Featuring Alex Kozinski, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and J. Harvie Wilkinson III, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.
So many Americans are concerned with how “Washington isn’t listening to them,” and candidates like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson are stoking that outrage. But maybe Washington isn’t listening because it is so big that only mobilized special interests have the resources and incentives to pay attention. Maybe big government will never really pay attention to the people. If this is so, then maybe people should stop trying to control each other so much.
American leaders have cooperated with regimes around the world that are, to varying degrees, repressive or corrupt. Such cooperation is said to serve the national interest. But these partnerships also contravene the nation’s commitments to democratic governance, civil liberties, and free markets. In Perilous Partners, authors Ted Galen Carpenter and Malou Innocent provide a strategy for resolving the ethical dilemmas between interests and values faced by Washington.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
Fusion Centers: Domestic Spying or Sensible Surveillance?
Featuring Bruce Fein, Constitutional Attorney, The Lichfield Group; Harvey Eisenberg, Chief, National Security Section, Office of United States Attorney, District of Maryland; and Michael German, Policy Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union. Moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.
Police departments across the country are starting to create networks of databases called “fusion centers” in an effort to detect and prevent acts of terrorism. The ultimate objective is to create a nationwide reporting system of suspicious behaviors so that the authorities can “connect the dots” before an attack can occur. Civil liberties groups claim these fusion centers are beset with legal and practical problems. One legal problem is that the police should not be opening files on people because they exercised their right to free speech, such as demonstrating against the foreign policies of the United States. One practical problem is that the police are gathering so much mundane information that practically anyone could end up on a list of “suspicious” persons because some official arbitrarily decided to fill out a tip sheet. Join us for a discussion of the pros and cons of this newly proposed system of policing.