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James Bovard

Articles by James Bovard

Waco 30 Years Later: It Is Not an Atrocity if the Feds Do It

April 19, 2023

Thirty years ago, FBI tanks smashed into the ramshackle home of the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas. After the FBI collapsed much of the building atop the residents, a fire erupted and 76 corpses were dug out of the rubble. Unfortunately, the American political system and media have never honestly portrayed the federal abuses and political deceit that led to that carnage.
What lessons can today’s Americans draw from the FBI showdown on the Texas plains 30 years ago?
Purported Good Intentions Absolve Real Deadly Force
Janet Reno, the nation’s first female attorney general, approved the FBI’s assault on the Davidians. Previously, she had zealously prosecuted child abuse cases in Dade County, Florida, though many of her high-profile convictions were later

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Endangering Washington’s Divine Right to Deceive

April 17, 2023

Do Americans have the right to know if the $100 billion in their tax dollars that the Biden administration is delivering to Ukraine is being wasted? No, according to the U.S. Congress – which recently voted against creating an Inspector General to investigate whether handouts to the most corrupt government in Europe were being stolen.
Do Americans have the right to know if their own government blew up the Nord Stream pipeline, the biggest act of environmental terrorism in history? The Washington Post reported that the message from the U.S. and western European governments is “Don’t talk about Nord Stream.” So almost all reporters were “good boys” and moved along.
Do Americans have the right to know if Biden administration officials have perennially made false

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Presidents Are Legally Immune for Their Most Dangerous Crimes

April 7, 2023

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg has charged former president Donald Trump with thirty-four felonies tied to his payments to two women prior to the 2016 election. Some pundits are outraged that a former president is facing charges, and others are jubilant that Trump now has a mug shot. But this case will do nothing to curtail the most dangerous immunities that presidents possess.
Neither presidents nor any federal officials were entitled to break the law when this nation was founded. John Taylor, a US senator, wrote in 1820 that the Constitution “wisely rejected this indefinite word [sovereignty] as a traitor of civil rights, and endeavored to kill it dead.” But the following year, Chief Justice John Marshall concocted the doctrine of sovereign immunity out

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Decorum Propels DC Deceit

February 26, 2023

The president’s SOTU speech has become an annual presentation of a new set of White House lies. But official Washington believes it is worse to publicly boo false statements than to make them.

Original Article: "Decorum Propels DC Deceit"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. 

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Raiding the World Bank: Exposing a Fondness for Dictators

December 17, 2021

I have always had a bad attitude toward official secrets regardless of who is keeping them. That prejudice and John Kenneth Galbraith are to blame for an unauthorized withdrawal I made from the World Bank.
When I lived in Boston in the late 1970s, I paid $25 to attend a series of lectures by Galbraith on foreign aid and other topics. The louder Galbraith praised foreign aid, the warier I became. His hokum spurred my reading and led me to recognize that foreign aid is one of the worst afflictions that poor nations suffer. As one critic quipped, foreign aid is money from governments, to governments, for governments.
After I moved to Washington, foreign aid became one of my favorite targets as an investigative journalist. When I talked to the chief of the US Agency

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Biden’s Rescue Act Targets Americans’ Freedoms

August 2, 2021

Since the 1800s, surly Americans have derided politicians for spending tax dollars “like drunken sailors.” Until recently, that was considered a grave character fault. But Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act shows that inebriated spending is now the path to national salvation.
It was a common saying in America in the 1930s that “we cannot squander our way to prosperity.” But that was before the latest “best and brightest” crop took the helm of the federal government.
The rescue act is based on blind faith in government spending—the revival of the “Magic Bean School of Political Economy.” When he signed the bill on March 12, Biden declared, “We have to spend this money to make sure we have economic growth, unrelated to how much it’s going to help people.” The

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In a Paranoid Nation, “Treason” Is Everywhere

January 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]FBI agents across the nation are tracking down and arresting Trump supporters who walked into the US Capitol during the January 6 protest that turned into a brawl. Scores of protestors have already been charged with unlawful entry—“knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.”

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Pandemic Follies: Tyranny Won’t Keep Us Safe

October 16, 2020

Politicians have destroyed more than 13 million jobs this year in a deluge of edicts aimed to fight the covid-19 pandemic. More than two hundred thousand Americans still died from the coronavirus, but the anticovid government crackdowns probably did far more damage than the virus. The covid crisis has also shown how easy it is for politicians to fan fears to seize nearly absolute power.
In March, Donald Trump proclaimed that “we are at war with an invisible enemy.” He also declared, “I’m a wartime president….This is a different kind of war than we’ve ever had.” Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, asserted that “every Marylander can be a hero, just by staying home” after he dictated a “shelter-at-home” order threatening a $5,000 fine and a year in prison for any

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The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities

June 6, 2020

Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”
Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and atrocities that permeated his eight years

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