Saturday, January 28, 2006

Fuck the FBI

Chilling dissent
Bill Berkowitz
Media Transparency

As the Bush Administration ratchets up domestic spying the FBI is collecting 'research' reports on 'direct action' environmental groups produced by right wing think tanks

From spying on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil right activists, to the Cointelpro program that targeted the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement and scores of anti-Vietnam War groups in the 1960s and 1970s, to the Reagan Administration's spying on activists opposed to its Central American wars during the 1980s, to police infiltrating groups protesting at the Republican National Convention in 2000, spying on Americans by assorted government agencies is as American as leaky breast implants, cronies getting jobs in the Bush Administration, unsafe coal mines, and Pat Robertson embarrassing himself on television on a near weekly basis.

The latest chapter in the sordid history of the government spying on its own citizens was made public when the New York Times revealed -- albeit more than a year after it had discovered the information -- that in the name of the so-called war on terrorism the Bush Administration has been using the National Security Agency (NSA), the nation's most secretive spy agency, to eavesdrop, without a warrant, on the conversations of Americans and others in the United States.

President Bush maintains that secret electronic eavesdropping is absolutely essential to keep Americans safe from terrorists. "The president has made clear that he will use his constitutional and statutory authorities to protect the American people from further terrorist attacks," said Brian Roehrkasse, a Justice Department spokesman told the New York Times. In an extraordinary Orwellian rhetorical twist, Roehrkasse added that the program provided "a critical tool in the war on terror that saves lives and protects civil liberties at the same time."


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