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Just another Liberal Political weblog

Rights and Liberties eroding

At Alternet a headline reads:

Pentagon Monitoring Peace Activists’ E-Mails

Now why would the Pentagon be doing this?

“This information is being provided only to alert commanders and staff to potential terrorist activity or apprise them of other force protection issues.”

So the Peace Activists are a threat to the forces?

More information keeps coming out, thanks to the ACLU, about the Bush Administration’s equation of protest with terrorism — and the snooping it then engages in.

Homeland Security is monitoring peace groups and even peering at their e-mails. “This information is being provided only to alert commanders and staff to potential terrorist activity or apprise them of other force protection issues.”

It then shares that information with Joint Terrorism Task Forces, which include the FBI and state and local law enforcement, as well as with the Pentagon’s notorious Talon (Threat and Local Observation Notice) program.

For instance, an April 12, 2005, Talon document, just released by the ACLU, shows that the Pentagon was concerned about “suspicious activity” at an upcoming event sponsored by the Broward Anti-War Coalition in Florida.

This peace group, according to the document, was planning — hold your breath here — “guerrilla theater and other forms of subversive propaganda” at the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show.

The source of the information was the Miami-Dade Police Department, and members of Army Recruiting and the Miami Joint Terrorism Task Force were briefed on it, the document states.

“guerrilla theater and other forms of subversive propaganda” at the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show.   Wow,  guerrilla theater!  Very subversive activity. And what type of subversive propaganda?  Now what type of propaganda would Peace Activists have? Pamphlets against the War?  Speeches against the war?

And here’s another group they were monitoring:

Another Talon document, dated March 1, 2005, released by the ACLU, reveals that Homeland Security agents are monitoring e-mails of such scary groups as the Quakers.

“The source received an e-mail on 25 Feb 05, subject: upcoming peace/anti-war events. The e-mail was from the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Northeast Ohio,” the document states. And that source is identified as “a special agent of the Federal Protective Service, US Department of Homeland Security.” The document adds, “Source is reliable.”

The Joint Terrorism Task Force of Dayton, Ohio, was briefed on this one.

The planned activity of the Quakers that so concerned the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force was this: “On 19 Mar 05, there will be a ‘Stop the War NOW!’ rally in commemoration of the second anniversary of the U.S. Invasion/Occupation of Iraq. The Akron rally will have a march and reading of names of war dead. … The Akron march begins at noon and goes past a local military recruiting station and the FBI office. The march will end at the Federal Building in Akron, for a rally, followed by reading of names of U.S. and Iraqi war dead.”

Big threat here! No, my friends, it is just another way of eroding our rights and liberties.

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October 20, 2006 - Posted by | Government Policies, Rights & Liberties

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