Last week, the Liberty movement lost one of its most eloquent and courageous voices when William Grigg passed away at the far too young age of 54. William worked as a writer for The New American from 1993-2005, and was a contributor to LewRockwell.com and Antiwar.com. He also published many important articles at his Pro Liberate blog. In October 2016, William helped found The Libertarian Institute, and served as the Institute’s managing editor from its founding until his passing.
While he wrote on a variety of topics, William is best known for his writings on police brutality and police militarization. Years before modern police practices became a focus of national debate, Will was exposing how the rights—including the right to life—of innocent Americas are too often collateral damage in the war on drugs and terrorism. The liberty movement’s focus on this issue owes much to the work of Will Grigg.
What made Will so effective was that he took the time to gather the facts behind each case that he wrote about, often traveling at his own expense to interview his subjects. He then combined this mastery of detail with a powerful critique of the policies used to justify the transformation of America from a Republic to a Welfare-Warfare-Police State.
Unlike many who write on these issues, including some libertarians, Will never avoided discussing how racial minorities bear the brunt of modern police state policies. However, he never pretended that police brutality was solely a minority issue. He would not ignore certain incidents because the victim’s race did not fit the preferred narrative.
My wife Carol, myself, and all of us at Campaign for Liberty, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, and The Ron Paul Liberty Report join Will’s many friends in sending our best wishes and prayers to his wife, Korrin, and his six children. I also join libertarians across the country in expressing gratitude for the example that Will set in how one can combine old-fashioned investigative reporting and a passionate commitment to freedom to make a real difference in the movement to reclaim our liberties.
John Kiriakou remains the only CIA officer to be jailed over the Agency’s illegal torture program — and he was the whistleblower who exposed it! But the story of how the FBI was able to send Kiriakou to prison on a 30 month sentence is fascinating, shocking, chilling. We discuss this dark chapter in our recent history as well as Mr. Kiriakou’s fascinating upcoming book, Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison, in today’s very special Ron Paul Liberty Report:
When someone gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?
And so it goes in Freedom Land of Iraq, where for many, now out from under the heels of Islamic State, the Iraqi people have only to clear out all the bombs, IEDs, and unexploded ordnance left everywhere they want to live by all sides in this ongoing clusterf*ck of foreign policy adventurism.
Despite the gazillions of dollars in U.S. aid, Iraq claims not to have the personnel to defuse all the explosives left behind once freedom reigns in places like Fallujah. So, concerned local citizens, who have been making defusing bombs for decades (handling explosives is an Olympic event in Iraq), smelled a business opportunity.
After a four-year court battle, the FBI has agreed to turn over records it created when it spied on Antiwar.com and pay $299,000 to settle our attorneys’ fees.
The action only settles a portion of the lawsuit. ACLU attorney Julia Mass said “We will continue to challenge the FBI’s collection and maintenance of descriptions of our clients’ First Amendment activities in violation of the federal Privacy Act.”
The news is rife with President Trump’s threatened and actual military misadventures: in Syria, Yemen, and North Korea. But these military actions take on a new gravity considering the vast and secret powers Trump inherited.
Former President Obama escalated the use of drone strikes – including in non-battlefield arenas such as Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen – so it is no surprise that President Trump has continued with abandon. While Obama put some constraints on drones, Trump gave the secretive, unaccountable CIA new authority to conduct drone strikes against “suspected militants.”
Specifically, President Obama’s constraints on drones included that targets pose an “imminent threat,” that their capture is “not feasible,” and that there be “near certainty” civilians will not be injured or killed. However, Obama didn’t always hew closely to his own policy, which evolved throughout his Presidency as legitimate criticism of drone strikes increased. One of the most famous Americans targeted and killed by a drone, al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, met none of the early purported criteria. Still, the Justice Department under Obama maintained that the President had the unilateral authority to target and kill American citizens like al-Awlaki. That power now rests with President Trump who has undertaken aggressive and messy military actions in the early days of his presidency.
The U.S. Military, apparently eager to test a huge out-dated bomb – anacronym “MOAB” for “Mother Of All Bombs” – dropped one for the first time in the sparsely populated mountains of Afghanistan this week.