Issue: National Security

After nearly 20 years, Congress in 2008 passed amendments that modernized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by expressly granting the President broad authority to use today's cutting edge technology to engage in international surveillance. But some in Congress want to roll back that authority. That would be a dangerous mistake. The new rules work and provide the right balance between civil liberties and national security. Currently, the President is authorized to surveil foreigners without going to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for permission. Additionally, to protect Americans, the law requires the DOJ to develop and submit to the FISC court a set of procedures the President will use in making determinations of who is a foreigner. Furthermore, the law authorizes the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to require private companies to assist in surveillance of foreign intelligence targets. And finally, the amendments provide those firms a broad grant of immunity from lawsuits as a result of their assistance. Without this assurance, telecommunications firms that help guard us from terrorism would be vulnerable.

ACRU Court Activity

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News & Commentary

01/ 6/14: Lies, Lies and More Presidential Lies

This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published January 5, 2014 on The Washington Times website. One bad thing about our media-mad age is that it's difficult to keep up with all the lies we're being told by...

10/28/13: ACLU to New York Cops: Drop Dead

This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published October 27, 2013 on The Washington Times website. Imagine that it was Sept. 12, 2001, and you opened your newspaper, gazed in horror at the many photos of unspeakable carnage...

02/ 6/13: Women in Combat

This column by ACRU Policy Board Member and Professor of Economics Dr. Walter E. Williams was published February 6, 2013 on Townhall.com. A senior Defense Department official said the ban on women in combat should be lifted because the military's...

06/11/12: Obama's Pregnant 'Denials'

This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue was published June 10, 2012 on The Daily Caller website. President Obama is offended by accusations that the White House authorized leaks of highly classified national security information detailed in Confront...

04/ 4/12: Obama's Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament

This column by ACRU General Counsel and Senior Fellow for the Carleson Center for Public Policy (CCPP) Peter Ferrara was published April 4, 2012 on The American Spectator website. Perhaps you do not know that President Obama has asked the...

02/17/12: Obama's Budget: The Decline and Fall of the American Economy

This column by ACRU General Counsel and Senior Fellow for the Carleson Center for Public Policy (CCPP) Peter Ferrara was published February 17, 2012 on Forbes.com. President Obama's budget released Monday embodies his policies for economic growth and recovery. The...

03/28/11: Ladies Who Launch

This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue was published March 28, 2011 on the American Thinker website. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with a little help from her friends, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and...

01/ 6/11: Saturday Night Alive?

This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell appeared January 6, 2011, on The American Spectator website. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the ball fell in New York's Times Square and the holiday season this year ended...

10/19/10: Conservatives' National Security Priorities

ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell wrote this column appearing October 19, 2010, on Townhall.com. Conservatives in Congress need to move quickly to staunch the flow of blood, literally, in our military. The Fort Hood shootings proved convincingly that political correctness...

10/11/10: Illegal Alien Stumps Napolitano

ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue wrote this column appearing October 11, 2010 on The American Thinker website. If you thought Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's silly remarks and bungling couldn't get any worse, you must have missed her...

09/14/10: Ken Klukowski: Gay Agenda and Obamacare Stand or Fall Together in the Courts

ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski wrote this column appearing September 14, 2010, on washingtonexaminer.com. If you want Obamacare declared unconstitutional in federal court, then you should be alarmed about recent court rulings involving same-sex marriage and homosexuals in the...

09/ 3/10: Ken Blackwell: What Is President Obama Thinking?

ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell wrote this column appearing September 2, 2010, on The Huffington Post website. Americans might soon have another reason to ask themselves: "What is the president thinking?" With the flourish of a veto pen, President Obama...

08/ 3/10: Jan LaRue: Obama's Stealth Amnesty Express

ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue wrote this column appearing August 2, 2010, on TownHall.com. Amnesty is on the horizon. Open and transparent government be damned--full speed ahead. Barack Obama is throwing overboard his commitment to "an unprecedented level...

07/30/10: Ken Klukowski: Three Silver Linings in the Bad Arizona Court Decision

ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski wrote this column appearing July 29, 2010, on BigGovernment.com. Wednesday's federal court decision on Arizona's immigration law is being rightly criticized for a number of reasons. But there are three silver linings to this...

07/20/10: Jan LaRue: Holder Hangs KSM and Gitmo Around Democrats' Neck

ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue wrote a column appearing July 14, 2010, on Townhall.com. President Obama gave notice to the Democrat-controlled Congress on Sunday that unless it provides funding for a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and for...

05/19/10: Walter Williams: Immigration and Liberty

ACRU Policy Board Member Walter E. Williams wrote this column appearing on the Townhall.com website on May 19, 2010. My sentiments on immigration are expressed by the welcoming words of poet Emma Lazarus' that grace the base of our Statue...

03/21/10: Jan LaRue: Bin Laden, Manson, and Martha

ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue wrote a column appearing on AmericanThinker.com on March 21, 2010. According to the Obama administration, America-haters will turn warm and cuddly toward us when they watch our civil justice system try jihadists as if...

03/11/10: Ken Blackwell: If Guantánamo Closes, use ADAK!

ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell wrote a column appearing on BigGovernment.com on March 11, 2010. I have to say, I did not agree with Sen. McCain during the 2008 campaign when he took the Guantánamo issue off the table by...

02/ 5/10: ACLU-Think Applied to Terrorists

This morning, in hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee, several Administration leaders defended the idea of giving the would-be Christmas bomber the same rights as ordinary Americans in a criminal trial. This thinking, which mirrors the ideas of the ACLU,...

01/11/10: ACLU Loses Big on a War-Fighting Decision

Over the objections of the ACLU and allied lawyers, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Yemini man who joined the Taliban and Al-Qeada to fight against US-led opponents could be detained at Gitmo prison indefinitely. This...

01/ 6/10: Ken Klukowski: Our President Is Not Protecting Us

President Obama's team has scared the nation over the past week with pronouncements so crazy they leave you breathless. But worse still are the decisions they've made, decisions that show America is in danger, and that those charged with protecting us are failing to treat this life-and-death struggle as the war that it really is.

01/ 6/10: Ken Blackwell: The Left Goes to War Against Science, Surrenders on Terror

Two ongoing trends I chronicled during 2009 highlight an ironic situation: Leftists remain tough on their domestic political opponents, while lax when it comes to our real common enemies. As we recently saw with the Christmas airplane-bombing attempt, leftists seem bent on treating terrorists with kid gloves, insisting they receive rights normally reserved for U.S. citizens (even when this means failing to extract timely information that might save lives).

01/ 5/10: Ken Blackwell: President Obama: How About Bowing to Reality?

The editor of the New Yorker was once asked about the hip, cool, insider writing that graced his journal. Didn't its stylish prose go over people's heads? "We don't write it for the little old lady from Dubuque," he replied. Not pitching your case to the little old lady from Dubuque, Iowa, became a hallmark of modern sophisticated liberalism--a liberalism more characterized by point-of-view than by policy point papers. So when the New Yorker's Christmas week number hit newsstands, it was bound to attract attention.

12/ 8/08: ACLU Supports Terrorist Against Americans

As usual, the ACLU misreads the Constitution, and sides with those who would attack America and murder Americans, instead of following the Constitution and protecting Americans and America. The latest example is the ACLU promotion of the interests of an...

07/17/08: Ken Blackwell: America Will Regret High Court's Decision

The Supreme Court's 5-4 opinion in Boumediene v. Bush will go down as one of the most egregiously-wrong decisions in history. Breaking 200 years of settled precedent, the Court has rewritten the Constitution's allocation of national security powers. In essence, the narrow majority attacked the actions of a Commander-in-Chief in time of war. It attacked the law as rewritten by Congress in response to a prior decision of this very Court. And. it attacked the Court by aggressively ignoring its own prior decisions. The "logic" of this case sets up a bare majority of the Justices as supreme over the President, the Congress, and even other decisions of the Court itself.

07/17/08: ACLU Attacks US Terrorist List

The ACLU has issued a press release decrying the addition of the one millionth name to the Terrorist Watch List of the Department of Homeland Security. It brought forward just two people who were inconvenienced by the list. It...

06/12/08: Terrorists Using 1960s Legal Precedent

Terrorists Using 1960s Legal Precedent to Escape Punishment New Study Exposes the "Terrorist Get Out of Jail Free Card" In a report released today by the American Civil Rights Union, best-selling author and terrorism expert Richard Miniter demonstrates how a...

04/ 8/08: ACLU Aiding America's Enemies, Again

The ACLU, the Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Janet Reno (former Clinton Attorney General) have joined forces to turn the military trials of some of America's most dedicated enemies, into media circuses with a maximum of delays. The facts for...

03/17/08: ACLU Wants the US to Lose the War on Terrorism

The ACLU is continuing its efforts to shield terrorists in US hands from the consequences of their actions. It seeks to prevent their trial and execution, which the Supreme Court has ruled legal. It seeks to prevent their interrogation for...

03/ 3/08: Horace Cooper: Lawyers' $$ over security

There can no longer be any doubt about whether the lapse of the Protect America Act has harmed America's intelligence-gathering capabilities. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the apolitical Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell confirmed this reality in a Feb. 22 letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes.

02/ 1/08: Horace Cooper: President Has Power To Let FISA Continue

Rather than pass a permanent renewal of America's foreign intelligence surveillance capability, Congress continues to debate the need for the Protect America Act. After waiting six months, they've now passed a 15-day extension of the act giving them more time to bicker over the issue. If they fail to act, it is essential that President Bush use his inherent executive power to continue the electronic surveillance program.

01/24/08: Ken Blackwell: No Time Outs in the War on Terror

In his State of the Union address next week, it is imperative that President Bush push for the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Setting aside foolish partisan politics and ad hominem arguments, FISA is necessary for the national security of America and the safety of Americans.

08/21/07: John Armor: Newsweek Chooses Sides, Again

In the August 20 edition of Newsweek, there is a column by Jonathan Alter entitled, "I Know What You Did Last Summer." In the guise of reporting facts, it reports instead the personal opinion of Mr. Alter that the extension...

10/ 3/06: Peter Ferrara: ACLU Hails Major Defeat for War on Terror

The Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure is a critical protection for the civil liberties of Americans, and should not be lightly cast aside. But liberal/Left critics of President Bush's War on Terror are quite wrong in suggesting to the American people that this Amendment requires a judicially issued search warrant before any search or seizure can be made.

More Information

11/ 3/08: The American Civil Liberties Union has Plans

How the American Civil Liberties Union in their own words would destroy American Security in a time of war....

03/24/08: Department of Justice Web site: FISA 101: Why FISA Modernization Amendments Must Be Made Permanent

"FISA Amendments In The Protect America Act Of 2007 Remain Necessary To Keep Our Nation Safe: The Protect America Act modernized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to provide our intelligence community essential tools to acquire important information about terrorists who want to harm America. The Act, which passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Bush on August 5, 2007, restores FISA to its original focus of protecting the rights of persons in the United States, while not acting as an obstacle to gathering foreign intelligence on targets located in foreign countries. By enabling our intelligence community to close a critical intelligence gap that existed before the Act became law, the Protect America Act has already made our Nation safer."

08/21/07: John Armor: Newsweek Chooses Sides, Again

In the August 20 edition of Newsweek, there is a column by Jonathan Alter entitled, "I Know What You Did Last Summer." In the guise of reporting facts, it reports instead the personal opinion of Mr. Alter that the extension...

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