The Corner

Patriot Facts

Orin Kerr writes about the widespread misunderstandings of the Patriot Act–misunderstandings that he has done more than anyone to clear up. He also asks whether those misunderstandings are a good or a bad thing. The case that they are a good thing is that false fears will help avert real dangers of government overreach. I think that the most charitable (and accurate) interpretation of John Ashcroft’s famous “phantoms of lost liberty” testimony is that he was denying precisely that proposition. I also think Ashcroft is right.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Culture

Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More