In the Cato Unbound article Surveillance of Our Enemies During Wartime? I’m Shocked!, John Eastman responds to an article, The Digital Surveillance State: Vast, Secret, and Dangerous, by Glenn Greenwald.
Eastman provides all sorts of historical and legal precedents for surveillance. Eastman accuses Greenwald of ignoring the fact that “we are at war”. In his response, Eastman ignores the fact that Congress has not bothered to declare war. So, even if you accept the authority of the government, are we really at war?
Eastman also ignores the fact that even the proponents of the war on terror don’t expect the war to end in our life time, the life time of our children, or the life time of our grand children. Consequently, Eastman wants to provide the government with a license to spy on everyone forever.
That Eastman’s brand of drivelling sophistry got published is hardly surprising. There are plenty of neoconservative journals that specialize in publishing such fear mongering tripe. What is surprising is that Eastman’s article got published by an adjunct of the reputedly libertarian Cato Institute. Publishing a wide range of view points is good policy, but in this instance Cato was a little too unbound.
The editor of Cato Unbound at the time that Eastman’s article was published, Brink Lindsey, has apparently been made redundant. If publishing Eastman’s article is an example of Lindsey’s editorial judgement, Mr. Lindsay’s departure will likely bring an improvement to Cato Unbound.