Tag Archives: PATRIOT Act

NSA Reform: When 293 Votes Is Not A Majority

Late this afternoon, I was informed that the only NSA reform measure to pass either chamber of Congress this year–the Lofgren/Massie amendment to the FY15 DoD approps bill–is being stripped out of that bill as part of the House-Senate deal … Continue reading

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Udall, The Torture Report and The Pentagon Papers Option

Shortly after Colorado Senator Mark Udall lost his reelection bid to Rep. Cory Gardner, it began–first as conversations among civil liberties activists, then in media outlets, and finally Udall himself raised the possibility: on his way out of the Senate, … Continue reading

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Surveillance Reform: House Mid-term Election Impact Update

While seven House races remain undecided, what we do know is that seven House members who voted for the Massie/Lofgren/Holt NSA surveillance reform amendment to the FY15 DoD appropriations bill were defeated on election night. They are Shea-Porter (NH-1), Garcia … Continue reading

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A Change of Seasons and Careers

October 24th marks my final day as senior policy advisor to Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. When I joined his staff during the first week of August 2004, my first crisis as his communications director was … Continue reading

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NSA Reform Legislation Update

I’ll withhold final judgement on the pending Conyers-Sensenbrenner bill until I see the bill text, but here’s a reality check based on the summary provided thus far by the bill’s authors and some accounts online: Conyers-Sensenbrenner would leave the Surveillance … Continue reading

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Richard Cohen’s Edward Snowden Assessment, Revised

You can read his column here. Being both a former CIA analyst-turned-whistleblower-turned-Hill staffer, my background–and my sense of the history of these things–lead me to offer the following: The only traitors in this episode are executive branch officials who knowingly … Continue reading

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HPSCI’s “Statue of Liberty” Play On PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Did the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) engage in the document-based form of the old football deception play? That’s the allegation coming from Michigan Rep. Justin Amash: Justin Amash, the Michigan Republican whose¬†effort to defund¬†theNSA‘s mass phone-records collection … Continue reading

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