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During a 2013 appearance on Kremlin-owned Russian TV network RT, Congressman Adam Schiff robustly argued for more FISA transparency and for more decisions of FISA judges to be declassified.
Schiff appeared on RT to discuss the scope of the NSA’s surveillance program of American citizens following Edward Snowden’s revelations.
The California lawmaker said he was working on reforms to “make the FISA court more transparent so the American people can understand what’s being done in their name, in the name of national security.”
He added that FISA transparency was vital to produce a “more informed debate about the balance between privacy and security,” while also calling for more opinions from FISA judges to be declassified so Americans could see how the law was being interpreted.
This is a far cry from Schiff’s current attitude to FISA transparency.
Before the release of Congressman Devin Nunes’ FISA memo, Schiff repeatedly asserted that making it public would go against the national interest, potentially “revealing intelligence sources and methods”.
Following the release of the Nunes memo on Friday, the Congressman warned that revealing how the FISA process has become corrupt and potentially politicized could lead to domestic terror attacks.
During an appearance on MSNBC, Schiff suggested that we could see a repeat of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing due to names of targets of FISA surveillance being revealed.
This clear distinction in Schiff’s view on FISA transparency between 2013 and 2018 clearly illustrates how his stance is completely partisan and has nothing to do with underlying principles.
The fact that he supported FISA transparency on a Kremlin-owned TV platform is also particularly ironic given Schiff’s hysteria about Russian collusion and supporters of President Trump doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin.
It also emphasizes how all the fearmongering about the release of Nunes’ memo harming national security was concocted as part of a failed effort to block its release, since the memo did not reveal any sources or methods or put anyone at risk.
Respondents to Schiff’s 2013 RT appearance pointed out his rampant hypocrisy.
“Hey Schiff what changed? I thought Russia was our mortal enemy and FISA transparency means destroying national security?” asked one.
“So Schiff wanted more transparency with FISA warrants?” joked another.