Shahid Buttar - Video https://www.shahidbuttar.com/taxonomy/term/2 en "Green out of the pockets of politicians..." https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/134 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>The <a href="http://www.pexsummerfestival.com/musical-acts">PEX Summer Music Festival in July 2015</a> gave me a chance to break through a few personal musical milestones. My DJ &amp; MC set at <a href="http://mesocreso.org/">Meso Creso</a> on Friday night better realized the vision that prompted me to start DJing in the first place -- fusing the lyrical spirit of conscious hip-hop with the funk and delirium of house music -- than any gig I've played yet. Fortunately, the inspiration struck at a good time.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?embed_type=widget_standard&amp;embed_uuid=2410c2e3-4e21-4de5-a888-42dc17d31a5e&amp;feed=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Fshahid-buttar%2Fshahid-buttar-playing-meso-creso-the-pex-summer-festival-07042015%2F&amp;hide_cover=1&amp;hide_tracklist=1&amp;replace=0" width="660"></iframe></p> <p style="display: block; font-size: 11px; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; margin: 0px; padding: 1px 1px; color: rgb(153, 153, 153); width: 652px;">A <a href="https://www.mixcloud.com/shahid-buttar/shahid-buttar-playing-meso-creso-the-pex-summer-festival-07042015/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=resource_link" style="color:#808080; font-weight:bold;" target="_blank">tribal, dreamy, funky, conscious, Latin, and sometimes techy deep house set</a><span> mixed on the Meso Creso sound system at the PEX summer music festival (07.04.2015) by </span><a href="https://www.mixcloud.com/shahid-buttar/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=profile_link" style="color:#808080; font-weight:bold;" target="_blank">Shahid Buttar</a><span> on </span><a href="https://www.mixcloud.com/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=homepage_link" style="color:#808080; font-weight:bold;" target="_blank"> Mixcloud</a></p> <div style="clear: both; height: 3px; width: 652px;">  </div> <p>This 2:00 video clip shows me mixing between tracks, our fabulous and frenetic crowd celebrating the wee hours of Independence Day, and a single rhyme challenging both drug policy and money in politics.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HipHop?src=hash">#HipHop</a> challenging <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/drug?src=hash">#drug</a> policy and money in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/politics?src=hash">#politics</a> over <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HouseMusic?src=hash">#HouseMusic</a> <a href="https://t.co/JUs6fW8x58">https://t.co/JUs6fW8x58</a></p> <p> — Shahid Buttar (@Sheeyahshee) <a href="https://twitter.com/Sheeyahshee/status/621383620662534144">July 15, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><!--break--><p>I'll post a live recording soon, after nailing down whether a version that includes my vocals (for the first time!) is available. Many thanks to everyone who held down the dance floor!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/shahidbuttar.com/files/pictures/Meso %40 PEX crowd shot.jpg" style="width: 480px; height: 360px;" /></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Music</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div></div></div> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 07:10:26 +0000 Shahid Buttar 134 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/134#comments Debating an NSA apologist on the eve of a Senate victory https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/133 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>On Tuesday, May 19, I was invited to join <a href="http://www.cctv-america.com/2015/05/19/the-heat-discusses-u-s-government-surveillance-measures">a panel on <em>The Heat</em></a> including my colleague Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute and Fred Fleitz, a former CIA employee and Senior Vice President at the Center for Security Policy. Our discussion spanned two segments (both posted below after the jump).</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="395" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//cdnapi.kaltura.com/p/1679301/sp/167930100/embedIframeJs/uiconf_id/26345181/partner_id/1679301?flashvars[mediaProxy.mediaPlayFrom]=220&amp;iframeembed=true&amp;playerId=kaltura_player_f2efd7977eb21ecbbb2c81ed4bca7047&amp;entry_id=1_h9d85nhl&amp;flashvars[streamerType]=auto" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Days later, popular constitutionalists scored <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/23/usa-freedom-act-fails-as-senators-reject-bill-to-scrap-nsa-bulk-collection#comment-52638795">a major victory</a> when the Senate failed to extend section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, allowing its scheduled expiration under a previous act of Congress. It's the first time a controversial surveillance authority has ended since unconstitutional mass surveillance was first illegally imposed in secret over a decade ago, and offers me particular cause for celebration as I'll be <a href="http://www.bordc.org/blog/farewell-message-executive-director-shahid-buttar">wrapping up my time</a> leading the <a href="http://www.bordc.org/">Bill of Rights Defense Committee</a> next week. </p> <p><!--break--></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="395" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//cdnapi.kaltura.com/p/1679301/sp/167930100/embedIframeJs/uiconf_id/26345181/partner_id/1679301?flashvars[mediaProxy.mediaPlayFrom]=205&amp;iframeembed=true&amp;playerId=kaltura_player_64d8f70e9482008c74aa3c432d95e341&amp;entry_id=1_z0fhlmlj&amp;flashvars[streamerType]=auto" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>While I felt great about this segment, I was disappointed that the show is broadcast primarily in Asia, only because government officials and apologists for national security corruption are so rarely willing to debate me on camera for American audiences. Then again, I received supportive emails from expats now living in Asia who saw the interview, so it didn't fall entirely on uninterested ears. </p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Media</a></div></div></div> Wed, 20 May 2015 02:13:47 +0000 Shahid Buttar 133 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/133#comments Fighting corruption in the surveillance state https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/131 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>I've had a chance to publicly critique the intelligence establishment several times this month. After being <a href="&lt;a href=" http:="">quoted by <em>the Guardian</em></a> as describing the proposed USA Freedom Act as "yesterday's news," I had a chance to visit Thom Hartmann several times on <em>The Big Picture</em>. Here's our on April 28 interview:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GWQCkvcZXZY" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>That visit was followed by a series of return appearances on <em>The Big Picture</em>.</p> <!--break--><p>On April 22, Thom &amp; I discussed stingray devices developed by the CIA and now used by local police departments and sherrif's offices to spy on your &amp; your neighbors without a warrant.<br /></p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l20ayzcuiwk" width="560"></iframe> <p>On April 28, we discussed the Baltimore uprising following the police murder of Freddie Gray, as well as the impending congressional debate over mass surveillance.<br /></p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GWQCkvcZXZY" width="560"></iframe> <p>On May 8, we discussed the mass surveillance debate in greater depth.<br /></p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uLLt9iqsiS0" width="560"></iframe> <p>Finally, on May 12, Thom invited me onto <a href="http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2015/05/tuesday-12-may-15-show-notes">his radio program</a> to discuss more about the congressional debate over unconstitutional mass surveillance.</p> <p>I also visited a few other broadcast programs. On April 27, I <a href="http://www.peterbcollins.com/2015/04/27/bill-of-rights-defender-shahid-buttar-on-new-attorney-general-patriot-act-renewal-and-his-recent-arrest/">spoke on the Peter Collins Show</a> about the impending expiration of some provisions of the PATRIOT Act, as well as <a href="https://www.shahidbuttar.com/arrested-for-asking-questions-about-corruption">my recent arrest</a> for asking questions about corruption.</p> <p>On May 8, I appeared for a brief <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y53hGkFW1pQ">interview on <em>Uprising </em></a>with Sonali Kolhatkur about the mass spying debate.</p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y53hGkFW1pQ" width="560"></iframe> <p>Finally, on May 11, I <a href="http://counterpointradio.org/2015/150511-cp.html">appeared on <em>Counterpoint</em></a>, a syndicated radio program, to explain and discuss a major appeals court ruling holding that mass surveillance under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act is illegal and unauthorized by Congress.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Activism</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Media</a></div></div></div> Mon, 11 May 2015 15:03:16 +0000 Shahid Buttar 131 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/131#comments Questioning police body cameras across the Midwest https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/129 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>This month, I had a chance to invite audiences in two midwestern cities at the center of the Black Lives Matter uprising to reconsider the conventional wisdom on police body cameras.</p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" height="270" id="flashObj" width="480"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=4181564505001&amp;playerID=2436822743001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAQBxUNqE~,xKBGzTdiYSQO_AtyrK_TWDarhTlAxJpV&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=4181564505001&amp;playerID=2436822743001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAQBxUNqE~,xKBGzTdiYSQO_AtyrK_TWDarhTlAxJpV&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" height="270" name="flashObj" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" seamlesstabbing="false" src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" swliveconnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480"></embed></object></p> <!--break--><p>In early April, I visited my hometown, St. Louis, for an April 2 discussion with SLU law professor Justin Hansford sponsored by the school's American Constitution Society chapter and <a href="http://www.stlamerican.com/news/local_news/article_4050ed7a-e3d8-11e4-be0b-7fa48734cd10.html">covered by <em>the St. Louis American</em></a>. Professor Hansford's<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/04/body-cameras-wont-stop-police-brutality-eric-garner-is-only-one-of-several-reasons-why/">writing in <em>the Washington Post</em></a> had drawn my attention, and reflects similar concerns also raised by my colleague <a href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/12/obamas-plan-better-policing-good-bad-and-body-cameras">Nadia Kayyali</a> at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.</p> <p>On April 18, I spoke in Cleveland at the Martin Luther King Jr Public Library throughout a forum hosted by the Greater Cleveland Civil and Human Rights Network. The <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/04/experts_raise_concerns_about_c.html"><em>Cleveland Plain Dealer</em>covered the forum</a>, and posted video of some of my comments.</p> <p>I was happy to meet, and generally impressed by, City Council member <a href="https://youtu.be/k3ojfDqn2cY">Matt Zone</a>, who demonstrated an open mind towards each of the many issues that community members raised. Especially impressive were <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F52z2_1h-L0&amp;feature=youtu.be">Shakyra Diaz</a> from the ACLU of Ohio, and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD3l0K3dy20&amp;feature=youtu.be">Alice Ragland</a>, a youth activist and poet whose comments consistently revealed tremendous vision.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Law</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Activism</a></div></div></div> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 06:23:22 +0000 Shahid Buttar 129 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/129#comments DJ & MC set at Meso Creso's "Birds and the Bass Spring Fling" https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/130 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?embed_type=widget_standard&amp;embed_uuid=7e91253d-3450-4300-9af1-fcb31d29ac0a&amp;feed=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Fshahid-buttar%2Fshahid-buttar-spinning-sunday-sunrise-for-meso-creso-in-dc-04192015%2F&amp;hide_cover=1&amp;hide_tracklist=1&amp;replace=0" width="660"></iframe></p> <p style="display: block; font-size: 11px; font-family: 'Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; margin: 0px; padding: 3px 4px; color: rgb(153, 153, 153); width: 652px;">Spinning <a href="https://www.mixcloud.com/shahid-buttar/shahid-buttar-spinning-sunday-sunrise-for-meso-creso-in-dc-04192015/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=resource_link" style="color:#808080; font-weight:bold;" target="_blank">Sunday sunrise for Meso Creso</a><span> in DC (04.19.2015) by </span><a href="https://www.mixcloud.com/shahid-buttar/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=profile_link" style="color:#808080; font-weight:bold;" target="_blank">Shahid Buttar</a><span> on </span><a href="https://www.mixcloud.com/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=homepage_link" style="color:#808080; font-weight:bold;" target="_blank"> Mixcloud</a></p> <p>I spun this funky, uplifting, then dark, conscious, spacey, nostalgic, and finally micro house set on Sunday at sunrise for Meso Creso's “Birds and the Bass spring fling” in Washington, DC.</p> <p>While DJing, I kicked live rhymes that weren't captured in the audio recording. But here's a video (recorded around 39:00) of me spitting my song "Ferguson to Jerusalem."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IKTqyWubrHk" width="420"></iframe></p> <p>This set was especially memorable to me because I'd just flown home (and actually landed after the party had already started) from Cleveland, where I spoke on Saturday about police accountability, surveillance, and body cameras at <a href="https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/129">a community forum</a> covered by local media that posted <a href="https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/129">video of some of my remarks</a>.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Music</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div></div></div> Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:47:14 +0000 Shahid Buttar 130 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/130#comments Challenging Mass Surveillance on Capitol Hill https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/128 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Today, after publishing <em><a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/civil-rights/236831-back-to-square-one-on-spying">Back to Square One on Spying</a></em> in <em>the Hill</em>, I spoke at a congressional briefing about a proposed bipartisan measure to repeal the twin statutory pillars of the surveillance state. Here's video of my remarks at the briefing:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/59o60OGdXzY?list=PLzS7IQF_1vK_OxL1Dur3FLOKGU-2lQ-MY" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Appropriately titled the "Surveillance State Repeal Act" (H.R. 1466) the bill is the successor to former Senator Russ Feingold's JUSTICE Act, which <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhqgq1wITTg">I've championed</a> since it was first introduced in 2009. </p> <p>[Update: Outlets covering today's event included <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/03/24/surveillance-state-repeal-push-resumes-on-capitol-hill">US News &amp; World Report</a> -- which did an exceptional job of depciting our concerns -- <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/technology/236769-house-effort-would-completely-dismantle-patriot-act">The Hill</a>, The <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/24/house-revives-bill-to-completely-repeal-the-patriot-act-dismantle-nsa-spying/">Daily Caller</a>, and the <a href="http://www.accuracy.org/release/left-and-right-teaming-up-for-surveillance-state-repeal-act/">Institute for Public Accuracy</a>.]</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Law</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Activism</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div></div></div> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 22:23:45 +0000 Shahid Buttar 128 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/128#comments Arrested for asking questions about corruption https://www.shahidbuttar.com/arrested-for-asking-questions-about-corruption <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>I'd been back in DC for less than 14 hours before I found myself standing up in a Senate hearing chamber to ask Director of National Intelligence James Clapper a question that somehow never came up during his appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee. </p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/biCjuQC3ogQ" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>I asked a simple question of a public official <a href="http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2015/02/26/after-hearing-capitol-police-arrest-lawyer-for-shouting-question-at-clapper-about-nsa-surveillance/">in a public setting</a> that no elected member of Congress has had the independence to ask: how can you lie to Congress and get away with it? It’s a disturbing sign of our draconian times that posing that question is an alleged crime while Clapper’s lies to Congress remain unpunished and tacitly rewarded. Welcome to America!</p> <p>Two years ago, around this time of year, Clapper famously appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and made <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/james-clappers-least-untruthful-statement-to-the-senate/2013/06/11/e50677a8-d2d8-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_blog.html">a self-serving false statement under oath</a> -- which one might describe as a criminal lie reflecting institutional corruption -- in response to a serious question from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) that eventually drove a global controversy after the Snowden revelations proved Clapper's statements to be (<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/james-clappers-least-untruthful-statement-to-the-senate/2013/06/11/e50677a8-d2d8-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_blog.html">in his own subsequent words</a>) "too cute by half."</p> <p>Sen. Wyden's office asked Clapper (in writing in advance of the hearing) whether the NSA spied on millions of Americans. Clapper gave a convenient answer on camera, then Snowden proved it wrong. From the DNI's perspective, Clapper was bending the meaning of English to suggest that "collect" somehow means to "analyze," ignoring two centuries of constitutional history to the contrary to erect a system of mass surveillance of precisely the kind that our nation railed against during the Cold War.</p> <p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/james-clappers-least-untruthful-statement-to-the-senate/2013/06/11/e50677a8-d2d8-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_blog.html">Clapper eventually admitted</a> his statement was less than entirely true, downplaying it as the "least untruthful" response he could offer given the legal constraints imposed by the presumptuous, bloated, and anti-democratic national security classification system and its incompatibility with public hearings.</p> <p>But why should secrecy trump transparency in the first place?</p> <p>The SSCI was founded in the wake of the 1970s Church committee investigation that unconvered wanton, rampant, and unchecked domestic intelligence abuses by the FBI and CIA -- including a preposterous plot to drive Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to an early death. It's the one part of the government that has an effective chance to check or balance the otherwise unaccountable secret actions of executive branch agencies. (For law geeks: Judicial doctrines like the <a href="http://www.bordc.org/blog/fazaga-v-fbi-eroding-democracy-two-dimensions-once">state secrets doctrine</a>, or restrictive standing on which <a href="http://www.bordc.org/blog/clapper-v-amnesty-courts-and-congress-v-our-constitution">SCOTUS relied to dismiss <em>Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l</em></a>, ensure that the courts will not get involved untill their independence is re-established.)</p> <p>A SSCI that did its job would, in the face of proven lies by the DNI, demand at least the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/01/27/darrell-issa-james-clapper-lied-to-congress-about-nsa-and-should-be-fired/">removal</a> (if not the prosecution requested by multiple members of Congress, including the <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/technology/192241-patriot-act-author-obamas-intel-czar-should-be-prosecuted">author of the PATRIOT Act</a>, and a <a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/08/15/huge_majority_wants_clapper_prosecuted_for_perjury/">majority of the American public</a>) of an executive branch official whose unreliability were so publicly demonstrated. At the 2014 CATO surveillance conference broadcast on C-SPAN a few months ago, I had a chance to briefly interview the DNI's chief lawyer (at 59:50):</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://www.cato.org/longtail-iframe/node/55695/field_longtail_player/0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>I basically asked a senior government official how he rationalizes the presence of separate -- and very unequal -- systems of justice in America. On the one hand, we plebes are subject to arbitrary violence even prior to adjudication (i.e., <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2014/dec/04/i-cant-breathe-eric-garner-chokehold-death-video">police murder with impunity</a> for allegedly selling cigarettes, or <a href="https://www.aclu.org/national-security/al-aulaqi-v-panetta">drone assassination for speaking</a> out against US policies without ever raising a weapon).</p> <p>Yet sometimes the hand of justice seems remarkably restrained: powerful officials escape not only arbitrary violence in retaliation for suspected crimes but also any pretense at justice, facing neither judges nor prosecutors and even continuing to draw taxpayer funded paychecks and pensions despite committing <a href="https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/12/calls-brennans-ouster-emerge-along-details-cia-search-senate-computers/">vastly more serious crimes</a> documented on the public record -- like the CIA committing torture, then destroying evidence, then hacking the Senate to steal its documents, then filing false charges with the Justice Department, and then lying about all of that to try to cover it up!</p> <p>Litt (whom I professionally admire and respect, and whose willingness to have this exchange in public I deeply appreciate, especially given its sharp distinction from his boss' apparent reluctance) admitted to giving "bad legal advice," though he dismisses as "kind of annoying" the insistence among observers around the globe that in fact "<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/01/27/darrell-issa-james-clapper-lied-to-congress-about-nsa-and-should-be-fired/">Clapper lied</a>."</p> <p>Here's the crucial question: why are they both still serving in government? And why isn't Clapper either in jail or facing a jury?</p> <p><em>Eric Garner's alleged infraction was trivial relative to Clapper's proven crime against the American public, the Constitution, and the very future of freedom of thought -- yet Garner was killed without a trial, which Clapper has never even had to face</em>.</p> <p>False claims about the scope of mass surveillance went beyond the lawyerly impulse to bend language. We are talking about the creation of a corrupt enterprise diametrically opposed to the founding constitutional vision that inspired the world to follow our example. </p> <p>While my name reflects my Asian origins, I grew up in rural Missouri. I was a Boy Scout. I tried to enlist in the Marines when I was 12 to "fight the Commies." </p> <p>What drove me to such patriotic zeal was the specter of authoritarianism behind the Iron Curtain, of which mass surveillance -- like indefinite detention, and arbitrary profiling, or torture with impunity (all of which are also unfortunately well established here in the US) -- is a defining cornerstone.</p> <p>As a quasi-refugee fleeing religious intolerance in my native country, freedom is not an abstract concept to me. Freedom is embodied, for instance, in the opportunity to have a private conversation with a friend, or business partner, or lover or life partner. Freedom is embodied in the right to a trial before someone kills you. And freedom is embodied in the principle that everyone plays by the same rules. </p> <p>If we're going to <a href="http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/incarceration-nation.jpg">lock up three million Americans</a> (mostly of color, principally for reasons that in a growing number of states aren't even criminal anymore), we should be willing to increase the prison population by a few dozen more. And whether Litt, Clapper, and others complicit in covering up constitutional crimes (like <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shahid-buttar/unhappy-anniversary-eight_b_673739.html">Judge Jay Bybee or law professor John Yoo</a>) ever face a prison sentence, they should at least face a judge like the rest of us.</p> <p>If no prosecutor will force these questions before a judge, then Senators should ask them. And if no Senators ask them, well then...who will?</p> <p>And why is posing a question about corruption now a criminal act, while the underlying acts of corruption -- using taxpayer dollars to spy on grandmothers and children, violating fundamental freedoms of incalculable worth, and then lying about it to cover it up and avoid unpleasant consequences -- are perversely rewarded?</p> <p>I'm proud of posing the question I did after yesterday's hearing, and look forward to a court date on March 18 if anyone is stupid enough to prosecute me for this.</p> <p>After getting some actual work done, I'll write separately about:</p> <ul><li> the interesting <a href="https://www.shahidbuttar.com/Defending-First-Amendment-Capitol-Hill">circumstances surrounding my arrest</a>, what they indicate about the incoming Senate leadership's restrictions on dissent, and a chance to support rights to free speech and journalism on Capitol Hill.</li> <li> the bizarre and life-changing whirlwind that took me <a href="https://www.shahidbuttar.com/Artist-activists-from-Ai-to-Alli">through San Francisco</a> for 10 days, DC for 4 (when I recorded this <a href="https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/126">live DJ set</a> at Bossa in Adams-Morgan), Havana (on which I plan to expound at some length, including at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/689138944536704">this event in DC</a> on March 6) for a week, Miami for another 3 days, DC for only another 3 and then Brooklyn for 3 more (bookended by renegade underground parties in urban caverns!) before returning home a few hours before the hearing I was arrested after.  </li> <li> a <a href="https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/128">congressional briefing</a> at which I'll be speaking next month to re-introduce <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1466/text">H.R. 1466 / the Surveillance State Repeal Act</a>, a proposed measure to curb mass surveillance first developed (in part) by former Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), the only Senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act when it was first imposed back in 2001.</li> </ul></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Articles</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Activism</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/10" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Travel</a></div></div></div> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:37:32 +0000 Shahid Buttar 124 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/arrested-for-asking-questions-about-corruption#comments Rhyming about Gitmo, torture, and the New Jim Crow https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/120 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Today was the 13th anniversary of military detention at Guantanamo Bay. After joining inspiring allies from <a href="http://www.witnesstorture.org/">Witness Against Torture</a> (many of whom fasted for a week and came from all across the US) at a vigil at the White House, we marched to DC Superior Court, where I busted this rhyme about the inversion of criminal justice in America. The guilty remain free and run amok, while innocents are imprisoned en masse.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xR6_xSSGFpA" width="560"></iframe></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Poetry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Activism</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div></div></div> Sun, 11 Jan 2015 19:45:32 +0000 Shahid Buttar 120 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/120#comments NYPD slowdown and police body cams https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/121 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>I joined Abby Martin on "Breaking the Set" tonight to talk about how the NYPD slowdown reveals an opportunity for cities to save costs by shrink unnecessarily large police departments, and why <a href="http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/28357-police-violence-body-cams-are-no-solution">police body cameras won't help</a> solve the police violence &amp; accountability crisis, and could instead make mass incarceration even worse. </p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/m-viJMBmefQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Media</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div></div></div> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 02:45:12 +0000 Shahid Buttar 121 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/121#comments Challenging the legitimacy of 3 letter agencies https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/80 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Acronym TV featured me in an extended interview alongside Kevin Zeese focused on NSA surveillance but also ranging well beyond it. The interview concludes (and opens with a preview of) a live performance of my new dance song, "NSA vs. USA,"</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DGpYdHTowU8" width="560"></iframe></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Video</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Articles</a></div></div></div> Sun, 04 May 2014 03:09:34 +0000 Shahid Buttar 80 at https://www.shahidbuttar.com https://www.shahidbuttar.com/node/80#comments