Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Probable Cause...Wearing Black Clothing

"A secret FBI intelligence unit helped detain a group of war protesters in a downtown Washington parking garage in April 2002 and interrogated some of them on videotape about their political and religious beliefs, newly uncovered documents and interviews show...The probable cause to arrest the protesters as they retrieved food from their parked van? They were wearing black..." (underline added)

"FBI agents dressed in street clothes separated members to question them one by one about protests they attended, whom they had spent time with recently, what political views they espoused and the significance of their tattoos and slogans, according to interviews and court records.

The revelations, combined with protester accounts, provide the first public evidence that Washington-based FBI personnel used their intelligence-gathering powers in the District to collect purely political intelligence. Ultimately, the protesters were not prosecuted because there wasn't sufficient evidence of trespassing, and their arrest records were expunged.

Similar intelligence-gathering operations have been reported in New York, where a local police intelligence unit tried to infiltrate groups planning to protest at the Republican National Convention in 2004, and in Colorado, where records surfaced showing that the FBI collected names and license plates of people protesting timber industry practices at a 2002 industry convention.

Several federal courts have ruled that intelligence agencies can monitor domestic groups only when there is reason to believe the group is engaged in criminal activity. Experts in police conduct say it is hard to imagine how asking questions about a person's political views would
be appropriate in a trespassing case."

Washington Post link

Remember, we're being told they hate us for our freedoms.


Whatever said...

I look forward to your additional commentary vis-a-vis the VT killings.

I have heard much talk these past few days calling for restricted freedoms, yet you are silent.

Are you only out to highlight potential infringements on our freedoms only when the Bush Administration is involved?

TTH said...

I don't suggest with this blog that I will comment on every news item of the day, only one's I get fired up about. I feel the Virginia Tech thing needs to be kept in perspective. When these things occur, I believe the media blows them out of perspective, so I am not going to add to that hype (not that I consider myself a part of the media). It is horrible and tragic, but quite frankly, I feel that the over 3000 U.S troops dead, tens of thousands permanently injured, and possibly hundreds of thousands Iraqis dead are a more important topic to focus on. Gun rights are low on the list, and a distraction.

TTH said...

I also will tend to give more weight to actual, occurring reductions in freedoms, versus potential ones.

Anonymous said...

Geeze, I leave comments, but forget to check if they update.

Whatever said...


Fair enough, this is your blog!

Whatever said...

Oh, one other comment. Your "Remember, we are being told they hate us for our freedoms" canard is a gross oversimplification.

They don't hate us because of our civil liberties, they hate us because our women can drive and show their faces in public.

TTH said...

I'm quoting, how can I be accused of oversimplifying? The whole point of my repetition of that ridiculous assertion by Bushco is to point out its authors' oversimplification of Muslim feelings about Americans and our government's policies.

"Because our women can drive" isn't an oversimplification?

Whatver said...

No. Isn't the stated goals of the terrorists are to impose shira law on the nonbelivers?

From Wikipedia: Al-Qaeda's objectives include the elimination of foreign influence in Muslim countries, eradication of those deemed to be "infidels", elimination of Israel, and the creation of a new Islamic caliphate. (I would add an international one, and one that seeks to restrict our most basic freedoms, and I am not talking about our freedom from federal wire tapping)