From the beginning of the FISA Court, critics predicted it would become an embarrassment. New revelations show this was an understatement
Libertarian journalist and civil rights activist Glenn Greenwald dismantles the recent Inspector General report in The Intercept. According to the IG report, the FBI routinely cuts corners in its FISA Court pleadings. Moreover, the IG report shows that the “mainstream” media has been complicit in the abuses.
The secret FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court system was created by Congress in 1978 amid claims that investigations involving top-secret, classified, information are best conducted behind closed doors by trusted government-loyalist judges and government officials.
The FISA Court is a government tribunal without any press coverage or private-sector input.
In 2018, only 1 of 1,080 requests for government wiretap applications were rejected by the FISA Court. In most years there are NO rejections.
According to Greenwald:
It’s long been the case that CIA, FBI and NSA operatives tried to infiltrate and shape domestic news, but they at least had the decency to do it clandestinely. In 2008, the New York Times’ David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing a secret Pentagon program in which retired Generals and other security state agents would get hired as commentators and analysts and then – unbeknownst to their networks – coordinate their messaging to ensure that domestic news was being shaped by the propaganda of the military and intelligence communities.
But now it’s all out in the open. It’s virtually impossible to turn on MSNBC or CNN without being bombarded with former Generals, CIA operatives, FBI agents and NSA officials who now work for those networks as commentators and, increasingly, as reporters.
All of this has meant that U.S. discourse on these national security questions is shaped almost entirely by the very agencies that are trained to lie: the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, the FBI.