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Thursday, August 04, 2005

the surveillance state, pro and con

Surprize, surprize, the FBI is spying on non-violent antiwar groups here in the U.S. Anthony Gregory is rightfully appalled:
After 9/11, the FBI was awarded new surveillance powers and larger budgets—even though inter-bureaucracy squabbling and the FBI’s misunderstanding of its own guidelines, not a lack of resources, accounted for its failures leading up to 9/11. Now this same agency professes to protect us by amassing thousands of documents on non-violent political organizations. Does the FBI suspect that the ACLU is planning a terrorist attack? If not, why is the FBI wasting time and resources monitoring such groups when it admits it cannot process the information it already has?
It's nothing new. Mr. Gregory goes on to note that the FBI and its predecessors have been engaged in this for many, many decades.

Not everyone is appalled. Neocon lapdog Michelle Malkin defends the FBI:
The FBI's job is to take threats to our domestic security seriously and act on them before catastrophe strikes. Given the suspect words and actions of left-wing groups over the last several years, "dissent is patriotic" is a bromide no responsible agent can swallow blindly. Tolerating the unfettered free speech of saboteurs has threatened enough lives already.
Glad to see MM come out against free speech, at least for those she disagrees with. It would almost be worth electing Senator Clinton president just so we can see the neocons completely reverse position when President Hillary goes after right wing groups with the same gusto that MM wants for the lefties.


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