Wiretaps, spying, and ‘eco-terrorism’
By now, every sentient being in the country is — or should be — familiar with the story of the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretaps, as revealed by the New York Times.
(Turns out the NYT has been sitting on the story since before the 2004 election. Thanks.)
I won’t get into the details here, as they have been, and are being, covered extensively in other media outlets and blogs.
Americablog brings word that the Pentagon has been spying on campus gay groups that oppose the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell policy." Homo-terrorism?
The FBI has been spying on "groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief."
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, John Ashcroft, who was then attorney general, loosened restrictions on the F.B.I.’s investigative powers, giving the bureau greater ability to visit and monitor Web sites, mosques and other public entities in developing terrorism leads. The bureau has used that authority to investigate not only groups with suspected ties to foreign terrorists, but also protest groups suspected of having links to violent or disruptive activities.
But the documents, coming after the Bush administration’s confirmation that President Bush had authorized some spying without warrants in fighting terrorism, prompted charges from civil rights advocates that the government had improperly blurred the line between terrorism and acts of civil disobedience and lawful protest.
Does anyone still doubt that the current proprietors of the executive branch will spy on domestic political enemies under the guise of "protecting us from terrorism"? How many separate points of evidence are required, exactly, before it becomes politically acceptable to say that in public?
It’s not paranoia if they’re really watching you, and at this point, environmental activists should assume, until it is otherwise demonstrated, that they are being watched.