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Likely Terrorists: Gay People and Peace Activists June 26, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in bush administration, lgbt Issues, military, politics, terrorism.
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Last December the Bush administration allegedly authorized the government to spy on “suspicious” domestic organizations for links to terrorist activity. Among these groups were some anti-war student organizations that oppose “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers.

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, we now know that the government’s spying activities stretched farther than previously acknowledged:

The Department of Defense (DOD) has confirmed it conducted surveillance, on a more extensive level than previously reported, of student groups at universities in California, New Jersey and Connecticut. Some of that surveillance, new documents suggests, may have been part of an undercover Pentagon operation…

The letter and the accompanying TALON reports reveal government surveillance of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and anti-war protests at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY Albany), William Paterson University in New Jersey, Southern Connecticut State University and the University of California at Berkeley…

The documents released today indicate that emails sent by various student groups were intercepted and monitored by the government and that the government collected reports from seemingly undercover agents who attended at least one student protest at Southern Connecticut State University. None of the reports in the documentation, however, indicated any terrorist activity by the students who were monitored.

This is unbelievably insane. Targeting anti-war activists and LGBT people? These two groups aren’t exactly known for their intense love of violence, much less terrorism. The government shouldn’t be looking into any peaceful organizations’ activities. If the Department of Defense really has that much extra time, they should keep their wandering eye on the NRA… rumor has it they carry guns, chant slogans and organize in a cult-like (or cell-like) fashion.

I don’t believe the government was actually looking for terrorist activity in these groups. The administration was not looking for terrorist among peace activists enrolled in college. Were they monitoring the group to create fear and stifle dissent? To help diffuse future protests? What the hell was (is) going on?

So here is the update: If you use a phone, have a bank account, send e-mail or attend peaceful protests, the government could be watching you. Oh… and these are only the monitoring activities we already know about… who wants to put money on there being many more?

Congress needs to investigate… now.

Both AMERICAblog and Pam’s House Blend wrote about the alleged spying activities when they were uncovered in December. These were their initial reactions.