Stop whining and get with The Progromme

Stop whining and get with The Progromme

Friday, August 1, 2008

No Real Threat: The Pentagon's Secret Database on Peaceful Protest (1/17/2007)

In December 2005, major media outlets began reporting that a highly secretive component of the Department of Defense was accumulating and maintaining information on peaceful groups within the United States. The reports were a disturbing echo of an earlier era of unchecked and illegal government surveillance — an era when the FBI
under J. Edgar Hoover infiltrated civil rights and peace groups, and the United States military maintained secret files on tens of thousands of American citizens.

The disclosures cried out for congressional oversight and investigation. Yet Congress was silent. In an attempt to learn more about the extent of the Pentagon's surveillance activities and the policies that had authorized them, the American Civil Liberties Union and several of its state affiliates filed Freedom of Information Act requests on behalf
of dozens of groups that had protested against the Administration's foreign policy. What we have learned is troubling. What we still don't know may be even more disturbing. It is time for Congress to act, and to ensure that Americans may once again exercise their First Amendment rights without fear that they will be tracked in a government database of suspicious activities.



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