Why Individuality Matters--John Stossel and David Boaz discuss Three Felonies a Day

Last night on Stossel, John Stossel discussed individual liberty with the Cato Institute's David Boaz. When asked about the big issues facing America, Boaz mentions the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then cites my book Three Felonies a Day, and discusses the real problem of ever proliferating vague federal statutes. Take a look at the video here.  

Tonight, I will be appearing on Stossel to discuss overcriminalization in America. The show, entitled "Illegal Everything," will broadcast on Fox Business at 9PM. 

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Tarek Mehanna Found Guilty

I was saddened, though not terribly surprised, when I heard yesterday that after only ten hours of deliberations, a federal jury found Tarek Mehanna guilty of all seven counts for which he stood accused. Jurors felt the government had proven that Mehanna provided "material assistance to terrorists" for such actions as making translations of jihadi videos. Mehanna now awaits sentencing and may face up to life in prison for acts that, until now, seemed clearly protected under the First Amendment.

I was asked by PBS affiliate WGBH-TV, and NPR affiliate WBUR, to speak about the Mehanna case yesterday on their respective stations.

Click here for my interview on WBUR's Radio Boston (Dec. 20), or listen to the audio clip below.

Radio Boston

Click here for my interview on WBUR's Morning Edition (Dec. 21), or listen to the audio clip below.

Morning Edition

After the jump is video of my interview on WGBH-TV's Greater Boston (Dec. 20).

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What to do if the FBI wants to interview you

One of the most shocking, and under-reported, Department of Justice practices is the FBI's express policy NOT to tape-record interrogations. Not recording interrogations allows the FBI to claim itself the sole arbiter of what is, and is not, true in a witness's testimony. Such a strategy gives clear, and unfair, advantage to the prosecution, and presents problems for witnesses, defendants, and defense lawyers alike.

But there is a simple, and effective, strategy which, if implemented, can get around the pesky problem: insist on recording the interview yourself. Recently, the Massachusetts ACLU asked me to discuss what to do if the FBI decides it needs your testimony. Here is how I responded:

I have been happy to see that the ACLU video has been catching on. In a recent article on alternet.org critiquing the "surveillance state", my interview was given as pragmatic advice to those who fear they might face an FBI interview. I sincerely hope my advice helps and that, eventually, the FBI decides to reform its harmful policy.

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Terrorizing Free Speech: the case of Tarek Mehanna

Tarek Mehanna may have objectionable--even horrific--views, but that does not make him a terrorist or a criminal. Mehanna was arrested two years ago on charges of lying to federal investigators, and providing material support to terrorists. The FBI also implies that Mehanna had plans to carry out a shooting spree in the Sudbury mall, but was thwarted by his inability to obtain weapons (consider, for one moment, how easy it is to get a gun in the United States). The crux of the government's case centers on a series of videos for which Mehanna allegedly provided subtitles; the translations, the Feds say, represented material support for terrorists. 

Last night I spoke with Emily Rooney on her WGBH show about the case, arguing that, in order to live in a free and open society, we must protect speech, even the speech of those whose beliefs we find abhorrent. The video is embedded after the jump.

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Forbes "Booked" series features Three Felonies a Day

Discussing Three Felonies a Day with Forbes editor Michael Noer, as part of the site's "Booked" series. Visit the Forbes site here, or view the video below.

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Updates related to Harvey's
book Three Felonies a Day, a critical
take on the Justice Department

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