Is lying about the issue a mental affliction?

  • Horny Lizard||

    Any of you catch Trump stroking out trying to pronounce anomenous, anome...? I guess his dentures were falling out again? Sad!

  • Sevo||

    "Any of you catch Trump stroking out trying to pronounce anomenous, anome...? I guess his dentures were falling out again? Sad!"

    "Treating the Six Known Symptoms of 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' "
    https://drrichswier.com/2017/01/29/treating-
    the-six-symptoms-of-trump-derangement-syndrome/

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I think Lizard should treat his TDS by drinking some ammonia. Sure fire cure right there.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Dumbfucks say it IS pronounced anomenous. (snort)

  • Ron||

    One way to piss off your employees is to consider them all liars by testing them. I read somewhere today that Obama did just that

  • Tom Bombadil||

    If he considered all of them liars, he'd just fire all of them.
    Testing is meant to find the one liar.
    Logic much?

  • Ron||

    there in politics so they are all liars. If you treat everyone with disdain by testing them then they may as well

  • damikesc||

    His employees thought he was the second coming of Jesus and were happy to do the tests.

    No, this is likely not sarcasm.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Ummm, only goobers support either Trump ot Obama
    (This is ridicule, not sarcasm)

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Penning smug op-eds does not amount to treason, which has a very specific definition. And, so far as I know, the administration has no specific suspects in mind."

    Did Rand use the T-word? This is an article about Rand, correct?

  • Just Say'n||

    No. Rand didn't use that at all. This is your typical "Rand is bad because his principles align with Trump at this moment"

  • John Galt Jr||

    Shame on you/ Rand said, explicitly, that it's a breech of national security to oppose White House policies.
    Undeniable fascism.

  • wreckinball||

    So you are sure Tom? Penning an op-ed is certainly not treason. But sabotaging the Presidents efforts could be depending on what they did.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    The words in quotes are not mine.

  • wreckinball||

    I stand corrected

  • John Galt Jr||

    Did Rand use the T-word?

    He explicitly said it was a breech of national security -- to oppose White House policies.

  • wreckinball||

    See all this debate about how serious this may or may not be needs investigated. First of all it insubordination so they need to find out all involved and have them fired. Next what types of sabotage occurred. This could constitute crimes up to and including treason.

    So where the fuck is Sessions?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Treason is somewhat unlikely, given its constitutional definition. But, yes, it does sound like crimes were involved.

  • Dillinger||

    logical conclusion disband government.

  • Rockabilly||

    The New York fucking Times lied when it reported that Iraq had WMDs.

    Since then, sane people know the Times has no credibility and this so called 'anonymous source,' for all I know could be Hillary Fucking Clinton.

  • wreckinball||

    Good point. They could be using hen same tactics as the dossier.

  • Rockabilly||

    Even the progTards agree..

    Online Exclusive…Fatal Error: Lies of The Times, Their Lies Took Lives

    https://tinyurl.com/yc3dufs6

  • Richnunya||

    It's because Rand Paul is a phony who hides behind a "libertarian" label while advocating for completely unlibertarian policies whenever it fits his personal agenda.

  • PaulTheBeav||

    The fact that they are less than 100% reliable doesn't make them junk science. There are a lot of medical tests that are less than 100% reliable. Some of those tests have saved thousands of lives. Polygraphs are a tool. They can be useful so long as they are employed by people who understand their limitations.

  • ThomasD||

    This.

    And there are no 'civil liberty' issues either. Nobody has a right to a job with the Federal gubmint.

    I oppose this sort of dragnet primarily because it would be a tremendous waste of time.

  • TLBD||

    My employer gives me a lie detector test.

    Reason: YOUR EMPLOYER CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS PEON.

    Rand Paul wants to give government employees lie detector tests.

    MUH CIVIL LIBERTIES!

  • Tony||

    Are you people actually interested in actual, definable human freedom at all, or is it just a bunch of words meant to distract the dumb while the Koch brothers swim around in the vault where they keep their tax cuts?

  • TLBD||

    I did not try to define freedom in the above post, dipshit. I just pointed out the hypocrisy, showing that Reason are nothing more than bootlickers to anyone that is Never-Trump.

  • Headache||

    Like Charles Koch.

  • Echospinner||

    For goodness sake Rand, lie detectors? Did he test his patients for glaucoma by feeling the bumps on their heads?

    I can narrow it down. I read the op ed. Whoever wrote it is a Capricorn.

  • Headache||

    Actually it was Clinton channeling Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Clinton chowing Eleanor Roosevelt you say?

  • John Galt Jr||

    You slurping Donald's cock again?

  • Echospinner||

    I have just always assumed that this kind of thing has been going on forever. Happens in every organization. Middle management and staff subvert upper management and so on.

    If everything ran according to the strict wishes of the one person at the top no large organization would succeed.

    The rest is just confirmation of what we already know about Trump. Even his supporters know.

    The only thing unusual is that it is anonymous from someone still there apparently. The normal pattern is someone gets fired or quits and then spills the beans.

  • crufus||

    When did Rand become Trump's bitch?

  • Headache||

    When Hillary started queefing in your face.

  • Walter Hudson||

    I was unaware that serving in government was a constitutional right. You may want to share this revelation with the various agencies who subject new hires to extensive background checks. Giant Fourth Amendment violation that, apparently, we just now discovered, somehow.

  • FlyerJack||

    Keep killing those straw men, champ. Maybe one day you'll be good enough to rebut arguments that people are actually making.

  • Penrose21||

    Two comments:
    1. While polygraphs are not perfect in detecting lies/deception, they can be quite useful as one of many tools to investigate subterfuge. Many of the intelligence agencies use them routinely on their employees. You would assume these people would know whether they serve some useful purpose. If concerned about civil liberties, offer the employees the option to refuse.

    2. While posting an anonymous op-ed criticizing is certainly not a crime, committing the acts the author claims to have done is. Conspiring with others to purposefully thwart the agenda and orders of the president on a continual basis is tantamount to treason. This distinction is totally ignored by leftists and their media puppets. If the conspirators disagree with the president's policies and orders, they should resign rather than engage in subterfuge. Imagine the utter outrage if such had occurred when Obama was president.

  • Echospinner||

    "1. While polygraphs are not perfect in detecting lies/deception, they can be quite useful as one of many tools"

    Not perfect. Does not measure lies any more than a fake electrode attached to your head..

    A real one with shocks attached elsewhere...

    I suppose either one can be "quite useful"

    Let us subject the entire government staff to both as an experiment.

    Bottom line the polygraph is nothing better than a crystal ball. It has no place in the discussion nor legal evidence.

  • Echospinner||

    "Many of the intelligence agencies use them routinely on their employees."

    Show me evidence. Perhaps it has been used as a means to get someone to walk away but i would prefer a 9mm against the head. At least that is real.

  • ejhickey||

    No lie detectors . The old burning bamboo shoots under the fingernails will do.

  • David Nolan||

    Only the authoritarian right still says either Paul is libertarian, when they are among the spiritual founders of the alt-right. Rand's shameless suckup to Trump's base told us what base he is loyal to.

    In Rand's actual interview, he babbled about polygraphs for CIA and FBI agents, and national security issues, but said -- explicitly- that includes opposing White House policy. THAT is banana republic.

    This is the same suckup who wants Brennan prosecuted for treason. His Presidential campaign disgraced individual liberty by calling for religious tent revivals, nationwide, to protest the grave threat of marriage equality (Retards might read 14A). This was like his father bragging that he sponsored a bill that would have forbidden SCOTUS to even consider any challenges to DOMA -- which would have made homosexuals the first to be denied defense of fundamental rights since .... slaves. Shameful.

    How can anyone be surprised by this latest moral atrocity? The red banners of "statism" have been flying for a very long time.
    .

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Have you ever taken a croquet mallet to your nut sack?

  • David Nolan||

    Did I trigger a precious snowflake?
    Cowardly evasion. Thanks for proving me right about the Authoritarian Right.
    NOW do you feel manly?
    (lol)

  • swampwiz||

    Paul is as much of a libertarian as the Republican Party is the party of fiscal discipline.

  • John Galt Jr||

    ^^This

    Lest we forget, Rand pissed and moaned about higher spending, even threatened to shut down the government, over increasing the debt ... then voted for a GREATER deficit increase, with tax cuts. His goobers say that's "keeping more of my own money,."

    The precious snowflakes think borrowing trillions is NOT raping their own kids -- no better than Bernie's cult.

    That's why God created libertarians!

  • damikesc||

    Obama did worse to his leakers.

    Just sayin'.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Just lyin'

  • damikesc||

    Oh, I hit your jug-eared Jesus, huh?

    Your worshipped empty suit did markedly worse to leakers. And reporters.

    The first positive contribution Obama makes, like McCain, will be to fertilize the ground.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Pay attention, goober. I'll go as slowly as possible.

    Libertarians are neither left nor right. For a half-century. Apparently that EXPLODES your feeble brain.

    your jug-eared Jesus

    Also one VERY sick hater.
    Like all of his ilk.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Two thoughts:
    1) Coming from a libertarian, this is a pretty authoritarian thing to say, not to mention stupid (Polygraphs? Really?). If he even said it. Which segues nicely into:

    2) Is it really beyond the realm of likelihood that the oh-so-venerable NYT might (again) run a false story knowingly or unknowingly that supports their editorial slant? Surely they wouldn't troll Trump. Right?

  • John Galt Jr||

    Blind faith loyalty is the surest sign of both cults -- Trump's and Paul's.-- alt-right bigotry forever!
    Obama is a Muslim from Kenya
    Uranium One.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Hello, Hihn. Smearing your own feces on the bathroom wall again, I see.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Blind faith loyalty is the surest sign of both cults -- Trump's and Paul's.-- alt-right bigotry forever!
    Obama is a Muslim from Kenya
    Uranium One.

    You forget to screech "FAKE NEWS"

  • Rock Lobster||

    So... you're saying it's someone else's feces, then? My mistake.

    Carry on, Hihn.

  • John Galt Jr||

    So... you're saying it's someone else's feces, then?

    You're a poor loser.
    Most bullies are.
    Cause and effect.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Deep State Forever!"

  • rfichoke||

    I thought the article was pointless and dumb. Then I started reading through the comments.

  • HenryC||

    You require a security clearance to work as a white house staffer. Fro that type of job you automatically are subject to lie detector tests. It is part of the deal.

  • HenryC||

    You require a security clearance to work as a white house staffer. Fro that type of job you automatically are subject to lie detector tests. It is part of the deal.

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