In a recent Chicago Tribune article, Roger Pilon, the VP for legal affairs at the Cato Institute and director of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies, had this to say about NSA surveillance:
Yes, government officials might conceivably misuse some of the trillions of bits of metadata they examine using sophisticated algorithms. But one abuse is no pattern of abuses. And even one abuse is not likely to happen given the safeguards in place. The cumulative weight of the evidence attests to the soundness of the program. The critics would be more credible if they could identify a pattern of government abuses. But after 12 years of continuous practice, they can’t cite even a single case. We should be thankful that here, at least, government has done its job and done it well.
That little gem was co-authored with Richard A. Epstein, a law professor who happens to be a senior member of the Hoover Institute, which is basically a fascist think-tank. To give you an idea of the Hoover Institutes views, here’s a snippet from another recent Hoover Institute article:
This potential collapse of parts of Mesopotamia and the Levant into something that resembles the anarchy of Somalia is a grave cause for concern. The United States and its allies cannot wish away this ugly situation. Rather, the president must take action to ensure that when the ISIS caliphate collapses, it does so on terms acceptable to the United States. Of foremost importance is helping the Iraqis create a government with greater legitimacy. With this development as a foundational step, the United States can then apply military power in the form of advisers, special operations forces, intelligence capabilities, and airpower to assist tribal forces in resisting ISIS and to rebuild the Iraqi Army into an organization capable of defeating the jihadists in conventional combat. Although the ISIS caliphate will inevitably collapse due to its own dysfunction, it is best that the United States and its allies take action now to give it a robust push into the abyss.
Because Somalia is such a huge threat to the US. And because our intelligence services totally saw this uprising coming. And because our special forces didn’t actually arm and train the very people Mansoor argues the United States should “take action” against.
Basically the guy who runs the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies feels it’s perfectly acceptable to co-author policy editorials in nationally syndicated news papers saying NSA spying is a good thing, along side people who have more in common with Benito Mussolini than Thomas Jefferson.
This isn’t the first time Cato has been caught dishing out absurdities. Here’s another incident where Cato policy wonks came out saying Bernanke wasn’t printing enough.