January 3, 2014
Why Secret Law is Un-American

In recent years, the National Security Agency has relied on secret interpretations of the law to justify its actions, as noted in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and a letter that 26 U.S. senators wrote complaining that “the ‘business records’ provision of the Patriot Act has been secretly reinterpreted.” NSA defenders are fond of saying that its activities are legitimized and overseen by all three branches of government. This elides the distinction between Congress as a body and small subcommittees with access to classified information: A subcommittee can be quietly co-opted in a way that Congress cannot.
The notion of a secret body of law is incompatible with the American system of government. Understanding why is as easy as consulting the Federalist Papers, the most thorough explanation the Framers gave us of their republican design and its logic. 
Read more. [Image: a4gpa/Flickr]

Why Secret Law is Un-American

In recent years, the National Security Agency has relied on secret interpretations of the law to justify its actions, as noted in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and a letter that 26 U.S. senators wrote complaining that “the ‘business records’ provision of the Patriot Act has been secretly reinterpreted.” NSA defenders are fond of saying that its activities are legitimized and overseen by all three branches of government. This elides the distinction between Congress as a body and small subcommittees with access to classified information: A subcommittee can be quietly co-opted in a way that Congress cannot.

The notion of a secret body of law is incompatible with the American system of government. Understanding why is as easy as consulting the Federalist Papers, the most thorough explanation the Framers gave us of their republican design and its logic.

Read more. [Image: a4gpa/Flickr]

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    A helpful opinion in an unlikely place.
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  10. ooshwiggity reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Secret laws? Next there will be secret handshakes to get jobs and secret blowjobs to keep them. Secrets are stupid.
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