Patrick G. Eddington

September 15, 2022

The United States of Surveillance: A Constitution Day Story

This coming Saturday will mark the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by 39 of the 41 delegates to the convention that crafted America’s current form of government. The document they circulated to their respective states for ratification
August 25, 2022

Of Bombs and Intelligence Collection: The FBI and the Cub Scouts

Americans are, once again, debating what is “age appropriate” sex education in light of the rise of the prominence of issues around gender, identity, and sexuality. And while much of the “groomer” rhetorical fire has been aimed at entertainment giant
June 3, 2022

Chinese Americans: In the Crosshairs of Two Governments

The views expressed are the authors own, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Defending Rights & Dissent. In the nearly two-and-a-half centuries the American Republic has existed, a nearly countless number of individuals and groups have been
May 24, 2022

A Threat to Liberty: FBI Domestic Surveillance Practices

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Senate investigative committee chaired by the late Senator Frank Church (D-ID) revealed the scope and consequences of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal intelligence agencies’ domestic surveillance–and worse–targeting hundreds of thousands
March 16, 2022

The FBI & the Father of FOIA

I suppose it’s only appropriate that as we celebrate another Sunshine Week that I take a moment to talk about the originator of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the late Representative John Moss (D-CA). It’s particularly apropos in this
February 22, 2022

Black History Month: National Security Whistleblower Edition

There have been and will be lots of op-eds this month on major historical figures from America’s Black community–civil rights icons like Dr. King, Ella Baker, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and many others. They challenged a society-wide system
June 29, 2021

The “China Initiative”: State-sanctioned Chinese American Persecution

By Patrick G. Eddington As President Biden prepared to sign the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act on May 20, he no doubt captured the feelings of many Asian Americans when he said: “We heard how too many Asian Americans have been
June 4, 2021

Snowden, Surveillance and Whistleblowing: Unlearned Lessons and Unfinished Business

By Patrick G. Eddington It’s been the better part of a decade since NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden first revealed massive U.S. government surveillance of our phone communications. The additional disclosures that followed led to no meaningful public Congressional hearings into
April 29, 2021

Jordan Cove Pipeline Protests: Is the FBI Still Spying on Activists?

By Patrick G. Eddington April 29, 2021 It’s been over three months since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission threw a regulatory wrench into Canada-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation’s proposed Jordan Cove liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal project, and the legal battle
March 18, 2021

Does the FBI Spy on FOIA Requesters?

The 55-year-old Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was authored by the late John Moss (D-CA) as an essential tool for citizens to wield to uncover what Executive branch officials were doing in their name. National Sunshine Week celebrates Moss’s achievement
February 18, 2021

Oscar De Priest: Black Congressional Pioneer

In becoming the first Black American elected to Congress since Reconstruction—and the son of former slaves, no less—Illinois Representative Oscar De Priest faced challenges and threats on multiple fronts. First, it was his erstwhile House colleagues, specifically long-time racists like John Rankin (D-MS) and Thomas Jefferson Busby (D-MS). 
January 4, 2021

The Assange Extradition Decision: No Time To Celebrate

On January 4, Westminster Magistrates’ District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser finally handed down her long-awaited decision regarding the American government’s extradition request on radical transparency activist Julian Assange. In short, she denied the U.S. government’s extradition request—not because she bought
October 2, 2020

Prepublication Review: Court-sanctioned Censorship 

For First Amendment and government transparency advocates, the fall of 2020 is off to a decidedly dreary start. On September 29, Judge Liam O’Grady in the federal Eastern District of Virginia gave the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community
September 17, 2020

Constitution Day 2020: Chaos and Continuity

Almost 170 years ago, Fredrick Douglass created a stir in the Abolitionist movement via an essay in the May 23, 1851 edition of William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, declaring that the Constitution “might be made consistent in its details with