Shahid Buttar

April 4, 2014

Will Obama protect the CIA, as he has the NSA? (Part I)

(Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Yesterday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to seek the declassification of less than 10% of its 6,000 page report documenting CIA torture crimes vastly beyond those previously acknowledged. The vote could be the most significant accountability
March 17, 2014

Beyond CIA & NSA spying: Corruption

Even before open war erupted last week between the CIA and Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), embattled NSA officials had woven tangled skeins to downplay public crimes including lying to Congress. Many observers have noted the double-standard apparent
December 30, 2013

Dueling judicial rulings on NSA Spying, and why they don’t matter

Two federal judges reached opposite conclusions in separate cases challenging NSA spying. One was thoughtful; the other reflected much of what is wrong with our courts. Ultimately, however, neither will matter. The NSA’s dragnet continues unabated, and only Congress is
December 26, 2013

Beyond the Panopticon: The NSA Isn’t Alone

This article is the second in a two part series that began with “Beyond the NSA: other agencies spy on you, too,”  originally published by on December 16, 2013. The Panopticon is real. It siphons billions of dollars each year
December 17, 2013

Beyond the NSA: other agencies spy on you, too

This article was originally published by on December 16, 2013. It is the first installment in a series, concluding with this post from December 26. The latest discoveries about NSA spying revealed that the agency has collected 27 terrabytes of
November 2, 2013

1968 in 2013: Democrats vs. themselves (Part II)

The first installment in this series explained how, as the left vs. right schism grows eclipsed by establishment vs. populist tension, Democrats risk getting left holding the bag of the national security state. This post explores the dangerous consequences that
October 25, 2013

1968 in 2013: America’s political fault lines creaking (Part I)

Despite partisan division, the left vs. right schism is being eclipsed by establishment vs. populist tension. While the government shutdown drew attention to partisan gridlock in Washington, America’s political fault lines are being redrawn under our feet. Across the country,
October 2, 2013

FISA court releases disturbing opinion as international community joins resistance to NSA abuses

On September 17, Judge Claire Eagan of the secret FISA court declassified an August 29 legal opinion, responding to mounting public concerns about transparency. On the one hand, allowing the public and press to see the order–which approved mass surveillance without individual
September 25, 2013

NY Times endorses Surveillance State Repeal Act, joining BORDC

This Sunday, September 21, the New York Times published an editorial, “Close the N.S.A.’s Back Doors,” supporting a piece of legislation that the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, alone among national advocacy organizations, has endorsed since August. The Times editorial
August 15, 2013

USA vs. NSA: Legislative Efforts to Curtail Spying

This article was written by BORDC’s Shahid Buttar, and reprinted with permission by The original article is posted here. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, members of Congress have proposed a litany of bills to put an end
August 1, 2013

Cracks widen in the armor of the surveillance state

Members of Congress sensitive to constitutional limits on executive power have introduced no fewer than a dozen bills to curtail NSA spying. Most of them would do nothing to address the most recent disclosures from journalist Glenn Greenwald. Until the full scope of NSA
July 25, 2013

Civil liberties movement wins by losing a key House vote

Since Senator Rand Paul’s groundbreaking filibuster of the CIA Director’s nomination this spring, the national security state has been on its heels in the face of rising transpartisan criticism from Americans who remember our nation’s founding values. That criticism reached
July 17, 2013

BORDC joins lawsuit vs. dragnet NSA spying

Earlier today, BORDC participated in a press conference organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to announce its new lawsuit, First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA, challenging the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records by the NSA. BORDC is one
July 5, 2013

Protests around the country challenge NSA on Independence Day

Yesterday, protests around the country celebrated Independence Day in the true spirit of our nation’s Founders. Restore the Fourth initiated the call to action, with broad support from transpartisan grassroots allies from coast-to-coast and many points in between. I spoke
July 4, 2013

Mourning a national holiday

Exactly one year ago, I asked “What do we celebrate this July Fourth?” This July Fourth, I’m celebrating the holiday in a different way and, in the wake of the NSA leaks, enjoy many reasons for optimism. Last year, I wrote: