Lost Liberties

Salon has a massive, detailed article on the government’s efforts to spy on anti-war and anti-Bush activists under the guise of the Patriot Act. It covers in depth the scandal of government spying at Drake University (my father’s alma mater) that recently occurred, as well as accounts of other government infiltration of non-violent and anti-war protests around the country.

“No one knows the extent of the political spying and profiling currently being carried out against critics of the Bush administration and American foreign policy — which may be the most disturbing thing about the entire phenomenon. “Presumably if they’re doing their jobs well, we’ll never know,” says Fogel. Activists have also been unsuccessful at finding out why they’re being watched, and under whose authority.”
This is the perfect example of not learning the lessons of 9/11,” he continues. “The FBI was not sufficiently focused on the possibility that a group like al-Qaida would commit a serious terrorist attack. One real failure since 9/11 is that, when they call everything a ‘terrorist,’ they’re still not sufficiently focused on actual terrorists. There’s an overbroad definition of domestic terrorism in the PATRIOT Act, and it’s had a spillover effect into state and local governments who want to justify their antiterrorism funding and mission.”

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