UT Documents


I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Government assurances

Here’s what President Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, said at a Press Conference in order to assuage growing fears of new government eavesdropping powers, as reported by this July 25, 1969 article from Time Magazine:
Mitchell refused to disclose any figures, but he indicated that the number was far lower than most people might think. “Any citizen of this United States who is not involved in some illegal activity,” he added, “has nothing to fear whatsoever.”
Here’s White House spokesman Trent Duffy said in December, 2005, defending Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program:
This is a limited program. This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner. These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings and churches. 

Email to reply to Andrew Sullivan

No doubt Glenn Greenwald will roll his eyes.

Come on, Andrew: that's beneath you.

I didn't criticize you for reacting emotionally to Obama's announcement. I said the opposite: that as one of the earliest same-sex marriage advocates, it's natural you'd be emotional. I myself wrote several pieces about its significance that many of my readers criticized as overly emotional and effusive. That isn't my issue at all.

I criticized you because you spent years mocking and belittling gay activists as needy, weak, "sad" children for craving the "acceptance of one man" -- only to turn around once Obama made his announcement and celebrated it on exactly those grounds, all without acknowledging that they were right and you were wrong all along: as it turns out, it does matter -- a lot -- that Obama came out in support of marriage equality. They weren't being "sad" in pressuring him to do this. They were being smart, shrewd and passionate activists. You apparently see that now, so you should say so. Your failure to do that (along with your view of Obama as "Father Figure") is what led to my criticism.

Along with anyone else working all these years for marriage equality, Evan Wolfson has my respect and deserves to celebrate this as much as he wants, as do you. That was never my problem with your remarks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tom Freidman, 5/12/2012