February 2013, Vol. 12 No. 02
View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/02/
On Thursday, February 7, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) held a hearing on the nomination of John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). BORDC live tweeted the hearing, and Executive Director Shahid Buttar attended the first five minutes of the hearing, before Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) removed the public after repeated criticism of Brennan’s record on torture, human rights, and arbitrary assassination.
In the last month, BORDC and coalitions we support across the nation have appeared in various press outlets to promote concerns about constitutional rights and the powers of police and intelligence agencies that abuse them.
Have you read BORDC’s blog lately? The People’s Blog for the Constitution has attracted a growing audience that has tripled over the past year. Featuring news & analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, it offers a great way to stay up to date and informed.
Highlights from the past month include:
- Appeals court hears arguments on indefinite military detention under NDAA by Michael Figura
- Police consultants spread zero-tolerance policing over local objections…but who’s listening? by Nadia Kayyali
- An implausible inauguration speech by Shahid Buttar
- CIA torture whistleblower honored after criminal sentencing by Emily Walsh
- Demonstration condemns random bag searches on MBTA by Annette Macaluso
- Oregon Senator questions CIA nominee on drone strikes by Yiqian Wang
- Drones talk in NYC inspires inquiry and action by Nabill Idrisi
The first task of the incoming CIA Director will be to declassify a 6,000 page report on torture compiled by the SSCI based on a three year investigation. BORDC’s online petition calls on the President to declassify the report and enable its release to the public and the press, as required by his repeated pledges to promote transparency.
Thanks in part to record contributions from individual supporters like you, BORDC’s budget grew an astounding 60% in 2012! We expanded our vital work, but were able to do so only because our donors made the important choice to get involved.
Every month, BORDC honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in his or her community to the movement to restore civil liberties and the rule of law. This month, the Patriot Award goes to Peggy Littleton, from El Paso County, CO, for her longstanding commitment to civil liberties.
To view campaigns supported by BORDC at a glance, visit our interactive campaign maps for local coalitions addressing surveillance and profiling by local law enforcement, or military detention under the NDAA. To get involved in any of these efforts, please email the BORDC Organizing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re eager to hear from you and help support your activism!
- Seattle, WA: Coalitions challenge racial profiling
- Washington State fights back against the NDAA
- Oakland, CA: Community opposes Stop and Frisk
- San Francisco, CA: Coalition challenges inadequate briefing to Police Commission
- San Francisco, CA: Largest city to introduce resolution opposing detention under NDAA
- Alameda County, CA: Community mobilizes to stop Sherriff from deploying drones
- Los Angeles, CA: Coalitions challenge surveillance, profiling, and torture
- Wyoming moves toward nullifying the NDAA
- Dallas, TX: Dallas Peace Center launches local anti-NDAA campaign
- Chicago, IL: Events across the city connect issues and communities
- Cleveland, OH: Groups mobilize to challenge racial profiling across the state
- Charlotte, NC: Community members mobilize to challenge racial profiling
- Charlottesville, VA: First City in the country to regulate drones
- Maryland state legislators introduce bill to challenge indefinite military detention under the NDAA
- New York, NY: Manhattan events focused on drones, NDAA
- Boston, MA: Local groups oppose TSA searches on transit system, prepare broader campaign
- Vermont Law School event dives into debate on drones, torture, cybersecurity
- Montana Representative aims to ban indefinite detention with anti-NDAA bill
On Wednesday, February 6, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Hedges v. Obama, a lawsuit challenging domestic military detention authority under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012.
BORDC has joined an amicus brief, filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) calling for the Supreme Court to hear a case that could strengthen privacy protections for anyone who uses e-mail.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently released an updated list of jurisdictions in which drone use is now authorized across the country.
BORDC supports grassroots organizers as they build coalitions seeking to advance Local Civil Rights Restoration (LCRR) and to challenge the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC has provided micro-grants to coalitions that have participated in one of BORDC’s anchor convenings, such as the May 2012 convening in Chicago. Grants of $300 to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility, host events, or build capacity.