Wednesday, March 15, 2006

FBI Spied on Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice

The ACLU yesterday released FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that support the contention that the Bush administration's "war on terror" domestic surveillance programs may be being used to collect intelligence against political opponents.

According to a memo written in 2002, the FBI launched a classified investigation into the activities of Pittsburgh's Thomas Merton Center after becoming concerned that the group held "daily leaflet distribution activities in downtown Pittsburgh and [was] currently focused on its opposition to the potential war on Iraq."

...It identifies the group as "a left-wing organization advocating, among many political causes, pacifism."

The Thomas Merton Center? Targets in the so-called "war on terror?"
"Something is seriously wrong in how our government determines who and what constitutes terrorism when peace activists find themselves targeted," remarked Jim Kleissler, Executive Director of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice.
That's the understatement of the day.

Howie (and other right-wingers), you once told me that if you ever thought that domestic surveillance was being used for political purposes and not as a legitimate tool in the war on terror, that you would be outraged. We already have evidence that the NSA and the Pentagon have both engaged in political spying. Now, it's the FBI who also, as we saw in just the last several days, has used deputies of the Los Angeles Sheriff's department to question academics over possible links to Venezuela. Not al Qa'ida, Venezuela!!!

Are you outraged yet?

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