The Wall Street Journal carried a curious--nay, astonishing--column by a libertarian today. In "Listening to the Enemy," Cato's Roger Pilon urges Congress to make the ominously-titled "Protect America Act" permanent, to keep the temporary law from expiring this Friday. Yes, I did a double-take too: he is defending the "Protect America Act." Libertarians have been opposed to this mis-named law for good reason. As one LRC columnist put it, the Act "authorizes open-ended surveillance of Americans’ overseas phone calls and e-mails without the need for a warrant or security justification. It is, as Aziz Huq writes in The Nation, 'power without responsibility.'" See also Libertarian Party Says "No Way" to FISA Amendment; Sunset the "Protect America Act"; New Law Gives Government Six Months to Turn Internet and Phone Systems into Permanent Spying Architecture.
One must read Pilon's arguments to believe it. This goes beyond mere libertarian centralism. Pilon's argument seems to be that the Protect America Act needs to be extended or made permanent because otherwise, "the president's statutory power to prevent terrorist attacks will be seriously compromised." So here we have it: libertarians favoring secret government spying on citizens, more Executive Branch immunity from Congressional oversight, special immunity for private businesses cooperating with illegal government surveillance, all in the name of the War on Terror.
I'm (almost) speechless.