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According to the New York Times, it looks like the rotting corspe of J. Edgar Hoover has been reanimated and loosed upon an unsuspecting American public.

Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, John Ashcroft, who was then attorney general, loosened restrictions on the F.B.I.'s investigative powers, giving the bureau greater ability to visit and monitor Web sites, mosques and other public entities in developing terrorism leads. The bureau has used that authority to investigate not only groups with suspected ties to foreign terrorists, but also protest groups suspected of having links to violent or disruptive activities.

But the documents, coming after the Bush administration's confirmation that President Bush had authorized some spying without warrants in fighting terrorism, prompted charges from civil rights advocates that the government had improperly blurred the line between terrorism and acts of civil disobedience and lawful protest.

One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's "semi-communistic ideology." A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Really makes you wonder just who those unathorized, illegal wiretaps were used on, doesn't it?

Originally posted to Benito on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 09:59 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I will rest easy tonight... (4.00)
    ...knowing that the President is protecting me from the vegans.  

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:01:35 PM PST

  •  7 month old story. (4.00)
    I posted about it yesterday in a separate thread.  The ACLU got FOIA documents about this in May.  Here's their press release:

    Documents Obtained by ACLU Expose FBI and Police Targeting of Political Groups

    WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union charged today that the FBI and local police are engaging in intimidation based on political association and are improperly investigating law-abiding human rights and advocacy groups, according to documents obtained through a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

    "Since when did feeding the homeless become a terrorist activity?" asked ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. "When the FBI and local law enforcement target groups like Food Not Bombs under the guise of fighting terrorism, many Americans who oppose government policies will be discouraged from speaking out and exercising their rights."

    The ACLU charged that the FBI is wrongfully withholding thousands of pages of documents, and today filed a lawsuit in federal court to compel the FBI to comply with the FOIA requests. The complaint seeks files kept by the FBI on the ACLU, as well as Greenpeace, United for Peace and Justice, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

    The ACLU said that the few documents received to date through the December FOIA requests shed light on the FBI's misuse of Joint Terrorism Task Forces to engage in political surveillance. In Colorado, one memo indicates an ongoing federal interest in Food Not Bombs, a group that provides free vegetarian food to hungry people and protests war and poverty.

    Reverend Raymond Payne, a United Methodist Minister from Russell, Kentucky is among the individuals seeking FBI documents. Last October, Canadian border officials interrogated Reverend Payne for more than an hour as he attempted to enter Canada for a vacation with his wife. According to Reverend Payne, the officials informed him that the interrogation was triggered because he is the subject of an FBI file. Reverend Payne has never been arrested, been charged with a crime, or even participated in a protest.

    Welcome to the party, NYT.  Civil liberties groups have been screaming about this for MONTHS, if not years.  Heck, there was a case like this in Fahrenheit 9/11.

    •  Latest batch of FOIA released documents? (4.00)
      The documents, provided to The New York Times over the past week, came as part of a series of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. For more than a year, the A.C.L.U. has been seeking access to information in F.B.I. files on about 150 protest and social groups that it says may have been improperly monitored.

      The F.B.I. had previously turned over a small number of documents on antiwar groups, showing the agency's interest in investigating possible anarchist or violent links in connection with antiwar protests and demonstrations in advance of the 2004 political conventions. And earlier this month, the A.C.L.U.'s Colorado chapter released similar documents involving, among other things, people protesting logging practices at a lumber industry gathering in 2002.

      The latest batch of documents, parts of which the A.C.L.U. plans to release publicly on Tuesday, totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups, including PETA, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group, which promotes antipoverty efforts and social causes.

    •  Deja vu all over again (4.00)
      Cointelpro was the version I experienced a few years back.

      Here's the Wikipedia link for you kiddies who  missed all the fun: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Let's get some Democracy for America

      by murphy on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:16:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Deleted my diary on this (4.00)
    It was nearly identical to yours...
  •  Considering the sleaze and crime (none)
    being exposed.. I'm expecting to hear that the Government somehow funnelled money from selling porn to fighting a guerilla war overseas.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:16:34 PM PST

  •  I'm still waiting you motherfuckers (none)

    "What the Republicans need is 50 Jack Abramoffs. Then this becomes a different town," Grover Norquist, 1995.-7.88, -7.13

    by bebacker on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:42:52 PM PST

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