Anti-War? In Alabama, Department of Homeland Security Thinks You're a TerroristSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Anti-War? In Alabama, Department of Homeland Security Thinks You're a Terrorist
 


28 May 2007 at 9:22:45 AM
salon

And it wasn't merely anti-war activists; also libertarians, gay rights, and pro-life activists. After complaints by, um, CITIZENS, who saw the website, the DHS in Alabama took that part of the website down. The article, howeve, doesn't say anyone got taken off their secret list.

The site included the groups under a description of what it called "single-issue" terrorists. That group includes people who feel they are trying to create a better world, the Web site said. It said that in some communities, law enforcement officers consider certain single issue groups to be a threat.

"Single-issue extremists often focus on issues that are important to all of us. However, they have no problem crossing the line between legal protest and ... illegal acts, to include even murder, to succeed in their goals," it read.

Pffttt. So, you can't be someone that is passionate and interested in an issue because it might lead you to MURDER SOMEONE. WTF! I guess the US government would prefer that people be easily distractible and unfocused. Hey, Go Watch Brittney on TV, Will Ya?

Howard Bayliss, chairman of the gay and lesbian advocacy group Equality Alabama, said he doesn't understand why gay rights advocates would be on the list.

"Our group has only had peaceful demonstrations. I'm deeply concerned we've been profiled in this discriminatory matter," Bayliss said.

And look. It wasn't just the *left* that was targeted.

Birmingham attorney Eric Johnston, president of the Alabama Pro Life Coalition, said he was concerned about any list that described people doing social justice work as terrorists.

But it isn't just Alabama-it's other states as well.  And where did they get that list? Here's one page of an FBI brochure sent out to *help* states figure out just Who The Terrorists Are Among Us.

And how about Texas? From 2006

Early this March an FBI agent's presentation at the University of Texas law school listed Indymedia, Food Not Bombs, the Communist Party of Texas and "anarchists" as groups on the FBI's "Terrorist Watch List" for central Texas.

On March 8, 2006, FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent G. Charles Rasner, delivered a guest lecture before professor Ronald Sievert's U.S. Law and National Security class of approximately 100 students. Accompanying his lecture was an "unclassified" PowerPoint presentation titled "Counter-Terrorism Efforts in Texas."

According to UT law student Elizabeth Wagoner's account of Rasner's lecture on Austin Indymedia:

"On a list of approximately ten groups, Food Not Bombs was listed seventh. Indymedia was listed tenth, with a reference specifically to IndyConference 2005.

"The Communist Party of Texas also made the list. Rasner explained that these groups could have links to terrorist activity. He noted that peaceful-sounding group names could cover more violent extremist tactics."

I'll tell you who *I* think domestic terrorists in Texas are; the people who bomb abortion clinics AND the guy in East Texas that had a cache of WMD weapons (talk about your White Guy Domestic Terrorism-Let's send him to Iraq so He Won't Come Here and Kill  ... ooops)

I understand that DHS wants to implement policies to keep people safe. But DISSENT and FREEDOM OF SPEECH is not terrorism. Remember the Talon Database where QUAKERS were listed??? Quakers, for gosh sakes! 

An e-mail went out to people in Springfield, Mass., on February 28, 2005, asking them to join in a protest against the second anniversary of the war in Iraq. “All are welcome,” the e-mail said. To the Department of Defense, this was suspicious—so they added it to a secret military database. 

The organization that sent that e-mail was the American Friends Service Committee, a 90-year-old pacifist Quaker organization, a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. This was the first of two events the Department of Defense felt were worth watching.

News of this has been around for a while, but as the Democratic-led Congress focuses its attention on open government, the experiences of the Service Committee highlight the excesses of an unaccountable government and the importance of tools like the Freedom of Information Act to preserve that accountability....

The biggest concern today is that we see history not repeat itself. Do we really want to go back to the McCarthy era, or COINTELPRO when nonviolent activists, such as Martin Luther King Jr. were labeled as “radicals,” and were watched and infiltrated?

What can we do about this? What are the lessons we are to draw from these experiences? We expect our elected officials to uphold the rule of law, and we ask Congress to assert its role to create checks and balances on other branches of the government in order to protect our civil liberties. Specifically, Congress should: 

  • Investigate the Department of Defense use of TALON reports and the Joint Protection Enterprise Network database and evaluate the impact they have had upon constitutionally protected dissent.
  • Revisit the US PATRIOT Act. Start with the common-sense bipartisan proposals from the Security and Freedom Enhancement (SAFE) Act Act of 2005, which would address roving wiretap provisions, sneak and peek powers, and national security letter provisions which the FBI Inspector General has just found have been repeated abused.
  • Evaluate the First Amendment implications of the intelligence gathering activities of local police and the Joint Terrorism Task Force to ensure they are not harming constitutionally protected dissent.

Rather than the government spying on the people of this country, the people of this country should hold our government accountable. Spying and dismantling the constitution makes us neither safe nor more secure.


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