While last week’s mainstream hysteria shifted from fiscal cliff-jumping to debt ceiling collapse, BORDC engaged media outlets to discuss disturbing developments endangering our constitutional rights.
On Monday, January 7, Flashpoints (on KPFA 94.1 PM in the San Francisco Bay Area) invited BORDC’s Shahid Buttar and Nadia Kayyali to break down domestic surveillance under the recently re-authorized FISA Amendments Act (FAA). Describing the counterintuitive construction of the FAA, Kayyali notes:
[The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] was amended in 2008…and this amendment changed even the minimal requirements of review of this surveillance by the FISA court, and now it allows for warrantless wiretapping that will sweep up Americans’ communications.
Kayyali’s observation suggests that the FAA, in amending a law created to establish judicial oversight, actually undermines its very purpose. Buttar, highlighting the secrecy with which the National Security Agency (NSA) violates our privacy rights, adds:
[I]n spite of knowing that the [NSA] has violated the law, no one knows the context in which that violation took place. No one knows how many people [were affected]. No one knows even whether or not it’s been stopped or whether that violation remains ongoing.
Also on Monday, BORDC’s Michael Figura appeared on Progressive Radio Network’s The Smart Show, as well as The Monitor (on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston), to extend the discussion of unconstitutional federal programs. Highlighting the treatment of former CIA agent John Kiriakou, Figura states the chilling consequences for individuals who defy our government’s illegal conduct:
the only person to ever go to prison so far in the history of the whole [CIA] torture program is someone who blew the whistle on it.