FBI terrorism unit investigating doings of peaceful green groups

FBI agents working on behalf of the bureau’s counterterrorism unit have been gathering information on nonviolent environmental, civil-rights, and peace organizations for the past several years, according to Justice Department documents revealed in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The documents reveal that the FBI has amassed thousands of pages of records on the activities of groups like Greenpeace and the American Civil Liberties Union. The feds claim they’re just trying to prevent violence at political demonstrations, not, you know, stifle free speech or free assembly or anything like that (heaven forfend!). But “if the FBI has taken the time to gather 2,400 pages of information on an organization that has a perfect record of peaceful activity for 34 years,” said Greenpeace USA’s John Passacantando, “it suggests they’re just attempting to stifle the voices of their critics.”